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Social Distortion

You know the formula: Take a bunch of California greaser-punks, sprinkle liberally with 1950s rockabilly and a hint of outlaw country, and voila, you have yourself Social Distortion. Hard to believe, but Mike Ness and company have been a band for 25 years now. The recently released Sex, Love and Rock ‘n’ Roll is their first album in almost nine years, and their first since the death of founding member Dennis Danell. But that doesn’t mean they’ve gotten all “Tears in Heaven” or anything: Ness’ lyrics may be more introspective than they have been in the past, but that signature snarl and those buzzsaw guitars are the same as ever. So, if you’re a fan of “Ball and Chain” and “Bad Luck,” you’re bound to warm up to new tunes like “Reach for the Sky” and “Nickels and Dimes” right quick.

Social Distortion will make their return this Monday (May 16) at Northern Lights (1208 Route 146, Clifton Park). The Eyeliners and Lost City Angels will open the 7 PM show. Tickets are $25, and can be purchased through TicketMaster or from the Northern Lights box office (371-0012).

2005 Tour de Sol

There will be quite the influx of green automobiles this weekend in and around the Capital Region, as the 2005 Tour de Sol rolls into town. Of course, when we say green, we mean “environmentally friendly,” but we probably didn’t need to tell you that.

The centerpiece of the event is the Tour de Sol championship (beginning Saturday), in which students, individuals, and corporations design vehicles “that approach zero carbon emissions and use renewable fuels.” (For reference, the 2003 winner was a battery-electric-powered 1994 Geo Metro that got an equivalent of 202 miles per gallon and ran for nearly 70 miles.) Other highlights include a Monte Carlo-style rally and 100-mpg challenge, taking place at Saratoga Auto Museum’s Spring Auto Show at the Saratoga Spa State Park on Saturday (May 14), and an auto show, featuring the competition winners, on Monday (May 16) at the Empire State Plaza. Representatives from Ford, Toyota, and Lexus will also be on hand this weekend to unveil their new fuel-efficient SUVs. We’ll believe it when we see it.

Information on all area Tour de Sol events, including times and locations, is available at You may also contact the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association at (413) 774-6051.

Best of the Edwood Film Festival

You know who Ed Wood was, right? Nice guy. Nicer sweaters. Made no-budget horror and smut flicks from the 1950s to the ’70s. Awful movies.

OK, we’ve taken care of that. Now, for the film fest named for him. The only problem with previous editions of the Edwood Film Festival was size—the venues just weren’t big enough. Well, the Best of the Edwood Film Festival is being held on Saturday evening in a hall big enough for the this kind of big cinema: the WAMC Performing Arts Studio, aka the Linda Norris Auditorium, aka Chartock’s Shack for Old-School Folkies. (OK, we made the last one up.)

This will be fun, folks. Some of us have attended these things before; some of us have even served as festival judges. The point is, there are some excellent films on the program, including Men’s Room Etiquette, Adventure on Tiki Island, Les Boogie and, a particular crowd-pleaser, the George Romero-meets-David Lean-meets-Bo and Luke Duke zombie epic Lawrence of Zombania.

And, if that’s not enough, some Icelandic musicians will be performing movie themes between pictures. Good times.

The Best of the Edwood Film Festival will be held on Saturday (May 14) at 7 PM at the WAMC Performing Arts Studio (339 Central Ave., Albany). Tickets are $10. For more information, call 465-5233 ext. 4.

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