ALBANY — Two Buttons Deep’s Jack Carpenter said he didn’t get the taste of Albany’s music scene he expected once moving into The Knick in late 2019.
Carpenter hit a few shows at The Hollow and McGeary’s, around the corner, but nothing from the major venues around town. He said he had tickets in hand to attend Michael Bublé at the Times Union Center. “Which was in March, and that was one of the first events that went down,” he said, while isolating himself in quarantine after covering last week’s “Save America” rally last week in Washington, D.C. “It was a lot more shocking back then.”
Carpenter and his crew have made a name for themselves doing what Jimmy Fallon and Jon Stewart do for television; spin comedy out of current events. The events preceding last week’s siege on the U.S. Capitol gave him and videographer Matt Whalen plenty of fodder. But, it’s back to the grind this week, despite COVID.
What’s been missing from Carpenter’s Capital City experience is the common denominator underneath everyone’s longing for its vibrant nightlife — a robust music scene.
Two Buttons Deep, the news and entertainment website, has partnered with Miller Lite to help bring live music back to the area in 2021.
“Two Buttons Deep wants to shine a spotlight on local artists who weren’t able to do what they love during the pandemic,” it states from the site’s promotional ad. Selected musicians will then be presented to an audience in the Great Upstate Musicians Showcase, a virtual contest which will give them a chance to perform for the public again, receive tips along the way, and compete for a grand prize of $500 and a year’s worth of Miller Lite.
Musicians are encouraged to submit a recent performance to Two Buttons Deep for a chance to perform in the virtual showcase. Submissions are due by Friday, Jan. 22.
The contest, which teams the web team with Miller Lite and DeCrescente Distributing Company, shows how Two Buttons Deep’s success has grown since it launched just a few years ago. Local news outlets have often turned to it to garner a younger spin on today’s events. Carpenter said the website jumped in popularity as more people turned to their computers and smartphones for entertainment in 2020.
“We just want to keep doing what we’re doing,” said Carpenter. “We take it button by button. You know, we’re not rushing anything. We’re not going anywhere anytime soon. And, we hope to give a lot back to the people who have supported us throughout the last four years.”