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Mi and L’au

There are a million band stories out there, most of them remarkably similar and awfully trite. How many times does one need to hear about a bunch of hairy dudes snorting coke off the buttocks of a heavy-set groupie? Once is more than enough, we think. But the story of Young God Records artists Mi and L’au (who appear at Valentine’s this evening) is just so darn sweet that we couldn’t help but cheat—that is, quote directly from their press release:

“Mi and L’au met in Paris a few years back. Mi is Finnish and was working as a model to make ends meet and L’au (who’s French) was working in the music industry. . . . They fell deeply and immediately in love, and . . . decided to move to the woods in Finland, so they could be alone together in peace and to spend their time discovering each other and their music.”

Getting that warm fuzzy feeling? Then wait until you hear their music: a slow, spare blend of acoustic instruments and whispering voices; a suitable soundtrack for both a deep, hard swoon or a long night of REM sleep. Like we said, darn sweet.

Mi and L’au will bring their soft sounds to Valentine’s (17 New Scotland Ave., Albany) tonight (Thursday, March 9). Opening the 8 PM show are Lincoln Money Shot and the Mayflower Descendants. Tickets are $8. For more information, call 432-6572.

Jimmie “J.J.” Walker

Yes sir-ee, you read it right: The dyn-o-mite one is bringing his stand-up comedy routine to our area. The legendarily lanky comic first made his mark opening for militant poetry troupe the Last Poets in Harlem nightclubs during the late 1960s; he quickly gained national exposure, and spawned one heck of a catch phrase, playing J.J. for six seasons on Norman Lear’s Good Times. (Time magazine went so far as to name him Comedian of the Decade for the 1970s.) Now, 40 years in to his career, and closing in on 60, Walker shows no sign of slowing down: His performance schedule has him onstage up to 30 weeks every year. So, what should one expect from a Jimmie Walker performance? One need look no further than the title of his late-’70s comedy album for a suggestion: Dyn-o-mite!

Jimmie “J.J.” Walker will appear at the Saratoga Comedy Club (86 Congress St., Saratoga Springs) tomorrow (Friday, March 10) at 8 PM, and Saturday (March 11) at 8 and 10:30 PM. All tickets are $20. For more information, call 792-5233.

Voices of Light

Carl Theodor Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc not only isn’t like any other silent film; it isn’t much like any other film, period. Filmed mostly in a series of tight shots and close-ups, the story of the trial and execution of St. Joan (Renee Falconetti, pictured) unfolds with tremendous drama, leading to the inevitable, shattering climax.

In 1999, composer Richard Einhorn created a musical work to accompany the film that is something special in itself. Drawing upon “a patchwork of texts, visions and reflections drawn from the writings of medieval woman mystics,” Einhorn composed Voices of Light, an oratorio that has taken on a life of its own. (The Voices of Light CD became a genuine chart hit in 2000.)

On Friday night, Albany Pro Musica will join forces with the Franciscan Chamber Orchestra and special guest soloists to perform Voices of Light alongside a screening of The Passion of Joan of Arc in a special multimedia presentation at Albany’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

This promises to be a very special event.

Albany Pro Musica and the Siena College Music Series will present Voices of Light tomorrow (Friday, March 10) at 8 PM at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (125 Eagle St., Albany). There will be a preconcert talk at 7 PM before the performance. Tickets are $25-$10 and can be purchased by calling 438-6548.

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