The final night at Valentine’s was a night of nostalgia and remembrance. Two of the friendliest acts around and a fine cast of characters graced the stage for the final time: the Parlor and Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned. The Parlor were first and played a mix of older and newer songs, so no beach music for this evening. The most dramatic song was “Murder of Crows,” suggesting that a certain nightclub may have been “murdered” by a particular medical center. Songs about Albany and Troy were also added into the set. Adam Muro and Louis Apicello accompanied the band on a few songs for a bigger brass section than their standard lineup. Eric Krans was in fine form as the big rock star, and Jen O’Connor kept her siren’s call throughout the evening. There was even an encore for the opener.
Most of the Parlor stayed right around and continued the evening with Sgt Dunbar. The band played with as few as five and as many as 10. In their first non-EP show in awhile, Dunbar concentrated on good sing-along songs, such as “Charlie Mingus’ Garbage Pile,” and the crowd sang right along. The final song sung at Valentine’s was “I Am the Past” (“but you call me the future. . .”). It was a fitting tribute to a place where so many sought refuge to be themselves and showcase their craft. After the show, I caught a bus to Central Avenue where the new club, the Low Beat, now stands. You miss the fallen clubs, but the show must go on.
The following day, I got to see the sad sight of Olivia Quillio playing her last local show for a while. This was at the lovely Waterford Public Library, which was a perfect setting for her. The delicacy and power of her voice just suits a quiet room. The Waterford audience got to hear some new songs, as well as songs off her new album The Bomb. She went away from the mic on a few tunes to give them a cozy living-room feel surrounded by all the books.
Turning south to Bearsville, I got to see Robert Randolph and the Family Band play a guitar-laden evening. The guitar licks started early with the Compact, a trio who laid fine guitar grooves within folksy and bluesy numbers. The groove was bigger and the guitar licks meaner than the last time I saw them outdoors in Beacon. Robert Randolph played his standard steel guitar for most of the night and grabbed a stand-up version later in the set, stretching out the instrumentals this time around for longer, flowing songs. The crowd was so into it that there was even a guest member from the audience playing guitar.
In Kingston, I got to see Hand Habits with a new lineup play at BSP Lounge. A dark and dreamy set emerged, with Adam Muro being added to play a combo of sax, banjo and keys for most of the set. Lots of interludes between songs highlighted their punchy set. Shana Falana got to the point and got some good yodels in her duo set that followed. Widowspeak headlined with catchy tunes under a dark projection. Their songs, though, in general did not have enough bite that evening.
Lots of dancing happened at the end of the month, starting with the Dylan Perrillo Orchestra at the City Beer Hall, where lots of couples danced to classic big-band jazz tunes that the large horn section cranked out. I spotted a couple of the same dancers at the Ruck during Troy Night Out with Graham Tichy and his trio in fine form. Troy Night Out also had some modern dance numbers from a show called At First Glance. The group and solo dancers all strived to tell a story with each piece and were well coordinated. Ancient art was upstairs at the Arts Center, while love letters were showcased at Collar Works. Ben KN and lastdayshining finished off the night playing along to a varied film track.