The week ahead

phantogram bw 2013

Look who's back in town.

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (warm), holiday stuff, santa speedo sprinting, Ayana Mathis, Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight, Phantogram, music...


Here's the paraphrased forecast for this week:
Monday: Cloudy, low 40s.
Tuesday: Cloudy, mid 40s.
Wednesday: Sunny, mid 40s.
Thursday: Cloudy, maybe some rain, upper 40s.
Friday: Maybe some rain and snow, 40.
Weekend: Cloudy, maybe some snow to start, sunny and cooler to end, low 30s.

Not good pond skating weather.

Holiday stuff

Thursday: Saratoga Springs Victorian Streetwalk
Broadway in downtown Saratoga Springs will be closed from 5-10 pm for food, entertainment and all sorts of holiday stuff. tree lighting at 6 pm - free admission

Thursday: Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker at The Palace
"40 star-studded dancers perform Olympic-worthy leaps." 7:30 pm - $27.50 and up

Thursday: Trans Siberian Orchestra at TU Center
Christmas rock, played with lasers. 7:30 pm - $33 and up

Thursday-Sunday: Holiday Greens Show at the Hart Cluett House
The 57th annual Holiday Greens Show, organized by the Van Rensselaer Garden Club and the Rensselaer County Historical Society. This year's theme is "'Twas the Night Before Christmas..." various times - various prices

Friday: It's a Jazzy Christmas at Massry Center
Popular annual concert of Vince Guaraldi holiday music (you know, as heard in the Peanuts cartoons). 6 pm - $20 / $10 students / kids 5 and under free (with ticket)

Saturday: Hudson Winter Walk
Warren Street is closed off for "a night well-known for its quirky take on the holidays and for the diversity of entertainment provided." 5-8 pm - free admission

Saturday-Sunday: Northeast Ballet's Annual Nutcracker at Proctors
With a principal dancer from the NYC Ballet. Saturday 7 pm, Sunday 2 pm - $20 and up

Saturday-Sunday: ASO Magic of Christmas at The Palace
Popular annual Christmas shows. 7:30 pm / 3 pm - $25

Sunday: Historic Albany Holiday House Tour
"The tour moves from neighborhood to neighborhood highlighting the very best in Albany's architecture and ongoing preservation efforts." noon-4 pm - $25 / $15 students before December 4 | $30 / $20 students after December 4

Sunday: Troy Victorian Stroll
All sorts of holiday whatnot in downtown Troy, including music, food, decorated store windows, and people in costume. Photos from 2012. 11 am-5 pm - free admission

Sunday: Holiday tree lighting at the Empire State Plaza
Music, skating, reindeer, fireworks, a really big tree. events start at 3 pm, fireworks at 5:30 pm - free admission

Until December 22: A Christmas Carol at Capital Rep
A new adaptation in which five actors play 20 characters. various times - $20 and up

Santa Speedo Sprint

Saturday: The annual ASAP Santa Speedo Sprint dashes down Lark Street partially clothed -- for charity. Of all the local holiday season events, this one might be the most fun. Lots of smiles. There's still time to sign up to participate. And even if you're not sprinting, it's a fun time to turn out and cheer. sprint starts at 2 pm at Madison and Lark

Arts and sciences

Ayana Mathis
Tuesday: Author Ayana Mathis will be at UAlbany as part of the NYS Writers Institute visiting writer series. Event blurbage:

Ayana Mathis is the author of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (2012), a widely praised first novel about one family's struggles, set against the backdrop of the African American "Great Migration" from the rural South to the urban North. A New York Times bestseller, the book was also the second selection for Oprah's newly-revived "Book Club 2.0."

Tuesday 8 pm, downtown campus, Page Hall - free

After the ice age in New York
Wednesday: Robert Feranec -- curator of mammals and Pleistocene vertebrate paleontology at the State Museum -- will be giving a talk about the plants and animals that colonized this area after the end of the last ice age. Oh, and by the way: Pleistocene vertebrate paleontology = wooly mammoths (and other stuff, but let's face it, you had us at wooly mammoths). Wednesday 7 pm, State Museum, Huxley Theater - free

Ankhefenmut coffin illustrationsTranslating Hieroglyphs
Sunday: Egyptologist Joyce Haynes will be at the Albany Institute for a talk about her investigation into the hieroglyphs and illustrated panels on the coffin of one of the institute's mummies. "By reading the hieroglyphs and decoding the illustrations, she had been able to tell us who Ankhefenmut was, what he did in his lifetime, and how he prepared for the afterlife." Sunday 2 pm - free with museum admission

The Doris Kearns Goodwin event in Saratoga Springs on Thursday (as mentioned) is sold out.


Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight
Wednesday: The Palace will be hosting a screening of Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight, the HBO movie that shot in Albany and Schenectady last year.

Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight is based on the Howard Bingham book of the same title -- it's about Ali's refusal to fight in the Vietnam War, and specifically, the Supreme Court's handling of the case. In fact, Ali apparently only appears in the film via archival footage. Most of the action seems to center on the justices and their clerks. The movie was directed by Stephen Frears, and stars Christopher Plummer, Danny Glover, Frank Langella (they play justices), and Benjamin Walker (a clerk). It got "generally favorable" reviews.

Wednesday 7 pm - tickets are free, they're available at the Palace box office on first come, first serve basis

Mulholland Drive
Thursday: EMPAC is screening David Lynch's Mulholland Drive. The "surrealist neo-noir thriller" is weird and enthralling. (Even if it maybe doesn't make always make total sense.) Thursday 7:30 pm - $6

Ice skating

Postponed from its original opening date, the ice skating rink at the Empire State Plaza is now scheduled to open Saturday, weather permitting -- with free skate rental on opening day. The rink is open 11 am - 8 pm. Skating is free. Skate rentals are $4 / $3 for kids under 12 (and skate rental is free on Fridays).


Saturday: Phantogram will be back in town for a homecoming show at Upstate Concert Hall. Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel are on a headlining tour to support a recently released four-song EP. And they've been popping up all over place -- on TV, in commercials, even on The Hunger Games soundtrack.

With: Until The Ribbon Breaks, Weeknight. Saturday 8 pm - $18 ahead / $20 day of


Monday: MS MR at Vapor
Alt pop. A free show thanks to EQX and a beer company. With: Titanics. 7:30 pm - free, must 21 or older

Tuesday: Los Lobos at The Egg
Icons of Latin rock. 7:30 pm - $34.50 and up

Thursday: Sister Sparrow and The Dirty Birds at The Hollow
Soul funk. With: Connor Kennedy. 8 pm - $12 ahead / $15 day of

Friday: Bare Mutants at Valentine's
Jered Gummere from The Ponys.

Friday: Turtle Island Quartet + Tierney Sutton at Troy Music Hall
Jazz strings and vocalist. 7:30 pm - $25 and up

Friday: Craig Taborn + Vicky Chow at EMPAC
"Two masterful pianists from different musical worlds." 7:30 pm - $18

Friday: Chandler Travis Three-o at Caffe Lena
Yet another incarnation of Chandler Travis. With: Steve Shook. 8 pm - $20

Saturday: John Medeski at Massry Center
From Medeski Martin & Wood. 7:30 pm - $25 / $12.50 students

Saturday: The Temptations at The Egg
With one original member. 8 pm - $34.50

Saturday: Melissa Ferrick at The Linda
Folk rock singer/songwriter. 8 pm - $20

Saturday: Marco Benevento at Red Square
"Pianist/sound-sculptor/songwriter." 8 pm - $14 ahead / $16 day of

Saturday: Simi Stone at Helsinki Hudson
"Mountain Motown." 9 pm - $12 ahead / $15 day of

Sunday: Sophie Shao at Union College
The cellist returns to Union, with friends. 3 pm - $25 / $10 students

Sunday: Holidelic at Helsinki Hudson
"Part dance party, part funk concert, part comedy show, the holiday-funk spectacular Holidelic features original holiday songs as well as loose, funk-infused adaptations of Tchaikovsky, "Frosty the Snowman," "Little Drummer Boy" and the like." 8 pm - $20 ahead / $25 day of

To do list

1. If you're a Christmas tree person, this is a good week to get one if you haven't already.

These are a just a few things for this week, not a comprehensive list. Know of something people should be looking forward to this week? Please share!

The Troy Music Hall, Historic Albany, Albany Institute, Saint Rose, and Capital Rep advertise on AOA. And AOA is a media sponsor of the Santa Speedo Sprint.

Phantogram photo via Phantogram FB


Nitty Gritty Slam returns to Valentine's (17 New Scotland Ave., Albany) on Tuesday night for the Dead Poet Slam! The one time a year when you can slam other (dead) poets work.

Sign up at 7, show starts at 7:30. $5.00 / $3 with student ID.

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