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02Mar/21

Spafford Crushes Two-Night Colorado Run With The Kitchen Dwellers [Photos/Video]

first_imgThis past Thursday and Friday night, Prescott, AZ’s electro-funk masters Spafford came into town for a strong two-night stand to kick off their tour on the right note. Thursday saw support from Bozeman, MT-based jamgrass outfit the Kitchen Dwellers at The Fox Theatre in Boulder. Both acts, that come from different ends of the jam spectrum were put to the test, and passed with flying colors.The Dwellers played a solid set, debuting new material off their forthcoming album that is produced by Leftover Salmon‘s Andy Thorn, who also joined the band on stage during the latter part of their set. Kitchen Dwellers are playing NYC’s American Beauty on Friday, November 11th (get info here).Spafford highlights from the first night included an uber-funky “Electric Taco Stand” and cover of swamp-rock master JJ Grey & Mofro‘s “On Fire” into “Galisteo”. It was a solid opening night, that saw the four-piece locked in, cohesive, and fully prepped to bring serious jams to the table.Kitchen Dwellers w/ Andy Thorn:Spafford “On Fire” (JJ Grey & Mofro cover):By the second night, the band was pumped up and firing on all cylinders, bringing a packed crowd to Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom in Denver. With two lengthy sets, the band was able to exercise their full potential, jamming to perfection for nearly four hours. Set one was highlighted by a trancey dance jam on “Ain’t That Wrong”, followed by a double time version of the Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ “Soul To Squeeze”. By the second set, Spafford had longtime and new fans hooked, building strong, patient jams on “People” and later on set closer and fan favorite “Backdoor Funk”.Spafford Cervantes Other Side Set 1:Spafford Cervantes Other Side Set 2:Kitchen Dwellers Setlist – The Fox – 9/22/16Farmers Son, Colder Nights, Auggie Visions, Broken Cage (New Song), Five Candles, Reuben’s train*, Up on the Hill Where They Do the Boogie*^, This Time> No Diggity+* with Andy Thorn in fiddle^John Hartford Cover+Blackstreet CoverSpafford Setlist – The Fox – 9/22/16All In, Electric Taco Stand, Slip, On Fire > Galisteo, America, The RepriseSpafford Setlist – Cervante’s Other Side – 9/23/16Set One – All My Friends > Bee Jam > Windmill, Into The Mystic, Ain’t That Wrong, Soul To Squeeze, The PostmanSet Two – Red’s Jam > People, Plans > Down Under, Todd’s Tots, The Remedy > Down Under, Backdoor FunkEncore – Hollywood > In The Eyes of Thieves[The Fox photos courtesy of Peter Wallace @ Wallyography – Instagram: Wallyographypw][Cervantes photos by Randhir Bayers] Load remaining imageslast_img read more

16Dec/20

‘Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens’: A New Reboot Strikes Fandom

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York As of Thursday evening, few Darth Vaders, Princess Leias, Chewbaccas, or any new Star Wars characters’ costumes reveled with flashing lightsabers or blasters in the darkness of movie theaters nationwide. Many theater chains had restricted face coverings and simulated weapons for the public’s safety. But then Lucasfilm’s logo flashed, fans held their breath, and John Williams’ epic score ignited an explosive cheer not heard in a long time.Star Wars was back.Millions of wannabe Jedi, Sith, and scoundrels of all ages were immersed in real sets and practical effects – something notably absent in the Star Wars prequels (1999-2005) – in a galaxy far, far away, set thirty years after the events in Return of the Jedi (1983).For the saga’s seventh installment, The Force Awakens, the director J.J. Abrams passed the torch (lightsaber, actually) to a new generation of characters.Rey (Daisy Ridley) was a scavenger, hollow on the inside – unfulfilled – but wore a tough exterior, like the crashed starships she frequented. Finn (John Boyega) was a stormtrooper whose life literally came crashing down after he went AWOL. And Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) was an X-Wing pilot who totally got cocky.Abrams and his new lead trio didn’t change the way we look at movies, but instead helped legions of new youth take their first steps into a larger world, and restored Star Wars’ ineffable “force” that bound and penetrated generations past, making J.J. Abrams the fan base’s honorary lord and savior (with the looming threat of being unofficially and unfairly dubbed “Jar Jar” Abrams – a reference to the largely despised character Jar Jar Binks – should the film be a critical flop).Simple pleasures, like watching that “garbage” Millennium Falcon dogfight those screeching TIE Fighters and jump into light speed, made diehard fans – or maybe just me – want to hug this eventual DVD the same way old and gray Princess – sorry, General – Leia (Carrie Fisher) pressed against Han Solo’s (Harrison Ford) latest rakish jacket.Still, there’s something familiar about this plot: a “no one” youth who looked to the stars from a desert wasteland; a space pirate’s fortress of galactic riff raff, a wretched hive of scum and villainy; and neo-Empire First Order’s Starkiller Base, yet another battle station that’s the ultimate power in the universe.There was a lot of symmetry between A New Hope, the first/fourth Star Wars film, and The Force Awakens – subtitles that both suggest a rebirth. It’s a rehashed plot, maybe even homage, but sometimes our eyes deceive us.Star Wars’ mythology borrowed from themes rooted in literature, religion and history, but now that mythology looked inward at itself. Specifically its purists – extremist fans characterized by nitpicking every parsec of Star Wars material, or trolling Disney’s changes to the universe’s canon, or more recently, racist and sexist tweets toward the new black, female and Guatemalan American main characters. If it’s not from the original trilogy – as in, the 1977-1983 unaltered original trilogy – these fans don’t approve.Intentional or not, J.J. Abrams and returning The Empire Strikes Back co-writer Lawrence Kasdan seemed to find this lack of fan faith disturbing and so they fired a powerful message back at these nearsighted scrap piles. While Rey, Finn and Poe all proved themselves equally, if not more, identifiable and complex as Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), the message was best personified by the new villain.Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) was a living and walking commentary on extreme fandom. His radical obsession with deceased Darth Vader – an iconic symbol of the original trilogy – was weirdly comparable to the purists’ passionate relationship with those classic three films.But Kylo Ren was imperfect, like his crossguard lightsaber that spewed three unstable fiery red blades – a raw replica of an elegant weapon for a more civilized age. Even his voice – altered but not mechanized – reminded me of an amateur Vader impression (though his voice still sounded awesome). He can’t become the original baddie or create more Death Stars. You simply can’t keep recreating the original trilogy, like so many Star Wars purists suggest. You have to let go of the past.Kylo Ren didn’t surpass Vader – no villain probably ever will – but that seemed to be the point, communicating a deeper message that perhaps subtly resonated with hardcore Star Wars fans more than any Emperor could have foreseen, and that made him come damn near close.The overall message: it doesn’t matter which Star Wars era you were raised with or favor; all fans share one unifying Force. That acceptance, that unity, was the real “Force” awakened.“Find your place in the galaxy,” Disney wrote across their overwhelming and nostalgic marketing campaign. Moms, dads and younglings all sharing loving bonds for all things Star Wars were validated when The Force Awakens’ credits finally rolled. It was as if millions of voices across the universe suddenly cried out in bliss and were suddenly captivated.Han said it best: “We’re home.”last_img read more

20Oct/20

Letters to the Editor for Thursday, May 23

first_imgIsrael honors victims by refusing to yieldSadly, Matt Oill and others of his ilk overlook the terrorist actions of the Palestinians: rockets into residential areas, suicide bombers, and, yes, raising their children to hate Israel and throw rocks and worse. Israel is reactive, not proactive. Hamas and other Palestinians attack Israel, including but not limited to peaceful citizens on buses, in cafes and in their homes. And their leaders misdirect funds and materials designed to improve the lot of their citizens, not only for rockets and bombs, but to build tunnels into Israel for kidnappings and attacks, with cement that could have built schools, hospitals and homes. These are funds that could have fed citizens and created jobs.If the Palestinians were to recognize Israel’s right to exist and stop their aggression, they could live in peace with Israel and all could prosper.The Holocaust gave rise to the expression “Never again.” Israel honors those who were murdered by refusing to yield to those who would destroy it, those who would destroy the only true democracy in the Middle East, where citizens of all faiths can live in peace if only allowed to do so.Bruce S. TrachtenbergNiskayuna Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionPut Liberty back, fix local traffic patternsEnough. Put Lady Liberty back on her pedestal.Mess around with the disaster that is the Eastbound Western Gateway Sidewalk wall/view stopper/dirt cyclone generator. Or, the idiocy that is the eastbound traffic from Washington Avenue attempting to move left, contending with three lanes of commuters and then clashing with the exiting GE/Mont Pleasant traffic off I-890 as that traffic descends, out of the sky, into a blind spot, with the intention of moving to a right-hand lane. All the while traveling, at varying speed, around a tight curve.I have at least six more suggestions for a remedial civil engineering class at Union, RPI, or HVCC to work on, if anyone cares.Dick CurtisSchenectady World is less better without Frank DuciThe world is a less better place with the loss of Frank Duci. I used to work with him downtown in GE in Building 55, and he always had a smile for everyone.I found him to be a man of his word. I used to play in a softball league when they had the diamonds in the park. They were in pretty bad shape. So I asked him if the city could do anything about them.He made a date with me to go and look at them. It was a super-hot day, but he said he would go. So he did, and he took his time and looked at all the fields. The next thing I knew, they were being repaired and much better to play on.When they were talking about limiting dogs to three per household, I explained to him that I had a state license that allowed me to have up to 10 dogs. So he invited me to the next town meeting that was to discuss the issue. The town dog catcher was there and she insisted that dogs cause dirt and cockroaches. I told her to come to my house and if she could find one cockroach, I would give her a year of my salary.Frank had the limit instituted and excepted individuals with state licenses.He was a really great guy and looked out for the people, especially the little guy. Like I said, the world is a less better place without him and too bad there aren’t more like him.He was always easy to reach if you needed to talk to him. Now with some people, they are just too busy to be bothered. So, all I can say is rest in peace, Frank.Wanda HunterSchenectadycenter_img Thanks to stranger who helped with tireOn May 16, the tire pressure light went on as I was taking my granddaughters to dinner. I stopped at Stewart’s on upper Union Street to fix the problem. As I was finishing, a man offered to check the tires with his gauge. I was so thankful for the help. It is heartwarming to know that this stranger was willing to take the time to help me.Valerie SantoSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homeslast_img read more