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Dirty on Purpose, Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s

photo:Michael Rothfeld

Sometimes we’re so captivated by a band’s name that we never manage to actually listen to their music. Such is the case with the Indianapolis octet Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s: When the band made their last area appearance in December, we simply couldn’t get past the grammar-geek question, “Nuclear So and So’s what?” (Sorry.) But when their debut record, The Dust of Retreat (scheduled for rerelease on the Artemis label in March) finally made its way to our ears, we kicked our own ass for not having heard it sooner. Dust is a nifty collection of exquisitely crafted commune rock; kinda like Broken Social Scene, but with actual songs. Expect to hear a lot more from this band.

Another band from whom we expect big things in 2006 is Dirty on Purpose (pictured), a Brooklyn four-piece whose debut EP, Sleep Late for a Better Tomorrow, is littered with electric guitars doing their best imitations of seagulls, machinery, fluffy white clouds, and the Edge. That is to say, it’s a very Brooklyn sound—plenty of skronk to keep the hipsters entertained, with enough pop smarts and post-disco drumbeats to let the rest of the world in on the party. The band currently are working on a full-length for release later this year.

Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s will cram themselves onto the stage at Valentine’s (17 New Scotland Ave., Albany) this Saturday (Feb. 18), along with Dirty on Purpose and Scientific Maps. Admission for the 9 PM show is $7. For more information, call 432-6572 or visit www.valentinesalbany.com.

Inalienable Rights: Denied

Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s Committee on Government Operations, the FBI, and the House Un-American Activities Committee (may have) violated the Constitutional rights of thousands of U.S. citizens when they investigated them for possible ties to the Communist Party in the late 1940s and early 1950s, a period that came to be known as the (second) Red Scare. Revisiting this very scary time is popular this year—George Clooney’s Oscar-nominated Good Night, and Good Luck. examined the same era to great effect last fall—and apt, too, as the Bush years probably will be looked back upon as one of the most paranoid eras in American history. (This newfound interest in the McCarthy transcripts is not coincidental: Thousands of pages of testimony were declassified and made available for public perusal in 2003.)

Written by Ed. Lange, associate artistic director at New York State Theatre Institute, Inalienable Rights: Denied incorporates actual testimony from the McCarthy hearings, weaving them into a story that shows, according to the NYSTI folks, “how the turmoil affected the common men and women of the nation.”

Inalienable Rights: Denied will be presented as a staged reading this weekend at the New York State Theatre Institute (Schacht Fine Arts Center, Russell Sage College, Troy). Performances will take place tomorrow (Friday, Feb. 17) at 10 AM and 8 PM, and Saturday (Feb. 18) at 8 PM. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and children ages 12 and under. For more information, call 273-3256 or visit www.nysti.org.

Magic of Mozart Festival

In case you haven’t noticed, there’s been a lot of music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart being performed lately. There’s a good reason: This year marks the 250th anniversary of his birth. And this weekend at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, there will be three top-shelf concerts featuring the best in local and out-of-town talent.

Tomorrow (Friday), the Albany Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of David Alan Miller, will present an all-Mozart program including Divertimento in D and Symphony No. 41 (Jupiter). Clarinetist Susan Martula will join the ASO for the popular Clarinet Concerto, and pianist Frederic LaCroix will be featured on Piano Concerto No. 19. According to Miller, the concert was programmed much in the manner of concerts Mozart himself organized in Vienna in the 1780s.

On Saturday, one of the most popular NPR music programs, From the Top, will be taped in front of a live audience at the Troy Music Hall. (It’s heard locally on WMHT-FM every Saturday at 5 PM.) Host Christopher O’Riley and some of the most talented young musicians in the country are returning to the hall after a three-year absence; performers will include a 12-year-old pianist performing Sonata in F-major, and a pair of 17-year-old prodigies joining O’Riley on Clarinet Trio in E-Flat major.

The Mozart celebration concludes with a Sunday performance by the New York Philomusica (pictured), presenting an especially beguiling program. Works will include March and Divertimento in C, Horn Concerto No. 3, Piano Quintet in D and Piano Concerto No. 24.

Now everybody: “Happy birthday, dear Wolfie. . . . ”

The ASO will perform tomorrow (Friday, Feb. 17) at 8 PM at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall (Second and State streets, Troy). In addition to this Magic of Mozart performance, the ASO will present the same program tonight (Thursday, Feb. 16) at 7:30 PM the Canfield Casino (Congress Park, Saratoga Springs) and Saturday (Feb. 18) at 7:30 PM at the First United Methodist Church (55 Fenn St., Pittsfield, Mass.). Tickets are $41.25 to $21. For more information, call the ASO at 465-4755.

From the Top will be presented Saturday (Feb. 18) at 8 PM at the Troy Music Hall. Tickets are $31, $28 and $20. For reservations, call 273-0038.

New York Philomusica will perform Sunday (Feb. 19) at 4 PM at the Troy Music Hall. Tickets are $35 and $32. For reservations, call 273-0038.


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