SUMMER FUNSTIVITIES—Last year, the B3nson kids had a great idea: In order to help the Historic Albany Foundation rehab Ten Broeck neighborhood’s historic St. Joseph’s Church, why not use the palatial space to throw a weekend of local music and art? The event turned out to be the year’s biggest showcase of local live music.
This year, they’re taking it to the next level. On Aug. 27 and 28, the Restoration Funstival will return to St. Joe’s with a lineup that includes Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned, the Matthew Carefully Undone Ensemble, Railbird, Alta Mira, the Red Lions, Aficionado and many more. Most notably, Neutral Milk Hotel fall-out groups The Music Tapes (featuring Julian Koster) and A Hawk and a Hacksaw (featuring Jeremy Barnes) will headline. Additionally, Keep Albany Boring will handle all the electronic after-party merriment.
Early-bird tickets are onsale for $20 at restfest.net.
CAN THEY KICK IT?—Speaking of B3nson kids, indie folk-rock rabblerousers Barons In the Attic (who also will perform at Rest Fest) have announced a Kickstarter campaign to fund their third full-length record, currently underway. As bassist Dan Maddalone says, “This new one plans on showing even greater jumps in musicianship, songwriting, cohesiveness and the ever-important idea of FUN that Barons follows like some kind of crazy godless religion.” The goal is a paltry $2,000, and as of today they’ve got 26 days left to meet their mark. Toss a nickle in the digital hat at wearethebarons.com.
BEAT BATTLES—Last month, I profiled Brick’s Barbershop owner Deryl McCray, who has been organizing the monthly Producers Faceoff and Showcase at the Linda. The series is an opportunity for aspiring hip-hop producers to prove their mettle and make valuable industry connections with McCray’s high-profile panel of judges.
Tonight (Thursday) is the next installation, and word has it that the judging panel will include Ameer, a Tommy Boy performing artist and one of Albany’s biggest hip-hop exports, Vinny Idol, a producer who’s worked with 50 Cent, Jadakiss and D-Block, Cash Ellington, an A&R rep for Atlantic Records, and long-time Albany rapper Sev Statik.
The competition starts at 8 PM. Tickets are $7 and it’s $25 to compete. Slots are limited, so producers should contact McCray in advance at 210-6440.
CURTAINS—On a somber final note, local metal band Amalgama will take their final bow tomorrow (Friday) night at Valentine’s after six years of gigging throughout the Northeast.
“Valentine’s has always been like a second home to us,” says vocalist John Salka. “After playing what seems like a countless number of shows both upstairs and downstairs, having our farewell gig here feels just right.”
The band will play music from last year’s Amethyst and will be joined by Bishop.