Jun 20, 2007

Final 'Alive at Five' rant--we promise

Yes, we have done a whole lotta railing about Albany's Alive at Five after-work music series in this column (or whatever you call this thing). To recap our opinion; the consistently shitty booking of mostly third-rate musical acts year after year is a black eye to the city's image and the waste of a tremendous goodwill opportunity.

Apparently, many of you feel the same way--- as shown by the incoming e-mails in response. But most of them are written in a spirit of resignation, with a common theme being that "a public sector agency such as the city's Office of Special Events is inherently incapable of producing a quality show." We disagree.

Exhibit A: the 2007 schedule for the City of Rochester's equivalent series:

- Max Creek and the Park Avenue Band, June 14.
- Blues with the Robert Cray Band, and locals, June 21.
- Retro zoot suiters Cherry Poppin’ Daddies and local Latin bands, June 28.
- Reggae-groove with Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad and Revision, July 5.
- Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes, Steve Forbert & the Soundbenders, July 12.
- Lucinda Williams and Charlie Louvin, July 19.
- Donna the Buffalo and Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers, July 26.
- The North Mississippi Allstars and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Aug. 2.
- New Riders of the Purple Sage and String Theory Bluegrass Band, Aug. 9.

That's right: no Chicago tributes, American Idol also-rans, old Motown acts with only one member that played within the first 20 years of the group's existence or headlining local cover bands straight out of the bars around the corner. Good job out there in Rock-chester. Anyone out here interested in taking over Alive at Five over here?

Sorry, but the one good show per year that the Albany series averages isn't hacking it.


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