The week ahead

zadie smith

Zadie Smith will be at Skidmore this week.

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (strangely warm), to Zadie Smith, to critics, to nutcrackers, to speedo sprinting, to all sorts of music...


Here's the paraphrased forecast for this week:
Monday: Foggy, cloudy, highs near 50.
Tuesday: Cloudy. Highs near 60.
Wednesday: Cloudy, maybe some rain in the morning. Highs in the mid 40s.
Thursday: Sunny and 40.
Friday: Cloudy and a touch warmer.
Weekend: Cloudy, maybe some rain and snow. Highs in the low 40s.

Why the strange warm temps? The jet stream is shifted to the north.

Zadie Smith

Writer Zadie Smith will be at Skidmore Thursday for a lecture, "The Writer in the World." Smith is, of course, the author of novels such as White Teeth and, most recently, NW (review). Her short stories often appear in The New Yorker, and she's also writes non-fiction pieces for outlets such as the New York Times (example: recent profile of Jay-Z).

Smith's talk starts at 8 pm in Palamountain Hall. It's free and open to the public.

Arts and Sciences

United in Anger
Tuesday at the Sanctuary for Independent Media: a screening of United in Anger: A History of ACT UP, a documentary about the influential advocacy group for people with AIDS (review). The doc's filmmaker -- Jim Hubbard -- will also be there to talk about it. 7 pm - $10 suggested, $5 student/low-income


Tuesday at The Foundry in Cohoes: a screening of The Battery, a small budget indie zombie film -- or, as it tags itself on Twitter: "A $6k zombie movie. That doesn't suck." (Ain't It Cool interview with the director.) The soundtrack includes music by The Parlor. Director Jeremy Gardner will be there for a post-screening Q&A. 6:30 pm - $2

Holland Carter
Pulitzer Prize-winning NYT art critic Holland Carter will be at St. Rose Wednesday for a talk about art in the 21st Century. 7 pm St. Joseph's Hall auditorium - free

J. Hoberman
Film critic J. Hoberman will be at UAlbany Friday as part of the NYS Writers Institute visiting writers series. He'll be talking about this recent book, Film After Film (review), and the future of cinema. 8 pm performing arts center, uptown campus - free

Dear Governor Cuomo
Friday at The Linda: Dear Governor Cuomo, an anti-fracking film. The director will be there, as will Natalie Merchant. 7:30 pm - $10

Primal Matter
Choreographer and director Dimitris Papaioannou will be presenting two-person work at EMPAC Saturday. Blurbage: "Primal Matter is an optical illusion created by two isolated bodies on stage, which are used as the starting point in this exploratory journey of balancing our physical existence (body) with our second nature (soul), at a time when the issue of paramount concern is, ultimately, what is indispensable--what constitutes the essence." Papaioannou was the creative director for opening ceremony of the 2004 Olympics in Athens. 8 pm - free (but seating is limited)

The end, again
PhD and MFA students from RPI's electronic arts program will be presenting newest works Sunday from 4-7 pm. Exhibitions and performances start at 4 pm, screenings at 6 pm. West Hall, RPI - free

Nutcrackers, Christmas music

Tuesday: Moscow Ballet's "Great Russian Nutcracker" at The Palace
Forty Russian dancers, puppets, Tchaikovsky. 7:30 pm - $27.50 and up

Saturday and Sunday: Northeast Ballet at Proctors
With two principal dancers from the New York City Ballet. There's a lunch with Santa ahead of the Sunday afternoon performance. $20 and up

Saturday and Sunday: Albany Symphony Orchestra: Magic of Christmas at The Palace
Full orchestra performance of Christmas music. 7:30 pm - $12.50 and up

Santa Speedo Sprint

santa speedo sprint 2011 start

The annual Santa Speedo Sprint is this Saturday on Lark Street. The sprint is one of our favorite events of the year. It's turned into a fun afternoon -- a big crowd, lots of smiles. And the Albany Society for the Advancement of Philanthropy raises a bunch of money for the Albany Damien Center and the AIDS/HIV programs at Albany Medical Center. As the event's website notes: "It turns out running through the streets in your underwear is a surprisingly socially acceptable activity." Here are photos from last year's sprint.

Registration on sprint day starts at 11 am. The sprint down and back Lark Street is at 2 pm.


Tuesday: Carrie Underwood at the TU Center
Two-time World's Sexiest Vegetarian. 7:30 pm - $42.50 and up

Wednesday: Dark Star Orchestra at The Egg
Grateful Dead tribute. 7:30 pm - $29.25

Thursday: Robert Cray Band at The Egg
Blues guitar. 7:30 pm - $29.50

Thursday: Judy Collins at Troy Music Hall
Longtime singer songwriter. With: Jimmy Webb. 8 pm - $20 and up

Thursday: Sera Cahoone at The Linda
Folk/Americana from Seattle. Played drums for Band of Horses. 8 pm - $15

Friday: Joy Kills Sorrow at Caffe Lena
Bluegrass from a "bold young Boston-based string band." 8 pm - $15 ahead / $17 at door

Friday: Simone Felice at Helsinki Hudson
Original member of the Felice Brothers. With: Simi Stone. 9 pm - $18

Friday: Break Science and Michal Menert at Valentine's
Electronic. 8 pm - $14

Friday: Ruthie Foster at The Egg
Blues woman. 8 pm - $24

Friday: Young Guns at Upstate Concert Hall
Pop alt rock from the UK. With: Fort Rooster, Frank Palangi. 7:30 pm - $10

Saturday: Natalie MacMaster at The Egg
"Widely considered one of the finest fiddlers in the world..." 7:30 pm - $29.50

Saturday: Patty Larkin and Rory Block at Proctors
Folk and blues. An 8th Step show. 7:30 pm - $28

Saturday: Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby at The Ale House
Been making music for a long time, now making it together. 9 pm - $10

Saturday: Jacqueline Schwab at Caffe Lena
Pianist who's played on soundtracks for Ken Burns. 8 pm - $16 ahead / $18 at door

These are a just a few things for this week. Know of something people should be looking forward to this week? Please share!

Look for our "Stuff to do this weekend" post on Friday.

The Troy Music Hall advertises on AOA. And AOA is a media sponsor of the Santa Speedo Sprint

Zadie Smith photo via her Facebook page


On Saturday, Indian Ladder Farms is hosting Breakfast with Santa by reservation, 8:30-2:30, along with holiday crafts for kids, live music, caroling hayrides and afternoon sittings with Santa. See

Thanks AOA for mentioning Zadie Smith's appearance. I'm actually reading "On Beauty" right now.

Friday night at Valentines - 80s rock lives! Hot Cousin brings it hard playing all sorts of 80's to shake your tushy to. Charmboy opens with a mix of cover and original rockexcellence which assures this night will be full of awesome. Santa will be there too (no he won't) with expensive presents for everyone like iPads and xboxes (another lie)! And there will be a Mercedes giveaway at the end of the night (we know a chick named Mercedes and she needs a place to crash). COME JOIN THE FUN!

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