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Psycho Snow Ball

Local electronic ladsters Wetwerks are somewhat known for doing it up, you know, big like. In the wee hours of 2002, Metroland’s J. Eric Smith noticed that the light show the group brought to a Valentine’s gig was to the hilt. The guys came to the club early in the afternoon to set up for an 11 PM show, hanging rows of lights, decorating the stage, making sure the sound was up to their exacting standards. So it’s to be expected that when Wetwerks hit the stage for their Psycho Snow Ball at Northern Lights on Saturday, rock & roll spectacle will occur. They’ve probably been at the venue for days readying it for the event.

And c’mon, anything can happen when something’s billed as a Psycho Snow Ball—mixing psychosis with snow . . . and balls. Sharing the stage with Wetwerks that night will be the Bruise Bros., Pile of Heads, Down for Low and Catch Fire. The show is a food-pantry benefit, and a guitar will be raffled off with the cash going to the March of Dimes (it is the season of giving, after all). The Psycho Snow Ball will take place Saturday (Dec. 21) at Northern Lights (Route 146, North Country Commons, Clifton Park), beginning at 7 PM; bring a nonperishable food item and get $2 off the $10 admission charge. Call the club at 371-0012 for further information.

Don’t Look Back

MASS MoCA’s new B-10 Cinema Lounge makes its debut with a presentation tonight (Thursday) of the 1965 documentary Don’t Look Back. Relax and have a drink in this groovy new space while watching one of the seminal figures of the ’60s, Bob Dylan, at the dawn of his stardom and influence.

You’ve probably seen the film’s opening sequence. While the snarky “Subterranean Homesick Blues” plays on the soundtrack, Dylan stands in an alley dropping cue cards with the tune’s cryptic lyrics written on them. Characteristically, Bobby D. oozes downtown cool. As filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker follows Dylan on his 1965 tour of England, we are there. The then-groundbreaking cinema- verité method and grainy black-and-white cinematography create that fly-on-the-wall experience that is the noble ancestor of today’s degraded reality TV. It also serves Dylan’s agenda perfectly: The sullen folksinger and soon-to-be pop star is announcing to the world that he isn’t any “yes ma’am”-mumbling Elvis or smiley-face mop-top Beatle. He’s the snarling, mutant son of Woody Guthrie and James Dean, with the sweet, golden-voiced goddess of folk, Joan Baez, at his side. The young would-be god venerates Allen Ginsberg and disses Donovan. It’s an impressive and hilarious performance.

Don’t Look Back will be screened tonight (Thursday, Dec. 19) at 8 PM in MASS MoCA’s B-10 Cinema Lounge (1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, Mass.). Tickets are $5.50. For more information, please call (413) 664-4481.

A Medieval Yuletide Revel

Yule be hard-pressed to find a celebration of the winter solstice like the one that will take place tomorrow (Friday) and Sunday at the First Unitarian Society in Schenectady.

Following a centuries-old tradition, the society will enliven the longest night and shortest day of the year with a weekend of merrymaking. The festival, which the society has held every other year for more than a decade, will celebrate the winter solstice through theater, music, dance and visual arts. Among the featured entertainment will be the First Unitarian Society Choir and Junior Choir, the Schenectady Brass Quintet, Pokingbrook Morris Dancers and Roger the Jester. The celebration also will include medieval period costumes.

A Medieval Yuletide Revel will take place on Friday (Dec. 20) at 7:30 PM and Sunday (Dec. 22) at 10:30 PM at the First Unitarian Society (1221 Wendell Ave., Schenectady). There is a $5 suggested donation for adults and $2 for children. Proceeds will benefit Habitat for Humanity. For more information, call 374-4446.

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