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A guide to local live music venues in Albany, Troy and Saratoga

Just like you, I’m totally stoked to be back at school and starting the fall semester. Now that I’m moved into my dorm, put up my rad “Reservoir Dogs” poster and paid way too much for my books, it’s time to, as all us college kids say, get lit.

Res life is totally sick, but let’s stay away from the quad tonight for a change. I want to call an Uber and get off-campus to hear some live music. I’m fixing to check out some bands and I have some ideas on where to go.

Troy

While we’re hanging out with some buds at Russell Sage or RPI and looking to freak out somewhere, let’s scope the vibe a half-mile away at No Fun, on 275 River St. in Troy. The beer selection is good and reasonably priced ($3 Narragansetts!) and there’s a show at 8 p.m. pretty much every night. We could see local indie acts, the occasional hip-hop show and crazy experimental and garage-psych rock that can only be seen there or in a major city, like this band Blk Jks from South Africa that’s coming there in October. A couple blocks down from there, at 90 Congress St., is Rare Form Brewing, and Super Dark Collective runs a weekly alternative show with regional bands. The Oct. 8 lineup with Sensor Ghost, Wet Tuna and Albany’s Sky Furrows scheduled looks particularly promising. Or, we could even go to El Dorado Bar on 121 4th St. and let loose some aggression to one of the Crisis Isolation Gig DIY punk or underground rock shows.

Saratoga Springs

If we’re in Saratoga visiting your cousin at Skidmore, Super Dark hosts free shows every Monday and Thursday at Desperate Annie’s over on 12 Caroline St. Since we’re students and all, going out on a Monday may not be the most responsible thing we can do, but it’s a dope way to see punk, metal, jam rock, DJs, synth-pop, sometimes a local rapper like Sime Gezus and pretty much anything you can think of. But we could also just grab a coffee at 47 Phila St., home of Caffe Lena, and chill out to some folk, jazz, blues or even bluegrass. I’ve been looking for a place to play my laid-back, acoustic songs, so we should totes come back up here for an open mic night sometime.

Albany

Oh, you want to stay in Albany tonight? Let’s see if those dudes and dudettes we met at Saint Rose last spring want to go to Pauly’s Hotel on 337 Central Ave. My older sister’s boyfriend, the Siena grad, swore by Pauly’s every Thirsty Thursday, whatever that means. But anyway, I hear it’s cool and there’s usually a pretty rippin’ rock band or Grateful Dead tribute. Sometimes, there’s stand-up comedy and that could be good. The Linda is right next door, too. That place is a little more chill and there’s usually some interesting rootsy stuff going on there. The Leslie Mendelson concert there on Nov. 18 looks like a good one.

We could always mix it up a little and go downtown. The Hollow, down on 79 N. Pearl St., gets some pretty nice jam bands and indie rock. Midnight North is going to be there soon, and I hear last time they played, Phil Lesh from the Grateful Dead made a surprise appearance and played with them. A couple blocks over at 93 N Pearl St. is Empire Live. There’s a metal show at least once a week, as well as a bunch of other big-name groups. St. Vincent is coming on Sept. 14 and Wolf Alice on Oct. 1. If we’re feeling emo we could see Jimmy Eat World on Sept. 28. Taylor Swift Night is Oct. 7, so it’ll be all T Swift jams all night long.

Lots of choices, and all of them better than whatever the dining hall is serving for lunch today. I don’t even know what a goulash is, I just know it doesn’t look right. But that’s beside the point, which is that we should check out a show tonight. It’s like they tell us during orientation; the possibilities are endless.


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