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Sarah Vowell

Sarah Vowell is a regular contributor to This American Life and Salon, and she’s sharp. She’ll bring her mixed bag of Americana for a reading at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall this Saturday.

Vowell’s topics have included the Trail of Tears (she’s part Cherokee), voting, the mob, sports and the nature of attraction to music, just to name a few. She’s also one of the lucky few who’s got the pulse on the personal essay—that elusive and often horrifyingly misused form—and her newest book, The Partly Cloudy Patriot, is no exception. It was a bestseller and further entrenches her reputation as a powerful and powerfully funny commentator. Her warm stories are coupled with sardonic wit, and execute maximum heartstring pulling and side splitting simultaneously.

Sarah Vowell will perform Saturday (Nov. 22) at 8 PM at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall (Second and State streets, Troy). Tickets are $26 and $23. For reservations and information, call 273-0038.

Lustrous: A Centennial Celebration of Art Glass Designed by Frederick Calder

It seems as though the Albany Institute of History and Art has had a thing for glass lately. In addition to the exhibits The Lamps of Tiffany: Highlights of the Neustadt Collection and Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Royal House of Stuart, 1688-1788, Works of Art from the Drambuie Collection, it will open Lustrous, an exhibit of Frederick Calder’s art glass, this weekend. In 1903, Calder was one of the founders of Steuben Glassworks, a company in Corning, N.Y., that produced American art glass. Previously, Calder (originally from England), worked for Stevens & Williams Glassworks in Great Britain, where he was a respected designer of art glass. At Steuben Glassworks, Calder designed and produced thousands of different forms of colored-art glass from 1903 to 1933. He was most known for the bright jewellike colors he used in his glass works.

This exhibition of Calder’s work includes vases, perfume bottles, bowls and more, all made out of the iridescent Aurene art glass produced by Steuben Glassworks.

Lustrous: A Centennial Celebration of Art Glass Designed by Frederick Calder will open Saturday (Nov. 22) at the Albany Institute of History and Art (125 Washington Ave., Albany) and will run through May 9, 2004. For more information, call the gallery at 463-4478 or visit

A Perfect Circle

A Perfect Circle will hit the Palace Theatre stage Wednesday after a flurry of shows around the Northeast. They are riding the success of their latest album, Thirteenth Step, which landed the No. 2 spot on the Billboard chart in its debut week back in September.

APC can be seen as the rock-band version of a television spin-off: same characters, different show. Well in this case, it’s same characters, different band, with each member coming from acclaimed bands such as Smashing Pumpkins and Nine Inch Nails—and let’s not forget frontman Maynard James Keenan, lead singer of Tool. Most recently, APC landed former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha and Jeordie White, ex-Twiggy Ramirez of Marilyn Manson (the latter is also famous for his MTV Cribs special that featured an in-house spiritual advisor and a lack of toilet paper).

Rumors have also been surfacing about dissension in the ranks, with supposed conflicts about everything from cover art to single choices to overall musical direction. These rumors can neither be confirmed or denied, because the band seem to want to talk to the press as much as they want to have kidneys removed. APC often have been described as “complete hermits.” They would much rather be heard then seen: They perform in near-darkness, and none of the band members appeared in their first video, “Weak and Powerless.”

APC’s latest work reflects on the “feeling of being beaten when you’re down.” Throughout, they plunge into the depths of loneliness, agitation and despair; the opening track, “The Package,” sees Keenan channeling the anguish of a junkie looking for his next fix. Smile, everybody.

A Perfect Circle will play the Palace Theater (19 Clinton Ave., Albany) Wednesday (Nov. 26) at 8 PM. Tickets are $32.50. Call 465-4663 for tickets and information.

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