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Ariel Pink

by Mike Hotter January 29, 2015

  Ranked fourth in my Top 10 albums for 2010, the breakthrough album Before Today from Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti impressed me for being “skuzzy, freaky, fun, unpredictable, maddening and ridiculous—a gander into a brainpan skewed ...

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Punch Brothers

by Tim Mack January 29, 2015

  Will the mandolin be enough to save us from our iPhones? Not likely. Throw in a banjo, guitar, upright and fiddle? Maybe there's a fighting chance. On their fourth album, The Phosphorescent Blues, Brooklyn-based bluegrass collective the ...

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Hypercolor

by David Greenberger January 29, 2015

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  A trio featuring guitarist Eyal Maoz, bassist James Ilgenfritz and drummer Lukas Ligeti, Hypercolor have been playing together for the better part of a decade, and that is a key to why this debut release ...

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ZSoloSZ: Patrick Higgins, Greg Fox, Sam Hillmer

by Jeff Nania January 22, 2015

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  ZSoloSZ was a set of music by the avant-garde trio known as Zs. The brainchild of saxophonist and electronic visionary Sam Hillmer, it is self-described “difficult listening.” This show at the Half Moon in Hudson came ...

0 comments The Half Moon

Turnin’ It Down

by Stephen Leon January 8, 2015

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  Some years ago, as my wife was driving the car and listening to one of the local country stations, I had a déjà vu moment when Garry Allan’s “Best I Ever Had” came on. I ...

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Best Recordings of 2014: Josh Potter

by Josh Potter December 31, 2014

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  1. Aphex Twin, Syro “He’s back . . . ” Like the whispered buzz of some techno-utopian prophesy—excitement cut with nervous dread—the news of IDM pioneer Richard James’s triumphant return to his most influential moniker changed ...

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Best Recordings of 2014: David King

by David King December 31, 2014

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  1. Einsturzende Neubauten, Lament Envisioned as a performance piece about the horrors of war, Neubauten’s Lament a is simultaneously visceral and thoughtful, gorgeous and repulsive. The album of the year is both a history fetishists’ dream ...

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Best Recordings of 2014: David Greenberger

by David Greenberger December 31, 2014

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  1. Bill Frisell, Guitar in the Space Age Frisell explores a set of songs that made an impact on him in his youth and may well have drawn him to the guitar in the first place. ...

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Best Concerts of 2014: Timothy Mack

by Tim Mack December 31, 2014

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  1. Paul McCartney Times Union Center, July 5 Too obvious? Too bad. Hands down, the best musical experience of the year. If you were one of the 14,000 on hand, you knew that already. 2. Kiss, Def Leppard Saratoga ...

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Best Concerts of 2014: David Greenberger

by David Greenberger December 31, 2014

  1. Billy Eli The Ale House, March 1 2. Peter Mulvey, Suitcase Junket Caffe Lena, April 4 3. My Darling Clementine The Ale House, April 16 4. David Lindley The Van Dyck, June 6 5. Chandler Travis Philharmonette The Ale House, June 28 6. King ...

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Brad Mehldau Trio

by Jeff Nania December 24, 2014

  The Brad Mehldau Trio might be made up of three incredible individuals, but they truly are a singular organism. From the shared lyricism, to the perfect execution of complex meters, to the necessary trust they ...

1 comment The Egg

Nick Lowe and Los Straitjackets

by Paul Rapp December 24, 2014

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  When this show was announced it took my breath away. It all looked so good on paper. But that was nothing compared to how it played out on stage. Oh my god . . . Nick ...

1 comment The Egg

Lucius, Bahamas

by David Greenberger December 18, 2014

Sara Kerens 2013, Lucius, Anthropologie

  We have some friends who are that rare breed who take us up on suggestions to attend musical performances by acts they’re not familiar with. We know each other well enough to have a good ...

1 comment The Hollow Bar + Kitchen

Keys to Success

by Jeff Nania December 18, 2014

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  “Sometimes I’ll put on a tiger mask and want to dance around on stage and be a freak and wear red pants,” Marco Benevento says as he talks about the freedom he has come to ...

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Gift Guide: Off the Beaten Path CDs

by David Greenberger December 11, 2014

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  The once wide and clear avenues for alerting possible listeners to the existence of a new release have become a thicket of narrow pathways. Hence, many recordings, even ones created by favored artists, can remain ...

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Gift Guide: Reissues

by David King December 11, 2014

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  The holiday season is always a good time for fond reminiscence of simpler times--when music arrived in a physical package made up of artwork and these things called liner notes. It is also a good ...

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Gift Guide: Classical Music

by B.A. Nilsson December 11, 2014

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  Four years ago, Sony Classical released all of Leonard Bernstein’s symphony recordings (with the New York Philharmonic) in one 60-CD box set that quickly sold out its initial pressing. Bernstein’s conducting is always reliable, often ...

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Gift Guide: Folk, Blues, Bluegrass, and Celtic Music

by Glenn Weiser December 11, 2014

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  If you’re scouting around for gift CDs in the folk, blues, bluegrass or Celtic music genres, look no further—I’ve scoped out the roots music landscape for you, and 2014 has given us a wealth of ...

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Gift Guide: Christmas Music

by Shawn Stone December 11, 2014

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  The jewel of this year’s holiday music releases is Renée Fleming’s Christmas in New York (Decca). The renowned soprano performs a mix of traditional carols, beloved holiday pop songs and a few ringers that fit ...

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Now You See Them . . . .

by Ali Hibbs December 11, 2014

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  Jittery. Claustrophobic. Bleak. These are words that the band Better Pills use when attempting to describe their sound on a Friday afternoon at the Low Beat in Albany. “I’d say we were postpunk, but that’s kind ...

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Sounds in Words

by Jeff Nania December 4, 2014

  You have to be careful about what musicians say. This was one of the most valuable pieces of advice anyone ever gave me. It has always helped me to stay focused when writing about music. It’s ...

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Aphex Twin

by David King November 26, 2014

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  For decades now Aphex Twin’s Richard James has maintained a mystique that paints him as both madman and genius. His work is like some sort of curse he is forced to pour out over homemade ...

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Run The Jewels

by David King November 26, 2014

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  In an age when Taylor Swift can release a jingle for New York City’s tourism campaign that simply says “New York: It’s waiting for you,” like it’s a fucking pot of gold waiting to be ...

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Mandela Celebration

by Jeff Nania November 26, 2014

  This past Saturday saw an incredible outpouring of positivity and inspiration that was generated in response to the dreams and reality of Nelson Mandela. The evening featured original works by the artist known as HA!Man (Francois ...

0 comments GE Theatre at Proctors

Captain Beefheart

by David Greenberger November 20, 2014

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  The Captain Beefheart catalog has been in a shoddy state for some time. The new four-CD set Sun Zoom Spark: 1970 to 1972 remedies that in suitably dignified style. The peak of Beefheart’s powers with ...

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