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Recordings

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, ...

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, ...

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 ...

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 ...

Copper and Congress

by Alexander M. Stern April 17, 2014

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  When former Capital Region resident Katie Haverly decamped for greener (?) pastures in Tucson, Ariz., she found something there besides a dry heat: She found a new band and a new direction. Copper and Congress is ...

The Randy Simon Jazz Project

by Alexander M. Stern April 17, 2014

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  Randy Simon’s latest effort—the double-CD Nyhavn Live—marks the talented composer’s first foray into live recording, capturing an extraordinary group of area musicians in full flight, while reminding us that exceptional jazz does indeed exist outside ...

Cynic

by David King April 9, 2014

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  On their last EP, Carbon Based Anatomy, Cynic unveiled their full transformation from early-’90s progressive death-metal band enamored with growling and deft riffing to a quirky prog band with finesses of jazz and glam rock. ...

Nothing

by David King April 9, 2014

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  Philadelphia’s Nothing have nothing new to offer their genre, and lyrically they have absolutely nothing new to say. That does not mean their album isn’t worth a listen. They are the unlikeliest of buzz bands—especially ...

YOMA

by Josh Potter April 2, 2014

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  The cover of Albany instrumental rock quintet YOMA’s new album Approaching Silence is serene enough from a distance. Hazy skyscrapers reach toward a pastel sky at sunset. Like the band’s music, things get disconcerting upon ...

Wild Adriatic

by Josh Potter April 2, 2014

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  There’s a reason why the official video for Wild Adriatic’s album single “Lonely” features live footage of the band playing to a writhing mass of a crowd (at Pearlapalooza). They’re one of this region’s most ...

Peg/Hand Habits

by Josh Potter March 13, 2014

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  The split EP is a curious format in the digital age. Whereas once it might have offered two up-and-coming acts a chance at wider exposure under the pressing and distributing infrastructure of a shared label, ...

St. Vincent

by Josh Potter March 13, 2014

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  I’ll admit I was a bit disappointed to find my face still firmly intact after first listening to St. Vincent’s eponymous third record. The angular guitar shredding that made the crypto-misogynist world of rock criticism ...

Cibo Matto

by Josh Potter March 13, 2014

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  It’s unclear if Cibo Matto have left a proper legacy within pop music since their last studio album 15 years ago, but it’s hard to approach their new record Hotel Valentine without hearing a kernal ...

Phantogram

by Josh Potter February 20, 2014

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  Pitchfork got it dead wrong on Tuesday. Stuart Berman’s lukewarm review of Phantogram’s sophomore record relied on an all-too familiar mythology of sudden, arbitrary success amid the digitized music industry’s state of saturation and self-replication ...

Big Gigantic

by Elyse Beaudoin February 20, 2014

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  Albums don’t seem to mean much in the world of EDM. The generally young and tech-savvy fan base accesses full-length streaming catalogues effortlessly and at no cost. Album releases have become more of a jumping-off ...

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The Beatles: The U.S. Albums

by Shawn Stone February 13, 2014

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  When Apple reissued the Beatles’ catalog on CD (and then reissued, and reissued it), many U.S. fans felt something was amiss. What’s this With the Beatles crap? Where were Meet the Beatles and Beatles VI ...

PJ Katz

by Josh Potter January 9, 2014

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  In a time when the accessibility and affordability of DJ gear, samplers and drum machines has made every kid with a laptop some kind of “producer,” Jason Panucci is something of a godfather. As keyboardist ...

Scientific Maps

by Josh Potter January 9, 2014

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  Hand Aaron Smith a guitar, and the supension of disbelief required to enjoy musical theater disappears. The man seems to live in a universe where melody is the medium that people breathe and everything can ...

The Fish Herders

by Josh Potter January 9, 2014

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  “In Line for Shawarma is a musical project that spans the globe and takes a look into the mind of a simple American boy who is dropped in the middle of Beirut, Lebanon and left ...

Best Recordings 2013: David King

by David King December 24, 2013

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  1. Cult of Luna Vertikal A labyrinthian musical interpretation of Fritz Lang’s 1927 film Metropolis. One of the most challenging listens of the year in any genre but even more rewarding. Don’t let the metal genre fool ...

Best Recordings 2013: Josh Potter

by Josh Potter December 24, 2013

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  1. Jai Paul Jai Paul It’s poetic justice that, in a year dominated by major-label mega-roll-out record spectulars—Daft Punk, Kanye West, etc.—the best album should be an unfinished leak from a relative unknown who won’t even take ...

Best Recordings 2013: David Greenberger

by David Greenberger December 24, 2013

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  1. Boister Your Wound is Your Crown This album is full of ensemble grooves that spring forth like little parades, confident melodic character, and alluring propulsion. 2. Yo La Tengo Fade The simple four-letter-word title says so much. The trio, ...

Holiday Gift Guide: Classical Music

by B.A. Nilsson December 12, 2013

  David Alan Miller and the Albany Symphony have been Grammy nominated for their recording of John Corigliano Conjuror/Vocalise, featuring a percussion concerto written for Dame Evelyn Glennie, cast in six parts, showcasing three different percussion ...

Holiday Gift Guide: Pop Music

by Josh Potter December 12, 2013

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  I don’t mean to be the Grinch around here but, WTF, why are any of you considering buying music as a Christmas present anymore? Sure, there’s plenty of music-related stuff that is fun and useful ...

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Holiday Gift Guide: Music Books

by David Greenberger December 12, 2013

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  Memoirs, biographies, artfully rendered collections of photography and ephemera, and even a coloring book—it’s another season of music-themed books. Since it’s now been more than five decades since there’s been a year in which there was ...