Cotton Hill Recording Event

Join us March 14 and 16 for a two-part discussion and demonstration on recording in a professional studio. The Coalition has partnered with Cotton Hill Studios in Albany to put on this unique look into the recording process.

Part One: Discussion

Date: Thursday, March 14

Time: 7:00 pm

Place: Fuzz Records, 209 Lark St, Albany, NY (map)

Ray Rettig and Aaron Scher from Cotton Hill Studios will discuss topics including how to prepare for a studio session, what to expect from a professional studio and the post-production process, with time allotted for questions and answers.

Part Two: Demonstration

Date: Saturday, March 16

Time: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Place: Cotton Hill Studios, 13 Walker Way, Albany, NY (map)

Participants are invited to experience the studio and take part in a more in-depth discussion and demonstration of recording. Rettig and Scher will be joined by local musicians Tom McWatters and Bob Buckley for the demonstration. Due to space constraints, participation in this portion of the event will be very limited. Attendance is free but registration is required. To join us for this session, please fill out the form below:

Registration for this event is closed.

Hope to see you there!

Adventure Capitalists

*I am not an attorney or tax advisor, and this post is intended solely as an anecdote about my band’s experiences and refers to laws and regulations as they existed at the time of our incorporation.  This is not intended to provide tax advice, and you should always consult with a licensed tax professional and/or attorney before making any tax or legal decisions.


Well it’s tax time again and depending on your situation you either dread or look forward to it.  If you have a band, your finances can get even messier; how do you split up money earned and who fronts the cost of gas or equipment?  Plus, if you really want to be straight with the IRS someone has to claim the band’s income, and can you deduct any of your expenses?   I am by no means a tax professional and can’t make suggestions about how to file, I just wanted to share my own personal experience with what has been a good decision my band made concerning our collective musical endeavors.

When as a band it became time to make some big decisions involving money and liability, ie., buying a van and touring the country.  We did what every band does, we incorporated as an S-Corp.  Now this may seem like a totally lame move not in keeping with the indie rock lifestyle, but it really has made it a lot easier to keep track of how much money we have spent as a band and how much we make from playing shows and selling records.  As defined by the IRS: Electing to be treated as an S corporation allows income to flow through the corporation without being taxed until it is claimed as income by the shareholders. In addition, most expenses incurred in operating as a business can be deducted against any income the company takes in.  Now this did involve quite a bit of prep work, first we applied for a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) and paid several State and Federal filing fees.   Within a couple months our documents had been approved and we were officially a corporation.  We designated our office location, which as a domestic corporation can be a house or apartment, and we wrote our company by laws and elected our executives.  Finally, we filed one more form electing to be treated as a coveted S-Corp thereby allowing us to “pass-through” income and expenses of the corporation.

As a corporation we could in theory issue stock certificates to raise capital however we decided very early on for simplicity that shares in the Band/Company would be divided evenly among active members only, effectively making the company a closed employee owned corporation.  That said, as an S-Corp all our profits or losses are divided equally to the band members/shareholders.  In this way if the band makes a lot of money no one person has to claim it all as income, and conversely if the band loses money we can all get a little reduction in our personal taxes.

Now this of course does involve perhaps more due diligence than the average band or musician is willing to endure.  We have to keep track of our sales and pay quarterly NY State Sales tax, we have to save receipts and file both a federal and state return every year, and we are required to have at least one shareholder meeting a year and record minutes of our corporate meetings.

The IRS defines several different business entities such as sole proprietors, partnerships, and LLCs in detail on their website  If you think it might be beneficial to you or your band to formally incorporate you should consult an attorney or tax professional. After four years as a corporation and almost ten as a band I am confident that incorporating was a good decision for us.


Dan Pardee

Of Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned


RPM Challenge Kick-Off Party @ Pauly’s Hotel on February 1st!!!


Event: 2013 RPM Challenge Kick-Off

Date: Friday, February 1

Time: 8:00 p.m.

Place: Pauly’s Hotel, 337 Central Avenue, Albany, NY 12206

Ages: 21+





Bring your voices and instruments and join the Albany Music Coalition for an evening of collaborative, participatory sound as we all come together on February 1 to guarantee RPM success. The evening’s work will be recorded and made available online shortly after the event.
After the recorded portion of the evening, stay to enjoy a performance by Oobleck, a five-piece funk-based instrumental horn band! Other special guests may be announced in coming days.

You can find more information about the RPM Challenge at

This event will be free and open to the public (ages 21+).


Check out the facebook event to find out who’s going!


The RPM Challenge is a national project sponsored by The Wire Magazine that invites musicians to record an album during the month of February each year. The Challenge is a fun, non-competitive creative experience that many area musicians have participated in over the years.

Some participants say the best approach to the RPM Challenge is to record an album’s worth of just about anything on Day 1, to alleviate the pressure to produce and guarantee that, by the end of February, you will have “successfully completed” the Challenge. You will then be liberated to transcend the anxiety related to mere completion, and fully prepared to receive the sublime influence of genuine inspiration (or, at least, free to move on to the anxiety related to putting out a satisfactory performance in 28 days’ time).

Restoration Festival – September 7 through 9

SPAC – Battle of The Bands


SPAC is at it again. This years Battle of The Bands will be held in the SPA Little Theater on September 21st at 6PM.

SPAC Battle of the Bands Judges Include:

  • Vinnie Amico – Drummer of Moe
  • Greg Haymes – Nippertown
  • Joel Marshall – DJ on WEQX

Host: Dani Stein – Former Broadcast Journalist for Fox 23

Prizes Include:

  • 25 hours of recording time with The Recording Company
  • Airplay on the northeast’s real alternative, WEQX
  • Over $800 in custom t-shirts and stickers by Saratoga Statement
  • Opportunity to book a show at Putnam Den

Click HERE to Sign Up (Band submission deadline is Sept. 6th)

Click HERE for more information





Deciphering Songs “Instrumentals First”


Thursday August 23rd at 6:30pm at Fuzz Records!



That’s right! We have three talented local musicians joining us at the Albany Music Coalition’s Deciphering Songs series on Thursday  August 23rd at 6:30pm at Fuzz Records.

You will have a chance to hear from Tim Koch of Sgt. Dunbar and The Hobo Banned, Chris Tenerowicz of Aficionado, and newly added Matt Ferguson of Goldtooth. We will be discussing “Instrumentals First.” The act of writing music in a band setting and with instrumentals in mind over lyrics.

See you all there!


Deciphering Songs Part 1: Lyrics First — Recap

Full house!

Full house for the first installment of the Deciphering Songs discussion series!

On August 2, the Albany Music Coalition held its first discussion event at Fuzz Records on Lark Street, with a full house for a lively conversation about the process of writing lyrics and putting them to music.  The first installment of the “Deciphering Songs” discussion series focused on “Lyrics First” and featured panelists Eric Margan of the Red Lions and Eric Krans and Jen O’Connor of The Parlor.  Albany Music Coalition co-founder (and musician and songwriter) Katie Hammon moderated the panel.

Eric, Eric and Jen started off by discussing their personal experiences with songwriting and how their approaches have developed over time, and eased into what became a more informal conversation with the audience, who also had many thoughtful questions and contributions.  In addition to sharing their thoughts on technical issues like song structure, the panelists were also incredibly candid about their writing processes, capturing and maintaining the emotion that inspired a song, their successful and less-successful experiences and their approaches to revision and collaboration.  They also touched on miscellaneous issues including concept albums, the RPM Challenge, and even their preferences for writing on a computer versus longhand — with Eric Margan saying that he might reconsider his tendency to draft lyrics electronically after hearing about Jen and Eric’s commitment to pen and paper, with what they described as hundreds of notebooks and single sheets of lyrics populating their home.

The panelists also provided some of their lyrics as examples in handouts for the audience, and discussed their development and meaning in detail. Jen and Eric’s discussion of their song “O Albany We Hope” took the audience on a sometimes emotional journey through their personal lives and their travels, and made for some memorable moments.

The Coalition is so grateful to Eric, Eric and Jen for being so extraordinarily generous with the time and energy they put into the discussion, and the great audience participation really made the event a success.  We received some thoughtful feedback and we’re already working to make the next workshop even better — the next discussion, “Instrumentals First,” will take place on August 23, again at Fuzz Records (the awesome new record shop on Lark Street, which has been kind enough to host the entire series).

Thank you, Fuzz Records!

Thanks again to Fuzz Records for hosting the series!

Deciphering Songs

Deciphering Songs – A panel discussion and workshop series on the art of songwriting

The Albany Music Coalition Presents:
“Deciphering Songs”
A panel discussion and workshop series on the art of songwriting

The series will be held at Fuzz Records on Lark Street at 6:30pm on the following dates. Fuzz Records is located at 209 Lark Street in Albany, NY.
Panels Include:

“Lyrics First”
August 2
Eric Margan (The Red Lions)
Eric Krans (The Parlor)
Jen O’Connor (The Parlor)

“Instrumentals First”
August 23
Tim Koch (Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned)
Chris Tenerowicz (Aficionado)

“Structure & Arrangement”
September 13
Meagan Duffy (Hand Habits)
Michael Eck (Ramblin Jug Stompers)
Matthew Loiacono (Matthew Carefully, Rosary Beard)


Additional panelists may be added in the coming weeks. Participants should feel free to bring instruments, but it is not necessary. The events will be free and open to the public. (Donations accepted at the door)

The Albany Music Coalition is an organization that aims to connect local artists, fans, media and other members of the Capital Region’s active and diverse music community.


We Are Launched!

Michael Eck by Sebastien Barre

Michael Eck performing at the Launch Party, by Sebastien Barre

Many thanks to all those who came out last Friday to help us inaugurate the Albany Music Coalition! The show was a great success, a load of fun, and a great opportunity to chat with some more members of the community about our goals and how everyone can get involved.

A few specific thanks are in order. First and foremost, thank you so much to Matthew Carefully, Michael Eck, and Tom McWatters and the Philo Beddoe Band for performing. They have all been involved, to varying degrees, with the Coalition during our establishment and preparations for launch, and we are deeply appreciative of all their support.

Matthew Carefully by Sebastien Barre

Matthew Carefully performing at the Launch Party, by Sebastien Barre

Also, a great deal of thanks must go to Howard Glassman, who has been in on the planning of the Coalition literally since the moment we had the idea for it, and who has been endlessly accommodating, and to the amazing staff at Valentine’s who kept everything running smoothly. And last but not least, thanks to WEXT for co-sponsoring the event.

If you were at the show, and took pictures, we would love to see them! Add them to our brand-shining-new Flickr Group, Facebook, or send us a link to where we can find them.

Tom McWatters by Sebastien Barre

Tom McWatters and Scott Smith, by Sebastien Barre

So, what next? There is of course no rest for the weary — we are hard at work on launching a series of events for this summer, which we hope to be announcing soon. As always, you can remain informed about our activities and learn how to become involved by signing up for our mailing list. You’ll find the form to the right of this post, or by clicking here.

All photos in this post by Sebastien Barre. Check out his blog here.