The Time I Get To Phoenix”—does that do anything for ya?
How about “Up, Up And Away”—are you getting excited yet?
Perhaps not; those songs aren’t exactly known for being
party-starters. But if the very mention of these titles
makes you want to spin the AM dial back 30 years, take notice:
This weekend brings a rare local performance from one Jimmy
Webb, the man who wrote the bona fide classics “Where’s
The Playground, Susie?”, “Wichita Lineman”, and “Worst That
Could Happen.” And that’s just the Ws.
For the unfamiliar, Jimmy Webb is the single most successful
pop songwriter of all time. (That’s unsubstantiated, but
read on.) At the end of the 1960s, Webb was responsible
for five Top 10 hits in a 20-month period; without Jimmy
Webb, Glen Campbell would still be a session guitarist.
The rest, it’s all history: Webb established his own performing
voice in the 1970s, beginning with the excellent debut Words
and Music. He had a number one hit in the 1980s with
“The Highwayman,” a recording by the country supergroup
of Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Kris
Kristofferson. He’s the only person ever to win separate
Grammy awards for music, lyrics, and orchestration. He’s
been elected to just about every songwriters’ hall of fame
you could name. The aforementioned “Phoenix” is the third-most-
recorded song of the 20th century. And, he continues to
perform and release recordings to this day; last year’s
Twilight of the Renegades was well-received by fans
and critics alike.
But most importantly (to us, at least), Jimmy Webb wrote
MacArthur Freaking Park. Good golly, that’s a great song.
Don’t get left out in the rain like that damned cake—catch
Jimmy Webb when he performs live this Saturday (Jan. 21)
at the WAMC Performing Arts Studio (339 Central Ave., Albany).
Tickets for the 8 PM show are $25. For more information
or to reserve tickets, call 465-5233, ext. 4.
love the Hudson River School collection at the Albany Institute
of History & Art. We love the local artifacts; we love
the traveling exhibits. But we really love the mummy room;
we even loved it when it was in the basement. (We even love
the cat mummy, although it’s probably not a cat.) That’s
why the prospect of an entire exhibition at the AIHA dedicated
to ancient Egypt is pretty exciting.
Egypt, which opens Saturday, is a collection of artifacts
from London’s Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archeology. The
items to be displayed were all “pulled from their 5,000-year-old
earthen tombs at the turn of the last century” by pioneering
Egyptologist William Matthew Flinders Petrie. (Petrie was
the model, we are told, for Indiana Jones.)
Egypt opens Saturday (Jan. 21) at the Albany Institute
of History & Art (125 Washington Ave., Albany), and
continues through June 4. For more information, call 463-4478.
and After Intermission
latest performance piece from comedian-actor-writer-humorist
Dirck Toll, Before and After Intermission, will feature
the kind of character-based comedy his fans expect. This
65-minute show will feature a bit about a “deviously inept
songwriting scam,” a “spokesperson who won’t shut up,” and
a “vegetable clothing craze.”
We are intensely curious about just what would constitute
a “vegetable clothing craze.” Pumpkin hats? Cucumber eyeglasses?
Rutabaga bras? Interesting. (After years of car and mattress
ads on TV—no names needed—we don’t have any problem conjuring
up the thought of a spokesperson who won’t shut up.)
Tickets, we are assured, are going fast for this show; Toll’s
last local performance sold out. So you might not want to
wait any longer to buy tickets.
Dirck Toll will perform Before and After Intermission
on Saturday (Jan. 21) at 8 PM at Caffe Lena’s Black Box
Theater (47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs). Tickets are $12
and $8. For reservations and information, call 583-0022.