Some of My Favorite Things of 2010: Andy Gregory

Andy GregoryThe weekend following New Year’s is when we traditionally take down the Christmas tree and other holiday decorations save for a few non-holiday space brighteners. While doing these chores, there’s time to reflect on the past year’s good and bad, happy and sad, and the few “wtf” moments that invariably popped up. But with the new year beginning on a Saturday, there wasn’t much time to do all that stuff before the first full work week of 2011 began, let alone try to quantify in a numbered list of what was good and bad, happy and sad, and the few “wtf” moments.

After much wailing and weeping, gnashing of teeth, rending of garments and airing of grievances and so forth, I came to a conclusion: Top 10 lists are so 2009.

But I do have a favorite favorite. Travelling outside of Nippertown proper, a multi-day stay in North Adams to attend the inaugural Solid Sound Festival at MASS MoCA curated by Wilco was by far my favorite thing of 2010. The experience hit all the senses, and in the time since that long August weekend, the spirit of the festival remains. In coming years, there will be a half million people that will say they were there for the first one.

Here’s a compendium of my other favorites from 2010. Your experiences and thoughts may vary. I hope they do.

Other mass gatherings and festivals were great fun:
Roots Music Festival at The Linda, March 27
WildwoodStock at the Parting Glass, May 16
Restoration Funstival, St. Joseph’s Church, Albany, August 28-29
LarkFest, September 25

Sadly, these are dead to me and everyone else, and no longer be:
CRUMBS Nite Out at The Linda (RIP), monthly on Thursdays
Moonlight Jamboree at the Bread & Jam (RIP)
Acoustic shows at Emack & Bolio’s Uptown (RIP)

Shows that were enjoyed, some with an adult beverage or two:
Matthew Carefully at Upbeat On The Roof, Tang Museum, July 16
SPAC Battle of the Bands, May 21
Ralph Renna’s Capital Underground Live w/the Ameros, Sentient Machine and Penny Knight Band reunion at Savannah’s, November 10
Tony Perrino Benefit at Jay’s Bar & Grille, November 14
Nightmare Before Christmas w/Blackcat Elliot, the BLiSTeRz and the Erotics at Savannah’s, December 17

It’s all good when there’s time to listen to an album all the way through, more than once. Like these:
Arcade Fire – “The Suburbs”
Janelle Monáe – “The ArchAndroid”
Hot Rats – “Turn Ons”
Neil Young – “Le Noise”
Kris Kristofferson – “Please Don’t Tell Me How The Story Ends: The Publishing Demos, 1968-72”
The Dead Weather – “Sea of Cowards”
The New Pornographers – “Together”
Jónsi – “Go”
Gil Scott-Heron – “I’m New Here”
Dwight Twilley – “Green Blimp”
Robert Plant – “Band of Joy”
Devo – “Something For Everybody”
John Mellencamp – “No Better Than This”
Jeff Beck – “Emotion & Commotion”
Carlos Santana – “Guitar Heaven”
Meat Loaf – “Hang Cool Teddy Bear”

Or these favorites from Nippertown:
Nancy Walker – “True Colors”
Tern Rounders – “Tern Rounders”
The Charlie Watts Riots – “Long Story Short”
Rob Skane – “Phantom Power Trip”
George Muscatello – “Angel Dust”
The Last Conspirators – “When It All Comes Down”
Matthew Carefully – “Community Balloon”
B3nson St Collective – “Restoration Compilation”
Kevin Bartlett – “Songs For The Big Kablooey”

Then there are some songs that have you hitting the repeat button, repeatedly:
Lissie – “In Sleep”
Arcade Fire – “Ready to Start”
Broken Bells – “The High Road”
Hot Chip – “One Life Stand”
Los Campesinos! – “Romance is Boring”
Black Country Communion – “One Last Soul”
The National – “Bloodbuzz Ohio”
Band of Horses – “Laredo”
Stone Temple Pilots – “Between the Lines”
Ratt – “Best Of Me”

Certain movies –
“Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows”
“How to Train Your Dragon”
“Toy Story 3”
“Iron Man 2”
“Alice in Wonderland”
– were viewed at a location that serves fresh popcorn with real butter.

Arts & Crafts & Spoken Word, indoors and out:
Saratoga Shakespeare Company’s presentation of “Hamlet,” Congress Park, July
Hildene Fall Arts Festival, October 2-3
Living Legends Panel w/ Bobby Unser, Saratoga Auto Museum, October 16
Schenectady Arts Night, November 19

Syracuse beating Kansas St. 36-34 in the inaugural Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium;
30th High School Reunion, July 4 weekend

Story by Andy Gregory, a regular contributor to, as well as CRUMBS

RELATED STORY: The Nippertown Year in Review, 2010

  1. Andy M. says

    What happened to CRUMBS nite at The Linda?

  2. TL says

    Andy, your support of local music is most appreciated. Thanks for including the Last Conspirators new album as one of “Favorite Things” this year! See you out there in the clubs…

  3. Nancy Walker says

    Andy I second that!! Thank you for mentioning “True Colors.”

  4. Matt Mac Haffie says

    The word comprehensive comes to mind.

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