The Lucky Jukebox Brigade (photo by Timothy Reidy)
Photographs by Timothy Reidy
Additional photographs by Richard Brody
For Day Two of Albany’s 66th annual Tulip Festival, the weather cooperated perfectly, and the two stages of non-stop music went off without a hitch – no cancellations like Day One.
And, in fact, Tulip Fest Sunday – aka Mothers’ Day – offered a broader spectrum of music than Saturday’s line-up. From Nicole Vaness Ortiz’s Main Stage opening tribute to Whitney Houston to Tonic frontman Emerson Hart’s fest wrap-up showcase of tunes from his new solo album, Beauty in Disarray, the Main Stage activity was less rock-oriented and more family-friendly. Singer-songwriter Caroline Glaser – a popular contestant on NBC-TV’s “The Voice” singing competition – served up some sparkling indie-folk sounds, and the Local 518 even got some Main Stage representation with Troy guitarslinger Graham Tichy leading his band through a roots-rock cavalcade that stretched from rockabilly to swing.
Over at the Lakehouse Stage, the all-homegrown line-up of bands proved that the Local 518 is home to a healthy and diverse array of music, from the relatively new, fuzzed-out, instrumental surf sounds of the Kimono Dragons to the funky, horn-fueled jazz of the Chronicles to the harmony-laden Americana folk-rock of the North & South Dakotas to the finale rousing blast of the cabaret/party band the Lucky Jukebox Brigade, previewing some fresh new tunes from their upcoming sophomore album, it was a grand day for music.
Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Brian Tromans and Timothy Reidy
Unquestionably the most musically adventurous Tulip Fest headliner in recent years, LA’s Silversun Pickups drew a surprisingly large crowd to Washington Park on a particularly soggy Saturday.
Vocalist-guitarist Brian Aubert and his band certainly know their way around pop melodies and forms – as they proved with the slinky “Here We Are (Chancer)” and the audience slap-along “Mean Spirits” – but much more than your average band of alt-popsters, they tend to bury their pop tendencies beneath a darker attitude, a noisier attack, fractured rhythms and layers of distorted guitars in overdrive. Several times throughout their 95-minute set – most notably during “Panic Switch” and the final encore of “Well Thought Out Twinkles” – Aubert descended into wild, guitar-freakout abandon as he stalked the stage.
Comparisons to Smashing Pumpkins (rampant in Silversun Pickups’ earlier days) still hold water, but now only to a point. The band has grown beyond easy categorizations with a sound that gracefully fluctuates between the seemingly polar extremes of ambiant and anthemic. There was plenty of guitar crunch in evidence – the encore of “Substitution,” being a prime example – but there were also some more tender moments, as during the shimmering “Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings)” and the almost ballad-ish “Catch and Release.”
Review and photographs by Kirsten Ferguson. See more of Kirsten’s photos from this show here.
When the crowd in front of the stage – penned in by metal barricades under an unseasonably hot sun – started chanting “Stacy’s Mom” during Fountains of Wayne’s headlining Saturday afternoon set on Day One of Albany’s Tulip Festival, frontman Chris Collingwood shrugged off the group request and played the effervescent, but lesser-known, “Mexican Wine” instead.
“This is a song about drinking,” he announced before the song to disappointed silence. It was possibly the first time in history that such a statement has fallen flat on an outdoor festival audience in a park littered with empty plastic cups.
Yes, the crowd came to hear Fountains of Wayne’s hit single, “Stacy’s Mom,” from their all-around excellent 2003 album, “Welcome Interstate Managers.” But they had to sit through lots of smart, supremely catchy pop first.
“The first albums that I ever had were Beatles records, and for years that’s all I had. I had this hippie aunt who gave me all of her Beatles records when I was about three. And for about six or seven years, those were the only records I had. Well, maybe those and `Free to Be You and Me.’
Later, I just started listening to everything that I could get my hands on. But it was definitely the Beatles first.”
In support of their latest album, “Sky Full of Holes,” Adam Schlesinger straps on his bass to join his bandmates in Fountains of Wayne as the headlining band at the Albany Tulip Festival in Washington Park on Saturday (May 12). The band is slated to perform on the main stage in the park’s parade grounds at 4pm on Saturday. Admission, of course, is free. For a full schedule of performances at the two-day Albany Tulip Festival, go here.
NAME: “Uncle Mike” Davies
BAND AFFILIATION: The LateShift
1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … “Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears. Laugh it up, but it’s the truth. You’d surely be lying if you could say you never jammed out to a little “Brit-Brit” back in the day! Times have changed though, as have my musical tastes, but your past is what shapes your future, and I would be cheating myself to say Britney Spears didn’t influence my love for music that thrives today. I can hear my band-mates now, “Dude you should have just lied!,” but I’ll just laugh it off. In my eyes, the truth is all that is real and to live in peace is to be transparent to what came before, or in this case, my childhood obsession with Britney Spears.
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