Mike Stampalia

Left of the Dial – A Special Monthly Column – by Mike Stampalia. Begin the day with a friendly voice A companion, unobtrusive Plays that song that’s so elusive And the magic music makes your morning mood “The Spirt of Radio” – Song by Rush, lyrics by Neil Peart, 1980. I like Spotify. Each month, […]

Left of the Dial – Giving Thanks – a Column by Mike Stampalia. November is a thankful month: Veterans Day and, of course, Thanksgiving. I’ve lived in the Capital District nearly my entire life, and I am an unapologetic booster. But why? What’s so great about our neck of the woods? Aren’t we supposed to […]

Left of the Dial = View from the Aisle – Mike Stampalia “Tickets, please.” The (most likely) elderly person wearing the (most likely) white shirt is one of the first people you encounter when arriving at a seated show. What’s your reaction? Gratitude? Annoyance? Indifference? I’ve been an usher at a couple of our local […]

Left of the Dial. “What is this shit?” That’s the opening line of a very famous Greil Marcus review of Bob Dylan’s 1970 double album, Self Portrait. It still cracks me up every time I read it. What’s sometimes forgotten is that the review as a whole is pretty exhaustive and quite nuanced. It has […]

The Rock and Roll (Hall of Fame) Circus. I have a confession to make.  I love the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In particular, I love it twice a year: early February when that year’s nominees are announced. And three months later, when the “winners” (and, by extension, also the “losers”) are announced. Not […]

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