Autonomadic Bookmobile and Medicine Show
Step right up and witness Human Marvels Doctor Henceforth
Flummox and Professor Okra P. Dingle (pictured) “demonstrate
the superhuman feats of strength and skill that good reading
has afforded them.” This fantastical exhibition of philosophical
physical foolishness includes: a Bed of Nails, the Broken
Glass Dancer, Sweet Sally the Singing Saw, Psychic Surgery,
Mystifying Escapes . . . and much, much more!
If you’re still with us, folks, it’s time to move inside
the bookmobile. It’s not just a spectacle of bizarre wonders,
no sir. The Autonomadic Bookmobile, which wheels up to Albany’s
Free School (in the Mansion Neighborhood) this Tuesday evening,
is just what it says it is—a bookmobile featuring small-press
books and zines. Along with titles from Autonomedia books
(a New York City-based book-publishing collective), there
will be a wide variety of independent publications offered
for sale: squatter comics, situationist classics, books
on sideshow history, DIY bike-repair zines . . . and (as
promised before) much, much more.
A joint venture of the aforementioned Autonomedia collective
and the better-known Bindlestiff Family Cirkus, the bookmobile
began its journey of wonders and weirdness in 1994. According
to its sponsors, the bookmobile “has brought radical cultural
theory into the Florida swamps and the Nevada desert, and
self-published statements of dissent to small-town streets
across the country.” Dear friends, cough up three clams
and see what it will do for you!
The Autonomadic Bookmobile will set up shop on Tuesday (Sept.
2) at 8 PM at the Free School (8 Elm St., Albany). The suggested
donation is $3. For more information, call 436-0929.
Blue Man Group
over 15 years, the New York-based experimental theatrical
troupe the Blue Man Group have been flouting conventions
and defying the expectations of audiences; in so doing,
they’ve become a minor theatrical institution in their own
right. They’ve become so successful, in fact, that they’ve
franchised, establishing four permanent splinter groups
in Chicago, Boston, Las Vegas and Berlin. Now, in a wonderfully
perverse bit of logic (artistic perversity being their modus
operandi), the Blue Man Group have subverted their own subversion
by using the momentum of that cult popularity to go mainstream—after
With the release of The Complex, the outfit’s second
album, the Blue Man Group have continued the exploration
of the sound studio begun on 1999’s Audio. But where
the debut album relied on many of the “homemade” instruments
the group use in their theatrical presentations (giant,
curved lengths of PVC, etc.), The Complex is at its
weird heart a rock & roll album, complete with guest-vocalist
turns from the likes of Dave Matthews, Bush’s Gavin Rossdale
and Tracy Bonham. It’s the Blue Man Group’s cooption of
arena rock; so, it only makes sense to stage an arena tour.
Hence, the Complex Rock Tour.
The Blue Man Group have teamed with Marc Brickman—the production
designer behind the elaborate tour sets of Pink Floyd, Genesis
and Nine Inch Nails—to devise a setting appropriate for
a full-scale mauling of the routines typical of the big
rock show. They’re promising a “playground,” combining the
elements of performance art, rave culture and rock, and
even the tentative set list is tantalizing: From the introductory
“Drumbone (Rock Manual)” to “Your Attention”—which includes
fragments of “Whip It,” “Crazy Train,” “Kashmir” and the
Peanuts theme—to “Piano Smasher (Jungian light dimming)”
and the closer, “What Is Rock,” the songs suggest the same
gleefully anarchic approach that has made the Blue Man Group,
heretofore, a hip household word. Now, the Blue Man
Group seem ready for the big time; the question is, is the
big time ready for them?
The Blue Man Group featuring Tracy Bonham play the Saratoga
Performing Arts Center (Saratoga Springs) on Saturday (Aug.
30). Tickets for the 8 PM show are $30-$45. To purchase
tickets, call 476-1000.
Mochi was an internationally acclaimed artist who worked
in several different media in his lifetime. He was a designer,
sculptor and painter, but the exhibit opening at Opalka
Gallery this week, curated by Matthew McElligott, focuses
specifically on his illustrations, which Mochi described
as “shadows in outline” (pictured is Elephants).
These works consist of black silhouettes, usually of animals
or of scenes consisting of animals. The Florence, Italy-born
artist honed his craft so well that it looks as though he
practiced surgical precision when creating these works.
In addition to these pieces, the exhibit will feature a
newsreel documentary on the artist from 1925, a filmstrip
from 1966, and a catalogue with an essay by the curator
and a CD which contains both of the films.
The Ugo Mochi show will open at Sage’s Opalka Gallery (140
New Scotland Ave., Albany) on Tuesday (Sept. 2), and it
will run through Oct. 19. The opening reception will take
place on Friday, Sept. 12, from 4:30 to 7 PM. For more information,
call 292-7742 or visit www.sage.edu/SCA/opalka.