Quality events for this weekend

Friday December 19

Holiday Toys & Noise at The Hollow: Toy drive with MIRK, Carl Daniels and The Black Box, Mike Lanahan & James Rock.

Toy Drive with Bane, Born Low, After The Fall, Concrete, Firestarter at Bogies: Mosh for a cause.

Nick Lowe at The Egg : With Ian McLagan.

The Figgs Holiday Show at The Low Beat: With Blockhouses.

WEQXmas Party with Robert DeLong at Putnam Den: With Kip Chapman, Evac Protocol, & Kill Rex.

Saturday December 20

Rebecca Peacock Trunk Show at Fort Orange: Jewelry on display and a great way to finish holiday shopping.

Pony in the Pancake at The Low Beat: With Party Boat, Great Mutations, Los Espejos.

TK Wonder at BSP Kingston: With Simi Stone and DJ Sterling.

Pretty Much the Best Comedy Show with Dan St Germain at Proctors: Great comedy show.

Sunday December 21

Rock N Roll Brunch IX at The Low Beat: The best brunch around.

The Trial Before Christmas screening at Rev Hall: Big screen video showing.

Toy drive with Vanna, Texas In July, Sirens & Sailors, Restless Streets, The Primrose Path, Sworn To Vengeance at Bogie’s: Hardcore show for a cause.

Moon Worship, Yoma and Che Guevara T-Shirt at The Low Beat: Experimental jams.

Clover, Dead Empires, Castaway, T.H.E.M., Widows Walk at BSP Kingston: Hardcore/metal.

All weekend

Ice Skating at the Plaza: Rinks open 11am-8pm.

Art Omi: The sculpture fields are awesome.

Day trip to MASS MoCA: Pretty drive and a great museum.

The NYS Museum: Bunch of great exhibits and it’s right in your backyard.

Gone Girl, Die Hard and Big Hero 6 at the Madison Theater: Only five bucks!

Farmer’s Markets: Troy, Delmar, and Saratoga on Saturday, and Schenectady and Saratoga on Sunday.

Checking out The Brakes Coffeehouse & Provisions

It seems like years since Red Poppies said they were losing their lease at 227 Lark St, but their space remained decorated and occupied, but closed. When I noticed some changes to their window I was thrilled that there was someone set to rescue yet another empty space on Lark Street.

Now at 227 Lark St is The Brakes Coffeehouse and Provisions. I had heard a few people talking about Brakes Cafe, happy that there’s a new business on Lark, but I hadn’t seen an announcement or anything from them.

Brakes Cafe is an all vegan cafe with sandwiches, salads, soups, desserts, teas and coffees. The cafe has emerged in the wake of the closing of Loving Cafe in Delmar. The staff, equipment and recipes have all been moved over from Loving Cafe. Brakes and Lil Buddha (another all vegan spot on Lark Street) work well together as Brakes doesn’t do smoothies or juices, and is open much different hours than Lil Buddha.

The driving motivation behind the space is bigger than ‘making sandwiches’.

From the Brakes Project website:

The Brakes Coffeehouse and Provisions is focused squarely on tackling climate change by providing low-carbon foods, educational programming, tools and resources to help the community transition to a “decarbonized” economy. Foods we serve will be plant-based and sustainably produced.

I had stopped in twice over the weekend and I was ecstatic to see that only after a week or so of being open, there were people at every table. The staff was super friendly even during the busiest I have seen the place. Even as I was walking past last on Saturday night there were plenty of people milling around inside.

The space has a nice big couch facing the window, where you can eat or grab a book off their bookshelf and relax with your coffee or tea. There’s a few tables throughout and a bunch of locally made goodies in support of climate change, veganism, or even just shopping local. Their mission comes across tastefully and their veganism and climate change initiatives are sprinkled throughout the cafe. It’s all presented in a way that allows those who are interested or curious about the topics to be able to learn more in easily without feeling judged.

All of the food I ate from Brakes was delicious and I will definitely be stopping in often. Give the place a try next time you’re in the area.

Brakes is open Tuesday through Thursday 7:30am-7:30pm, Friday 7:30am-10pm, Saturday 10am-10pm and Sunday 12pm-4pm.


‘The Neighborhood That Disappeared’ at the Madison Theater

The Neighborhood That Disappeared, a documentary about the residents who were displaced when the Empire State Plaza was being built. If you’re interested in Albany, urban planning, politics and/or history, head over to the Madison Theater starting on Saturday at 7:30pm.

In 1962, one of the most massive urban renewal projects in American history sterilized the cultural and ethnic heart of Albany, New York. An arrangement made by first term Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller and longtime Albany Mayor, Erastus Corning the 2nd, displaced almost eight percent of the City’s diverse population, razed more than a thousand buildings, dislodged 3,600 households, and closed 350 businesses.

You can read more about the documentary via the TU


Shenendehowa Schools adopt locker room and bathroom policy for transgender students

From the official BOE document:

The use of bathrooms and locker rooms based on the gender identity exclusively and consistently asserted at school/work requires schools to carefully consider numerous factors, including, but not limited to:

• the gender identity of the student or staff member;
• satisfactory documentation of gender status/identity;
• in the case of students, the age/grade level and maturity of the students;
• the protection of privacy for all students and staff members;
• the intent to maximize social integration;
• the intent to minimize stigmatization;
• the intent to ensure equal opportunity to participate; and
• the necessity to protect the safety and dignity of all the students and staff involved.


(Photo: Brittany Smith/flickr)


Drug Church announces new EP and releases new video

Drug Church has premiered a new video today on SPIN, as well as announced a new EP which is currently up for preorder.

Drug Church is one of my favorite bands that happens to be from the Albany area. It’s a pretty refreshing take on as it’s grounded in hardcore but often goes on tangents in an interesting, great way. Go check the new video and grab the EP on vinyl before it’s sold out.

Tavern Noodle Pop-up: Video

I shot and edited a quick video to document the behind the scenes happenings in preparation for the Tavern Noodle Pop-up. The place was opened for one day, with no plans beyond that one day. However, since the overwhelming success they’ve decided to bring it back, one day only, on December 18 at 5pm.

The place was high energy the entire day and the food was phenomenal. Enjoy the video, and make it out to the next one if you missed this one. Last chance!


Quality events for this weekend

Friday December 5

Spirits Tasting at FOGS with Albany Distilling Co. and Installation by Mary Elise Rees: Get some holiday shopping done and taste some made in Albany spirits.

Pharmakon at EMPAC: Big sound from Noise Artist Margaret Chardiet.

Young Thug at the Armory: Raps yo.

The Misfit Vocalists of Hip-Hop at Hudson River Coffee House: ‘All out hip-hop’.

First Friday: Art and culture happenings all throughout the city.

10th Annual Members Show at the Albany Center Gallery: See the art of the people who belong to the ACG.

First Friday at the Machine: All member show with a silent auction.

Lucius at the Hollow: Indie jams, with Bahamas.

Fight Club at Proctors: The classic, with contests, games, prizes, couches and a bar.

Rocky Horror Picture Show at The Madison Theater: Two showings with a shadowcast.

Burnt Hills, Severe Severe, Ubi Quitous, and Cool Cop at The Low Beat : “Psychedelic & Freak Music”

Goth Night at Fuze Box: “EBM”

PechaKucha at Opalka Gallery: Short talks from interesting people.

Saturday December 6

French Montana at UCH: Montana! (Sadly without Jeremih.)

Santa Speedo Sprint: A run for a great cause.

Made by Hand Invitational at The Foundry: Indoor designer craft market.

Clot, Goblet, Outnumbered, Winter’s Burden and Shiva The Love Skeleton: Metal.

Hudson Winter Walk: Great reason to go check out Hudson. Also, check the Etsy Winter Walk Pop-up.

Madison Theater Comedy Night: Five comics and DJ Tall Matt.

Sangus at Pauly’s: With Sick Mind, One Master, and Open Sores.

Bing Bamboo Room Burlesque at The Low Beat: Holiday Burlesque show.

Sunday December 7

Tavern Noodle Pop-up at The Tavern: One day only ramen joint form the folks behind the Confectionery.

The Victorian Stroll: Holiday festival in Troy with entertainment, dancers, and more.

The Trial Before Christmas: Mock Trial at Rensselaer County Courthouse.

Takk House Presents The Dylan Perrillo Orchestra: Beautiful music in a beautiful new venue.

Self Defense Family at the Low Beat: With Soft Powers, Blood of Spain, and Broken Field Runner.

Tree Lighting at ESP: Fireworks!

All weekend

Ice Skating at the Plaza: Rinks open 11am-8pm.

Art Omi: The sculpture fields are awesome.

Day trip to MASS MoCA: Pretty drive and a great museum.

The NYS Museum: Bunch of great exhibits and it’s right in your backyard.

Gone Girl, Die Hard and Big Hero 6 at the Madison Theater: Only five bucks!

Farmer’s Markets: Troy, Delmar, and Saratoga on Saturday, and Schenectady and Saratoga on Sunday.