have all the good times gone? For Mark Mulcahy’s small but
devoted fanbase, it seems they’ve just been in hiding for
a while. In Pursuit of Your Happiness is the first
new record in four years from the ex-Miracle Legion frontman,
signaling the return of one of our time’s most enigmatic
and expressive male singers. (Thom Yorke of Radiohead once
called Mulcahy “the most beautiful voice I’ve ever heard.”)
Happiness is a sublimely strange and bewilderingly
beautiful collection of songs, boasting guest appearances
from J Mascis, Joey Santiago of the Pixies, and poet Matthew
Zapruder. None of those guys will be on hand for this evening’s
performance at Valentine’s; no matter, because Mulcahy and
his current band certainly will. If you’re one of the few
and the proud who caught his last area appearance, you’ll
understand that this is a must-see. For everyone else, trust
us just this once.
Mark Mulcahy will perform at Valentine’s tonight (Thursday,
June 16) with special guest Walter Salas-Humara (of the
Silos). Tickets for the 8 PM show are $7. For more information,
call 432-6572 or visit www.valentinesalbany.com.
tonight (Thursday), the Schick Art Gallery presents an exhibition
of five artists who all live or work in the Capital Region.
In addition to their respective personal or professional
attachments to the region, these five artists also share
another commonality: All are professors. Does the status
of professorial Capital Region habitué have a distinct and
discernible impact on the art? Is there a burgeoning school
of academic Albanian artists? No idea. Seems unlikely. But
the Schick promises that the works of Scott Brodie, David
Carbone, JoAnne Carson, Mark Grennwold and Deborah Zlotsky
are “highly regarded” and that the viewer “will be fascinated
by each artist’s unique expression of his or her artistic
vision in this engaging exhibit.”
OK, so it’s not the most informative description (cough,
empty p.r. boilerplate, cough), but we’ve had the opportunity
to check out some of the aforementioned artists—all of whom
have been working seriously and showing for some time—and
can attest that the surety of technique evinced by these
folks is compelling and the variety of styles and emotional
tone is likely to be dramatic.
But Realism opens tonight (Thursday) at Skidmore College’s
Schick Art Gallery (815 N. Broadway, Saratoga Springs),
and runs through Sept. 22. An opening reception will be
held from 6 to 7 PM. For more information, please call 580-5049.
a funny New York City public school sequence in the Warner
Bros.’ Depression-era melodrama Three on a Match
which demonstrates an eternal educational struggle. A comically
obtuse principle leads a bored, rowdy class of ethnically
mixed kids in the behavior-modification mantra “look forward
and not back, look up and not down . . . and lend a hand.”
Not surprisingly, the mantra has minimal effect.
When you’re 11 years old, you think you’re in school for
the education—or because your parents hate you. It’s only
later that the light of knowledge dawns on you: You’re there
to learn how to behave well enough to become a productive,
peaceful cog in the great social machine. In this vein,
a decade ago the NYC public school system introduced ballroom
dancing into 60 schools, and a system-wide ballroom competition.
The idea was to teach rowdy, bored 11-year-olds how to be
“ladies and gentlemen.”
Funny thing is, the kids turned out to like the program.
They like the music, the discipline of the form and, of
course, the competition. Mad Hot Ballroom, an exuberant
documentary by Marilyn Agrelo and Amy Sewell, follows kids
from three public schools—located in the very different
Bensonhurst, Washington Heights and Tribeca neighborhoods—through
one of these tournaments.
And, by all accounts, it’s a gas. As Ella Taylor wrote in
L.A. Weekly, Mad Hot Ballroom is “a frisky
charmer” that “turns a sympathetic and mischievous camera”
on the kids—much in the ingratiating manner of the spelling-bee
Hot Ballroom opens tomorrow (Friday, June 17) at the
Spectrum 8 Theatres (290 Delaware Ave., Albany). For showtimes,