Log In Registration

Readers’ Poll: Arts

by The Staff on March 13, 2013 · 4 comments


Best Movie Theater: Spectrum 8 Theatres


Best Movie Theater

1. Spectrum 8 Theatres

2. Regal Colonie Center Cinema 13

3. Bow Tie Cinemas Movieland

Your love for the Spectrum has only gotten stronger with age: The venerable arthouse won by more than 300 votes this year, which is some kind of record. Still, there’s plenty of love for Regal Colonie and downtown Schenectady’s gem, Movieland.

Best Museum

1. New York State Museum

2. Albany Institute of History & Art


Sometimes your top three choices don’t change. This is one of those times!

Best Art Gallery

1. Albany Center Gallery

2. UAG Gallery


Your Albany favorites win again—with the pride of North Adams a surprise third.

Best Local Performing Arts Organization

1. Saratoga Performing Arts Center

2. Capital Repertory Theatre

3. Proctors

The perennial winner, SPAC, wins again.

Best Live Theater Venue

1. Proctors

2. Capital Repertory Theatre

3. The Egg

Proctors’ large victory margin underlines your love for big, colorful Broadway shows on one of the grandest stages upstate.

Best Children’s Art Programming

1. Steamer No. 10 Theatre

2. Proctors

3. Arts Center of the Capital Region

Kudos to Ric Chesser and company for another great year of entertainment and edification for kids.

Best Local Visual Artist

1. Samson Contompasis

2. (TIE) Heidi Philipsen-Meissner, Design by Jewelz

Mighty Samson triumphs again.

Best Local Filmmaker

1. Mike Feurstein

2. Jon Russell Cring

3. Heidi Philipsen-Meissner

Director-producer-writer Feurstein dazzles with features and shorts; Creeping Crawling director Cring knows how to throw a good scare into audiences; and Philipsen-Meissner commands attention in front of and behind the camera.

Best Local Fiction Writer

1. William Kennedy

2. Vince Zandri

3. Dennis Mahoney

How could William Kennedy not win this category?

Best Local Nonfiction Writer

1. Brett Parker

3. (TIE) William Kennedy, Daniel Nester

Film writer Brett Parker, who also snagged a Best Twitter Feed win, edged out the Bard of Albany and the Master of the Inappropriate.

Best Local Poet

1. Mary Panza

2. (TIE) R.M. Englehart, Dan Wilcox

Mary Panza returns to the top of the local poetry heap, with poet-impresarios Englehart and Wilcox close behind.

Best Local Solo Musician

1. Erin Harkes

2. Molly Durnin

3. Olivia Quillio

Ms. Harkes proves she’s not going anywhere, anytime soon.

Best Live Music Venue

1. Valentine’s

2. Saratoga Performing Arts Center

3. Upstate Concert Hall

The rundown here is really a case of apples to oranges to bananas in terms of scale and booking, but how can you not love the little punk club that could?

Best Dance Club/Dance Night

1. Vapor Night Club

2. Fuze Box

3. Bootlegger’s on Broadway

Between ’90s nostalgia acts and celebrity porn-star DJs, Vapor is the place for the weird and the wild.

Best Open Mic

1. McGeary’s Irish Pub

2. Hudson River Coffee House

3. Hard Soul’s at Putnam Den

When Tess took her ship over to McGeary’s, she brought the area’s most venerable open mic with her. More than a few local luminaries have cut their teeth there.

Best Trivia Night

1. Bombers Burrito Bar

2. The Ruck

3. McGeary’s Irish Pub

Looks like the smarties like to party at Bombers.

Best Art Event

1. Art on Lark

2. 1st Friday Albany

3. Troy Night Out

Art on Lark edged out year-round moveable art parties 1st Friday and Troy Night Out, which were separated by only a handful of votes.

Best Food-and-Arts Event

1. Saratoga’s Chowderfest

2. Mac n’Cheese Bowl

3. Troy Pig Out

You didn’t differentiate between the various Chowderfests—Troy? Saratoga?—but the large victory margin proves definitively that you like a nice fish soup—in a crowd.

Best Local Country Band

1. Skeeter Creek

2. Eastbound Jesus

3. Chelsea Cavanaugh

Massive win for Skeeter Creek. Massive.

Best Local Blues/R&B

1. Bent Rail Blues Band


3. George Fletcher’s Folding Money

All three finalists are great, but the category goes to the band with the genre title right there in their name.

Best Local Jazz Musician/Band

1. Arch Stanton Quartet

2. The Chronicles

3. The Standard Clams

Last we heard, Arch Stanton was touring Egypt or some-such. Not too shabby, boys.

Best Local Punk Band

1. Slaughterhouse Chorus

2. New Red Scare

3. (TIE) Neutron Rats, Last Conspirators

It feels like we’ve seen these names gathered in the same place before—oh yeah, on some of the area’s best multi-band punk bills.

Best Local Hip-Hop


2. Goldtooth

3. Dezmatic

Hip-hop is definitely on the rise in the 518 right now, and MIRK’s big-stage full-band act reigns supreme.

Best Local Rock Band

1. Hair of the Dog

2. Wild Adriatic

3. Jet Crash Billy

We expect that the proximity of this poll to St. Paddy’s day had something to do with the result. That and the fact Hair of the Dog play about 400 gigs a year in these parts.

Best Local Indie Rock Band

1. Stellar Young

2. The Lucky Jukebox Brigade

3. Hand Habits

It’s the same winner as last year, but with a new name: Say goodbye to The City Never Sleeps and hello to Stellar Young.

Best Local Cover Band

1. Skeeter Creek

2. Jet Crash Billy

3. Funk Evolution

Another win for Skeeter Creek, who earn an A+ for utilizing social media to rally votes.

Best Local Metal Band

1. Maggot Brain


3. Dolabra

Maggot Brain won this category by one massively sludgy power chord.

Best Local Hardcore Band

1. Bad Friends

2. (TIE) Maggot Brain, Brick by Brick

It seems Bad Friends had more than a few good ones sending in ballots on their behalf.

Best Local Club DJ

1. DJ Debonair Kendrick Ricci

2. DJ Nick Papagiorgio

3. DJ Dread

The vote tallies in this category were directly proportional to the syllables in these incredibly wordy DJ names. Good DJs are not into that brevity thing, el duderino.

Best Comedian

1. Greg Aidala

2. Jaye McBride

3. Vernon Payne

Another repeat 1-2-3 category. And if Kevin Marshall hadn’t decamped for NYC, he’d probably have tied for third again.

Best Local Arts Hero

1. Samson Contompasis

2. Philip Morris

3. Jon Russell Cring

DIY arts impresario Contompasis wins again, with Proctors CEO Morris close behind.


{ 1 trackback }