As Albany Med slowly blobs its way down New Scotland Avenue, gobbling up any and all businesses in its path—including the fabled Quintessence—Valentine’s Music Hall and Beer Joint stands as one of the last great bastions of that strip and icons of Albany rock culture. Now, there’s no buyout plan publically in the works, but with block neighbor Quintessence going down with little fight, it’s more than the cynics who are grumbling.
As either a preemptive action, or as a simple tribute to a beloved landmark, local musician and filmmaker Tim Branfalt this week announced a Kickstarter campaign to fund a documentary about Valentine’s, called No Pepper for the baseball park slogan spraypainted on the downstairs stage. “As club after club closes, it’s important to keep a record of the ones that played a role in shaping the city,” he writes. “No other club helped shape the musicians of Albany like V-Tines.” The film hopes to trace the venue’s origins, revisit some legendary performances by local and national acts alike, and provide a forum for fans to tell their stories. Tomorrow (Friday, May 24) at 5 PM, Branfalt will be shooting at the venue with owner Howard Glassman and encourages folks to stop by and share their stories. The Kickstarter campaign will be open until June 19 and is looking to raise $6,500. “This project is for Valentine’s and the people who love the joint,” he writes, adding, “We will always have our memories (until we develop brain diseases from decades of partying). But this will ensure that we will always have a window into our favorite beer joint once the bulldozers turn it into a parking lot.”
Don’t Bring Grandma
Punk rock has always been about the do-it-yourself mindset—in sound, fashion and culture. Therefore, there’s nothing more punk-rock than a good old-fashioned secondhand sale. That’s exactly what organizers have in mind for the Punk Flea Market next Thursday (May 30) at Valentine’s. (It’s fitting since punk rock has also always been about collectables.)
Folks are encouraged to bring any and all LPs, CDs, tapes, buttons, shirts, zines, patches, etc. to the club at 7 PM. It sounds like a pretty free-form event where you can buy, sell and trade for anything that strikes your fancy. To top it off, Bourbon Scum and Deadfolk will perform.
Music Not Movies
More new music is due out by the likes of Dan Johnson and the Expert Sidemen. It seems like just a few months ago that the alt-country-folk quartet put out their debut album—because it was actually just this past fall—but they hopped right back in the studio to produce Bound for Abiquiu. The 10 tracks were recorded live at Warming Room Studios in Albany with engineer Carl Blackwood, thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign that threatened fans with a foray into filmmaking if Johnson couldn’t reach his target sum. Now, thankfully, Bart Simpson vs. the Scorpion King will never be produced.
The band will unveil the new record tonight (May 23) at Valentine’s (17 New Scotland Ave., Albany). Showtime is 8 PM and tickets are $10. They’ll be joined by Driftwood and the Grassroots Rebels.
Before the dinosaurs, jam bands, country stars, Disney idols, ’90s alt-wonders and token hip-hop act pour in for the summer SPAC season, things will get off to a local start on Friday (May 24) with the venue’s annual SPAC Battle of the Bands. Every year, it seems, organizers have been upping the rigors and perks of the competition, and the quality of performers has followed suit. From 50 entries, the field has been narrowed to 10, who will perform 20-minute sets before a panel of judges including Richard Pawelczyk of NYC’s Webster Hall, Donna Eichmeyer of Live Nation, and Greg Haymes of nippertown.com. The judges’ top pick will win a gig at Webster Hall, 25 hours of recording time at the Recording Company, airplay on WEQX and merchandise from Saratoga Statement. The winner of the “audience choice” category will win an opening slot at SPAC.
Finalists include the Lucky Jukebox Brigade, This Renaissance, VONTUS, Rites of Ash, Jes Hudak, the Racer, the Margo Macero Project, Call Security, A Little More Us, and Ghosts on 33rd. The first band will go on at 7 PM in the Spa Little Theater (Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs). Tickets are $20. Call 584-9330 for more info.
Seeing as it’s the end of May and all, that means the time has come for Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned’s fifth monthly EP release of the year. In case you missed word of the first four, the band are aiming to release one new EP every month for the duration of 2013, complete with limited-run art work, often with a thematic slant, and usually at a different venue.
The band members are holding the details of this record pretty close to their chests but what we do know is that Elda’s on Lark (205 Lark St., Albany) is going to play host and Secret Release will be joining them. The show is on Friday (May 24) at 10 PM.