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Feedback 2003

It’s the holiday season—get in the spirit! This weekend, you’ll have the chance to hear some great music while giving a little back to the community. Feedback 2003, Metroland’s annual local-music bash and food-pantries benefit, will take place Saturday night, and the lineup is dope! We took over both floors at Valentine’s to provide all-night merriment for the masses. Downstairs, the party starts when Matthew Loiacono kicks things off at 9 PM; he’ll be followed by Brian Bassett and John Brodeur (who’ll perform a potpourri of their individual songs) at 10; after that comes Erin Harkes (leaving the Rebound behind for a special solo set) at 11; Brent Gorton (from Stars of Rock) at midnight; and Iceland’s Five Alpha Beatdown rounding things up at 1 AM. Upstairs, rock out on the half-hours with Scientific Maps at 9:30, the Wasted at 10:30, Denim and Diamonds at 11:30 and the Amazing Plaid (pictured) at 12:30.

The show’s at Valentine’s (17 New Scotland Ave., Albany) on Saturday (Dec. 6); doors open at 8 PM and the show will start promptly at 8:45 PM. We’re not kidding, Matthew starts at 9 PM on the dot! The show costs $4 if you bring a nonperishable food item; $6 and a little dose of guilt if you forget. All food items and proceeds will benefit Food Pantries for the Capital District. For more information, call Valentine’s at 432-6572.

Day Job: Work Influencing Work

When life deals you lemons, they advise, make a citrus exfoliating mask—or whatever. Honestly, most of us stopped listening to those Pollyannas a long time ago. There’s only so much senseless optimism a person can take from Miss Sister Mary Sunshine talking sweetly to her fern in the cubicle immediately to the left. Even so, Day Job: Work Influencing Work, the exhibit opening tomorrow (Friday) at the Arts Center of the Capital Region, sounds intriguing. By presenting the work of visual artists and writers who “draw inspiration and energy from their daily work instead of letting their nine-to-five lives sap their creativity,” the center has hit us where we live, so to speak. Any instruction on how to turn the tottering inbox pile into a rich cream that cleans pores as it revitilizes tired skin—or whatever—would be greatly appreciated.

Among the participating artists is Carol Radspcecher, who for 17 years worked as a secretary for a toy-and-paper-goods company (work pictured). Radspecher’s acrylic paintings of the workplace are based on Polaroids she shot of her fellow employees, quick snaps of the day-to-day grind. Some of the more telling—not to mention, funny—show diligent 9 to 5ers, um, brainstorming (“I find I’m always more creative if I close my eyes and put my head down on my desk for a minute or two—and drool”). Other artists contributing include Richard Garrison, Michael M. Geno, April Vollmer and Nicholas Warner. The writers lending their perspectives include Robyn Ringler, Nancy Klepsch, Julie Ambrose, Barry Schawrtzberg and Ken Denberg.

Also making an appearance at the opening reception will be power-pop act the Day Jobs, whose song of the same name pretty well hits the nail on the head: “Half-assed, jury-rigging, ditch-digging, corn-shucking, white-wash, floor-scrubbing, burger-frying, door-shutting, shit-headed, ass-kissing, grave- robbing, tip-stiffing, briefcase, blue-collar, squeezing-out-your-last-dollar, 8 o’clock on Monday and you’re already bitching, goddamn, low-down, toilet-scrubbing, motherfucking . . . Day Job!”

Day Job: Work Influencing Work will open at the Arts Center of the Capital Region (265 River St., Troy) tomorrow (Friday, Dec. 5). The free reception runs from 5 to 8 PM, with the Day Jobs performing at 7:30 PM. The exhibition continues through Feb. 29. For more information, call 273-0552.

Winter Walks and Strolls

‘Sleigh bells ring, are you listenin’/In the lane, snow is glistenin’ ” It’s that time of year again, when we do more than steel ourselves to the idea of winter: We embrace the invigorating cold as a sign of the holidays, and venture out to celebrate the season. In this spirit, three local communities invite you to share their “winter wonderlands.” (C’mon, there will be plenty of time to complain about the freezing temps in January, February and March.)

Tonight (Thursday, Dec. 4), downtown Saratoga Springs will ho-ho-host the 17th annual Victorian Streetwalk. It’s a real street party, with food and entertainment at more than 40 downtown locations. There will be a Festival of Trees at the City Center, free horse-drawn trolley rides on Broadway, and folks wandering about in Victorian garb. Enjoy brass bands, vocal choirs, accordion players—you can even check out the llamas from Dakota Ridge Farm. The fun starts at 6 PM (though the trolley rides begin an hour earlier) and continues through 10 PM. For more information and a detailed schedule, visit

Saturday (Dec. 6), the fun moves south to Hudson for the 7th annual Winter Walk on Warren Street. From 5 to 8 PM, you will find the following on Hudson’s main commercial drag: Mr. and Mrs. Claus taking gift requests, strolling carolers, a bagpiper, Saxophone Santa, horse-drawn carriages and Abby Lappen’s window dancers posing as mannequins. You can shop and/or eat in Hudson’s numerous swell shops and restaurants. There will be a bonanza of music in storefronts up and down the street, from guitarists and flutists to African drummers. (The didgeridoo player is back, too.) The evening will climax in a spectacular fireworks display.

Finally, on Sunday (Dec. 7), it’s the granddaddy of all local winter walks: the 21st annual Troy Victorian Stroll. To borrow a phrase from a certain ubiquitous TV pitchman, “it’s huuuge.” The Stroll’s attendance usually averages around 15,000 visitors, an army of holiday-seekers who enjoy the food, the music and the Victorian atmosphere (enhanced by Troy’s tremendous Victorian architecture). There are 17 children’s events; more than 40 musical groups performing in almost as many venues; and six dance groups, including the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company and the Uncle Sam Sparklers (think Rockettes). There will be rides offered on a fire truck, in horse-drawn carriages, in a vintage trolley and on a wagon with Newfoundland dogs. And Saxophone Santa. The Troy Victorian Stroll begins at noon and ends at 5 PM, and takes place all around downtown Troy. For more information, visit

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