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Elvis Presley Birthday Bash Tour with the Lustre Kings

The King would have been 70 this year if he hadn’t died of a heart attack in his bathroom in 1977. Alright, alright, we know there are still skeptics out there who think that Elvis is still alive. Get over it. If he hadn’t died when he did, then he would have died 10 more times over by now from any number of things, like his love of drugs, or his love of fried peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches. Regardless of his bad habits, there’s no denying the King’s impact on rock & roll—a musical institution highly regarded by area rockabilly faves the Lustre Kings.

The Mark Gamsjager-led Lustre Kings will continue their annual tradition of honoring the King’s birthday with a concert Saturday at the WAMC Performing Arts Center. This stop is in the middle of the Kings’ Birthday Bash Tour—they will also hit New York City, Western Massachusetts and other upstate locales. But for this performance, the Kings will be joined by special guest John Tichy.

The Lustre Kings will perform at the WAMC Performing Arts Center (339 Central Ave., Albany) for the Elvis Presley Birthday Bash on Saturday (Jan. 7) at 8 PM. Tickets are $20. For more information or to order tickets, call 465-5233 ext. 4.

Life in the Winter

The theme of this weekend’s kid-friendly fun at the New York State Museum is Life in the Winter. Now you might think that we know enough about that, but actually there’s always more to learn. For example, a “stay warm” experiment using insulated mittens will give children an “interactive learning experience” to show how nature helps animals keep warm in the winter.

On Saturday, puppeteer Patrick Wadden will host a mask-making presentation from 1 to 4 PM. On Saturday and Sunday, there will be a Star Lab Planetarium “winter sky” show from 2 to 3 PM in the Museum Theater, followed by story time at 3:30 PM. For kids who like prizes (and what kid doesn’t?), there’s a scavenger hunt both days between 1 and 4 PM.

Life in the Winter, a two-day family fun event, will be held at the New York State Museum (Empire State Plaza, Albany) on Saturday and Sunday (Jan. 7-8). Admission is free. For more information, call 474-5877.

Life, Love, Work: The Roycroft Legacy

Once upon a time, “utopian” was not a dirty word, self-created communities were not automatically assumed to be cults and—even more to the point—global capitalist principles were not accorded the status and weight of divine precepts.

In the 19th century, utopian movements/communities sprang up all around the United States—even in the wilds of Western New York. When Elbert Hubbard founded the Roycroft Press in 1895, it was the first step in a movement that blossomed into a “self-contained” community in East Aurora, N.Y., comprising more than 500 men and women. In addition to craft workshops, there were all the amenities of a “real” town: a school, an inn, athletics fields and a bank.

Based on the twin principles of beauty and quality—as opposed to price and quantity—“Roycrofters” (which means “king’s craftsmen) crafted/manufactured items for the home of great simplicity and beauty, like the copper table lamp (with the mica shade) pictured here. They made chairs, tables, dishes, bookends, bookshelves, desk organizers and, of course, beautifully bound books, many examples of which will be on exhibit at the Hyde Collection beginning Sunday.

The exhibit is on loan from the Burchfield-Penney Art Center in Buffalo, and was selected to highlight “the vast achievements” of the Roycroft community.

Live, Love, Work: The Roycroft Legacy will be on view at the Hyde Collection (161 Warren St., Glens Falls) beginning Sunday (Jan. 8) and continuing through April 2. For more information, call 792-1761 or visit

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