Wednesday, December 30, 2009

An ode to the top-somethings of 2009

OK, so everybody who's nobody has created a top-something of some kind of music for 2009. That's why I'm not. (And because I haven't listened to every bit of music made and released this year, I'm not sure I'm exactly qualified to Top [insert number here] anything.)

But, I have been peeking at some of the top-something lists out there, and I actually found one that didn't include Miley Cyrus or Taylor Swift (with or without Kanye's interruption).

I found it on PopMatters, one of my favorite new sites, that tends to feature smart, but approachable writing about pop culture.

The site has a few different top-something lists, but I concentrated on the Top 50 Best Singles of 2009. The list offered me a great way to be re-introduced to the songs I forgot about over the year as well as introducing me to a bunch I didn't know about.

I think you'll enjoy it, too, so check it out:

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Polka your way into the New Year

Here's a little bit o' polka from our area's very own Jagermeister-sponsored Fritz's Polka Band to get you into the New Year.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A look, listen to those lost in 2009

Take a look at this NYTimes' sound collage featuring the musicians who died this year. You might be surprised by how many musical men and women we lost this year.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Check out this Schnitt

Looking for a pre-Christmas treat? Singer-songwriter J. Schnitt, who performs folk with a modern twist, will perform during "Two for Tuesdays" from 9 p.m. to midnight Tuesday, Dec. 22, at Mr. McGill's, 2102 State Route 5.

Schnitt remains one of my favorite local musicians for his ability to deliver folk-style compilations that make you forget you're listening to folk. Schnitt takes risks with instrumentation and arrangement that make his sound modern, but uses his strong storytelling to remain true to folk tradition. Luckily, his talent supports the risks and reinforces the tradition. If you've yet to discover Schnitt, you don't want to miss him

Admission is free and drafts and mixed drinks are two for one.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cross into the Tram for after-Christmas goodness

UTICA - The day after Christmas normally is quiet in entertainment, but there are a couple spots that will keep you entertained with local music. Tramontane Cafe is one of those spots. The Lincoln Avenue coffeehouse brings you Matt Cross from 9 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 26. There's no cover.

I don't know much about Cross, but after an hour or two of perusing his work online, I think he'll be a perfect match for the cafe and the perfect antithesis to the craziness of the holidays. He's melodic, serene and musically pleasing. Well, here, hear for yourself:

Monday, December 14, 2009

Musicians play to benefit Longo children

'Tis the season for giving, and our local musicians are no exception. Some of the area's favorite music makers will be giving the gift of music this weekend in order to benefit the children of Joseph and Kristen Longo. Here are the details:

Who: InterMission, Rocky Graziano, Red Hush, The Haz-Benz, The BOMB.
When: Noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19.
Where: 12 North, 10125 Mulaney Road, Marcy.
Tickets: $20; children 10 and younger admitted free. Call 736-3132 or 724-2322 for tickets or to donate.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fill your belly, ears at local cafe

About a month ago, I interviewed gr6 during the Tramontane Cafe's first acoustic lunch hour. The place was packed. There was something good about filling your belly and ears. Others seemed to agree. The cafe was filled with listeners and eaters - all giving genuine attention to the musicians.

So, why do you care? Because it's happening again from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11, and I think you'll love it.

I realize we all have the best intentions over the weekends and on weeknights to get out there and support our local music scene, but sometimes a bottle of wine, DVD and the couch call louder.

So here's the perfect way to get your dose of local music. And I can't imagine a better way to go back to the office - filled with good music and good food.

And for those of you who aren't familiar with The Tramontane Cafe (The Tram, for short), it's one of my favorite places in the area. Not only is the food delicious, fresh and caters to every eating need (specifically vegetarians/vegans, like me), the atmosphere is quirky, yet cozy and the staff is seriously delightful, warm and welcoming. You really can't go wrong here.

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

The blues are back

NEW HARTFORD - For those of you who've had the blues about the cancellation of the Mohawk Valley Blues Society's monthly jams at the Devereux, stop singing those blues, they're back. But don't head down to the Devereux just yet, the jams will be hosted the second Thursday of each month at the Valley Brook Lounge, 8463 Seneca Turnpike.

December's jam, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10, will feature George Deveny, Darryl Mattison and Dan Porter. Blues musicians are welcome to sign up and join the jam.

Members are admitted free; $3 for non-members.