press release for the Big Pop Bar-B-Q points out that, while
barbeque is a staple of Labor Day weekend, it’s less frequently
associated with the live rock & roll show. Now, we’re
not going to quibble with that; it seems pretty right on.
However, we will point out that the very icon of the intersection
of raw, rhythmic “race” music and the hooky, more melodic
popular tunes of the time was a man who knew a thing or
two about good barbecue. Rock, pop and barbecue (not to
mention peanut butter, bananas and a deep fryer, but that’s
another story) met pretty successfully in the form of Elvis
Presley. Of course, he’s not getting around so much as he
used to. So, the Big Pop Bar-B-Q at Valentine’s tomorrow
(Friday) may just have a corner on the market.
And the mini-festival has got a lot to commend itself, even
beyond the promise of good grub: nine acts ranging the rock
and pop-rock spectrum, from Mike Viola (pictured) of the
Candy Butchers (yup, the guy who provided the recorded lead
vocals for the band in That Thing You Do), to the
arena-pop sparkle of As Fast As (formerly known as Rocktopus),
to the very exciting promise of a reunion set by the Staziaks,
whose frontman, onetime Albany resident and full-time pop-soul-rock
god John Powhida, now helms Boston’s Rudds.
You’ll also get sets by Tryst (being hyped as the “American
Belle and Sebastian”), the Brilliant Mistakes (“Squeeze
meets Wilco”), Five Alpha Beatdown (Magnus Sternbostersson
meets Georg Jorvic-Englarsson), the Inevitable Breakups
(boy meets girl, loses girl—we’d guess), and regional faves
the Mathematicians, Brian Bassett and the Day Jobs. Fine
barbecue will open. No word yet on the peanut-butter-and-banana
The Big Pop Bar-B-Q will be held at Valentine’s (17 New
Scotland Ave., Albany) tomorrow (Friday, Sept. 3). Tickets
for the 8 PM show are $10. For more information, call 432-6572.
& Awe: Some American Art
don’t care what they say. The Republican National Convention
was moved to its late date to be as close to the anniversary
of Sept. 11 as was decently and legally possible. If this
seems as much a form of exploitation as tribute, well, it
is. We shall not contemplate the implications of this act,
however, and instead store it away in some dark corner of
the mind—to be retrieved only on Election Day, as the curtain
A very different way of commemorating Sept. 11 will be taking
place all week at Lark Street’s Firlefanz Gallery. Shock
& Awe: Some American Art is a weeklong exhibition
punctuated with nightly performances of all stripes. The
idea is to reflect—every day through Sept. 11—on the tragedy
of Sept. 11, the Iraq war and the current political climate
through art, poetry, drama and music.
The artists and photographers in the exhibition include
Barbara Kaiser, Richard Callner, Connie Frisbee Houde, Marie
Triller, Martin Benjamin, Tom Lail (Cut Gray #17,
pictured), Harry Orlyk, Sara Ayers, Pam Barrett-Fender,
Charlene Shortsleeve and David Brickman. The performers—musicians,
writers, poets, puppeteers and such—will include Bryan Thomas,
Timothy Cahill, Rosanne Raneri, Steve Nover, Tom Nattell,
Gene Mirabelli, Judith Hand and Issak Zunk.
And believe me, we left a lot of good people off this short
Here’s how it will work: Every day, including today (Thursday,
Sept. 2), through Sept. 10, the gallery will be open from
5 PM to 9 PM. From 7 to 8:30 PM there will be a performance.
On Saturday, Sept. 11, there will be a closing reception
from 5 to 9 PM, and no performance.
& Awe: Some American Art will be presented at Firlefanz
Gallery (292 Lark St., Albany) through Sept. 11. All events
are free and open to the public. For more information, call
Academy continues its monthly film series on the timely
subject of war with Ousmane Sembene’s 1987 historical drama
Camp de Thiaroye.
Sembene’s film, made in collaboration with Thierno Faty
Sow, recounts the events at a Senegalese transit camp for
soldiers repatriated from the battlefields of Europe and
German POW camps in 1944. Senegal was a French colony; Sembene,
a Senegalese and director of such pictures as Black Girl,
Xala and Ceddo, is the widely-acknowledged
“father” of African film. Film historian James Leahy has
described Camp de Thiaroye as “powerful and moving.”
de Thiaroye will be screened Saturday (Sept. 4) at 8
PM at the Spencertown Academy (Route 203, Spencertown).
Tickets are $5 general admission, $4 members. The film is
not recommended for children. For more information, call
392-3693, or visit www.spencertown.org.