Stuff to do this weekend

otto at grill

"Who wants a hot dog?"

Prepare to declare your independence from boredom.

We've got a three day weekend coming and a metric ton of stuff to do with it. OK, maybe not that much -- but a lot. A really, really lot.

Well, you'll see.

After the jump, a few things to keep you busy and happy this holiday weekend.

1st Friday
Albany is kicking off Independence Day weekend tonight with the 1st Friday Art Walk. A few things to check out:

+ The Danni Rash, Depot, Magpi show at Marketplace Gallery looks at the language of color.
+ If you haven't seen the 33rd annual photo regional at Albany Center Gallery this is your last chance. The closing reception is tonight.
+ The SNUG Student Anti-violence exhibit of art and poetry at The Albany Barn.

After the walk, there's the Capital Swing Dance at 25 South Allen, music at Valentine's and Tierra Coffee Roasters, and a comedy showcase at The Iron Gate Cafe on Washington Ave.

Beat*Shot Festival
The annual Beat*Shot Festival at Red Square started last night and runs through Saturday with DJs from all over the East Coast and local spinning hip-hop, R&B, house, funk, electro, reggae, bub-step, jungle, breaks, drum and bass, and dance. $15 gets you into the entire festival.

More music
+ Tonight at Tanglewood: James Taylor and the Boston Pops (with John Williams). 8:30 pm - $21 for the lawn

+ Tonight at Helsinki Hudson: New Orleans brass from the "exhaustingly astonishing" Glen David Andrews. 9 pm - $18

+ Tonight at Caffe Lena: Forward Kwenda, Zimbabwean master of the mbira (thumb piano). 8 pm - $15 ahead / $17 at the door

+ Tonight at Valentine's: act-name-of-the-week candidate JP Harris and the Tough Choices, setting out "to right the wrongs done to a music so classically and quintessentially American" (the music in question would be country). With Dan Johnson and the Expert Sidemen. 9 pm

+ Jazz duo Sonny and Perley are playing a tribute to Louis Armstrong on the roof at Skidmore's Tang Museum. 7 pm - free

+ Saturday at Valentine's: one-man banjo, fiddle, guitar band Possessed by Paul James. With Yankee Cockfight, Yard Sale, and Henry's Rifle. 8 pm

+ Saturday at Putnam Den: bluesy pop with MaryLeigh and The Fauves. With Kyle Miller, Brothers McCann. 9 pm - $5 ahead / $7 at the door

+ Saturday at Caffe Lena: indie pop from Heather Maloney and guy with a guitar from Brad Yoder. 8 pm - $10

+ Saturday at Jillian's: Ten Year Vamp.

+ Sunday at Valentine's: The Loom (back up from Brooklyn), Bear Grass (that would be Katie Hammon), Archaeology (from Portland, Oregon), and Dolfish (from Columbus, Ohio). 8 pm - $7

You can see fireworks displays every night this weekend. Here's a list.

Saratoga's All-American Celebration
The Spa City is celebrating Independence Day all weekend with music, art, a run, car show, fireworks and more.

Summer theater festival season is in full swing. Here are a few of the shows you can catch this weekend:
+ Boeing-Boeing at The Theater Barn
+ A Streetcar Named Desire at Williamstown Theatre Festival
+ Guys and Dolls at Barrington Stage Company
+ The K of D, an Urban Legend at Adirondack Theater Festival.

Where all the children are above average
Garrison Keillor and company perform A Prairie Home Companion on Saturday at Tanglewood's Koussevitzky Music Shed. 5:45 pm - $21-$71

Steamboat meet
The Waterford Steamboat Meet and Fourth of July Celebration starts tomorrow morning at 8 and ends with fireworks at dusk.

A two day summer festival in Sand Lake's Butler Park with fireworks on Saturday and Sunday.

On Monday the Valley Cats host the Batavia Muckdogs at 6. There are fireworks after the game. $5-$11

Mike Mills' Beginners, starring Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer, opens locally this week at the Spectrum. Reviews have been good and Plummers' performance is great, apparently. And if the movie is anywhere as charming as its trailer, it should be a worthwhile see. Also recently opened: The Tree of Life, Conan O'Brien Can't Stop, and Cave of Forgotten Dreams.

+ The Jericho is showing Cars 2 and The Green Lantern.
+ The Hollywood is showing Cars 2 and Mr. Popper's Penguins.
+ The Malta Drive-in is showing Cars 2 and Mr. Popper on one screen and Transformers and Super 8 on the other.

The pools, sprinklers and beaches in the Capital Region are all officially open. Here are the details you'll need. (Troy's pools opened Thursday, a few days early.)

Farmers' markets
Saturday: Troy, Saratoga, Delmar. Sunday: Schenectady and the new Malta Drive-in Market.

Road trips
Take a shopping trip to Northampton or spend 12 hours in Ulster County, Bennington, Vermont orColumbia County.

Spend a lazy morning/afternoon lingering over brunch and a Bloody Mary or enjoy a great diner breakfast.


Saturday night 29 - Hot Cousin plays The Parting Glass in Saratoga! Come rock the 80's with us!

Band page here:

Hi Otto!!

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