Category Archives: Events

Kyle’s Governor’s Ball Preview

The Governor’s Ball music festival is taking place this weekend, and I am super excited for this. The festival boasts a consistent and impressive lineup that features some of the top artists from alternative music, hip-hop and EDM, with ticket holders having to choose between two artists for each time slot. Fortunately I’m familiar with a decent amount of the artists playing at this festival, and in this post I’ll let you know which artist I’m going to try to see during each time slot this weekend and why.

Friday

12:15-12:45: Swear and Shake vs. Pacific Air

Pacific Air is brothers playing indie pop. They’re a relaxing listen and well-traveled as they’ve opened for high profile acts before like Passion Pit and Two Door Cinema Club. Swear and Shake seems like it’d be a fun show as well but they’re more folky and seemingly conventional, so I’m planning on starting the festival with Pacific Air.

12:45-1:30 Solid Gold vs. Bear Mountain

We got Solid Gold’s 2012 release Eat Your Young at CDB last year and it wasn’t anything special, I’d say it’s alternative rock with a lot of electronic qualities mixed in to it, again more relaxing than danceable. I hadn’t heard of Bear Mountain before this year’s lineup, but their music seems like it would lead to a better live show then what I’ve heard from Solid Gold, Bear Mountain’s sound is more danceable and upbeat electronic so it should be a fun set to attend.

1:30-2:15 St. Lucia vs. Reignwolf

St. Lucia will put on a good electronic pop show, but my interest is in seeing what Reignwolf does during this time slot. He’s a multi-instrumentalist who seems like he’d put on a sick show, check out the video below where “Bicycle” sounds White Stripes-esque with him covering both Jack and Meg’s parts. This guy’s going to be a hit at governor’s ball for sure.

2:15-3:00 Polica vs. The Knocks

Electronic rock/R&B vs. Electronic Pop. I’m not overly excited about Polica, so The Knocks seem like a safer bet for enjoying the set but either way I don’t view this as a decision you can mess up, the options are pretty similar.

3:00-3:45 Dinosaur Jr. vs. Holy Ghost!

I’d be psyched to see Holy Ghost! over either of the past two artists, but in this slot there’s no way I can see them. I’m an alt-rock kid, and Dinosaur Jr. is one of the bands that defined that genre in the 90s, making the fact that they still release awesome albums like last year’s I Bet on Sky even more impressive. I have to go with the classic artist in this spot to get my fill of actual alternative rock.

3:45-4:45 Best Coast vs. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs

I might regret this and be stuck watching a girl on stage sing to me about how great California is, basically the only premise of 2012 release The Only Place, but I’m going to gamble we get the distorted energetic Crazy For You tracks that would make the set amazing. If you were completely off-put by her last release, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs won’t be a bad consolation prize.

4:45-5:45 Of Monsters and Men vs. Dillon Francis

I saw Of Monsters and Men perform last year in Albany and they put on a good show, but I’m a bit bored of their sound now(and the mini-genre as a whole to be honest). I’m not overly into EDM but my friends who are recommended this artist, so I’m going to go with a new experience here rather than attending a show where I know I’ll be indifferent about the band.

5:45-6:45 Crystal Castles vs. Local Natives

This is another big contrast in sound between the artists, so I’d say it depends on your mood. Crystal Castles will definitely be more upbeat and danceable, and apparently she’s very good live, but I’m probably going to give Local Natives a shot here as I find their music easy to enjoy.

6:45-8:00 Feist vs. Young the Giant

This one is based entirely upon the Broken Social Scene rumor if nothing else. BSS is booked in the city to do a late-night gig on Thursday night, and a rumor is going around that Feist’s label mates might help end the BSS hiatus by doing a collaborative set or maybe even taking the stage for their own set after Feist. If it happens it would be probably the most notable story from the festival.

8:00-9:30 Beach House vs. Erykah Badu & the Cannabinoids

I feel like I’m making a mistake on this one so don’t let me sway you away from Erykah Badu, but I loved Beach House’s 2012 release Bloom and am hopeful that they put on the most relaxing show ever performed for their set. Can’t pick wrong between these artists though as they’ll both put on great shows.

9:30-11:00 Kings of Leon vs. Pretty Lights

Finally the headliners, neither of which I’m overly enthusiastic about unfortunately. I’m going to go with the same mentality I had for Dillon Francis in giving the artist who I know less about the shot here. I enjoy some Kings of Leon songs, but Pretty Lights seems like a more fun way to enjoy the end of the first day to me as I’ve heard good things about their live shows.

Continue reading Kyle’s Governor’s Ball Preview

Yazen Hits Up: Skate and Surf Festival at Six Flags Great Adventure (5/18/13)

Skate & Surf Festival made its return this spring after John D, the founder of The Bamboozle Festival, announced that Bamboozle wouldn’t be making a return in 2013. When the details about Skate & Surf were announced, the main attraction would be Fall Out Boy headlining the festival after their four year hiatus. Along with Fall Out Boy, some other bands played at the smaller stages who have been nothing short of phenomenal.

Continue reading Yazen Hits Up: Skate and Surf Festival at Six Flags Great Adventure (5/18/13)

WCDB DJ EVENTS: May and beyond!

WHAT ARE THESE WCDB DJs UP TO? (DJ names and WCDB time slots are in italics):

5/3, Friday: DELLAROCCA BOOKING PRESENTS: THE BABIES (Vivian Girls, Woods) will be here with openers Birthdays and Party Boat. Valentine’s, Albany, NY. FACEBOOK EVENT. (Nicole, Tuesdays, 6-8PM)

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5/4, Saturday: WCDB’s DJ AK will be joining Machine in the Garden and JimmyNort for a fun night at Pauly’s Hotel. FACEBOOK EVENT. (DJ AK, Thurs nights/Fri mornings 2AM-4AM)

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Continue reading WCDB DJ EVENTS: May and beyond!

Albany Sonic Arts Collective — UAG Benefit

uag benefit

The Albany Sonic Arts Collective is holding their second annual benefit show for the Upstate Artist Guild. The show is going to run all day Saturday (today), starting at 4 and going until late. It features a long list of performers:

Fossils From The Sun

Matt Weston

Grab-Ass Cowboys

Parashi

Sun Burdens

Blacklight Lighthouse

Tiki Bats

soundBarn

CASE

World Lines

Crank Sturgeon

Crank Sturgeon is headlining the show. When he played a few months ago at the UAG it was a brilliant mix of noise, ipod karaoke, cosmetology, caricature drawing, and all around madness. It was really something to see, and I highly recommend catching him. You can see a clip of that last show below.

Continue reading Albany Sonic Arts Collective — UAG Benefit

Public speaking + 1983 + Tiki bats

poster

The Albany Sonic Arts Collective is bringing Jason Anthony Harris, known as Public Speaking, to the Upstate Artist Guild Wednesday April 3rd.

Harris makes songs out of little pieces of sound that he coaxes into beats which then mingle together with horns, guitars, and other orchestration. It is his voice that glues all of these pieces together transforming these sounds into something closing in on the sublime. Check out “Funny You Ask” (below) it’s really great.

1983 is an alias of Jason Cosco, who has played live on WCDB before as part of Grab Ass Cowboys. Cosco makes harsh dark pieces—the audio equivalent of course sandpaper—in the best possible way that is.

Tiki bats bring the heat with their danceable chaos. They meld punk, industrial, noise, and what ever else together to get something, that on somedays, you might be able to dance to.

It should be an awesome show. You can get more info at the Albany Sonic Arts Collective website

Facebook event.

A Night Out With Dispatch

“Best night of my life.” A phrase that I will undoubtedly use again to describe something of monumental meaning to me in the near or distant future. But for this moment the title goes to Dispatch and their sold out performance at Radio City Music Hall. It was their first outing at the world famous hall, and mine as well. In fact, if I were to compare myself to many of the younger crowd, I’d say I wasn’t alone. From the time those golden curtains ascended, we all began the night on the same level: old friends, newcomers, on untouched land that we were about to stake as our own.

Continue reading A Night Out With Dispatch

Live Show: See You Next Year, The Fallen Starlets, Nine Votes Short, and ExoVox Review

Valentine’s of Albany is known for hosting local bands and putting on shows that make people proud to live in the area. Well, folks, this show didn’t disappoint. The line up consisted of See You Next Year (SYNY), The Fallen Starlet, Nine Votes Shorts, and ExoVox.

The show kicked off with local band SYNY, a pop punk band with the job of getting the crowd pumped up for the rest of the show. Instrumentally, these guys brought the energy. Continue reading Live Show: See You Next Year, The Fallen Starlets, Nine Votes Short, and ExoVox Review

CMJ: The L Train, Passes, and oh yeah… Music

The College Music Journal Music and Movie Marathon or as most call it, CMJ, is a week long festival of the arts that is held in Manhattan and Brooklyn every year towards the end of October. I wish that I could write a long review about the interworking and technicalities of the festival, but I’d be better suited with a review of New York’s Subway since that’s where I spent the most time.
Continue reading CMJ: The L Train, Passes, and oh yeah… Music

Fountain Day is cancelled, why do I even go to college?!

Taken from Facebook, an invitation to all UAlbany students:

Yeah, Fountain Day got canceled and it’s probably the worst thing to ever happen to anyone ever. Yeah, for many, this is our Vietnam. A chance to organize in protest and fight to bring it back or possibly create a Fountain Day 2.0. But just like the Vietnam protests (and Vietnam itself) these attempts will most likely fail because honestly, if the school wants to get rid of Fountain Day, you think they’re just going to sit back and watch it happen on a different date without any type of reaction? That’s just silly. DAMN silly. Before I alienate absolutely everyone though with all this doom and gloom, let me tell you: there is a light at the end of the tunnel. WCDB is here to make everything alright, baby.
A lot of you may not have the slightest FUCK what WCDB is but don’t worry sugar, we got you. We are the most awesome, most coolest, most most radio station in the capital district. We swag. We swag to the maximum. WCDB has been known to stand for many things. “We Can Drink Beers” (and that’s a challenge), “Wasted Chicks Dig Boners” (consensually, of course), but most importantly, WCDB stands for quality music and the most bitchin’ parties this side of the Mason Dixon. And we do all this so we can be there for YOU.

This is why I’m proud to tell you that WCDB is bringing professional singer, musician, professional everything KEVIN DEVINE to Albany for an end of semester bash and we’re sharing it. Sharing it with the UAlbany student population. Damn the man and let’s have the greatest party ever. And it’ll be right in his uppity face smack dab in the middle of Campus. We want you to tell all your friends to come. We want you to tell all the future friends you don’t know yet to come. But most of all, we want you to come.

Kevin Devine
April 27th
Campus Center Ballroom
$10 (that’s so effing cheap no way!)

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=148669065193275

B-Fargz Rallies to Restore Sanity

America has clearly seen better days. With infrastructure crumbling, high
school and college graduation rates no longer at their pinnacle, and the
TEA Party rearing its ugly, angry head like a serpent bent on total
ignorant and wanton destruction of that very thin line between “We the
people” and “We the mega corporation” any objective observer could look at
us from the outside and merely utter “holy shit” at the sight of it.
With the economic conditions in shambles comes anger and righteous
populism; however, it has never boiled down quite like this. The yelling
and the name-calling has reached a new level of vitriol, hyperbole and
paralysis, the likes of which we have never seen. While this is all going
on, our media sources have largely played into the TEA Party by giving
them plenty of exposure without doing nearly enough to question the
motives of their leaders and the TEA Partiers themselves.
It has gotten so bad that it took two comedians—not elected officials,
news casters, or community officials—to take the initiative to attempt to
restore sanity and civility to our undeniably fractured level of
discourse, and to pull back a country that leapt off the deep end of
things a very long time ago. John Stewart’s beckoning to restore sanity at
a rally on the National Mall was met with laughter, but below the surface
was greeted with a dire need to make good on it.
It had not really dawned on me to actually attend—in fact, I am not part
of the “Million moderate march” as Stewart put it—I am an outspoken
progressive NY Democrat. However, as a student of politics and history, I
realize the need for civility amongst our civic life—and not just the
half-assed attempts at bipartisanship politicians like to throw around to
court vacillating voters around election time, but the need to have adult
conversations about the direction as a collective body politic we need to
take.
*       *       *
I met up with Brad and Ashley in Penn Station in New York City.
Coincidentally, we all almost missed our train due to delays or poor
reading skills. Luckily for us the train was delayed a few minutes and we
got on fine. Brad and I went to college together and we started talking
about how life after graduation had not really worked out as well as we
would have hoped. Ashley is currently a journalism student at the
University the two of us attended. School had been my safe haven from the
brutal economic realities; unfortunately, being in school was not exactly
a saving grace for Ashley: humanities programs are being targets to our
alma matter for cuts (“The world within reach” my ass. Great to see you
still have the money to throw down on losing sports teams though).
It really strikes you about the situation we find our country in as Amtrak
hovers along, bumping and squealing mechanically around Philadelphia. Just
from the window of the train car you can see abandoned factories littered
with broken windows. Rust adorns the sides of the building where, one can
assume, there used to be paint. Inside these hollowed structures probably
exist the jobs and the products that used to occupy the building. Long
gone are those days. The part of Baltimore we passed through was desolate;
certainly that part of the city had seen livelier times. Three-story
houses standing without purpose, boards over the windows and doors. It
looked like a scene directly out of the TV show The Wire. Their past
remains a daunting reminder of where we find ourselves today. It is almost
as if the cruel specter of the American dream that once was has appeared
to guide us out of the wilderness. Too bad ghosts do not have a lobbying
team.

While we may have passed through what is commonly called “rust belt”

areas, we also passed through much of the sterile suburban areas America
became famous for. William Levitt broke ground in Levittown in the 1950s.
So many people, mostly on the right (generally) are yelling that we should
return to that era. Times were simpler then, they argue. This is true.
What is also true is many people in that era did not have rights, and
cigarettes were basically considered a food group: oh, America, the
beautiful. These are the things that have been left out; we have moved
passed that, and moved together.
Maybe it has to do with the fact that almost my entire life has been spent
in a community like Levittown, and maybe it’s because through college I
worked my hardest to get out of said community, only to graduate and
return with no hope of leaving in sight, but these places do not do
anything for me. They have no character, as far as I can see. They are
this Mecca of insulation that I cannot accurately explain to people who
are not from a similar background. It was very clear to see the sharp
contrast in landscape on the American continent, and we were only going on
a five hour train ride. The difference in landscape reflects the very
difference among our electorate.
Ashley and I talked for a while about the election, which at this point
was five days away and it looked as though the Democratic Party would be
losing the House of Representatives faster than you could say “Change you
could believe in”. We spoke at length about the TEA Party, which we both
seemed to come to many accords on; we also agreed that given the
circumstances, people have a right to be angry and frustrated, that people
could disagree on matters of policy; however, it comes with great
importance for the country that you be constructive about it. This is
something that the TEA Party has yet to show maturity—despite their
maturity—about.

*       *       *

We got to DC and wandered around Union Station aimlessly for a little bit.
A transit authority worker was gracious enough to show us how to get
tickets and point us to our train. We were staying in a hotel in a
neighborhood indicated by the subway map as Roslyn. After we found the
hotel, we ventured off around the neighborhood to find a bite to eat.
As we sat down at a table, we heard the family next to us talking about
the rally. The young woman and her children told us they were from North
Carolina. We spoke for a little while. I indicated that I hoped that we
got more people to show up than Glenn Beck did. She agreed and said that
we would exceed his rally. She then added, “Anyone with half a brain will
come to this. It’s going to be great.”
We woke up early the next day to get set for the rally. The packed metro
trains, and phone calls early from other friends attending indicated to me
that this was going to be huge. As we climbed out of the subway station we
saw a sea of people walking towards the national mall. Not to sound corny,
but it was awe inspiring in a lot of ways.
As we settled into our spots, we started talking to the people next to us,
a couple around my parents’ age. They told me they were from Salsburry,
Maryland (I had asked if they were from Boston due to the Husband’s Red
Sox cap). They were friendly and engaging, and everything you would expect
of someone to be at a rally like this: a genuinely good person who cares
about the country’s direction. When they asked us where we were from this
conversation took place:
Me: “We’re from New York.”
Husband: “Oh, don’t hate us because of the hat!”
Me: “Oh, no, absolutely not. That is why we’re all here isn’t it? To
respect each other’s differences?“
We all laughed. They were good people. They also happened to run into the
only person in the state who could not care less about baseball.
One of the main aspects of the rally that immediately struck us was the
number of amazingly creative and funny signs we saw. Some of the notable
ones include:
“Obama, bring back Arrested Development!”
“Palin/Beck 2012. How did the Mayans get it so right?”
“Oregon representatives: GO DUCKS!”
“This sign isn’t nearly as high as I am.”
“I’m not you.”
“The Constitution belongs to us too.”
“Generic political slogan”

Amongst many others.
Members of the coffee party were also there. They were informative, not
pushy, and handed out free stickers—you can never go wrong with free
stickers. Soon though, it was time to start the rally.
The Roots started the rally off and were soon joined on stage by John
Legend. They played a few songs. They were very good and the crowd was
receptive. Soon Jon came out and thanked everyone for being there.
Apparently Stephen was afraid and came to the rally at first, via
satellite from his “fear cavern”. Soon Jon was able to convince Stephen
not to be afraid and he emerged from the cavern dressed appropriately: in
a Captain America Costume.
Soon after, the two guys from Myth Busters came on stage and did a few
experiments with the crowd. It was fun, but not really the highlight of
the day. Stephen and Jon then came back on stage as Jon invited Yusuf
Islam (better knows as Cat Stephens) to come on stage and play “Peace
Train.” Colbert cut his off and invited Ozzy Osborne on stage to play
“Crazy Train”. Jon and Stephen then argued about the train they wanted to
get on and settled on “Love Train” by the O’Jays.
The Daily Show correspondents were amongst the audience, playing both
sides of the media, in showing the protest as being a success and a
failure. It was a great critique on the spin and subjectivity that the
media presents as fact and made a great point.
Jon and Stephen then gave out awards for “Reasonableness” or “Fear”.
Reasonableness award winners:
1.      Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga (an umpire made a bad call ruining his
perfect game and Galarraga handled the mistake with grace).
2.      Velma Hart who asked very tough questions to the President at a town
hall, but kept her civility and said they experience was mutually
beneficial.
3.      Mick Foley who later threatened anyone who was not acting reasonable
saying, “If you get out of line, I will . . . come down there and politely
ask you to stop.”
4. Jacob Isom, the Youtube sensation who stopped someone from burning the
Koran.

Fear medalists include:
1.      The news organizations that would not let their employees go to the
rally for fear of “making them look bias.” The award was presented to
“Someone with more courage: a seven-year-old girl.”
2.      Anderson Cooper’s tight black t-shirt.
3.      Jet Blue flight attendant Steven Slater.
4.      Teresa Giudice (apparently there’s a TV show about New Jersey
Housewives. Why didn’t the rally include a need to stop reality TV?)
5.      Mark Zuckerberg

There were other musical acts, but I honestly do not remember enough about
them to talk about them. Tony Bennet did close with “I Left my Heart in
San Fransisco” and an Acapella version of “America the Beautiful”.
Karim Abdul Jabar also appeared as a “non-scary muslim”.
Stewart’s closing remarks were more along the lines of a plea with the
American people. He started with:
“I can’t control what people think this was.  I can only tell you my
intentions.   This was not a rally to ridicule people of faith or people
of activism or to look down our noses at the heartland or passionate
argument or to suggest that times are not difficult and that we have
nothing to fear.  They are and we do.  But we live now in hard times, not
end times.  And we can have animus and not be enemies. “
He later went on to say “If we amplify everything, we hear nothing.” His
criticisms of the press became more amplified as he stated: The press is
our immune system.  If we overreact to everything we actually get
sicker–and perhaps eczema.”
The rally was overwhelmingly positive. Everyone was civil, fun and well
behaved. It seemed as though everyone had a great time and it did not
seem as though anyone got too out of line. It seemed as though people
were speaking freely with one another and in general, just explaining why
they came down, opening discourse with people from different places and
offering perspective. If only our government could do that.
The rally in a lot of ways was a joke, and just a place to have a good
time. However, it says a lot that two comedians could fill the national
mall with the idea of restoring sanity and/or fear. Colbert’s “fear”
throughout the rally was distinguished by called to reasonableness. The
idea that the people not screaming hyperbole are not the majority was the
overarching theme, along with media’s incessant need to drive up ratings
by giving coverage to the loudest voice. Well, many of us need to not
have a horse voice for work tomorrow, so we never get heard.
Stewart’s plea was not particularly directed at the audience, but really,
directed from it. Stewart was making an effort to speak for those in
attendance, and those who had other things to do. The idea that our
politics and media are so intertwined with one another, that sanity could
be so easily lost, is insane. Stewart was not merely speaking as a
comedian, but as a citizen calling for the restoration of order to a
system that, by and large, is no longer the bastion of sanity it was
created to be. The congress and the public, in a lot of ways, seem to
have shifted roles: the congress now being the unruly mass, and the
public now being the carriers of sense. But it comes back to that small
fraction that yells the loudest being thought of as “the voice of the
people”. What Stewart proved is sometimes it is not those who speak the
loudest, but those who speak, and whose voice shakes as they do it. Those
who speak the truth—or the truthiness if you will.
It is sad that our discourse has gotten to the point where we no longer
look to our leaders to lead us out of the troubled times, but when we
turn to satire to take our minds off of the absurdities of it all.
However, Stewart and Colbert effectively channeled that absurdity into
something that was overwhelmingly positive.