TNT at Stacks Espresso Bar: Photos and Recap

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Last Thursday, Stacks Espresso Bar on Lark Street had the areas first Thursday Night Throwdown; a latte art competition. Baristas were able to buy in for a few bucks and competed head-to-head in a bracket style competition. If you were knocked out in the first round, you were able to re-buy in for a few dollars.

I was one of three judges and we kept it simple and opted for a “point-to-the-winner-on-the-count-of-three” style of judging rather than a complicated grading rubric. It was the first one of these competitions and we wanted to keep it fun and simple.

Around 7pm, Stacks started to fill up and people were enjoying the beer Rare Form had sent over. The competition started soon after and was a ton of fun. The keg kicked quickly, but almost everyone stuck around to watch the main event. The rounds were punctuated with giveaways from different roasters and a few select people went home with mugs, travel mugs, pounds of coffee, t-shirts and more.

The final round came down to Jess and Michelle and they decided to switch things up from the big latte mugs to the little gibraltar glasses. It was close, but Michelle managed to edge out Jess and became the first Albany TNT winner. Way to go!

There’s no word yet on when the next TNT will be, but to stay in the loop keep an eye on the Capital Region Coffee Collective. Thanks to Stacks for having me as a guest and judge and for hosting and organizing such a fun event.


Quality events for this weekend vol. 149

Friday September 5

Albany First Friday: Art, music, food and more all around. Check Brew for art by Caitlin McCourt, 275 State St for a modern dance performance by Claire Jacob-Zysman and Dancers and the UAG for their annual member’s show.

Welcome Back Glam Party at Some Girls: Play dress up over in Troy.

Bear Grass, Midnight Snack, Lucky Jukebox Brigade at The Low Beat: Folk/indie/pop.

Saturday September 6

Neutral Milk Hotel at Brewery Ommegang: Somehow not sold out.

NYCROSS Cyclocross Clinic at Prospect Park in Troy: Learn the skills for this years cross season.

Troy on Tap: Beer festival in Riverfront Park.

Fun In The Sun Basketball Tournament in Washington Park: Fun game for a good cause.

It Dies Today at Bogie’s: With Towers, Concrete, Life Sentence, Artisan and Tradewinds.

Hamell on Trial at the Low Beat: Comedy/storytelling.

Lizz Wright and band at Helsinki Hudson: Soul vocalist.

Albany Jazz Festival at Corning Preserve Boat Launch: Free. Jazz.

Sunday September 7

Sunday Night Metal at the Low Beat: With Ov Dust, Vile Tyrant, Enthauptung.

All Weekend

Saratoga Wine and Food Festival: Food, wine and cars.

Tugboat Roundup in Waterford: Music, vendors, food and tugboats!

Art Omi: The sculpture fields are always 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.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and XMEN: Days of Future Past at the Madison Theater: Only five bucks!


Richard Barone and Bell’s Roar at The Low Beat

WEXT 97.7 is putting on an awesome show on Saturday September 13th. Richard Barone will be performing songs from his solo albums, The Bongos catalogues, a few tributes and stories as well. Bell’s Roar will be opening up the show.

Richard Barone has a crazy long history and it’s super interesting. I’d recommend flipping through his Wikipedia and learning more if you’re unfamilliar.

You can grab a free four song sampler from Richard on his website and you can buy tickets on the event page.


Quality events for this weekend vol. 148

Friday August 29

Troy Night Out: Last one of the Summer. Sidewalk sale theme going on. Check the Grocery for tacos and Collar City Hard Pressed for juice and juice cocktails.

Ecstatic Age at Collar Works: “The environment will combine all the trappings of a rave [...] with the tangible fixtures related to comfort and healing, such as crystals, cushions, and blankets.” With yoga, hypnosis, as well as Bell’s Roar, Claymation, DJ WILDECRIST, Kolya, Moon Magick, Sun Burdens, Swamp Baby, Viki Viktoria, We Are Architects, Weird Fears. Phew.

Roomful of Teeth at MASS MoCA: Grammy winners. Go early and enjoy the museum.

Earth Rhythm Explosion at the Albany Barn: Live music with Atito Gohi of Ahsoego Ahsoego and Jordan Taylor Hill.

Saturday August 30

SeaChange Launch at the Troy Farmer’s Market: Paper boat launch from the South side of the Farmer’s Market.

MaryLeigh Roohan at Caffe Lena: Last local show for a minute.

Thumpers at the Hollow: Free EQX show. With Accents.

This Renissance at the Putnam Den: With Stellar Young, So Last Year, City Under Seige, Good Guys, Bad Guys. Free if you’re over 21.

Corrin Campbell at the Low Beat: With Two Guys.

All Weekend

The Track: Travers weekend, stuff will be bonkers.

Art Omi: The sculpture fields are always 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.

Goldfinger, Casino Royal, Golden Eye and Live and Let Die at the Madison Theater: Only five bucks!


Recap: Pretty Much the Best Comedy Show at Proctors

Last night debuted the new monthly comedy series Pretty Much the Best Comedy Show at Proctors.

Much like the entire theater, the basement of Proctors is well-kept and last night’s event revealed that the space is a somewhat hidden asset to the theatre. Being able to utilize the space for an underground and local comedy show is a perfect fit and I’m looking forward to the monthly series continuing. You can check out their upcoming events schedule over on the Proctor’s calendar and the series’ Facebook page.

Each of the comedians that performed captured my attention fully and each one got me laughing. Not a polite smile or silent laugh here and there, but little bursts of actual, audible laughter deep from my stomach. And luckily, I wasn’t the only one in the packed audience having that reaction. It was great to see a full house in attendance, and to see the audience warm up a little bit more with every joke or story.

With performances by Ethan Ullman, Thomas Attila Lewis, Jay McBride, a special guest named Brock, and the headliner, LA-based comedian Ahmed Bharoocha, the evening line-up was stacked and each performance was truly enjoyable. The headliner, Ahmed, was absolutely fantastic. I love when a comedian is able to stray into new material and be adaptive and interactive with the audience, and Ahmed excelled in that department. Be sure to check out his YouTube comedy sketch series Dead Kevin, which can now be found on Comedy Central’s website.

Thanks again to Ethan Ullman and the organizers of Pretty Much the Best Comedy Show for the great show last night!

Pretty Much the Best Comedy Show at Proctors

Tomorrow starts the new monthly comedy series Pretty Much the Best Comedy Show at Proctors.

LA-based comedian Ahmed Bharoocha is the headliner. He’s known for his YouTube comedy sketch series Dead Kevin, which Comedy Central just picked up for their website. The show will also feature Ethan Ullman (as heard on the Howard Stern Show), Thomas Attila Lewis (Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Fest) and guest who may or may not be special.

Tickets are available via the Proctors website and you can find more details on the event’s website. Also, head over to Pretty Much the Best Comedy Show’s facebook and give them a like to stay in the loop with future shows.

Wellington Hotel Annex: Video

Here’s my video from the Wellington Hotel Annex implosion, which happened earlier today.