upcoming shows:

Ryder and Hazel

The The Dust Bowl Faeries: will be appearing on Thursday, September 4 at BSP Kingston in Kingston, NY. This is a FREE SHOW and we'll be performing along with two other bands: Kingston's The Old Double E and Yard Sale from New Paltz. 18+. Doors open at 8:30pm. FREE.

past shows

photo by Abigail Cole

Saturday, August 9th, 7:30pm
Athens Cultural Center
24 Second Street
Athens, NY
(518) 945-2136
FREE admission

We'll be performing at the closing celebration of the Road Kill art show, a group exhibition at the Athens Cultural Center that explores the realities of life and death. Also featured is a word mish-mash summation by Johnnie Moore. Here's a bit about him:
Johnnie Moore (Hawkins) has performed in living rooms, barns, art galleries, store fronts, funeral homes and theaters throughout the world. Some of the co-theatrists along the way have included Wayne Barker, Michael Portnoy, Gail Gilbert and David Grenke, among many other. In 2006 Johnnie toured the US singing the song of Irving Berlin in a revue called I Love a Piano. He was the Narrator in Amoveo, a dance work choreographed by Benjamin Millepied at the Palais Garnier in Pairs. In 2010 he performed at Documenta in 27 Gnosis.

Sunday, August 17, 8pm
The Spotty Dog
440 Warren Street
Hudson, NY
(518) 671-6006
$5 cover charge

The next week, we'll be taking over The Spotty Dog in Hudson, performing with Marian McLaughlin. Here's a bit about her:

I create lyrically-driven songs with complimentary arrangements on my classical guitar that are delicate yet full of depth. I aim to push folk music’s envelope by pairing intricate fingerpicking and explorative chords with expressive themes and rhapsodic delivery. The video for my song "Before You Leave" was recently featured on NPR Music, and I just self-released my first studio album Dérive.

Dust Bowl Faeries, Swamp Baby and Two Cats in Suits at Club Helsinki, Hudson
Saturday, June 27

The Dust Bowl Faeries Halloween Show in North Adams

Please join us for this Birthday Celebration/Concert on Saturday, June 28 at Club Helsinki in Hudson as we celebrate the birthdays of Mike Hotter (Swamp Baby - 6/27) and our own Karen Cole (Dustbowl Faeries - 7/4). We'll be performing, followed by our friends Swamp Baby. There'll also be a short opening set by the acoustic duo Two Cats in Suits and hopefully, a few special guests, surprises and cake!

If you have not been there, Club Helsinki is a beautiful venue, with table seating (reserved w/ dinner reservation), a really nice bar area, great food, an outdoor courtyard...just a great club to hang in. Also, if you come earlier that day, you can roam Warren Street in Hudson and its galleries and shops. The club is just a block off of Warren on Columbia and 4th St. There's plenty of on-street parking and a lot right across the street from the club/restaurant.

Making their Helsinki debut, Albany psych-folktronica band Swamp Baby formed in 2005 out of the ashes of acclaimed alt-country (and originally Kingston-based) outfit Knotworking and have been gaining notice slowly but steadily for their particular form of intimate, ethereal chamber pop. Swamp Baby will be playing in their original quartet formation for this one- bringing it all back home for Mike Hotter's 40th birthday!

Two Cats in Suits is the rock & roll acoustic-duo of singer/songwriter/punk poet Tim Livingston and writer/guitarist/bassist Nick Bisanz, of the punk-rock band the Last Conspirators. They play striped-down and alternate versions of Last Cons songs along with new Livingston/Bisanz material, select covers and other tunes from their extensive back catalogs. TCIS take a slightly quieter, guerrilla approach to playing while still maintaining the same edge and attack of a Last Conspirators full-on assault.

The Dust Bowl Faeries

Dust Bowl Faeries and Rarefaction at The Cobra Club

Saturday, March 22, 2014, 9pm
The Cobra Club
6 Wyckoff Ave., Bushwick, Brooklyn (L to Jefferson)
21+, $5
8:30pm: doors
9pm sharp: Rarefaction
10pm: The Dust Bowl Faeries

Steamer 10
Dust Bowl Faeries at Steamer 10 Theatre, Albany
An Evening of Enchanting Music and Projections

With Swamp Baby
Saturday, March 1, 2014, 8pm
Tickets: $13 in advance, $15 day of

Dust Bowl Faeries at Cobra Club
November 16 2013, 9pm
6 Wyckoff Ave, (Bushwick) Brooklyn, NY
with Shana Falana

Dust Bowl Faeries Halloween Show
Thursday, October 31, 8pm.

First, you'll want to stop by MCLA Gallery 51 for the opening reception for Rewilderment, an All Hallows Eve exhibition of collaborative and solo work by Sarah Falkner, Shannon TaggartRyder Cooley. The show explores themes of ritual, witchcraft, hybridity and mediumistic practices and includes drawings, altars, spirit photography, video, performance residue and artifacts.

Then, come on around the corner to 18 Holden Street for the Faeries' Halloween show with Shana Falana. Costumes please! 18 Holden Street, North Adams, MA

Dust Bowl Faeries at Restoration Funstival
Saturday, September 7, 2013, 8pm
A benefit festival for the Contemporary Artists Center/CAC Woodside.
Two days, two stages, 20 bands, all the cool kids.
71 Mill St/Rt. 4, Troy, NY
More info and tickets

Dust Bowl Faeries at Bascom Lodge
Sunday, October 13, 2013 (Columbus Day weekend) 5:30pm
Bascom Lodge is a rustic stone and wood lodge perched atop Mount Greylock in western Massachusetts. The music is free. Drinks are available. Dinner is by reservation. Overnight accomodations are available.
Bascom Lodge, on the top of Mount Greylock
N. Adams, MA
Dinner reservations and info

Dust Bowl Faeries at Cap Rep Theatre
Tuesday, October 1, 2013 6:30pm
Opening night celebration for Venus in Fur  in the cafe. The music is free. Theatre tickets are still available.
Albany Capital Repertory Theater
111 N. Pearl St., Albany NY


Loop Sanctuary: Dreaming A New Real, January 25, 2008
The Chapel + Cultural Center at Rensselaer
Troy, NY

An appearance with The Axe Iron Suns in an evening of bold live music that also included The Beige Channel, with Twisted Pair providing eye-popping projected visuals and their trademark video scratching.

This was the final evening of Loop Sanctuary IV, Dreaming A New Real, an art and music series I curated that featured recent works by G.G.Roberts and Matt Tiernan. Other events included The Firlefanz Puppets and an evening of projected new media works.

Performance Place January 3rd, 2008

An appearance with The Axe Iron Suns on Performance Place, radio station WAMC's live musical performance program with most excellent host Mr. Michael Eck.

The River Street Beat Shop, July 28, 2007

An appearance with The Axe Iron Suns, performing a unique psychedelic fusion of avant-rock-improv-tribal-jazz melange that echoed down River Street that afternoon.

Edison Groove Xchange, November 6, 2005
Schenectady Museum
Schenectady, NY

groove xchange postcard

Suzanne Thorpe tempted me out of temporary retirement with the promise of recording my music on wax cylinder, a technology I haven't seen since I was a child.

I will be participating in Groove Xchange, the first in a series of related projects under the umbrella of the Edison Media Project, which celebrates the creativity and innovation of the region, from Thomas Edison to today's scholars and inventors. If you’ve never heard a wax cylinder recording, come on out and coo at the technology.

Reno Brother Art Show at Firlefanz Gallery, August 3-20, 2005
Albany, NY

Future Arriving

Cathy and Ed of Firlefanz Gallery at 292 Lark Street in Albany, NY would like to announce the first GALLERY TAKEOVER of 2005. From August 3 to August 20 The Reno Brothers are taking over the curating and day-to-day running of Firlefanz Gallery.

Crossing over from music to the visual arts, four exciting, emerging artists on the Capital Region scene are banding together to exhibit their art, as "RENO BROS: New Works". Internationally acclaimed electronica composer-vocalist Sara Ayers exhibits her captivating super-real digital photographic series, "The Future Arriving." An exerpt from her brand new CD, "A Million Stories" on Dark Wood Recordings, will also serve as the soundtrack for the outdoor installation in the gallery courtyard.

Maximum solo acoustic singer-songwriter and arts writer Michael Eck showcases his talents in both acrylic and oil paining with a selection of his powerful, raw portraits of the legends of jazz and blues.

Arts writer and vocalist with the pop culture-skewering rock group Blotto, G.C. Haymes breaks new ground with his single-scan digital photograms, taking a fresh, inventive look at the timelessness of nature.

And Dennis Herbert, guitarist-vocalist with such rock bands as AKA/etc, the Reedies and the Pure Clean Truth, unveils a hypnotic new assortment of poetic and penetrating dioramas, capturing fantastical worlds in a box.

Loop Sanctuary: Recurring Dreams, November 20, 2004
The Chapel and Cultural Center at Rensselaer
Troy, NY

Loop Sanctuary

Loop Sanctuary

An evening of ambient and electronic music featuring Sara Ayers, Embracing The Glass and Twisted Pair with stunning, tripping visuals by Twisted Pair.

Larkfest, September 18, 2004
Albany, NY


Ed Atkeson took these photos with his spiffy new camera.

Re:Soundings: The DownTown Ensemble Upstate, June 26, 2004
Valley Falls, NY

Featured composers:
Sara Ayers
Monique Buzzarte
Daniel Goode
Richard Lainhart
Mary Jane Leach
The DownTown Ensemble

Ambitention, September 13, 2003
Live solo performance with Embracing The Glass
Worcester, MA

Another great art gallery show, with good sound and inspired music -- we played separately and then together at the end of the night. We all agreed we hope this magic occurs again, hopefully in the not-to-distant future.

The Philadelphia Fringe Festival, , September 6-7, 2003
Philadelphia, PA

The Fringe Festival is a collection of cutting-edge and edgy performances with intelligent and adventurous audiences, and is not be missed. I was really flattered to have been chosen to perform, and despite some technical difficulties (considering what I do, it's astonishing this kind of thing doesn't happen more often) I had a really wonderful time.

The North Pointe Cultural Center August 22, 2003
Kinderhook, NY

Live solo performance. Twisted Pair had originally been slated to perform with me here but had to cancel, so we came up with a slide show to add some visual interest. It worked most of the time and the abstract images were intriguing, although I think the upside down image of Peter Pan probably had some people baffled.

Loop Sanctuary: The Art of the Dreamscape, April 25, 2003
The Chapel and Cultural Center at Rensselaer
Troy, NY

Live solo performance with Mindspawn and dreamState and video by Twisted Pair

What a great show in a beautiful resonant space! We kept telling the audience that they could get up and walk around but everyone sat open-mouthed and hypnotized by the music and by Twisted Pair's visuals. It was fun to meet up with dreamState (well, just Scott this time) and Mindspawn again, and at the end of the night we played a tiny set together.

Albany Public Library, Thursday, July 18, 2002
Albany, NY

Live solo performance with visuals by the inestimatable Twisted Pair.

Alb Public Lib 1

Alb Public Lib 2
Twisted Pair did a great job on the visuals, which were alternately spacey, spooky and beautiful.

The Ambient Ping May 21, 2002
Toronto, Ontario

What a great evening this was -- Rik from Mara's Torment and and I collaborated on a few pieces and they came out really well -- we're in the process of recording them together. A wonderful space to perform -- great sound in a cool little club with great food and drinks -- attended by friendly people, and Scott M2 consistently books really interesting performers. There's a truly happening scene here and if you ever get a chance to go you should definitely see what all the buzz is about. If I lived just a little closer, I'd probably haunt this place. These photos were taken by Dreamstate's Jamie Todd.

Ambient Ping Photo 1

Ambient Ping Photo 2

Ambient Ping Photo 3
Here's a photo of me with performing with Rik and a sock monkey whose name escapes me right now.

Gate To Moonbase Alpha, March 22, 2002
Philadelphia, PA

Gate To Moonbase Alpha Poster

Another great evening of cutting edge music, good food (thanks, Chef Jeff!) and adventurous performance put together by the incomparable Gina Renzi.

INSTRUCTION SHUTTLE v. MERCY_KILLAH (Astromass/Undercity/Deep Unda Brooklyn) Controlled chaos... schizophrenic spelunking...subharmonic experimentation... near life experiences...unoriginal sin... Aural remote viewing to worlds where even robots fear to tread. http://www.astromass.com/

HELENA ESPVALL-SANTOLERI and GLORIA JUSTEN: Having collaborated in the past, these two sirens delicately wove new, dreamy and tempting ribbons throughout waves of bare sound and complicated melody. Helena played her cello amped with effects. Gloria played her violin, also amped and with effects. The two stringed creatures conversed in high voices and low moans.

THE GREAT QUENTINI (sweaty Yeti): Quentin Davis a.k.a. The Great Quentini is a mental health magician. Using alien technologies scavenged from deep in our future race memory, he transforms space into a " childhood disinhibition zone". These technologies are constructed today by the Great Quentini and use materials salvaged or trash picked to enhance their powers. For upcoming performances and more, contact Quentini@earthlink.net.

Undercity at Haycyon, February 24, 2002
Brooklyn, NY

Live solo performance. Halcyon is a combination cafe/record store/living room -- a really comfortable place to hang out and discover new music.

Music From A Fishbowl, February 3, 2002
(A Benefit For The Eighth Step)
Cohoes, NY

The Fishbowl works like this: sixteen or so musicians show up, eat a supper together and have their names drawn from the fishbowl in pairs, resulting in some very unlikely combinations of talents. Each pair then has two hours to come up with a fifteen minute set of music, which they then perform for the audience. I was paired up with young, wild and beautiful Paddy Kilrain, a talented singer-songwriter who performs her achingly honest songs with a sharp edge and a voice that rises from girlish to avenging Valkyrie in a heartbeat.

Caffe Lena, January 11, 2002
Saratoga Springs, NY

This was an exquisite evening, appearing with Jupiter Circle We had a grand time, and even managed to fit everyone on the stage. Lena's is a wonderful place to perform and an even better place to see a show, so if you ever have an opportunity to see someone interesting there, GO! We recorded the performance, but somehow managed to get more of the sound of silverware rattling in the kitchen than the music from the stage.

2001 Multimedia Festival, December 11, 2001
Lawrence, Massachusetts
with TerrEtroN, Rock'it Society, and
Zero Times Infinity vs. Jekyll Island vs. Seratonin vs. Walter Wright

I have a theory: the louder/weirder/harsher/scarier the music is, the nicer the performers are. This was a great night of very loud and harsh music performed by some really sweet guys, and then me at the end of the night to calm everybody down and send them home. The highlight of the evening, for me, was Deftly-D's electric grinder on a car wheel, which sent showers of sparks flying halfway across the room. I would have gotten a little closer but my hair looked pretty good that night and I didn't want to set it on fire.

Soundscape at Openair, December 4, 2001
New York, New York

Performing at Openair, December 4, 2001

Soundscape is billed as the only true "ambient" event in NYC, developed by the Agriculture's Jameson and Undercity's Mercy_killah & Hazmaat. Staged at Openair, a sleek bar on St. Marks, it's an oasis of calm in the bustling frenzy of New York City's East Village. I played here on December 4, 2001 and had a grand time. They liked me. Also appearing was Mercy_Killah, who enveloped us in waves of warm noise, whale songs and gamelan chimes as we drank our martinis and stared at images of clouds and oceans on the video monitors in the walls. A very special evening. Steph took this photo.

The Larkin, September 23, 2001
Albany, NY

Performing at The Larkin, September 23, 2001

If it wasn't for the tragic connotation of recent events, it could be said that Sara Ayers' one-woman show at the Larkin Lounge on Sunday was as close to a New York City performance as can be had in these parts. The combination of Ayers' adventurously electronic music, the lounge's audio-visual excellence, and a small but raptly attentive audience gave the evening an air of cosmopolitan sophistication. For a while, anyway -- until Ayers' hypnotic soundscapes took many listeners out of the room and into another dimension.

For the first time, Ayers performed her shape-shifting compositions as a whole, without demarcation between songs except for the occasional pause while she adjusted levers, pedals and dials, or exchanged instruments. Yet despite the busyness required by a solo rendition of densely layered, effects-drenched ambient music, Ayers never came off as a knob-twiddler; Her minimalistic stage presence was far too graceful for that. Barelegged in a black cocktail dress, she let the otherworldly mood build, uninterrupted by stage patter, and with her graceful hand gestures supplying all the communication necessary. She seemed to regard her voice as simply another instrument, effortlessly pitch-shifting from almost guttural lows to silvery, trilling highs. The performer's reserve only heightened the drama of her often rapturous phrasing.

When speaking of Ayers' voice, however, the plural must be used, since her vocals were looped, doubled and trebled by digital reproduction and echoed, reverbed and "boomeranged" by pedal effects. But as enchanting as her console sorcery was, no effect could top her live coloration. At times the Albany artist sounded like she'd been possessed by a tribal high priestess, or a sacred wind, or a woodland sprite. For "Every Day We Die A Little" (for 1997's Voices release), the juxtaposition of disembodied (sampled) interpersonal dialogue with quiveringly impressionistic (live) verse was both seductive and unnerving. Occasionally, snippets of word imagery ("Days go by...") added a climatic brushstroke to her aural paintings.

In addition to the clattering strum of an electric guitar, Ayers punctuated her dreamy synths by striking found objects or a temple bell. Although the performance (including interludes from last year's Sylvatica and her soon-to-be released Interiors) did not recreate the tidal impact of her 24-tracked CDs, it wasn't meant to, and the ethereal quicksilver of her hour-long collage was warmer, more accessible and somehow just as lush as the recorded experience. Listeners floated back down to their seats just in time for sustained round of applause.

- Ann Morrow, Metroland Magazine

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