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Kurt Hentschläger’s Feed is a musical, visual, and physical sensory experience. Using “dense fog, stroboscopic light, unearthly video projections and intense sound,” Feed “reaches the limits of our perception and created an extraordinary experience . . . where light and sound fuse with our senses.”

Feed is being presented at RPI by eMPAC.

Also, there’s this: “Individuals who are epileptic, asthmatic, claustrophobic or have a known photosensitivity to stroboscopic light should not attend Feed.” We love it. Finally, a performance that will actually fuck you up.

Feed will be presented tonight (Thursday, Nov. 16) and tomorrow (Friday, Nov. 17) at 7 and 9 PM, and Saturday (Nov. 18) at 7 PM, at the RPI Playhouse (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 15th Street between Sage and College avenues, Troy). Admission is free, but reservations are required. Call 276-3921 to find out if reservations are still available; aside from the aforementioned medical-related restrictions, Feed is not recommended for kids under 16 years old. Visit for more details.

Why Melville Matters Now

Suggesting that one particular work is the great American novel is an excellent way to start an argument. (“The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn!” “Gravity’s Rainbow!” “Let’s fight!”) There’s no doubt, however, that Herman Melville’s Moby Dick would have its ferocious partisans, just as there’s little chance that anyone would deny Melville’s continuing importance and influence on American literature.

This weekend, the Albany Academy will host a three-day symposium on Melville, who attended the private school in the 1830s, titled Why Melville Matters Now. They’ve assembled an impressive lineup of participants, including Columbia University prof (and Melville scholar) Andrew Delbanco, playwright R.L. Lane and cultural critic/Daily News columnist Stanley Crouch.

You will also be able to revisit your favorite passages from Moby Dick. (We know you’ve all read it.) There will be a 24-hour, marathon reading of Melville’s epic tale in the Academy’s Gilbert M. Tucker Library beginning at noon tomorrow (Friday). Two local luminaries will begin (“Call me Ishmael”) and end the novel: Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Kennedy, and CBS News curmudgeon—and Academy grad, class of 1938—Andy Rooney. In between, a host of readers will bring the quest for the white whale to vivid life.

At some point over the weekend, you might want to visit the Albany Institute of History & Art (125 Washington Ave., Albany) and check out the Frank Stella exhibit. It features Stella’s “monumental” series of abstracts inspired by Moby Dick.

The numerous events that are part of Why Melville Matters Now will be held this weekend, Friday-Sunday (Nov. 17-19) at the Albany Academy (135 Academy Road, Albany). Most of the events are free and open to the public; for a complete schedule visit For more info, call 465-1461.

Al Gallodoro

At 93, Al Gallodoro remains one of the finest players ever to blow a horn—a fact the sax-and-clarinet ace does not dispute.

“I’m an all-around player,” Gallodoro asserts in his weathered Southern drawl, “from Dixieland right up to symphonies. I’m not bragging, I’m just telling it how it is.”

You can’t fault the guy for, um, not bragging. Not only is he entering his ninth decade as a performer (his career began at the ripe old age of 13), but he still hits the books, so to speak: Just prior to our conversation, he had wrapped up a two-hour rehearsal. “My father never had to force me to practice; I had to make him teach me the clarinet.”

The Birmingham, Ala., native’s résumé runs the gamut from an early stint at the Forest Club in New Orleans (while still in his early teens) to a lengthy sit in the NBC Orchestra’s bass clarinet chair under Arturo Toscanini, a job he considers one of his best.

His most prized gig was as the first chair alto sax/clarinet for the Paul Whiteman Orchestra. He says, again immodestly, “Whiteman’s band was the greatest band put together on the face of the planet. We did it all—we had nine saxophonists.” Gallodoro performed with the Whiteman band from 1936 to 1940; seven years later, he took a job at WJZ Radio (which later became ABC Radio) under Whiteman, a gig that found him performing up to four solos per week on-air.

Speaking from his home in Oneonta, where he’s lived for the last 25 years, Gallodoro sounds upbeat, a jovial fellow to be sure. And he has plenty to be happy about; for one thing, he’s ninety-freaking-three years old, and can still out-blow players half his age—a marvelous feat, considering he was a two- to three-pack-a-day Lucky Strike smoker for almost 60 years. (He quit in 1980.)

“They’re finding out a lot more about us musicians,” he says. “I think music keeps us going—I still have my memory. . . . Look at Toscanini, Horowitz. Urbie Green—he’s one of the best trombonists going. He’s 80 and he’s still going.”

Gallodoro, in fact, has even participated in some such studies. “I was invited twice to play at Cornell University,” he recalls, “with a doctor sitting next to me, asking me questions. Like, ‘What makes this guy tick at 90, 91 years old?’ ”

Perhaps it’s his diet: “I’m a fantastic eater,” he says, as an aside. “I eat all foods. You name it, I’ll eat it.”

Al Gallodoro and his quartet (Joann Chmielowski on piano, Chris Wolf-Gould on bass, Joe Tokarowski on drums) will perform at Justin’s (301 Lark St., Albany) this Saturday (Nov. 18). Tickets for the 9:30 show are $5. Reservations are recommended, and can be made by calling 436-7008.

—John Brodeur

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