Gentlemen may just be the best crappy bar band working today.
We mean crappy as a compliment—in fact, the caption on the
band’s MySpace site exclaims “Three crappy singers instead
of just one!” so we doubt they’d take offense. Formed in
1999, the Gentlemen comprise Mike Gent of the Figgs, plus
three-fourths of Boston’s beloved Gravel Pit (Ed Valauskas,
Lucky Jackson, Pete Caldes). The results of their initial
collaboration were laid out on display with Ladies and
Gentlemen . . . The Gentlemen, a raucous, Heineken-soaked
ode to the rock music of the post-bell-bottom jeans, pre-skinny-tie
era. Two more albums have followed (Blondes Prefer the
Gentlemen and Brass City Band), each louder and
more rollicking than the last, indicating that this is more
than just a side project. With Gent, Valauskas, and Jackson
sharing vocals and songwriting duties, we have a feeling
that, as long as the taps are flowing and the power doesn’t
get turned off, the Gentlemen have enough fuel to go all
night—you know, just like a crappy bar band should.
The Gentlemen will take the downstairs stage at Valentine’s
(17 New Scotland Ave., Albany) this Saturday (May 6). Opening
the 9 PM show are Boston-based garage-rockers the Downbeat
5. Admission is $5. For more information, call 432-6572
or visit www.valentinesalbany.com.
Taiwan,” explain the folks at the Taiwanese American Cultural
Society of the Capital Region, “the Lion and its dance represents
fortune and prosperity. . . . The Lion Dance serves as a
signifier for celebration.”
You can share in a celebration of Taiwanese culture tomorrow
(Friday) night at the Egg, when the TACSCR brings the Hung-Sheng
Lion Dance company to town for a special performance. Founded
in 1988, the troupe are renowned for their skill and energy
in bringing the traditional lion dance to audiences all
over the world.
What is a lion dance? Highly trained acrobats and
martial artists performing an intensely physical, folk-based
choreography with large, intricately designed lion’s-head
costumes. And there are drums, too—very large drums. Company
director Cheng Yuan-zong started training in this form at
age 12; his dedication was rewarded recently when the Taiwanese
government gave him a Cultural Heritage Award “for folk
So, it’s entertaining and the real thing.
Hung-Sheng Lion Dance will perform tomorrow (Friday, May
5) at 8 PM at the Egg (Empire State Plaza, Albany). Tickets
are $12 adults, $6 students and $3 children. For more info,
call the Egg box office at 473-1845.
annual traveling African Film Festival, which got its start
more than a dozen years ago in New York City, arrives in
Troy tonight at the Sanctuary for Independent Media with
a screening of Dôlè and African Middleweights.
is Imanga Ivunga’s film about four street kids trying to
survive in Libreville, the capital of Gabon (think Third
World Dickensian). African Middleweights (Africains
poids moyens) is a boxing drama set in the Belgian Congo
in 1960, just before independence. The Afro-European Middleweight
Championship pits the best Congolese fighter against the
best Belgian; the colonial government wants the African
to take a dive. The fighter’s brother wants him to take
the dive for a bribe (where have we seen that before?),
but the boxer is unconvinced.
The series continues on May 11 with The Golden Ball
and Be Kunko; May 18 with Niiwam (based on
a novel by Ousmane Sembene) and Rasò Ganemtoré’s Safi
la Petite Mere; and concludes May 25 with The Colonial
Misunderstanding—a look at Germany’s colonial past—and
Seke Somolu’s Nkan Mii.
The African Film Festival begins tonight (Thursday, May
4) at 7 PM at the Sanctuary for Independent Media (3361
6th Ave., Troy). Admission is a $10 suggestion donation
($5 students, low-income people). For more information,