Albany Boarding Zone of Appeals rule against ‘rave-like dance parties’ at the Armory


From the Times Union:

Large rave-like dance parties are not allowed in the Washington Avenue Armory, the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals ruled Wednesday night.

The ruling is yet another wrinkle in the ongoing dispute pitting the music and sports venue against the city. Officials halted the parties last Friday for the second time in five months, citing security and zoning problems.

It was not immediately clear how the BZA’s decision would affect a lawsuit filed Tuesday by the armory to block the city from enforcing its ban.

A state Supreme Court judge refused to issue a temporary restraining order against city code enforcement officials, who argue the parties transform the venue into a de facto night club that is not allowed in the armory’s commercial-office zoning district.

This is insane. A concert that has a DJ doesn’t make a stadium a night club. The TU Center had Tiesto, and that was very clearly a concert. If quality is the goal here, cut down on the quantity of allowed “rave-like” events and the promoters will only bring the top electronic artists, and not keep throwing these cash-grab “raves for the sake of raves”.

It’s amazing how “it’s bad for the neighborhood” can be used to shut down something they don’t like, but the minute something they think is cool wants to come to town, call everyone in opposition a NIMBY and blame them for the stagnation of culture-rich entities within Albany.

Photos: SCOPE and Fountain Art Fairs in NYC

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This past Friday, I went down to the city to check out the annual Fountain and SCOPE art fairs.

SCOPE and Fountain are two of several other curated art fairs that are organized under the umbrella of the Armory Arts Week. I also saw organized art collections from Fountain and SCOPE this past December as a part of Miami Art Basel, which is one of the largest and most influential collection of art shows featuring galleries, exhibitors and artists from all over the world.

The amount of work, talent, creativity, diversity, etc. can be overwhelming at times and it feels impossible to check out what the art shows have to offer in full. It’s really fun to walk around and soak it all in. It’s hard NOT to take a ton of photos of the work, but I contained myself much better this time around. Plus you know, opening night featured an open bar and performance art pieces, so there was much going on.

Whether you’re a fan of contemporary, fine, performance or street art, these art fairs have all bases covered. There’s something for everyone, and you can also find affordable art in the mix as well. It was also awesome seeing local artists such as Greg Dunn and artists from Davis Art Services, based out of North Adams. Shouts also to Saturated Threads who I met back in the day at Marketplace Gallery. On our way out, we saw street artist Ellis at work tracing the shadow of a bicycle. Overall, this year’s shows were great and I highly recommend you keep tabs on the annual arts week every March in NYC and check it out for yourself.

Hit the jump or click the image above to check out some photos from this year’s fairs!

Also be sure to check out Art Geek Studios’ photo recap over on Facebook!

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Ticket Giveaway: Railbird x Sub-Bombin at Valentine’s


RAILBIRD is teaming up with Sub-Bombin Records this Saturday at Valentine’s, for an evening of experimental and eclectic music, with each artist having a tie to the Albany area.

If you are familiar with this blog or my personal music taste, you already know that I’m personally excited to see these performers. When RAILBIRD plays, I always want all of my friends to be there. Same with the Sub-Bombin roster. Big fan.

RAILBIRD celebrated their latest EP release, Lucky, this past November and also recently supported Sean Rowe as his backing band on Jimmy Kimmel Live. If you are unfamiliar, Sub-Bombin is a dynamic label of artists based in upstate New York, and I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing music from each of the artists playing this Saturday; most recently being Kite Person’s release this past December.

Playing this Saturday alongside RAILBIRD will be Kite Person, Mitochi and Rawhead. Tickets are $5 in advance available online or $7 at the door.

Courtesy of Dellarocca Booking, we have a pair of tickets to giveaway. Enter beneath the jump!

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Call for Art: Flirting with Tragedy – A Gallery Exhibition


Call for art from the Dead Presidents Lounge:

The Dead Presidents Lounge will be hosting a gallery exhibition to celebrate the unique life of a creative soul.

Lauren Tanski’s imaginative mind and inspirational soul continues to serve as a muse for many creative individuals. It is our vision to both honor and showcase Lauren’s unique style and talents through exhibiting both her work as well as work inspired by Lauren’s words, images, and friendship.

We are asking for Lauren’s friends and loved ones to contribute to this unique visual experience, however, please note; we are not asking for pictures of Lauren, we are asking for images and writings Lauren created, as well as work that people have created with Lauren as inspiration.

The deadline for submission is March 30th.

We will also host an opening reception at The Dead Presidents Lounge in conjunction with First Friday Albany on April 5th.

Anyone interested in contributing please contact

If you are unfamiliar with Lauren’s tragic story, you can read more at the NoLa Defender and the Times Union.

Ticket Giveaway: The Grind House featuring Masta Killa and more

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Masta Killa is a legendary MC and a member of the Wu-Tang Clan. He has been on the scene since the year I was born and 14 years later in 2004, released his debut solo album, No Said Date. Masta Killa was the last member to join the Wu-Tang Clan, and appeared on the track “Da Mystery of Chessboxin” from their infamous debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), released in 1993. The album is often cited as one of the most influential and highly-regarded albums in hip hop, with Masta Killa carving his own path as an artist as well over the years.

This Saturday, Masta Killa of the Wu Tang Clan will be performing at Bogies, amongst locals JPlus, Intell, Mic Lanny and Altez, with DeeJay Tone as the evening’s host DJ. They will be recording for a music video during this event as well. Be sure to stay up on the Facebook event for more information.

Courtesy of the organizers and Bogies, we have a pair of tickets to giveaway. Check out the proper commercial they made in advance of the event and enter the contest after the jump!

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Chris Pratt details plans for upscale eatery at 55 Pearl Street and North Albany music venue

From Steve Barnes:

A May opening is projected for The Capital: American Eatery & Lounge, located across the street from the Pearl Street Pub. Pratt tells me the business will be open for dinner Monday through Saturday and will turn into a lounge for music and late-night fare of tapas, cheese, desserts and other small-plate fare Thursday through Saturday. It will not be a nightclub or have DJs.

Pratt tells, “My partners and I believe wholeheartedly in the revitalization of downtown as a place to live for young professionals, and that’s why we’re taking the step financially to establish this type of restaurant.”

No DJs at a restaurant on Pearl Street that will be opened past 5pm is huge for the area. Getting the ‘young professionals’ into these empty, expensive, newly renovated apartments can only happen once theres more than two things opened on Pearl Street on the weekend. Classic chicken and the egg scenario.

Pratt and partners have signed a letter of intent to open an 800- to 900-person (9,500sq ft) music venue in Albany’s warehouse district.

Because the venue would be open only for shows, starting 90 minutes before curtain time and closing an hour afterward, Pratt says it would complement, not compete with, bars and restaurants in the warehouse district.

This would be awesome. There needs to be a place where we can go in Albany and actually see a show. Keeping all of these shows, and the money that comes with it, outside of this city is so insanely stupid. Having a space that’s smaller than the TU Center/Armory but bigger than Valentine’s would be perfect for most of the ‘larger acts’ that come through the area. An Upstate Concert Hall in Albany would be great.