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Collar City CrossFit: Before joining, everyone that I knew that did CrossFit and loved it. I’ve been going for about a while now and I to love it. Check em out, especially because your first class is free. Go with a friend and see what it’s all about. All abilities are welcome, we all start somewhere.

The City Beer Hall: They’ve got a big craft selection on tap and even more bottles. Their food is incredibly good, and if you’re not there for dinner you can opt for the free pizza you get with each drink. And now, boozy brunch on the patio every weekend.

518Prints: The only place to go if you need shirts printed. Period. Every local band shirt and more you probably don’t realize basically is done by these guys.

Quality events for this weekend vol. 71

Friday, January 4th

First Friday Albany: That means after work stroll around Lark/Downtown and check out the galleries and shops! That also means afterparties, such as Vinylmania at Elda’s!

Party with Tina, Despereaux, Mr. Kissner and Brother Suarez at Justin’s: Grip of DJs (including myself) playing music to dance to in the back room. We also have Truemaster playing the front room too, if that’s more your speed.

No Power, Neutron Rats, Beast God and Cancer at Valentine’s: Fast and loud.

Saturday, January 5th

Charmed and Dangerous Burlesque at McGeary’s: Just like old times at the real Lark Tavern! There will be a DJ afterward so hang out!

Big D & The Kids Table is playing at the Putnam Den along with Brunt Of It and Sugar Eater. With nearly 17 years as a band under their belt, Big D is still churning out new albums and 2012 saw their latest release. Definitely going to be a good one not to miss if you’re into punk/ska!

Sunday, January 6th

Service Industry Night at McGeary’s: 2-for-1 drinks and True on the decks.

WCDB 90.9FM announces headliners for 35th anniversary festival


WCDB has today announced the date and headliners for its 35th anniversary festival, which will take place this year on Friday, March 1st at Valentine’s.

For this year’s milestone celebration, there will be 7 bands featured over the rouse of the night, playing staggered set times on both the upstairs and downstairs stages of the venue. The night will also include radio station alumni DJing in between sets, prizes from bands and local businesses and party hats, balloons and birthday cake, in true celebratory form.

Headlining this year’s fest will be The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Oberhofer. Both bands have produced albums that have graced WCDB airwaves and national stations alike. You can find out more information about the bands courtesy of the station’s blog.

Other announced bands to the fest include Barons in the Attic, Blotto and Dirty Face, all of whom have direct ties to WCDB.

Tickets have been discounted to $15 from now until tomorrow at 11:59pm to coincide with the announcement and then will go up to $18/advance or $23 at the door. Save yourself a couple bucks and order tickets here.

Must Watch: “Respect My Set” by Against The Grain


Back in October of 2012, I attended a panel at NYU during CMJ week with Oliver “Power” Grant, of Wu-Tang Productions. The panel discussion was focused on the future of hybrid audio visual culture and how the relationship between music venues and art galleries is changing in presenting new experiences for attendees. Nerd shit. Somewhere along the way, the Wu-Tang symbol was brought up as being an unspoken international understanding of “what’s good” in underground culture.

A colorful anecdote followed, explaining the concept further, by essentially backing up the tip that wearing a Wu-Tang shirt when traveling will result in an easier time getting through airport security and customs. I never really thought about that before, but I find it really interesting to think that such a symbol can represent levels of subconscious, unquestionable respect for people and art in our day-to-day routines. Side note: feel free to participate in the Wu-Tang social experiment, go through airport security donning some merch and report back to me if it goes smoother than normal.

Point is, the influence of the Wu-Tang Clan goes cultural chapters deep and is even bustling in our own stomping grounds.

The latest example comes from the 518 collective, Against The Grain, who recently made a remake of “Protect Ya Neck” in honor of the 20th anniversary of Wu-Tang’s album, 36 Chambers.

From the ATG:

Although all members of ATG were influenced by 36 Chambers in some form or another, it was Madness who pitched the idea and got the rest of the team on board. A few weeks later, with the song complete, a video was shot and edited by Mike Arson of ATG. Many of the shots and references in the video were mimicked from the now classic “Protect Ya Neck” video and a half dozen others.

The song features (in order) Madness, Sin-City, Zae Biggz, Masai, Kaine, and Mike Arson. The intro, and many of the references in the remake are taken directly from the original version.

“Respect My Set” will be featured on the upcoming Against The Grain album, Growing Pains, coming soon.

Check it out, it’s dope!

Building sold, no lease renewal for Mahar’s


Randy just sent over a link to a post on his blog with some bad news.

I introduced myself and thanked him for establishing a terrific joint. He said I should enjoy it while I can–he was informed this morning that he’d lost the lease. Mahar’s (Albany) will only be open for a couple more weeks. The space will be rented (has been sold?) to the folks that run Junior’s, The Point and Madison Cafe.

This absolutely sucks. Mahar’s is one of the very few establishments we have here in Albany that’s in a league of it’s own. It’s the best spot hands down to try hard-to-find, rarely stocked beer in this city, and it’s a favorite establishment for among beer aficionados far and wide.

Do we really need yet another Junior’s/Madison Cafe/The Point owned establishment on that same block at the expense of a landmark? Randy calls for a start a campaign to save this neighborhood treasure and I can’t help but agree. I hope they simply move instead of close.

NYE 2012 Cheat Sheet

It’s time again for the years most over hyped and constantly most disappointing holiday!

And for parties, you have a few options.

And there’s probably a million more that I’m missing, so if you’re going somewhere worthwhile tonight, leave a comment.

Quality events for this weekend vol. 70


Seems as if all the promoters are saving their efforts for Monday night. If I missed something leave it in a comment! Might be a good weekend for a day trip or a visit to the museum.

Friday December 28th

Charmboy Acoustic with Henry’s Rifle at More Bread and Jam Cafe: Tunes to jam out (hurr) to and to start the night off right with.

Harm’s Way, Gaining Ground, Surrounded By Teeth and more at Bogie’s: Hardcore for all at Albany’s premiere metal bar.

Fourth Friday and Everything Class with DJ Trumastr at Justin’s: If you’re going to be in a bar, might as well go to the one with the best musical selectors in town.

The Bernie Worrell Orchestra and the Stone Revival Band at Putnam Den: Knomad will be DJing some old funk records after this as well!

Saturday December 29th

Pre-New Year’s Jump Off at Justin’s: Again, another night of great music with True.

The Lucky Jukebox Brigade End of Year Party at Valentine’s: With Megan Jean and the Klay Family Band, Headband Jack, Betty Bonneville and Alice Mammalis. Lots of tunes and dancing.