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.