The week ahead

beth orton

Beth Orton swings through the area this week.

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (midweek mess), to detective fiction, to the universe as a computer, to pot, to comedy, to music...


Here's the paraphrased forecast for this week:
Monday: Sunny. Mid 30s.
Tuesday: Repeat.
Wednesday: Snowy, upper 20s. Potential for a "moderate to heavy" snowfall Tuesday night into Wednesday -- maybe 6-10 inches.
Thursday: Sunny and 25.
Friday: Again.
Weekend: Cloudy, maybe some snow, upper 20s.

Midweek could be messy.

"I see dead people."

Monday: The AFI 100 series at Proctors is showing The Sixth Sense Monday. The film is 15 years old, and maybe it's receded a bit in people's memories -- but it was huge when it was released, with strong reviews and almost $300 million in the US box office. And it's probably the last Shyamalan film that most people could agree is good... Monday various times - $5

Arts and sciences

Detective fiction - Walter Mosley and Frankie Bailey
Tuesday: The NYS Writers Institute visiting writers series has detective fiction authors Walter Mosley and Frankie Bailey set up for a reading/talk at UAlbany. Mosley is a best-selling author known for the Easy Rawlins mysteries -- especially Devil in a Blue Dress. The most recent book from Bailey, a UAlbany criminal justice professor, is The Red Queen Dies, a "near-future" police procedural series set in Albany. Tuesday 8 pm, UAlbany uptown campus, PAC - free

The universe as computer
Wednesday: MIT professor and "quantum mechanic" Seth Lloyd will be at EMPAC for a talk about the universe as a computer. Blurbage:

In the traditional scientific account, the universe is composed of matter and energy. However, there is another key ingredient: information. Every atom and elementary particle carries with it bits of information, and when two atoms collide, those bits flip. The universe computes. The history of the universe is an intricate dance in which energy and information twirl and entwine. By understanding how and why the universe computes, we gain insight into the nature of reality itself.

After Lloyd's talk, there will be a panel discussion with RPI computer science professors James Hendler and Christopher Carothers. Wednesday 7 pm - free

Energy, carbon, and shale
Wednesday: Richard Vietor, a professor of business management at the Harvard Business School, will be at Union for a talk titled "Carbon and the Shale Revolution in America." It's part of a series of talks about energy supply in the 21st century. Shale, you say? You know all the talk about fracking? That's usually about extracting oil or natural gas from geological formations that include shale -- examples: The Marcellus Shale (Pennsylvania, West Virginia, perhaps New York eventually) and the Bakken formation (North Dakota, where the oil transported through Albany comes from). Wednesday 7 pm, Nott Memorial - free

Theater in the 21st century
Wednesday: Award-winning theater and opera director Anne Bogart will be at Skidmore for a talk about "the role of storytelling in the theater of the 21st century and beyond." Wednesday 8 pm, Palamountain Hall - free

New York's forest birds and climate change
Wednesday: State Museum ornithologist Jeremy Kirchman is giving a talk on research he's doing into how climate change is affecting forest birds in New York. Talk blurbage: "In the face of on-going climate warming, animal and plant species are expected to track their habitats as they shift northward or up mountain slopes. Indeed, birders, naturalists and scientists have already documented altitudinal and elevational shifts in dozens of bird species." Wednesday 7 pm, State Museum, Huxley Theater - free

The End of Cannabis Prohibition
a new leaf book with dropshadowThursday: Journalists Alyson Martin and Nushin Rashidian -- the authors of A New Leaf: The End of Cannabis Prohibition -- will be at Saint Rose for a reading and discussion as part of The Frequency North series. Book blurbage:

In the first book to explore the new landscape of cannabis in the United States, investigative journalists Alyson Martin and Nushin Rashidian present a deeply researched, insightful story of how recent developments tie into cannabis's complex history and thorny politics. Reporting from nearly every state with a medical cannabis law, Martin and Rashidian enliven their book with in-depth interviews with patients, growers, doctors, entrepreneurs, politicians, activists, and regulators. They present an expert analysis of how recent milestones toward legalization will affect the war on drugs both domestically and internationally. The result is an unprecedented and lucid account of how legalization is manifesting itself in the lives of millions.

Oh, and by the way: Alyson Martin is a Saint Rose alumna, from Feura Bush (we hear).

Thursday 7:30 pm, Saint Rose Center for Communications and Interactive Media (996 Madison Ave) - free

Sequential art and Jewish Identity
Thursday: Sequential artists Ben Katchor, Leela Corman, and James Sturm will be at Skidmore's Tang Museum for a "talk about their work in the medium of comics and discuss the ways in which their work engages with contemporary constructions of Jewish identity." The Tang currently has an exhibit called Graphic Jews, which includes "a selection of graphic novels and original pages by contemporary Jewish artists ... that tell stories about Jewishness and explore some of the many ways Jews have figured and reconfigured their Jewish identities." Thursday 7 pm reception / 7:30 pm panel discussion - free

The Mountaintop

Ending this week at Capital Rep: The Mountaintop, Katori Hall's play imagining a discussion from the last night of Martin Luther King Jr's life. (TU review.) It runs through February 9. Tuesday-Sunday various times - $20 and up

Looking ahead to the weekend

One or two things...

+ The Front Parlor storytelling series' anniversary event is at The Linda Saturday.

+ Comedians Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood are at Proctors Saturday for their two-man improv show.

+ The National College Comedy Festival returns to Skidmore Friday and Saturday. The annual event a showcase for up-and-coming comedy writers, performers, and improv troupes -- and many past performers have gone on to great success. Tickets go on sale Monday at the Case Center at Skidmore -- and they sell quickly.

The last week at Valentine's

It's the final week for Valentine's before Howard and the crew close up and head over to The Low Beat on Central Ave.


Wednesday: Guitar Passions at The Egg
Three guitarists, three styles: Sharon Isbin (classical), Stanley Jordan (jazz), Romero Lubambo (Brazilian). 7:30 - $34.50

Thursday: Umphrey's McGee at Upstate Concert Hall
Improv prog rock. 8 pm - $20 ahead / $25 day of

Thursday: Jimkata at Red Square
Jam electro rock. With: Mantra. 8 pm - $12

Thursday: Donna the Buffalo at Putnam Den
Jam/country/roots/zydeco. With: Red Haired Strangers. 9:30 pm - $17 ahead / $20 day of

Friday: Beth Orton at Helsinki Hudson
"Folktronica" singer/songwriter. 9 pm - $35 ahead / $40 day of

Friday: Dar Williams at The Egg
Folk singer/songwriter. 8 pm - $28

Friday: "It Was 50 Years Ago Today" - A Celebration of the Beatles at Caffe Lena
A bunch of acts performing "authentic and innovative Beatle renditions with classic vocal harmonies and super tight instrumentation performed with panache and reverence for the music." 8 pm - $20

Friday: Adam Ezra Group at Red Square
Roots rock. With: Black Mountain Symphony. 8 pm

Saturday: The Bad Plus at The Egg
Jazz and "avant-garde populism." 8 pm - $24

Saturday: ASO at The Palace
Playing "Bolero" and other works by Ravel, Wagner, and others. 7:30 pm - $19

Saturday: Spiritual Rez at Red Square
Reggae dance. With: Suitable Groove. 8 pm - $7 ahead / $10 day of

Sunday: ASO Raiders of the Lost Symphony at The Palace
A program for families: [J]oin Michigan Miller as he travels through the "Door of Time" into the murky musical past in search of the origins of the symphony." 3 pm - $18 adults / $12 kids

Sunday: Tom Chapin at Troy Music Hall
Singer/songwriter/storyteller in a show for families. 3 pm - $15

Sunday: Kristin Chenoweth at Proctors
Broadway and TV star performing "an array of her most memorable songs and Broadway show tunes, including music from Wicked, Promises Promises, Glee and songs from her new album, Some Lessons Learned." 7 pm - $20 and up

Sunday: Ruthie Foster & Eric Bibb at The Egg
Blues. 7:30 pm - $28

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!

Capital Rep and Troy Music Hall advertise on AOA. And AOA is a media sponsor of the Front Parlor event.

photo: Jo Metson Scott


The Eighth Step is hosting a Pete Seeger song circle and potluck tonight at Proctor's Underground!

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