I lived around the Albany, New York region for some-three years. I like Albany. If there was more there for me, I wouldn’t mind living there. But the job prospects sucked and it had the strange cultural live of a town that might be pretty cool, maybe if more bands came by, maybe not. If you’re planning to go to RPI in Troy or Union in Schenectady or even U of Albany, you won’t be stuck in some backwater. There will be something for you to do.
Albany hosts one of the best used music shops I’ve been in, ever. Last Vestige is a good example of how the independent music store can adapt in order to survive in a world of Amazon.com and iTunes. Knowing it’s audience, college students, Last Vestige deals mainly in used vinyl but also in CDs, tapes and the occasional piece of music memorbilia. I was able to find both ‘3 Hits from Hell’ by the Crimson Ghosts and the Minutemen’s ‘Paranoid Times’ there. I also found Blase Debris and Duane “Pinebox” Beers.
Blase Debris is Duane’s band. Duane worked at Last Vestige. He, like most of the staff at Last Vestige, was friend and talked to anyone about anything. He’s a friendly guy who looks like a survivor of the original Misfits, which isn’t that far since he used to be in a Misfits cover band. Blase Debris isn’t a Misfits knock off. It’s a horror punk, but it’s got its own sound. It was hard for me to hear the scratchy voice of the clerk behind the counter where I would pick up choice used CDs switch it up and get this more looping, deep in the throat singing voice.
If you’re in the Albany area, stop by Last Vestige. You’ll be able to pick up a Blase Debris release direct from the source. It would be like buying Misfits gear from Lordi, NJ or catching a Black Flag show in LA. Except you won’t be in New Jersey and have less chance of having your head kicked in.