Tim Reidy is kind of a legend. I’m not the first person to make this proclamation. If you’ve recently been to see a local band, peruse galleries at Albany’s 1st Friday or Troy Night Out, or wander the crowds of Alive at Five, LarkFest or Pearlpalooza, you’ve almost definitely seen Tim—front-and-center. He’s a fan and a fixture, the guy who definitely caught that Tuesday night show you spaced out on and would be glad to show you the photos on his camera. A mild-mannered state worker by day, Tim becomes a superhero of public transit in the evening and on weekends, riding the CDTA route schedule through gaps in the space-time continuum in order to catch multiple shows per night. He’s been known to see more concerts in a month than there are days, and one weekend this summer he pulled the seemingly statistically impossible feat of attending Bellstock, Sawfest and the Americanarama Music Festival entirely by bus.
Needless to say, the archive of photos and videos he’s amassed at his blog 3garcons.tumblr.com is one of the music scene’s most extensive. Ton Lokal is meant to be an extension of this project onto ink and paper (with the occasional online video). Friend Tim on Facebook and your feed will soon be full of German puns. Ton Lokal is the tone of the local scene, a German cognate that is also synonymous with bar or tavern. Every month, Ton Lokal will serve as the tour diary of Albany’s live music superfan, a vicarious ride through the region’s robust club calendar, and a loving reminder that none of us have any excuse for being bored with so much going on.
I hope this section will focus on the live aspects of our music and arts community with the main focus on music. I am an artist who got swept into this area’s great music scene, learned photography, and further got into the arts and dance scenes. Along the way, I hope to share video from the recent past.
Starting with dance, the Ellen Sinopoli Dancers started off the Kaatsbaan season on Oct. 5 with a bang; the closing dances were really enjoyable. That weekend, My Pet Dragon showed off their less-danceable side with a duo performance at the Hollow Bar that was strong on vocals. The Local Harvest Fest had four great daytime acts in Washington Park. Banshee Tree stood out for me.
The highlight of the month had to be the O+ Festival in Kingston. The acts that I knew were really great, while the only thing I did not enjoy was a yoga class. Swamp Baby brought a quiet set to a family atmosphere. After that was the duo of Jay Ungar and Molly Mason teaming up with Mike and Ruthy for a folk extravaganza. Later that day, I saw some serious dance from Zamboni Dance/Theater and they got my bag into their act. Snowflake was worth the wait with stellar sounds and a movie in the background. On Sunday, I got to see Kris Perry’s Machines, which was a cool percussion spectacle with instruments made from scrap. And the Kids were treated to a packed house as they played a good poppy prog set. Spiritualized closed Old Dutch Church with a bang and ended the festival well.
Vieux Farka Toure played on the 24th to a packed Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy. With a four-piece, he delivered fine African rhythms as the show went from seated (including the band) to everybody standing or dancing.
At Valentines on Oct. 26, I was treated to a triple bill of the Parlor, Sgt. Dunbar and the Chandler Travis Philharmonic. The Parlor played a short and extra sweet 30-minute set mostly of favorites and new numbers. Most of them stayed on and joined Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned in the second set. They contributed to an EP, of which Sgt. Dunbar will have two more to go before the end of the year, on a project to match their number of horse-riding songs. If you wanted some classic Sgt. Dunbar, you surely got it that night. Chandler Travis finalized the bill with a solid set as they mixed awesome sounds with frivolity throughout their set.
October’s Troy Night Out was good for the art displays, and the Art Center of the Capital Region had a fine exhibit that challenges the viewer in the main gallery. Solid Smoke was the best music act of the evening with exciting cover tunes for the season such as “Thriller.”
November’s Albany 1st Friday was a slow affair, as I was uptown and saw the Pine Hills Library displaying printed art themes. The Opalka Gallery had an entertaining Firlefanz puppet show, and the Armory Show was like an art funhouse.
Halloween brought a super six-band bill to Valentine’s that was tightly packed, and the early birds did well with Olivia Quillio having an intimate set to start out. The Blind Owl band were rocking with their folk-inspired songs. The Black Mountain Symphony put together an epic set and were costume-coordinated. The evening tended to get blurry after that with band after band, and the bands overall had well thought-out covers to go along with their originals that evening.