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Ray LaMontagne

by Alexander M. Stern June 5, 2014

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  Did somebody put something in the water? Psychedelia seems to be the go-to for bearded alt-rockers this season. Ray LaMontagne, whose previous effort was 2010’s pastoral God Willin’ and the Creek Don’t Rise, joins the Black ...

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John Davey

by Jeff Nania June 5, 2014

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  Bassist and composer John Davey's newest album Open Range is a worthwhile listen. He is joined by guitarist Ken McBain and drummer Dean Sharp for 12 songs in the guitar-trio idiom.  Davey's upright bass always ...

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Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs

by Alexander M. Stern June 5, 2014

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  Early-’90s wunderkind Matthew Sweet and late-’80s siren Susanna Hoffs have released their third all-covers album, Under the Covers, Vol. 3. The two previous volumes featured faithfully rendered performances of songs from the ’60s and ’70s, ...

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The Black Keys

by David King June 5, 2014

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  The Black Keys’ ambition outweighs their abilities. Turn Blue features the band doing what they are simply unequipped to do: play full-on rock songs. Anyone who has seen the Keys live knows the band can ...

3 comments

Mysteryland

by The Staff May 30, 2014

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Despite intermittent rain showers, the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts was transformed into an interactive wonderland of dance music for this year’s Mysterland this weekend. Between a stage fashioned into a pirate ship and ...

0 comments Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

Lou Donaldson

by Alexander M. Stern May 30, 2014

  Lou Donaldson brought the funk to Schenectady on a Friday night. His extraordinary quartet features Akiko Tsuruga on the Hammond B-3 organ, Randy Johnston on guitar, and Fukushi Tainaka on drums. Each musician is a star ...

1 comment A Place for Jazz

Al Kooper 70th Birthday Concert

by Alexander M. Stern May 30, 2014

  Toward the end of the first half of Al Kooper’s 70th Birthday Concert, Kooper introduces the next number as the one song everybody expects him to play. “I’ve played it so many times,” he says, “I ...

2 comments The Egg

Doctor Magnum

by Josh Potter May 30, 2014

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  The fact that the idea of an all-instrumental band covering contemporary hip-hop still feels edgy speaks both to how conservative the jazz establishment has become and how vital the jazz formula still remains, able to ...

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Formula 5

by Josh Potter May 30, 2014

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  Central to the ethos of a jam band is that pure improvisation can bore a hole in the fabric of space-time, transporting musician and listener alike into uncharted realms of collective experience, at turns ecstatic, ...

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It’s Punk to Wear Sunscreen

by Alexander M. Stern May 22, 2014

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  “This band is really good,” says Ben Garrett. “They play surf rock.” The guitarist and vocalist for Saratoga band Party Boat sits with his bandmates on a curved sofa that’s seen better days inside their rehearsal ...

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Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

by Paul Rapp May 15, 2014

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  1. Well, that was interesting. 2. Thank god for Tom Morello. It wasn’t a cookie-cutter show, that’s for sure. The Boss and band began the final week of their five-month “High Hopes” tour with a wild, ...

4 comments

Against Me!

by Elyse Beaudoin May 15, 2014

  It’s curious to note when punk rock stopped smelling like body odor and started smelling like Herbal Essence and dryer sheets. However, the moms waiting outisde Upstate Concert Hall to drive their kids home were ...

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Rhett Tyler and Early Warning

by Alexander M. Stern May 15, 2014

  At 8 o’clock on the dot, veteran blues guitarist Rhett Tyler hit the stage at Schenectady’s Van Dyck Lounge for a Saturday night show that rocked the Stockade. With his band Early Warning, consisting of Bo ...

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Miles Davis

by Alexander M. Stern May 15, 2014

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  Few recording artists have had the sweeping, long-term effect of Miles Davis, and even fewer have been as divisive. While Davis continues, more than two decades after his death, to enjoy acclaim and strong sales, ...

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Wussy

by Ross Marvin May 15, 2014

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  At the end of March, Cincinnati rockers Wussy played for about 40 people at the Low Beat. Bassist Mark Messerly actually took a picture of the crowd from the NO PEPPER stage as though the ...

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Ton Lokal

by Timothy Reidy May 8, 2014

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  March was a mad month wherein I saw a lot of pep bands, and the best was the UMBC Drumline for their exiting moves and beats. I also get to see some shows that month ...

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Durians

by Elyse Beaudoin May 8, 2014

  The mood was dark and ominous at the Fuze Box during the MOVE Music Festival. Drizzling rain set a fitting scene for Brooklyn-based “avant-womp” trio Durians. MOVE was just one stop on the band’s album-release ...

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The Major Lift

by David King May 8, 2014

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  The Pixies Indie Cindy The Pixies’ Indie Cindy gets ahead of itself pretty quickly: Opener “What Goes Boom” starts with a Frank Black shriek accompanied by a starchy riff that, taken together, sound like a garage band ...

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Navigating the Infestation

by Josh Potter May 8, 2014

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  “Going to Coachella? You’re a Loser and Part of the Problem and Probably Fat.” This was the headline of Luke O’Neil’s smart and hilarious takedown piece a few weeks back in Bullett. In advance of ...

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Bloody Brilliant

by Alexander M. Stern May 1, 2014

  It could be any bar in Albany on a Saturday night. The crowd is young. The air is close, smelling of sweat and beer. The sound of shouted conversation fills the air, while a telephone ...

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Talking Blues

by Alexander M. Stern May 1, 2014

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  At some point between the first and second gin and tonic, Evan Conway orders a corned beef sandwich on rye. We’re at Slick’s, a bar in Schenectady’s historic Stockade District, not far from Union Street. ...

1 comment

B.B. King

by Alexander M. Stern April 23, 2014

  Don’t let anybody fool you: Robert Johnson had it easy. Jimi Hendrix? Stevie Ray Vaughan? They had it soft. They may have departed too soon, but by leaving in their prime, they left a legacy ...

6 comments Palace Theatre

The Hold Steady

by John Rodat April 17, 2014

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  In an interview with Terri Gross a couple of years back, Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn fielded a question about lyrical allusions to the Catholic upbringing he shares with some of the songs’ characters. Gross ...

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Dave Holland with the Empire Jazz Orchestra

by Jeff Nania April 17, 2014

  The Empire Jazz Orchestra are this region's premier repertory Jazz Big Band. Their conductor Bill Meckley always puts together larger-than-life playlists for the group to perform, and this night was no different. Before the heroic guest ...

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The Budos Band

by Josh Potter April 17, 2014

  In the movie Broken Flowers, every time the stoical Bill Murray character (Don “Juan” Johnston) drives off in his rental car to visit another of his former lovers (“I’m a stalker in a Taurus”), hoping ...

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