Posts Tagged ‘Troy’

Electronic Composer Mark Fell Debuts as Choreographer at EMPAC at RPI [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, October 5th, 2015


British artist Mark Fell is best known as an electronic composer. Starting out in the UK house and techno scene of the 1990s, Fell has become one of the most esteemed innovators of electronic music’s more experimental flavors. It’s within this context that Fell has expanded his art practice to include light design, architectural installation, and other configurations of multimedia performance. With Recursive Frame Analysis, Fell will add the ingredient of human movement to the mix for his official debut as a choreographer. Developed over the course of a year in residence at EMPAC at RPI in Troy), the piece will premiere there at 8pm on Thursday and Friday (October 8 & 9).

The title and disciplinary progression of the piece takes its inspiration from a mode of talk therapy developed in the 1980s. RFA is a technique whereby the content of a conversation is reconsidered by analyzing the linguistic framework in which it unfolds. Inevitably, this process becomes recursive with the context of a prior exchange becoming the content for a new one. In Fell’s project, a similar process is undertaken with each medium (sound, light, and dance) nesting within the others.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.


LIVE: J.D. McPherson @ The Hangar, 8/31/15

Monday, September 28th, 2015
J.D. McPherson

J.D. McPherson

Review by Fred Rudofsky
Photographs by Ed Conway

The city of Troy has witnessed some memorable rock and roll shows in the past three years – the Fleshtones, Los Straitjackets, the Lawn Sausages, the Catbirds and the Split Squad certainly come to mind. J.D. McPherson, however, may have raised the bar for indelible rockin’ to one-for-the-ages.

The last time he played Troy, McPherson and his remarkable band packed the Ale House. It was a sure sign that a bigger venue had to be in order.

On a steamy Monday night, a long of ticket-holders made their way into The Hangar – for the uninitiated, it’s a slice of roadhouse heaven just across the street from The Ale House with superb sound no matter where you sit or stand. Rising above a patch of desiccated sunflowers, a giant sign outside proclaimed the show was sold out.

I barely had enough room to clutch a cold beverage, take notes and forget that the beautiful blonde I’d asked out to the show said she couldn’t make it – whatever. (Somehow, mid-show, I would make it up to the stage front; within minutes, a beautiful brunette squirmed through the crowd, danced with me for several songs, and then was gone. Who was she?). It was that kind of night.

The Mickey James Trio opened the show and had the crowd howling approval immediately. Mickey James, the teenage son of McPherson’s powerhouse drummer, Jason Smay, sported a black T.K. Smith t-shirt, confident vocals and astounding chops on guitar. Seriously, this kid’s rhythm and lead style brought to mind such greats as Dave Gonzalez and Eddie Angel. With his dad smiling behind the kit and Graham Tichy playing some mighty fine Danelectro bass, James covered a lot of ground in his 45-minute set: Chan Romero, Howlin’ Wolf, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Link Wray and Freddie King to name a few). Singer-songwriter Nicole Atkins, who had emailed me a few days before, was right: don’t miss this kid.


CD Release Party: Maurizio @ The Hangar on Saturday

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Maurizio - Before the Crowd

Veteran singer-songwriter Maurizio has released several recordings over the course of the quarter century that he’s been making music in Greater Nippertown. But the Troy native considers his new album, Before the Crowd, to be his official debut.

“Although I have numerous recordings, this is my first full-production studio album,” he explains. “I have been performing in the local 518 for over 25 years, and I have been chipping away at this album for almost four years, as life has posed numerous challenges along the way. Now at age 46, well, you could call me a late bloomer, finally releasing my first true studio album.”

Maurizio will be celebrating with a CD release party at The Hangar in Troy on Saturday (September 26). Most often seen about town as a solo musician, he’ll be joined by a full band featuring members of the Rodeo Barons at The Hangar, performing Before the Crowd in its entirety. Joining in Saturday’s festivities will be Eric Margan (8pm) and the Rodeo Barons (9pm). Maurizio is slated to play at 10pm. Available in advance or at the door, tickets are $15, which includes a copy of the new CD.

With James Gascoyne serving as producer and bassist, the album was recorded at the now-defunct Black Dog Studios in Stillwater with Chris Carey (guitar, keyboards), Sam Zucchini (drums), Kevin Maul (pedal steel) and Casey J. Chapman (ukulele, keyboards).

The emotional centerpiece of the album is the theme of family. “My Sister Rose” is a direct address to his sister Rose, while the inspiration for the song “Radio Waves” is Maurizio’s sister Grace, who died tragically at the age of 25 while serving in the Peace Corps in Africa.

“It’s a call to squarely face our devils, find that elusive inner peace and accept the impermanence of this life,” explains Maurizio. “The album as a whole would have been described as a ‘confessional’ in a previous era, and thematically it wrestles with a yearning to go back, to try and regain what’s been lost along the way. Ultimately, the songs glow with a positive message: embrace the here and now.”

WHAT: CD release party for Before the Crowd
WHO: Maurizio
WITH: Eric Margan and the Rodeo Barons
WHERE: The Hangar, Troy
WHEN: 8pm Saturday (September 26)
HOW MUCH: $15, which includes a copy of the CD

Music for the Deaf & Hearing Impaired at EMPAC at RPI [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

It’s hard to imagine the act of listening without the use of the human ear. However, for Lebanese electronic composer Tarek Atoui, listening is an act that engages far more of our perceptual capabilities than simply hearing sound. In fact, Atoui has developed an art practice around composing and performing sound that can be appreciated by a hearing-impaired audience, drawing on an understanding of multimodal listening abilities including gesture, visuality, tactility and the space in which sound is performed. On Thursday (September 24) at 7pm, Atoui will present these ideas in a free performance at EMPAC at RPI in Troy.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

LIVE: Black Mountain Symphony @ Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, 8/14/15

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015


Photographs by Timothy Reidy

The North Country combo Black Mountain Symphony rolled into the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Troy for a free show last month.

UPCOMING: This weekend you can catch Black Mountain Symphony at the Perfect Wife in Manchester at 9:30pm on Friday and at King Neptune’s Pub in Lake George at 10pm on Saturday.


“The Extra People” Breaks Down Walls @ EMPAC at RPI [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015
Who is the actor and who is the audience?

Who is the actor and who is the audience?

The “fourth wall” is the imaginary barrier that separates the actors from the audience in a traditional theater production. When it’s broken, the audience is shocked into an awareness of the role they play in supporting the spectacle at hand. In British artist Ant Hampton’s new production, developed in residence at EMPAC at RPI in Troy, the fourth wall is so thin as to be nearly imperceptible, with the line between performer and audience equally unclear. On Thursday evening (September 10), the world premiere will find audience members entering the dimly lit theater, equipped with earphones, a flashlight and a high-viz jacket to search for who might be considered “The Extra People.”

Starting with “Rotozaza’s Etiquette” (2007), Hampton has created nine “autoteatro” works, including his recent Bessie-award-winning collaboration with Tim Etchells for library reading rooms (“The Quiet Volume”). In autoteatro, automated processes are delivered to the audience, normally through pre-recorded audio, which allow the audience members to experience the piece from the inside. In the case of “The Extra People,” audience members will be issued iPods with earbuds that will deliver particular instructions to each person. In this way, every person in the room will experience shifting roles on the participant-spectator spectrum.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

LIVE: Shinobi Ninja @ Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, 7/25/15

Friday, August 21st, 2015
Shinobi Ninja

Shinobi Ninja

Photographs by Timothy Reidy

The Brooklyn-based band Shinobi Ninja – who took home top honors at the MOVE Music Video Awards at the Madison Theater in Albany earlier this year – returned to town to rock the house at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Troy last month, splitting the bill with Sonic Metanoia (who have since changed their name to the Purple Curfew.


LIVE: Redd Volkaert and Robbie Fulks @ Ale House, 7/19/15

Thursday, August 13th, 2015
Redd Volkaert and Robbie Fulks

Redd Volkaert and Robbie Fulks

Review and photographs by Ed Conway

It was a dark and stormy Sunday night at the Ale House in Troy when Redd Volkaert and Robbie Fulks sat down in front of a nearly full house. The two traded songs, licks and stories throughout the evening. Each seemed set on making the other one laugh, along with the audience. In fact, some of the funniest moments were not spoken but when they would let their guitars speak for them.


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