Like you, I am totally excited to go back to school and start the fall semester. Now that I’ve moved into my dorm, put up my Reservoir Dogs poster, and overpaid for my books, it’s time to, as all of us college kids say, switch it up.

Res’s life is totally sick, but let’s stay off the grid tonight for a change. I want to call an Uber and go off campus to hear live music. I’m arranging to see some bands and have some ideas of where to go.


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

Saratoga Springs

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


Oh, you want to stay in Albany tonight? Let’s see if those dudes and couples we met in Saint Rose last spring want to go to Pauly’s Hotel on Central Ave. But anyway, I hear it’s awesome and there’s usually a nice rock band or Grateful Dead tribute. Sometimes, there is stand-up comedy and that can be good. Linda is also attached. That place is a bit cooler and usually has some really cool root stuff going on there. Leslie Mendelson’s concert there on November 18 looks like a good one.

We can always mix it up a bit and go downtown. The Hollow, down at 79 N. Pearl St., has some really cool jam and indie rock bands. Midnight North will be there soon, and I heard the last time they played, Phil Lesh from the Grateful Dead made a surprise appearance and played with them. A couple of blocks at 93 N Pearl St. it’s Empire Live. There is a metal show at least once a week as well as a bunch of other big name bands. St. Vincent arrives on September 14th and Wolf Alice on October 1st. If we’re feeling emo, we can check out Jimmy Eat World on September 28th. Taylor Swift night is October 7th, so it will be all T Swift jamming all night long.

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

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