December 09, 2009

Winter WonderLARK...Coupon below!!!!

Scroll down for a Winter WonderLARK coupon!!!!
Winter WonderLARK is this Saturday and we are super excited! There are a number of great events that are happening that day including:

* The 4th Annual Santa Speedo Sprint (2:00 PM Lark & Madison)
Registration begins at Noon at Lark Tavern & Oh Bar
* Art Bazaar at Trinity Church- 235 Lark St (12:30 PM)
* "History of the Carols, a Dramatization" at Trinity Church
o Performances at 1 & 3 PM
o Free, donations accepted to benefit the Organ Fund
* Gingerbread Funshop at the Upstate Artists Guild- 247 Lark St.

If you missed the First Friday artist's reception for Jessyka this past week you have another chance to come in see her beautiful cherry blossom and tree scape paintings! The Lark Street BID office will be open from 12-3. Be sure to stop by!!!

And don't forget all the great shopping up and down Lark Street!

To help you keep up your energy, you can use this coupon for breakfast at Cafe 217 or treat yourself to a drink after a long day of shopping!

November 05, 2009

Lost Cell Phone

Did you lose your cell phone at the Halloween Party at the Washington Park Lake House? If so, contact the BID at 434.3861 or

October 08, 2009


Albany is going to see an influx of zombies this month. WAMC's performing arts center, The Linda, is going to be holding their second Zombie Film Feast and this year is slated to be bigger and more brain-filled than last year!

The festival starts Friday, October 23 and goes through Sunday, October 25. This year there will eleven movies showing throughout the weekend, including the area premier of I Sell the Dead with Dominic Monaghan (Lord Of The Rings, Lost) and classics such as Brain Dead and the original Dawn of the Dead from 1978.

Along with the movies, The Linda is also going to be hosting The Game Crazy Zombie Slayer Video Game Vault in the actual bank vault at The Linda. Each day video gamers will have the opportunity to play the latest Zombie slayer games featuring Left 4 Dead. Over the three days, gamers will compete for the top three slots and a fourth wildcard spot culminating in a final four big screen Zombie slay-off.

Saturday is going to be a big day for the zombies! At 5pm a horde of zombies will be walking from the Lark Street BID office to the Linda parking lot where a Thriller dance-off will be held followed by a brain eating competition. Later that night will be the Zombie Prom, featuring music by Zombie Bomb and 104.9 The Edge and the crowning of the Zombie Prom king and queen. The Zombie Prom is a 21 and older with ID event, with a portion of the proceeds going towards the Hellions of Troy roller derby team.

The schedule and information about all of the events that weekend can be found at, including tickets for the movies and prom, and brain eating competition registration.

September 14, 2009

Countdown to LarkFEST

We are just days away and we have finally reached the last artist on our countdown- Moby!

While listening to filmmaker David Lynch speak at the BAFTA Awards in February 2008, Moby had an epiphany. Lynch’s message – creativity for its own sake is a beautiful, wonderful thing – was a simple one, but it hit Moby with the force of the Zen master’s cane. “At that moment, I decided to just make records that were more personal,” says Moby, “maybe more experimental, and a little more challenging, maybe not as easy to like, but things that I found to be artistically and creatively more satisfying. That was the idea behind making the new album.”

The album resulting from this epiphany, Wait For Me (released on June 30, 2009 via Mute), is a radical departure from Moby’s recent albums – last year’s paean to the dance floor, Last Night, 2005’s flirtation with modern rock, Hotel, the shimmering ambience of 2002’s 18, and the zeitgeist-defining melancholy electronica of 1999’s Play. Liberated from the pressures of trying to please himself at the same time as the radio programmers, journalists and his label’s marketing department, in making Wait For Me Moby decided to forego the expensive studios, state-of-the-art equipment, big name guest artists, and phalanxes of graphic designers and image consultants that have characterized some of his previous albums. “There’s something so relaxing about doing everything yourself, and not trying to second-guess the market,” Moby says. “I don’t know if anyone’s going to like this record, I don’t know if it’s going to sell anything, but it’s nice to try to do things for the right reasons and not give a second thought to radio play or sales – just make a record because you want to make a record.”

Indeed, this DiY approach pervades all of Wait For Me, from the recording process to the album cover. “A friend of mine shot the photos,” Moby says. “I did the art work. I made the record in my bedroom, and mixed it with a crazy punk rocker who got lost on the way to the studio every night.”

That “crazy punk rocker” is the legendary Ken Thomas, who has worked with everyone from The Buzzcocks, Wire, Boyd Rice, and Chris & Cosey to Sigur Ros and M83. Working with Thomas and Wait For Me’s DiY approach hearkens back to Moby’s punk roots as a member of the early 80s hardcore band Vatican Commandos. And while the music contained on Wait For Me is the sweeping, emotionally expansive music Moby has become known for, some of the songs bear the influence of Moby’s punk days, albeit in odd ways. “Mistake” is an homage to the emotional post-punk of Joy Division and Echo & the Bunnymen, while the title track’s depiction of quiet despair was inspired by Black Flag’s Damaged album.
Sonically, though, Wait For Me takes inspiration from a kinder, gentler era long before punk, before the dawn of rock ’n’ roll even. “I wanted to make a record that was beautiful and warm and open and inviting, and also a little more idiosyncratic and personal,” Moby says. “The way it’s recorded and mixed, it’s not supposed to be a bombast. A lot of my issues with modern records is they, from start to finish, are just in your face, they’re loud and brash and demanding. Sometimes that can be great, but when every instrument is mixed as loud as it can go and when vocals are constantly in your face and everything’s bright and there’s no subtlety, I don’t want to invite records like that into my house. They sound great when you’re in a rental car listening to Top 40 radio, but the records that I find myself more drawn to are very minimally recorded old blues records, records that are quite austere and simple. So I did want this record to have that austere quality.”

While Wait For Me does have a certain Spartan feel to it, it is also a warm, intimate and conversational record. “Instead of trying to make something that is commercially palatable or that the market will respect,” Moby says, “I wanted to make something that a 26 year-old woman, in her apartment, depressed can relate to.”

In order to try to achieve this one-on-one connection with the listener, Moby drowned Wait For Me in reverb and made judicious use of stereo panning. “The things that inspired me were the background vocals on ‘In the Ghetto’, the Elvis song, Surrealistic Pillow by Jefferson Airplane, and ‘I Only Have Eyes for You’ by The Flamingos,” Moby says. “And also eBay because through eBay I was able to buy a lot of old crappy equipment that served my needs perfectly: old reverbs, old delays, old amplifiers, old synthesizers, things that were technically imperfect but felt right to me.”

You can hear the ghosts in these old machines, and when combined with the cavernous reverb, long sustained guitar chords, warm strings, and the occasional torch song, Wait For Me may bring to mind the album’s catalyst – David Lynch and his work with composer Angelo Badalamenti. Lynch, in fact, has directed the video for “Shot In The Back Of The Head”, a song that also conjures up Phil Spector with its crashing waves of sound. It is indeed fitting that Lynch provided the inspiration for Moby’s creative rebirth on Wait For Me as samples of Lynch’s Twin Peaks appeared on the record that kick-started Moby’s career, the Top 10 1991 rave hit “Go”.

But instead of aspiring to climb the charts or appeal to a market segment, Wait For Me is aimed at connecting with the listener on an individual basis. “In the past, record companies and musicians didn’t deal with listeners as individuals, they dealt with them as a mass because they’re selling millions of records,” Moby says. “I think a lot of people lost sight of that relationship. Not to sound crazy and new age, but I think there’s something really humbling for the musician about someone taking a record home and listening to it. I think a lot of really successful musicians assume they’ll always have an audience, and that breeds an air of complacency and arrogance.”

With the quiet and graceful but occasionally unsettling music of Wait For Me, Moby has taken a large step toward avoiding that trap.

Countdown to LarkFEST

Four days to LarkFEST and next up on our countdown is Bell X1.

“As a collection, it's a statement of intent,” Bell X1 frontman/songwriter Paul Noonan says of his band's new Yep Roc release Blue Lights on the Runway. "For me it's hard to separate the songs from how they were made and the wild and frothy sea of change that the band were trying to hold steady through. I think we pushed ourselves creatively and tried to go places we hadn't been"

Blue Lights on Runway, Bell X1's fourth studio effort, marks a quantum creative leap for the Dublin combo, which has already earned an enviable reputation for its artfully constructed song and playfully introspective lyrics. On the new album, the band —singer Paul Noonan, guitarist Dave Geraghty and bassist Dominic Phillips—delivers a compelling set of melodically infectious, emotionally resonant new tunes whose colorful lyrics are informed by a quirky assortment of offbeat observations and unconventional personal experiences. Such memorable numbers as "Light Catches Your Face," "How Your Heart Is Wired," “The Great Defector,” "Blow Ins," "One String Harp" and the self-referentially witty "A Better Band" boast indelible melodic hooks and inventive arrangements, while deftly blending organic and electronic textures.

Blue Lights on the Runway (which the band co-produced with Phil Hayes) substantially reinvents Bell X1's sound, thanks in large part to the group's distinctive use of an arsenal of synthesizers and samplers, which the band uses to build distinctive soundscapes that brilliantly complement the tunes.

"I think the beats and synths are the core of the drama of the record, the theatre of it," Noonan says, adding, "The original premise was to come up with songs that could stand up and make sense if delivered with a single voice and instrument, and then dress them in beats and noises from boxes. We stuck to that approach in some cases, but in some of the songs the 'dressing' felt a little gratuitous, so we left them be. So the album ended up as a bit of a mongrel, and I think it's the better for it."

Blue Lights on the Runway is the first Bell X1 album to receive a simultaneous worldwide release and is Bell X1's first new release since its international breakthrough Flock. That album debuted at Number One in Ireland, where it was certified Platinum five times over. Despite reaching North America nearly three years after its U.K. release, Flock also won Bell X1 a large American fan base, where the band toured extensively and received a flood of critical acclaim.

In a four-star album review, Paste magazine called Bell X1 "one of Ireland's great bands," while tastemaker website Very Short List called Flock an "early front-runner for best record of 2008" and the New York Daily News predicted that Bell X1 is "ready to explode worldwide." The group also performed on The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O'Brien and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

The new album was recorded in such diverse locales as a drafty 400-year-old Irish castle, in a disused factory and in Dominic Phillips' garage studio. Noonan asserts, "We allowed ourselves to be a little looser in terms of emphasizing feel over precision. We stumbled upon some special moments that way, like the endings of “How Your Heart is Wired” and “Amelia.” It's very satisfying when you leave the tape rolling and capture something that clicks, something that you'd never be able to do again."

While the past few years have seen Bell X1 making major artistic and career strides, the group has been honing its sound since its formation in 1999, and its members have been making music together since the early '90s. Having met at school in Ireland's North County Kildare, Noonan, Geraghty and Phillips first recorded as members of Juniper, whose lead singer was Damien Rice. After Rice departed to launch his solo career, Noonan, Geraghty, Phillips and Crosby regrouped and rechristened themselves Bell X1, borrowing the name of the first plane to break the sound barrier. (Blue Lights on the Runway is the first project the band has undertaken since the amicable departure of cofounding member Brian Crosby, who exited in October 2008 to concentrate on his interest in film-soundtrack composition and production)

Bell X1 debuted with 2000's Neither Am I, produced by Crowded House member Nick Seymour. That disc became a modest cult hit in Ireland, where the band's tireless touring efforts won it a reputation as a powerful live act. The sophomore effort Music in Mouth followed in 2003, and established Bell X1 as both a major attraction and a critical favorite in its homeland, while winning the group increasing popularity in Europe.

Upon its release in late 2005, Flock (produced by studio vet Roger Bechirian, of Elvis Costello/Squeeze/Undertones fame) became a smash, establishing Bell X1 as one of Ireland's best-selling recording acts and most popular live bands. After receiving its belated U.S. release in 2008, Flock won Bell X1 a substantial audience in America, where the band toured no less than four times, and managed to survive unscathed after their tour bus caught fire in Medford, Massachusetts. The group's stateside profile was further enhanced when its songs were featured in such popular TV shows as The O.C., Grey's Anatomy and One Tree Hill.

The success of Flock led to Bell X1 setting up its own label, BellyUp Records, giving the band complete control over its musical output. The new imprint's initial release was the hugely successful live CD/DVD package Tour De Flock, which debuted at Number Four on the Irish charts, the highest-ever debut for a self-released title.

Blue Lights on the Runway showcases the remarkable creative chemistry that Bell X1 has nurtured over the course of its eventful existence. According to Noonan, "Spending so much time making music together, we've developed an intuition, and when we're writing we can communicate musically, without having to stop to explain where we're going."

Indeed, Blue Lights on the Runway makes it clear that Bell X1 is just getting started. "The vibe we seem to be getting from everybody right now is 'Go forth and conquer,'" Noonan states. "And that's precisely what we intend to do."

Countdown to LarkFEST

Five more days to LarkFEST!!!

First off a note of warning: Matt and Kim aren’t a typical band and this isn’t going to read like your average biography. For example, although Matt and Kim know they met while taking classes at Pratt Institute in New York, Kim’s not sure what year she graduated, let alone when they decided to start playing music as a two-piece. What they do know is that when Matt and Kim started out approximately four years ago, they had no idea how to play their respective instruments—a fact that makes the band’s success story almost as unique as their distinctive brand of synth-and-drums dance punk.

After being forced to play their first show by a friend months after picking up their instruments, keyboardist/vocalist Matt Johnson and drummer/vocalist Kim Schifino played their first show as Matthew and Kimberly in October of 2004—and after slightly altering their name they spent the next year playing every chance they could get in their home base of Brooklyn. Along the way they also released an EP called To/From and started touring the United States non-stop, burning CDs in the van on the way to their self-booked shows and seemingly playing every art space and basement in the country.

In 2006 the band released their self-titled debut—which was instantly embraced by critics and fans alike—and stayed on the road, performing at high profile events such as The Siren Music Festival and Lollapalooza. Okay, so now that the timeline is out of the way, let’s talk about the new album. For starters, Grand was recorded at Matt’s parents’ house in Vermont that Kim describes as “being near nothing and surrounded by three cow pastures.” Or as Matt says, “I had a friend from New York come up once and he was like ‘How did you even find out about college?’” In other words, it’s pretty desolate.

However, Matt’s childhood bedroom—which was still covered with skateboarding posters and show flyers—ultimately turned out to be the ideal environment to record Grand. “While our album is different from our things in the past, it’s what I would have always done if we had the time and means to do it, which we did this time around,” Matt explains, adding that the band sporadically spent nine months on their new record as opposed to the nine days in which they recorded their debut. After the tracks were laid to tape the band returned to Brooklyn where Matt spent his summer sweating, stressing out and mixing Grand in the duo’s apartment.” “I would never record our whole album ourselves again,” he adds, “but it came out exactly how I wanted it to.”

The result is an album that takes the band’s musicianship and songwriting to the next level and also serves as a glowing representation of how far Matt and Kim have come since their debut. From the anthemic opener “Daylight” to the harmony-rich, atmospheric ballad “Turn This Boat Around” and demented pop of “I Wanna,” Grand is quite literally the sound of the collective discovering their voice. “All of the songs on the last album we wrote the first year we learned how to play our instruments,” Matt acknowledges, “but this one is much more diverse and instead of thinking about the songs we thought of the album as a whole, too.”

Then there are the band’s legendary live shows, which look more like dance parties than traditional concerts and blur the line between musician and listener. “I really believe that a band should be honest when they play,” Matt explains. “Kim and I are generally just excited to play; I mean I cannot believe that I can make a living off playing music, which is what I get to do now; it’s just so incredible,” he continues. “We’re excited just to be able to play and we show it, as dorky as that can look.”

Lyrically, the band’s writing process is just as idiosyncratic, with Kim writing random lines of text and Matt going through them and putting them together until they start to mean something to the duo. Understandably the band’s debut admittedly tended to be about “figuring your life out,” but this time around the duo have experienced enough to feel comfortable writing about different topics and have expanded their vision into something that’s metaphor-rich and a little harder to nail down with one or two sentences on tracks like “Lessons Learned.”

In fact, that last statement can be applied not only to Grand as a whole, but to Matt and Kim as a unit—and, amazingly, it seems like they’re still just getting started. “Even though we eat rice and beans a lot and live in an eight-foot wide apartment, we’re doing what we want to do,” Matt summarizes. “It’s like when you’re watching a movie, you don’t want to just see people being content—you need a struggle to make it exciting and fun,” he adds. “If you can just enjoy all the little things, that’s ultimately what makes for a satisfying experience.”

September 11, 2009

Countdown to LarkFEST

We are about a week away from the big day and the acts are getting bigger. Today we are spotlighting Company of Thieves.

The members of Company of Thieves are collectively grounded, and well-versed in the challenges the world faces today. "This is a scary time for a lot of people, government-wise, art-wise, and especially business-wise," says singer Genevieve Schatz. "People seem to be very held back in what they're willing to invest in – personally, emotionally, and financially. But at the same time, there's a new, gutsy energy coming out right now, almost a generational thing. Today's youth, and to some extent their parents, are really wanting a change, and there's a feeling that we're at the edge of big change right now. Great art always rises up when change is going on."

These exciting – if uncertain – times are reflected in the eclectic sound of Ordinary Riches, an album that moves effortlessly from the seemingly jaunty, piano-led "In Passing" and the catchy pop tones of "Pressure" to the arena-ready sing-along chorus of "New Letters" and the Jonny Greenwood-ish guitar figures on "Old Letters." They are erudite without being pretentious, hooky without being saccharine, and plainly dedicated to its ideals, Company of Thieves' stunning debut album Ordinary Riches reveals a band very much of its time.

"It's true what they say about new bands, that you wait your whole life to write your first record," says guitarist Marc Walloch. "This is the sound of us piecing together things we wanted to try out, playing different parts to see what happened."

"We're influenced by a lot of different artists," Schatz adds. "Everything from jazz and Motown to Billie Holiday and the Beatles. Seeing how they expressed themselves helped us to figure out another way to express ourselves in music.

"It's like when you read a really good novel," she continues, "and you end up thinking like that character, or in that writer's style."

While the influences are at times detectable – a little Fiona Apple angst here, a bit of John Lennon's social activism there – the band is far from being mere mockingbirds.

"That's where the band's name comes from," Walloch says. "We've taken what we know and put our own twist on it. It's a kind of 'thievery,' but it's all about paying our respects to what we were inspired by."

One of those inspirations is Oscar Wilde, whose name not only serves as a song title but whose essay The Soul of Man under Socialism also gave the album its title: "Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you."

The Anglo-Irish bard may not be everyone's idea of a rock n' roll icon (notwithstanding his appearance on the Sgt. Pepper cover), but Schatz explains that his Victorian-era lifestyle speaks loudly to the group.

"He was very in-tune with his culture and upper-class society, but at the same time he was making fun of them in his work," she says. "And they embraced and loved him for it, but at the same time they so disapproved of his private life that he was shunned. And in the industry, there are a lot of big shots running around who love the idea of having an artist around only when it's convenient. People like that embrace you but don't realize there's more to life than all this other, superficial stuff."

Another lesson from Wilde that applies equally to the group is his indefatigable spirit, says drummer Mike Ortiz. "It's better to struggle doing what you love than just settling for doing whatever everyone else is doing," he says. "We all took risks with this band, and had to make sacrifices in our personal lives, but if you really pursue what you love then you'll ultimately reap benefits from it."

That Company of Thieves presents such a united front is no accident: this is very much a band, as opposed to what they laugh off as "a chick singer with a backing group."

"For at least the past 10 years in mainstream music there's been this overwhelming focus on the 'front man,' which has really gotten out of hand," Walloch says. "When we were kids we knew the names of every member. It was the bands who were important then, and we're hoping to bring that kind of feeling back."

The band also strives to hearken back to a time when songs' subject matter went beyond hitting the dance floor and hooking up. Time and again, Ordinary Riches presents a cinematic vision of a relationship gone sour or a world in turmoil that speaks to deeper truths.

"We all go through life processing so many things all the time – the weather, the setting, the mood," Schatz says. "Lyrically, we're exploring real-life experiences and how people navigate relationships. Traveling around the Midwest allowed us to see America for what it is and isn't, and helped us get in touch with ourselves."

As such, Company of Thieves songs are often more outward- than inner-looking. "They're not necessarily first person; more from the point of view of a camera," she says. "This is about us presenting our worldview and how we see things today."

That's not to say the album's all about abstract emotion, however. "The Tornado Song" is an intensely personal song for Schatz, based upon a dream of her divorced family trying to reconcile itself and highlighted by a climactic, near-operatic peal of emotion from the gifted singer.

"That's a great example of how we're about not limiting ourselves," Walloch says. "It's not something you hear on every pop/rock album, and it was a challenge for Genevieve – but at the same time it showcases her different vocal abilities. We never feel like we 'can't' do something, and we plan to limit ourselves even less in the future."

One constant factor, Schatz says, will be the band's empathy with the world around them and their peers.

"A lot of people come from a place that's very judgmental, which in turn makes them paranoid about what people are thinking of them. That results in their not allowing themselves to truly connect with someone and have a real relationship, or even a genuine conversation.

"A friend of ours recently said that, for all its flaws, Chicago is a forgiving city, and we really do come from a forgiving place" she adds. "It's about wanting to hear somebody's story. Isn't that what life is all about?"

September 10, 2009

Countdown to LarkFEST

The countdown continues and today we are spotlighting Queer for Astroboy.

An alternative rock, post-punk power-pop band formed in upstate New York by Brooklyn, NY refugees Charlie Sweeney and Christopher Hastings, Queer for Astroboy is rounded out by Albany natives and brothers Jamie and Arthur “Scott” Verner, on drums and bass respectively.

After the early departure of founding member Hastings, Q-FAB (the shortened moniker by which they became known after an early music press profile) found their stride as a trio, making an impression for live shows featuring three-part harmonies executed with laser precision over a clean-then-dirty guitar wash and a lock-step rhythm section.

Employing alternate guitar tunings, shifty rhythms and unique song structures, Q-FAB’s music is both abrasive and melodic– with unsettling lyrical content that never stoops to clichĂ©.

The critically-acclaimed debut album, “Disaffected,” on Albany’s Paint Chip Records, is currently available online and in specialty shops. The effort features a more than a few memorable songs, including the radio-friendly “Bloodly Kisses”, the alt-rock two-chord atmospheric “Adored” and a solo track, Beautiful, featuring Sweeney accompanying himself on guitar in a heartbreak narrative with a soaring, goose-flesh raising finish. A new, full-length album is recorded and ready for release.

Q-FAB is Albany, NY’s premier alternate rock band.

September 09, 2009

Countdown to LarkFEST

Next up on the Countdown to LarkFEST is Lunic. This Alternative/Indie/Rock band was formed in 2006 by songwriter and violinist Kaitee Page. Lunic is based in Albany but spends much of their time in London performing, promoting, and writing. Their second album, Lovethief, was recently released and was funded entirely by fans around the world using crowd-sourcing website, The first single from Lovethief, "Him" was nominated for Rock Single of the Year by the LA Music Awards and was chosen as once of the finalists in the Rock category of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. As well as these accolades, "Him" has been spun in regular rotation on radio stations across the country.

News Flash!

If you haven't heard the Dutch Prince Willem-Alexander and his wife Princess Maxima were in Albany yesterday. Along with their tour of the State Museum the Royal couple also made a visit to the Governor's Mansion. What makes this really exciting though is that the tea they were served at the mansion was Oolong Au Lait from Lark Street's own Good Leaf Gourmet Tea Company!

During a quick stop into the shop yesterday for some yummy bubble tea, Michelle, the owner of the Good Leaf, was bursting with excitement and shared the news. Knowing how delicious all the Good Leaf teas are, we are sure that the Prince and Princess enjoyed theirs!

September 08, 2009

Countdown to LarkFEST

One more day closer to LarkFEST and the next group up on the countdown is the Burnham Bros. Band. This rock band from Southern Vermont consists of three teenage brothers ranging in age from 13 to 17. The band formed in 2005 and despite their young age are already playing beyond their years. The band is quickly building a following for their original music and is drawing interest from several radio stations and record labels. The brothers credit The Beatles, The Who, U2, and Led Zeppelin as being major influences on their music and are hoping that, like their influences, they will one day be recognized as an innovative and fresh group. Recently, they performed in front of 8,000 people at the Prudential Center in New Jersey and brought down the house at New York's oldest rock club, the Bitter End.

September 04, 2009

Countdown to LarkFEST

LarkFEST is coming up quickly and we are getting even more excited now that we have made it to the WEQX Main Stage!

The first group in our spotlight is none other than local super group Ten Year Vamp.

This female-fronted, high energy, modern radio rock band is full of personality, charm, and sex appeal. Described by music media as the next No Doubt, Ten Year Vamp is known for delivering a top-tier, high octane performance at their live shows. They have played for thousands of fans at festivals and at prestigious venues from CBGB’s to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center and have shared the bill with numerous national acts including Lifehouse, Gavin DeGraw, The Gin Blossoms, Natasha Beddingfield, Bo Bice, and David Archuleta.

Ten Year Vamp's first full-length album has recently been released and has been featured on CNBC,, and many other news/music publications from around the world. The buzz is not just about their music though. The band went to their fans to help them get the album funding. Guitarist Mark Rose explains, “We had a crazy idea. We thought why not have our fans become the record company? We had 60 people give us anywhere from $25. to $2,000. We then put 80 songs up on a website and let our fans choose the 12 songs that would go on the album.” Their crazy idea worked and their fans are now more motivated than ever to help Ten Year Vamp become the Next Big Thing. "Each owner will receive their fair percentage of album sales based on how much they invested," says Rose. Owners also voted on which photos should be used for the album, including the cover. The group has been credited by Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo!, AOL Money and Finance, Columbia's School of Journalism, and countless other news sites as completely reinventing the way records are recorded, marketed and sold.

This is definitely one group you are not going to want to miss on the 19th!

September 03, 2009

Countdown to LarkFEST

Last but not least on the Hometown Stage this year will be The Ameros. The Ameros are a rock, reggae, hip-hop, and funk powerhouse that is saying things that no one else is saying. Sharing a bass player and drummer with Taina Asili y la banda rebelde, they are battle hardened musicians who are at the front lines of message music. No matter who is telling the lies, the Ameros are here and steeped in the truth. Prepare to be awakened to a new paradigm via lyrics, harmonies, and blazing guitar solos.

"They are original independent voices who have something to say. They have a lot of energy and their lyrics are thought provoking. They are relevant to Troy and to Albany, but they are relevant to the rest of the world as well."
-Bob Goepfert - Quote of Steve Pierce, Troy Record

September 02, 2009

Countdown to LarkFEST

Also appearing on the Hometown Stage will be Marcus Ruggiero. Ruggiero is not your average singer songwriter, his struggle to find his identity through music in an Italian family with eleven children in Schenectady shaped his sound.

His songs of both the beauty and darkness of life have resulted in several recordings and can be heard on radio stations throughout the country, as well as in live performances as a soloist and with his band. Ruggiero's latest project, American Car, showcases his rich vocal artistry and insistent guitar playing.

September 01, 2009

Countdown to LarkFEST

Along with all of the music at LarkFEST there will also be a reprise of the Discard Avant Garb 2008 Recycled Fashion Show. Discard Avant Garb invites artists to create costumes using recycled and/or non-traditional materials. The pieces are then presented in a fashion show format. The pieces that the artists put together are always interesting and are sure to make you think and smile.

Tickets to the 2009 fashion show will be on sale at the Hometown Stage at LarkFEST. All proceeds from the Recycled Fashion Show event go to charity.

August 31, 2009

Countdown to LarkFEST

Also on the Hometown Stage this year is Albany native Rick Whispers. Whispers has been battling and writing raps on scraps of napkins since he was 14 years old. Inspired by the visual imagery of authors such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, Whispers' work comes from a hybrid background of music and an astute appreciation of literature.

August 28, 2009

Countdown to LarkFEST

The Hometown Stage at LarkFEST showcases regional musicians, poets, and visual artists. MotherJudge will be hosting the Hometown Stage once again. She is an alt-country-funk diva that plays the blues, country, rock and roll, and more. She has long been a champion of the local arts scene.

Joining MotherJudge on the stage this year will be the Albany Poets. This local not-for-profit organization promotes the poets and poetry of Upstate NY. There will be performances from Thom Francis and Keith Spencer from their multi-media project Murrow; Dan Nestor, professor, published essayist, journalist, and poet; and Margot Malia Lynch, poet, musician, and roller derby skater.

August 26, 2009

Countdown to LarkFEST

The third act for the Townsend Park Stage, and next in our spotlight, is Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned.

An eight person indie folk collective founded in 2004, Sgt Dunbar and the Hobo Banned is a local act that is starting to make "significant strides on the national radar" according to Metroland's Best of the Capital Region 2009. A short review in the Chicago Sun-Times attests to that and describes the band's sound as "a gleeful, group-vocal approach that brought to mind a Salvation Army band playing in a junkyard while tripping on acid."

We are guessing that the reviewer was talking about Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned's passionate display of kinetic energy that is displayed in their live performances and that like their other shows we are going to see a jam-packed stage "populated by frenetic multi-instrumentalists who illustrate a controlled chaos of layered orchestrations."

So get excited and get ready to say you knew them when....

August 25, 2009

Countdown to LarkFEST

Today's LarkFEST spotlight is on Beware! The Other Head of Science.

Voted as the Best Electropop Band in the Capital Region, BEWARE! The Other Head of Science likens their sound to "bodies moving, and spaceships exploding, and far-away planets, and sweat drenched house parties, and that’s good and fun and a lot of other people seem to think that it’s good and fun, too. And I think that’s probably what matters most. I also think the lights, balloons, and confetti don’t hurt."

Or as the Metroland puts it "Don’t even think about asking who the original head of science is or why you shouldn’t exercise caution around him/her. Just dance. BEWARE!’s spazzy synth-pop is like a can of root beer, filled with Pop Rocks, poured down the pants of a hyperactive 7th grader. Yeah."

The Metroland's description might be a little more colorful but it doesn't matter how you describe Beware! The Other Head of Science. We know that when they are playing at LarkFEST we are going to have an awesome time dancing!

August 24, 2009

Countdown to LarkFEST

Here at the BID we are getting pumped for LarkFEST, so to share our excitement we thought it would be fun to do a rundown of the performers leading up to the big day.

Today's performer spotlight is on Barons in the Attic.

Performing on the Townsend Park Stage at 11am, Barons in the Attic is a cacophony of lively merriment made possible by a grant from three SUNY Albany theatre graduates, one ginger haired pizza maker, and viewers like you. This folkternarock quartet is attempting to blur the line between genres with aspirations of lovingly rocking your proverbial socks off. Tastefully taking inspiration from friends, dance parties, silly hats, and distorted arrangements of orchestrated feedback, these modern day minstrels believe in the powers of storytelling and festivity for bringing mirth to the lives of others.

What a great way to kick off the day!

August 11, 2009

LarkFEST Announced

The features planned for LarkFEST '09 were announced at a press conference this morning with Mayor Jennings.

WEQX announced the national headlining acts on the two Main Stages this year will be:
Bell X1
Matt & Kim
Company of Thieves
And EQX-posure bands:
Queer for AstroBoy
The Burnham Bros.
Ten Year Vamp

- Moby will be performing tracks off his newly released Wait For Me album. Wait For Me is Moby's most personal album yet. The idea behind it was to make records that were "maybe more experimental, and a little more challenging, maybe not as easy to like, but things I found to be artistically and creatively more satisfying." This album aims to connect with listeners on an individual basis.

- Bell X1 will be performing from their Blue Lights on the Runway album, which will be a distinctive performance thanks to the use of synthesizers and samplers used to build soundscapes that complement the tunes. Bell X1 has been called "one of Ireland's great bands" by Paste Magazine. The group has also performed on The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

- Brooklyn-based duo Matt and Kim have performed at high profile events including The Siren Music Festival and Lollapalooza,and will make a great addition to this year's LarkFEST lineup. The duo will be performing tracks off their newest album, Grand, which takes their musicianship and songwriting to the next level, showing the growth experienced since their debut album. Audiences can expect a legendary live show from Matt and Kim, with their concerts that look more like dance parties than ordinary concerts.

- Company of Thieves delivers change with their Ordinary Riches album that moves effortlessly from seemingly jaunty tracks and catchy pop tunes, to arena-ready sing-alongs and Jonny Greenwood-ish guitar figures. They are erudite without being pretentious, hooky without being saccharine, and plainly dedicated to its ideals. Their debut album reveals a band very much of its time.

- Queer-For Astro Boy or Q-FAB is Albany's premier alternate rock band. They will be joining the Nationals acts on the LarkFEST stages this year. The band has been making an impression for live shows featuring three-part harmonies executed with laser precision over a clean-then-dirty guitar wash and a lock-step rhythm section. Q-FAB's music is abrasive yet melodic, with unsettling lyrical content that is never cliche. They will be performing tracks off their critically acclaimed debut album, Disaffected.

- Lunic is an alternative/indie/rock band currently based in Albany, NY. They will be performing from their highly-anticipated 2nd album, Lovethief, which was funded entirely by fans worldwide. Lunic's first single "Him", was nominated for Rock Single of the Year by the LA Music Awards. Their music is often compared to the sounds of Paramore, Evanescence, and Poe.

- The Burnham Bros. is a rock band from Southern Vermont consisting of three teenage brothers. The band was formed 4 years ago, and despite their young ages are already playing beyond their years. The band draws its influences from The Who, U2, The Beatles, and Led Zeppelin. The Burnham Bros. are currently working hard in the hopes of securing a record deal this fall.

- Ten Year Vamp is a female-fronted, high energy, modern radio rock band with pints full of personality, charm, and sex appeal. The music media has described Ten Year Vamp as the next No Doubt. They've earned a spot on the Billboards charts and numerous local, regional, and national awards. They have shared the bill with numerous National acts including Lifehouse, Hoobastank, David Archuleta, and Gavin DeGraw. Ten Year Vamp's first full-length album will be released August 21.

On the Hometown Stage, MotherJudge will be the host, joined by Albany Poets for live performances and in addition to several musical acts, the non-profit group Discard Avant Garb will show several pieces from last season's event. Other highlights of the lineup include: Albany Poets, Rick Whispers, Marcus Ruggiero, and The Ameros

On the Townsend Park Stage, Albany Barn will present a B3nson Family Affair. There will be performances by Barons in the Attic, Matthew Loiacono, We Are Jeneric, Scientific Maps, Beware! the Other Head of Science, and Sgt Dunbar & the Hobo Banned.

There will also be a Family Zone and Family Stage designed and manged by eba Arts Center. The Family Zone will be a FREE Interactive Creative Arts Area in which the whole family can make art. Their will be teaching artists to help you create your own bead art, chalk art, origami, collages, paintings, cartoon making, and much more. The Family Stage will include dancers, musicians, magicians, fire juggler, and story tellers. The scheduled performances will be Merdwin the Mediocre, Courtney Biondo, Mike Maybee, and eba Dance Theatre.

July 21, 2009

Metroland Best of the Capital Region 2009 Lark Street Winners

Best Pizza -- Elda's on Lark
Best Falafel -- Al-Baraki II
Best Sandwich -- Debbie's Kitchen
Best Wine Bar -- Wine Bar & Bistro
Best Late Night Dining -- Justin's
Best Way Late Night Dining -- Cafe 217
Best Jewelry -- Elissa Halloran
Best Bike Shop -- Downtube Cycle Shop
Best Edible Art Gallery -- Crisan
Best Bar -- Tess' Lark Tavern
Best Gay Bar -- Oh Bar

July 07, 2009

New website!

The Lark Street website has gotten a makeover! Last Thursday we launched the updated website and are thrilled to share it.

The website provides information about the Lark Street District, including a directory of our businesses, information on development and available properties, and provides an opportunity for you to support us through donations, sponsorships, and volunteering. There is also information about how to intern with us.

The Calendar lists all of the events scheduled around Lark Street to keep you informed about what's going on.

Also on the new website, we have all of the information you may need to know about our events, including registration for this year's LarkFEST for retail, arts & crafts, not-for profit organizations, and food vendors.

There are many more features included on our new website, so visit us

Don't forget to follow us on Twitter

June 25, 2009

Welcome Lark Computers

Lark Computers celebrated the opening of their new storefront on Lark Street with a ribbon cutting ceremony this morning. Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings, the Albany Chamber of Commerce, Lark Street merchants, and friends were on hand for the ceremony.

Lark Computers provides networking, security, and repair services to residential customers, as well as to small to mid-sized businesses.

Be sure to stop in and welcome our new neighbors at 272 Lark Street!

Lark Computers

272 Lark Street
Albany, NY 12210

Ph. 518.426.LARK (518.426.5275)

June 18, 2009

Review : Sukhothai

If you're near Lark Street and looking for Authentic Thai Cuisine, make a stop at one of Sukhothai's two Albany locations : 62 Central Ave or 254 Lark Street. Sukhothai also offers a variety of vegetarian dishes. The best part - the food is health AND affordable. You can eat-in or order out 7 days a week. The Central Ave location is new, bigger, and offers a wider variety of foods. The quality of the food exceeds the price. Sukhothai makes great appetizers, soup, salads, rice plates, fried rices, pan fried noodle, desserts and some specialties.

The service is very friendly and efficient. I mistakenly ordered from the Central Ave location, when I meant to order from the Lark Street location. When I arrived to Lark to pick it up, the hostess called in to have my order delivered to that restaurant. The wait couldn't have been more than 10 minutes. :-)

The Lark Street location is open Mon-Wed 11:30-9:30pm, Thur-Fri 11:30-10pm, and Sat-Sun Noon-10pm. (518)463-0223

The Central Ave location is open Mon-Fri 11:30- 10pm, Sat-Sun Noon-10pm. (518)433-7203

Visit Sukhothai's website for much more information, menus, and coupons!!!

Don't miss out!

June 16, 2009

Art on Lark

After all of the planning, Art on Lark 2009 has come and gone June 6th. The streets were closed for the day to showcase the art that makes Lark Street the Art District of Albany. This year went great! There were over 100 artists and artisans featured, exhibiting their work. The live music kept the crowd entertained throughout the day. The food court offered a great variety of dishes to eat while enjoying the sights and entertainment.

Lark Street was transformed into a giant visual and performing arts center for the day. Creative Chaos presented by the eba Dance Theatre held its hands-on experience to entertain kids of all ages. The People's Choice Art Show exhibited some great works of art by adult, children, and high school students at the Upstate Artists Guild. At the Washington Stage, great live music was provided for the day by The Albany Barn. The Madison Stage hosted many events throughout the day, including the 2nd Annual Project LARKway and LARK Idol.

Here are the winners from this year's celebration:

People's Choice Award (Adult)-
1st Place- Nina Stanley "Where is my golden ball?"
2nd Place- Tommy Watkins "Society's Anomoly"
3rd Place- Gutman "Symphony #21"

High School People's Choice (High School Students)-
1st Place- Rachel Rees "Memory Quilt"

Kid's People's Choice Show (under 14)-
1st Place- Lucy Anderson "Montreal Wall"
2nd Place- Clio Thayer "Going to Mars"
3rd Place- Aaron Zhang "Aurora Dragon"

Project LARKway-
1st Place- Joleen Button
2nd Place- Amy Orr
3rd Place- Jill Castle

Lark Street's Top Model-
Sarah van Ouhl

Lark IDOL-
1st Place- Victoria Lamas
2nd Place- Robb Penders

We had a blast at this year's Art on Lark! Hope to see you at LarkFEST September 19th!!!

Review : Crisan Bakery - Edible Art Gallery

If you're on Lark Street and looking for a good bakery, stop in at Crisan Bakery for cake, pastries, or gelato!
Founded in 1990 in Romania, Crisan Bakery is owned by a young couple, Claudia and Ignatius Callabria. This particular location on Lark St was opened June 2008 and seems to be bringing in There are three other locations of the bakery. Claudia, a jewelery maker by trade (who's been featured in London Vogue makes all of the 50+ cake variations and Ignatius makes the pastries and gelato. They use family recipes to create the delicious desserts, all made on the premises daily. The couple rotates the recipes, so there is always something different to try. Crisan Bakery does catering for special events.
Not only does Crisan Bakery offer desserts, but it doubles as an edible gallery. The shop features artist' works, such as a display in the glass-covered tables of a town made entirely from rice paper, and lamps made of sugar, not to mention the desserts themselves, which look and taste like works of art on the shelves behind the glass display.
* If you are lucky enough to come in on a day when cheesecake is being served, you're in for a treat!
Call (518)445-2727
Fax (518)445-2728
Web-, but their site is currently under construction

Visit Crisan Bakery - Edible Art Gallery at 197 Lark St Albany NY 12210

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June 11, 2009

The Times Union "Best Of..." '09

Thank you to all of you who nominated and voted for Lark Street Neighborhood businesses! We appreciate all of the support.

Here are the winners from our neighborhood:

-Best Grocery Chain:
1. Price Chopper, Various Locations

-Best Used Book Store:
3. Dove & Hudson Old Books, 296 Hudson Ave., Albany

-Best Summer-Only Theater Company:
1. Park Playhouse (Washington Park), Albany

-Best Arts Event in the Past Year:
1. Art on Lark
2. Lark Fest

-Best Mexican/Central/South American:
2. El Loco Mexican Cafe, 465 Madison Ave., Albany

-Best Ice Cream:
3. Ben & Jerry's, Various Locations

-Best Sports Bar:
2. Legends, 286 Lark Street, Albany

-Best Wine Bar:
2. The WIne Bar and Bistro, 200-202 Lark Street., Albany

-Best Beer Tavern:
3. Tess' Lark Tavern, 453 Madison Ave., Albany

-Best Coffee Joint (Chain)
1. Dunkin Donuts, Various Locations

Congratulations to all of our winners, and thank you all again for your support. Information like this helps us to better serve you!

April 24, 2009

Looking for volunteers to help with Lark Street BID's fundraiser, Champagne on the Park. Champagne on the Park honors and congratulates members of the larger Lark Street Community with a full evening of complimentary champagne, fine wine, and fabulous hors' d'oeuvres from the Lark Street BID merchants. The information is as follows:

Date: Thursday, May 7, 2009
Time: 5:30pm - 9:00pm
Location: Formal Tulip Beds of Washington Park
Street: Washington Park
City/Town: Albany, NY

Please contact the Lark Street BID if you are interested.

April 10, 2009

Diptych Delight for First Friday

Photographer Michael Farrell displayed a kaleidoscopic array of diptychs for his solo show this First Friday at the Lark Street BID, titled "Excerpts from the Book of Sums". His work brings a juxtaposed insight into American culture and domestic life, which combines these two seemingly conflicted worlds into our deepest intuitive realm. For one night his private world became our own, and with that an intimate relationship between viewer and artist was formed.
Don't think that this special moment has passed you by; Michael Farrell's exhibit will remain with us at the Lark Street BID for the rest of April.

March 17, 2009

Art on Lark Applications Available

The applications for the upcoming event, Art on Lark, are now available. Art on Lark is a day to celebrate the vibrant and exciting arts scene in Albany. The Lark Street BID is currently searching for delicious food and talents for the event. Three different applications are available on the Lark Street BID website. There is an application available for vendors interested in selling their food during the event. There is an application available for performers such as dancers, poets, thespian and so on. The last application available on the website is for musical performers. Deadline for the applications is May 1st. Do not miss your chance to share your food, thoughts or talents.

You can find the applications at

March 13, 2009

First Friday shows some color, and a little skin

This month's First Friday show at the Lark Street BID featured an incredibly talented local artist, Kevin Bruce, who's work vibrates with color and personality. No need for bashfulness here; the dancing go-go boys featured in his work entice viewers into a world of thumping beats, bright lights, and sensual bodies. Complimentary to these attractive pieces stands a different look at beauty, where bodies jiggle for sweet jelly donuts rather than the music.
Whether your craving pleasure from the disco or Boston Cremes; this show has been a pleasure for us at the Lark Street BID to display. Bruce's work will continue to be featured for the remainder of this month, so come see it before the go-go boys dance out of here!

Coming this Spring: Art on Lark

Art on Lark is one of the biggest outdoor festivals on Lark Street this season to feature visual and performing artists. The event takes place in the streets, on the sidewalk, and in YOUR neighborhood.
June 6th 2009, 10-5pm. Mark the date!

If you are a visual artist please fill out this form and send to Lark Street BID.
If you are a performing artist please fill out this form and send to Lark Street BID.

Deadline is approaching May 1st, so get ready!

March 05, 2009

Lark Street Is On the Map!

The public has spoken and Lark Street is one of the hottest spots in the Capital Region. Many of the businesses located right on your most diverse street in Albany are top choices. In the Metroland, Lark Street is on the map for the best in different categories. You may want to take a look at that issue of Metroland for reference to the best restaurants in the area. If you were not able to read it here are some of the best places to be:

Best Mexican:
El Loco Mexican Café

Best Southern/ Soul Food
Magnolias on the Park

Best Greek
A Taste of Greece

Best Brunch

Best Cheap Eats
Bombers Burrito Bar

Best Wings
Bombers Burrito Bar

Best Sandwiches/ Subs
Debbie's Kitchen

Best Ice Cream
Ben & Jerry's

Best Wine List
Wine Bar & Bistro

Best Restaurant to Take a Date

February 26, 2009

Watch a Real Show

eba, inc is holding a great show in the coming week. The information about the event and the organization can be found at:

Below is brief information about the upcoming event posted on the website:

& Silent Auction

Saturday, March 7, 2009, 7:00 pm
7:00 pm: Silent Auction begins
(see below for a sample of last years items)
Complementary Hors d’ Oeuvres & Desserts
Complementary Wine Tasting with
8:00 pm: The Performance begins...

eba Benefit Cabaret will include musical theatre numbers, company performing artists and guest musicians.
Bombers Burrito Bar is holding an exciting contest. The information for the contest is as follows:

Make your very own Commercial for Bombers Burrito Bar!
Commercial Contest!

*Grand Prize* $1000 Cash and Bombers Gift Card

Runner Up: $500 Bombers Gift Card

*30 Seconds Commercial * mpeg format
* Entries must be submitted to:
Bombers Burrito Bar, Lark St. no later than May 1st, 2009 on DVD/disc.

Commercial screening party to be held at Wolff's Biergarten 895 Broadway Albany


February 13, 2009


The winter season may dampen people's spirits, but don't let the weather keep you from Lark Street's art scene. We are currently accepting artwork for the upcoming First Friday Shows. So get our your pallette, camera, or sculpting chisel (whatever you please) and make some art! Contact us, send it in, and have your work be shown!
Ameateur or professional, represent Albany in all its snowy glory...

Send an email of interest to,
or call us at 518-434-3861

February 04, 2009

Congratulations to the Art Room

In little less than a month ago, the Art Room celebrated its first anniversary. The Art Room, located at 457 Madison Avenue, celebrated the anniversary with a silent auction, free raffle prizes and live music. The store offers many services to the public. Art supplies are sold at the Art Room for all ages. Instructional works of art for children are available. The Art Room also offers courses in different areas of art. Some courses in the past were basic drawing and watercolor painting. Summer programs, after school programs, private lessons, to name a few, are programs available through the Art Room.

For more information about the services at the Art Room, visit or call 518.427.3910.

Opus Igor Ready for Business

Opus Igor, located at 260 Lark Street, is ready for business! The new consignment store, offering many different options, opened late November 2008. The atmosphere is great giving off a hip, young and relaxing vibe. The store offers items from clothing to locally made jewelry and woven goods to art pieces. Women's, men's and children's clothing are available for purchase. You can bring in clothing that are no longer of interest. The store is also looking for new clothing to sell. If you are interested in upgrading your wardrobe to the latest in style and fashion, we are sure that you will be able to find something to your liking at Opus Igor.

For more information you can contact the store at (518) 396-5360.

January 27, 2009

This Thursday, January 29th, TheLarkStreet BID will be conducting a forum to discuss the current state of the economy. The purpose of the meeting will be to exchange ideas on how to cope with these difficult times and what we can do as a business district to keep our businesses open. Forum moderators will include representatives from the Albany Local Development Corp, The College of Saint Rose and the University at Albany. Mayor Jennings is also expected to attend. The meeting will be held at Trinity Church, 235 Lark Street from 6-7pm. We invite anyone who is interested to attend.

January 13, 2009

Metroland's The Year in Review 2008

A number of musical performances on Lark Street were mentioned in Metroland's Year in Review issue. 2008 was a great year for Lark Street and the many events hosted here. The musicians that ranked in the Top 10 of 2008's live performaces included:

*Northampton Wools- Upstate Artists Guild, 6/26
* Odetta with MotherJudge- Monday Night Concert, 7/21
*Aficionado- LarkFEST, 9/20
* Tom Morello The Nightwatchman- LarkFEST, 9/20