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Super Dark Collective Showcases Something New For Capital Region

For the past few years, a group of artists, musicians and supporters has been showcasing local and regional talent at late-night concerts in the Capital Region. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard takes a closer look at the Super Dark Collective.

On Thursday afternoons from 12 until 2, Super Dark Radio goes live from the WSPN studios at Skidmore College.

“FM 91.1, Skidmore College Radio. You’re listening to Super Dark Radio. That was ‘Billy’s Gone’ by Madeline Darby... What did we hear before that?”

Hosts Gary Ziroli and Shane Sanchez of the Super Dark Collective are playing songs from musical acts that have come through the region or are scheduled to.

The Super Dark Collective was formed in 2013. Sanchez serves as an owner, booker, and promoter for the group that holds free shows at least twice a week with eclectic artists from upstate New York and beyond.

“You know we’ve had bands from Japan, we’ve had bands from Russia, we have a band from Egypt coming up. We have a performance artists from Hong Kong coming up. So I think we’re just creating this whole experience that has never really happened, especially in Saratoga before.”

Hours after the radio show, the music continues downtown. At a bar that’s been a Saratoga Springs staple for more than 40 years, things are getting started for the night’s program. Chris Brown is another Super Dark member.

“People are starting to gather in for the very first Super Dark Thursday at Desperate Annie’s…”

Desperate Annie’s has hosted the group’s shows on Monday nights for the last year, after the closure of another venue across the street. The concerts have steadily become more popular.

Desperate Annie’s will host shows twice a week after a bar in Troy that hosted the Super Dark Collective’s performances had its liquor license revoked following a shooting – an incident that was not related to Super Dark.

Desperate Annie’s owner, who goes simply by Travis, says the last year with the group has been nothing but positive.

“As soon as they needed another place. I was more than willing to welcome them with open arms. I really was. And if it’s anything like the Mondays are here, I mean, it’s going to be terrific because it’s a lot of fun.”

Super Dark will maintain a presence in Troy through a new partnership with The Arts Center of the Capital Region for audiences of all ages.

The theme of this show before a few dozen people in Saratoga: darkwave, electro, and goth.

Trio Adorns came in from New York City. Guitarist Nicholas Delvin played here with another band last summer.

“I feel like it’s kind of the best game in town, especially if you happen to be, maybe, in a band that isn’t firmly on some sort of mainstream path, not exactly pop or whatever…”

Super Dark works to make sure all performers are paid and that shows remain free. Chris Brown says his goal is to expose everyone to something new.

“And if they don’t like it, it’s free, they just walk out the door,” laughs Brown. “Or if they don’t like one thing, they go outside, have a cigarette and see the next thing, you know?”

In addition to free concerts and a radio show, Super Dark also has a zine, a public access TV show, and a record label.

And Sanchez hopes other people elsewhere can collaborate on their own version of what Super Dark Collective is doing.

“We want people to put on shows in places. We want all of that. Like, the music scene in this area right now is so good. And I feel like it didn’t use to be that way. And some people don’t realize that and they don’t realize how lucky they are right now.”

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Lucas Willard is a reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011.
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