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When Favorite Places Close
Published on August 5, 2013 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I reflect on the imminent closure of one of my favorite places to hear music, and some of my other favorite places.

Here's an excerpt:

"For music lovers in the Capital Region, July brought some sad news: Valentine’s Music Hall in Albany will close.

The small, gritty concert hall is a casualty of Albany Medical Center’s plan to redevelop the city’s Park South neighborhood. I’m not here to weigh in on the merits of this plan, but rather to lament the loss of one of my favorite local establishments. I wasn’t a Valentine’s regular, but I attended concerts there with some frequency, embracing the club’s idiosyncrasies and scruffy atmosphere.

For instance: Bands often played simultaneously, one downstairs and one upstairs, which could lead to problems: When I saw folk-rock singer-songwriter Martha Wainwright perform, she became increasingly annoyed by the dull pounding of drums and bass coming from the second floor and ended the show early, marching off-stage in disgust. But in general, Valentine’s is an excellent place to see talented (and untalented) local bands, up-and-coming rock bands and seminal artists such as Mike Watt and The Meat Puppets.

My basic feeling is that every community could use a club like Valentine’s — an atmospheric dive bar that specializes in good music, good beer and a heartfelt appreciation for interesting and colorful people.

Wherever I go, I seek these kinds of places out."

Click here to read the whole thing.

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