Record release: Mirk celebrates their #Grind

In my personal music-related experiences, I always find it refreshing to me to stumble across people with a genuine vision for their creativity. Mirk is a prime example of one of those people.

Mirk, frontman of the band of the same name, has led his band mates through some trying times this year following their name change (shortened from Mirk and the New Familiars to Mirk). Mirk has since been consumed by all things MIRK – from writing music to recording to producing and performing – the whole 9 yards and beyond. Mirk is more than what’s in the name and tonight the 7-piece collective will be thanking their fans for sticking with them at the Washington Avenue Armory with a fan-exclusive record release show.

Their latest album, Grind, is a home-grown effort created 100% local and in-house, from recording to production. The band has an amazing HQ – located in the Armory and combines an office with a recording studio – in what is literally every bands dream space. The album, on Mirk’s label, Foster House Records, encompasses what the band is all about – being on one’s Grind. Working through every day and constantly growing.

In discussing the new album, Mirk discussed how the record is “really big and grandeouse” in comparision to the debut album, Love. “It’s a wall of sound and really loud. I know the sounds that I’m going for, I’ve found it,” he says. “So it’s a lot more deliberate. The times are a little bit darker, so it’s a little bit darker.”

“As far as the name Grind, it’s what we’re on. It’s been such a nonstop effort, we’ve just kept it moving, just kept grinding,” he says. “The first album was all about love and relationships and a lot of the songs on the new records are all metaphors for work, music, success and the grind. For example, there’s a song ‘Favorite Girl’ which is all about New York, but it sounds like it’s about me talking to a girl. It’s about how New York will kick the shit out of you or make you a star.”

The record is officially due out next year in March, and tonight a limited pressing will be given to the first 500 in attendance tonight. Tickets are available at the Washington Avenue box office, and the show kicks off tonight at 7pm.

OVER: Ticket Giveaway: Japanther at EMPAC

Tonight and tomorrow, Japanther will be performing at EMPAC. Japanther will be performing a piece called “The Cake of The 3 Towers” and we’ve got a pair of tickets to giveaway for tomorrow night’s performance.

To enter, leave a comment on this post with a valid e-mail address and we’ll notify the winner tomorrow at 12pm.

Check out Japanther behind the scenes in residency at EMPAC:

What Japanther is all about:

Japanther is an art project established circa 2001 by Ian Vanek and Matt Reilly in Brooklyn, New York. In addition to wild interactive live showings in unconventional settings, the duo has collaborated with Dan Graham, Gelitin, Eileen Myles, ninjasonik, and Spank Rock, among others. Japanther was featured in the 2006 Whitney Biennial as part of Don’t Trust Anyone Over Thirty and the 2011 Venice Biennial as part of Gelitin’s Some Like It Hot performance. The duo has made a name for themselves through unique performance situations including shows with synchronized swimmers, oversized puppets, from out of the back of a moving truck, alongside giant dinosaurs, and with BMXers flying off the walls of the Whitney sculpture garden.

Tonight’s performance begins at 8pm, and tickets are still available at the box office. Get commenting to win tickets to tomorrow (Saturday’s) performance!

Review: The Addams Family at Proctor’s Theatre

If you’ve been following the chronicles of KAB over the past year or so, then you’ll notice this advice to be a bit redundant but still timelessly important to keep in the back of your mind: The key to keeping things fun in your city is to experience what is going on in your city. GO OUT AND DO THINGS.

My most recent example of that mantra was earlier this week. I caught the live performance of the Addams Family Musical at Proctor’s in Schenectady on its opening night.

Part of an Addams Family theme window display

Prior to the performance, I looked up how long the runtime is being full aware that musicals aren’t really ‘my thing’. Once seated in the soft velveteen seats and the curtain pulled opened with the help of the infamous Thing, I was sucked in. Didn’t look at my cell phone for the entire first act and that can be verified by my guest if you insist.

Continue reading…

Oh Dubstep, Who Really Birthed You?

Admittedly, some of this article is about journalists twisting the words of American artists to create hype and get their stories read. HOWEVER, why is it that American artists exhibit such a tendency to claim themselves as creators, innovators, and inventors of musical genres? Music only has a limited number of notes and rhythms to explore, and there is bound to be similarities across the spectrum of every sound. Journalists quantify sounds they think are new into genre names, mainly as a way to write about it without using a string of adjectives.

In light of Korn’s Jonathan Davis putting his claim on the invention of dubstep, I felt it was time to dig a bit deeper. Albany is arguably a hot-bed for this aggressive, mid-range infused, “tearout” version of the sound, and before a publicity stunt gets rooted in the kids brains as a fact, I felt something needed to be said. In fact, it was just over a year ago that another American mainstream artist claimed HE started dubstep. Hip-hop, pop and R&B producer Timbaland staked his claim in July 2010 that he was responsible for the dubstep genre, but that he was calling it “dub-bass” despite the fact that nobody ever heard him do so until July 2010. Obviously Davis didn’t do his homework here, and maybe MTV can stage a Battle Royale for the crown.

As I digress, first let’s figure out where this word first came from. Few realize the word has been around since 2002, dating back to an issue of XLR8R magazine that had a cover story on production outfit Horsepower Productions. Horsepower Productions came up through the UK Garage & 2-step music scene, but had branched out in a new direction that featured more syncopated rhythms, and heavy use of sub-bass. Speeding up garage by a few bpm, and then composing drums at half-time, Horsepower Productions reinvigorated a genre that was starting to become stale. As this sound caught on in the pirate radio culture of the UK, more names like Kode9, Pinch, Zed Bias, Digital Mystikz, Loefah and Artwork started to hone in on the sound. I’m not here to argue whether Jonathan Davis, Timbaland or Skrillex knew this was happening, but documented media suggests XLR8R was one of the first American publications to take notice and expose the sounds to this side of the pond.

Continue reading…

Added a bunch of photos to the tumblr

Since I’d rather keep all the weird photos off the site by at least one degree of separation, I made a tumblr a while back and dump them all there. I put up some photos from all sorts everyday things to relevant Albany happenings, such as the Albany Center Gallery’s Gala last weekend.

The address is

Quality events for this weekend vol. 28

Leave it in the comments if I missed something, dawg.

Wednesday November 23rd

Pearl Street Run, Bike Race, 10pm [fbook]

The Party Before the Hearty, 677 Prime w/DJ Trumastr 9pm [fbook]

Maryleigh & The Fauves Thanksgiving Eve Bash, Putnam Den, 9pm [fbook]

Erin Harkes Band Thanksgiving Eve Basj, Bobby T’s Sports Grill 9pm [fbook]

Timbre Coup & Aqueous, Red Square, 9pm [fbook]

OUTPOST1: Thanksgiving-Eve Edition, Fuze Box, 10pm (FREE Before Midnight!) [fbook]

Thursday November 24th

Bottles & Beats: Thanksgiving Edition, Bogies, 9pm [fbook]

Friday November 25th

Troy Night Out [fbook]

Flag Football at the Barrel Saloon, 2pm [fbook]

Olivia Quillio performs, Design it Together, 9pm [fbook]

BEATS after the FEAST, Savannah’s 9pm [fbook]

Saturday November 26th

Rat – A- Tat Tattoo & Music Expo w/Sick Of It All and Trapped Under Ice [fbook]