Quality events for this weekend vol. 73

Friday January 18th

Wine and Dine for the Arts Grand Tasting at Hotel Albany: 250 wines, spirits and beers to sample with 52 local chefs and restaurants. A real awesome way to try tons of amazing food and drinks all in one stop. Also, later tonight is the Slider Slam which is a bit less costly and is a competition between 10 chefs.

Sgt. Dunbar EP Release show at Valentine’s: They’re planning on releasing a new EP every month for all of 2013 and today marks the first release.

This “Just-in” at Justin’s: Truemastr and Nate da Great playing your favorites. Best music on Lark, easily.

Resident Underground at Buddha Tea Lounge: A bit of off-the-grid dance tunes for your Friday night with a few friends DJing.

Brazilian vocalist Elaine Pinheiro performing at Tierra Coffee Roasters, alongside Taina Asili, Gaetano Vaccaro, Sean Muniz and Elizabeth Woodbury Kasius. Could do you some good to check out something different.

Saturday January 19th

Competition for Albany’s Best Barista featuring competitors from the Daily Grind, Tierra Roasters, Hudson River Coffee House, Happy Cappuccino, Apostrophe Cafe, Flavor to GO Cafe and J. Watts Cafe. Support your local barista!

Free show at the Putnam Den featuring Newton Crosby, Digital Dharma and Tempestribe. Fans of electronica, funk and jazz check it out.

Sunday January 20th

2 for 1’s at McGeary’s with Trumastr. Best way to round out the weekend.

EMPAC: Exit & HeadSwap

On January 25th, EMAPAC is hosting EXIT, a free dance event in which Belgian artist Kris Verdonck and choreographer Alix Eynaudi try to get you to fall asleep during the performance. Pillows are even provided.

You can read a bit more about exit at EMPAC’s website, and a bit more at Berkshire On Stage. It’s free, but reservations are required. This is my kind of event seeing as I almost always fall asleep during movies, both at home and in theaters. Plus seeing people actually preform things is much more exciting and engaging than a two-dimensional movie.

The next day on January 26th, EMPAC is hosting HeadSwap, an event in which a Beldian-based team of artists will present the results of their three-week residency.

HeadSwap takes the next step in immersive performance. Participants can navigate and choose their individual point of view within omni-directional footage from Japan and New York City, while “swapping their heads” and simultaneously seeing what another person chooses to see.

This too is really awesome looking and the rigging they’ve got going in their preview photos is more than enough to catch mine and many other peoples interest. I can’t wait to see what they will have for us. This event is also free, and you can read more on EMPAC’s website. See you there.

Lauren Tanski’s vigil scheduled for Saturday at 7pm


The candlelight vigil for Lauren Tanski will be held at Dana park, across from Susie’s at 7 pm on Saturday.

If you are unfamiliar with the tragic story, you can read more at the NoLa Defender.

Lauren’s friends are encouraging anyone whose ever been influenced by Lauren to come out in support and hope to show her family just how huge Lauren’s impact was on her friends and the community alike. Donations to help support the Tanksi family will also be collected during the vigil. Please help spread the word.

Must Watch: Trailer for “The Throwaways”


Tomorrow night, at the Madison Theater, there will be a preview screening of the documentary film, “The Throwaways.” The film follows the story of local filmmaker and ex-felon Ira McKinley, capturing his struggles to turn his life around and transform his inner-city community, all taking place in Albany.

The screening is a one-night fundraising event to support the distribution of this film and will be hosted by co-directors and producers Ira McKinley and Bhawin Suchak, who will also lead a Q+A discussion panel following each showing. It is also an exclusive opportunity to see the documentary before it is submitted to film festivals around the country.

Tickets are available in advance over on Brown Paper tickets and the film will show at 7 and 9:15pm. You can check out more information about the film and its backstory, as it was funded through a Kickstarter campaign over on their website.

Check out the official trailer:

KC’s Music Monday: Masai


Masai, local to the 518 and member of super-group Against The Grain, is releasing the final installment in his trilogy of solo albums, right in time for tax season. We’ve still got another month of listening to Turbotax ads on Pandora until the album drops but I figured I’d let you preview what I’ve been listening to now.

“Almost Home” is a 15-track high calibre line-up featuring collaborations with a generous handful of other talented area rappers, producers and musicians including MIRK, JB!! aka Dirty Moses, Sev Statik, Knowle’ge, KassCrook and also members of his own collective, Against The Grain.

In advance of the February 13 release, Masai has made two tracks available for streaming.

“Circles” is a clear favorite of mine (of what I’ve heard so far, that is.) The track features Mike Arson and the two go back and forth about the competitive nature between rappers, of commercial and underground influencers alike, conceptually running verbal circles around it all. The motif of circles is prevalent throughout the song and the chorus has been doing laps in my head since I heard it.

Side note: I nominate this song to be included in a chapter I read in a hip hop book yesterday, which compiled a list of the top mentions of “sweaters” in contemporary rap music. Pretty random and interesting list which included lyrics from Biggie, Kanye West and Pusha T. Listen for it.

The second track is “February Pimpin’ (Tax Money)” and features JB!! aka Dirty Moses, with PJ Katz of Pig Food Records on the production duties. This track will get stuck in your head if you welcome it. Not only do I love the satire but the song itself is done well on all counts. I seriously hope there’s a music video in the works because that’d be fun as hell to witness. From the artists directly, “The song satirically takes a look at how materialism and consumerism, combined with poor decision making, can influence urban workers who foolishly spend their income tax returns.”

If you like what you hear, make the album yours!

Quality events for this weekend vol. 72


Friday, January 11th

“Just-In Time for Friday” at Justin’s. If you’re going to be in a bar, might as well go to the one with one of the best musical selectors in town.

Retro-active 80’s night at Elda’s with DJ Rana Ransom and the best of 80s, nudisco and italodisco. Party mustaches will be supplied for the fun-spirited attendees.

This month’s Bass fix at Red Square will double as a benefit to raise money for the family of Ashley Spitfire Holmes and will feature a raffle as well. Music provided by a slew of local DJs including Tier 1, Sweatpants Money, Bad Manners (Mentally ILL and Leila), Milkdud, Lazerbass and Evac Protocol.

This Renaissance EP release show at the Putnman Den with performances by This Renaissance, Titanics and Street Lights At Midnight. For fans of post-hardcore, experimental rock and supporting the local music scene.

Saturday, January 12

Open house at the Hot Yoga Studio’s new location in Latham. Will be offering a variety of free classes from 8:00am to 5:30pm. Take advantage of the free classes (all levels welcome) and the opportunity to meet the staff. They are also featuring discounts on yoga class packages so you can honor that heathly New Year’s resolution you haven’t yet committed to.

Plasmic Secretions at the Fuze Box along with No Sir I Won’t and a split set of punk/powerviolence from Born Rotten and Stiff Boys. This show is starting early (doors at 7:30) and will be finished before 80s night gets into full swing.

B-Scene Birthday bash at Valentine’s featuring Tenebrae, Red Line Rebels, The Radicals, Plastic Jesus and Dead Aces. Pretty stacked hardcore/punk line-up and there’s also mention of silly string in the event description, so get into it!

Sunday, January 11th

Poetry and prose open mic at The Arts Center of the Capital Region, starting at 2pm.

Show at the Social Justice Center featuring Is Home Is, Tires, _11:34. Suggested donation $5.

2-for-1 at McGeary’s. Trumastr. Cheap drinks. End the weekend right.