The week ahead

physicist Helen Czerski

Physicist Helen Czerski will be at UAlbany later this week to talk about the physics of everyday life as part of the NYS Writers Institute visiting writers series.

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (weird Wednesday), to drama, to Michael Sam, to Tom Friedman, to physics, to anime, to collage, to music...


Here's the paraphrased forecast for this week:
Monday: Partly cloudy. Upper 20s.
Tuesday: Snow from overnight, changing to rain and sleet. Mid 30s.
Wednesday: Cloudy, maybe some rain. Upper 40s.
Thursday: Some sun, mid 20s.
Friday: Some sun, upper 20s.

Weird Wednesday.

Assisted Loving

Tuesday-Sunday: Capital Rep continues its production of Assisted Loving. Show blurbage:

What would you do if your 80-year-old father dragged you into his search for new romance after 50 years of marriage? David, a resolute bachelor learns more about love than he bargained for and as his father's wingman and screener, sees some things he'd like to forget. Based on the author's award winning memoir Assisted Loving: True Tales of Double Dating With My Dad, this is a heartfelt and hilarious true tale of a year of dating dangerously.

It runs through February 19. Tuesday-Sunday various times -- $20 and up

Arts and sciences

Michael Sam
Tuesday: Michael Sam -- the first openly gay football player to be drafted by an NFL team -- will be at UAlbany to give the keynote for the university's sexuality week. "A role model and trailblazer for inclusion in sports, revered for his unswerving courage, graciousness and fortitude, Sam offers firsthand insight into leveraging individual personal strengths to pursue ones dreams, inspiring audiences with perspective on what it means to work hard to define and achieve success." Tuesday 8 pm, uptown campus, Campus Center Ballroom -- free and open to the public

African-American history in spoken word and song
Tuesday: Albany City Hall will host a presentation on African-American history. "Nell Stokes will take participants on a unique journey through African American history using both spoken word and traditional Black spirituals. In this uniquely entertaining and informative performance, Ms. Stokes will share excerpts from over 500 years of blood, sweat, tears, pain struggle, triumph, laughter, and joy." Tuesday 5 pm -- free

Thomas Friedman
Thursday: New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman will be at Proctors for a talk titled "The Big Trends Shaping the World Today: Economics, Technology and Geopolitics." Thursday 8 pm -- $35 and up

The Physics of Everyday Life
Thursday: Physicist/author/TV personality Helen Czerski will be at UAlbany as part of the NYS Writers Institute visiting writers series. She'll be talking about her new book, Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life. Thursday 8 pm, uptown campus, Performing Arts Center -- free

The Village Idiom
Thursday: Ndaba Mandela -- the grandson of Nelson Mandela -- will be at RPI for a talk. "Ndaba Mandela will deliver a presentation titled 'The Village Idiom: Empowering Youth Through Education, Interconnectivity, and Employment,' where he will address the critical issue of how education and interconnectivity leads to employment in all areas - from the largest universities, to the smallest local schools." Thursday 7:30 pm, EMPAC -- free (registration required)

Ice Ages
Thursday: The State Museum's Science Cafe series will be back at The Hollow in downtown Albany, this time talking about the museum's new exhibit about New York during the various ice ages. Thursday 6 pm -- free admission


Deconstructing the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper
Monday: The Spectrum is showing a film version of the Scott Freiman presentation Deconstructing the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper. Monday 7 pm -- $15

Ghost in the Shell
Tuesday-Wednesday: The Spectrum is showing the classic anime film Ghost in the Show twice -- subtitled on Tuesday and dubbed on Wednesday. 7:30 pm each day -- $15

The Thrill of Romance
Thursday: A new Pine Hills Film Colony series -- "The Thrill of Romance!" -- starts at The Madison with the Douglas Sirk film All That Heaven Allows, starring Rock Hudson and Jane Wyman. Thursday 7 pm -- $10

Words and images

Nitty Gritty
Tuesday: The Nitty Gritty Poetry Slam is back at The Low Beat. 7 pm

Upstate Collage Night
Thursday: The Upstate Collage Night series will be at The Tang Museum on the Skidmore Campus. "Upstate Collage Night is an art party! Our roaming glue-and-scissors-social is a celebration of ephemera featuring a refined collection of vintage magazines to cut up and remix." Thursday 6:30 pm -- free


Monday: Greg Cartwright at The Low Beat
Singer/songwriter, from The Reigning Sound. 7 pm -- $10

Wednesday: International Guitar Night at Troy Music Hall
Featuring performers from around the world. 7:30 pm -- $29

Wednesday: Skillet at Upstate Concert Hall
Alt metal. With: Sick Puppies, Devour the Day. 7 pm -- $25 ahead / $28 day of

Wednesday: Hamell on Trial at The Low Beat
Starting a February residency. 7 pm

Thursday: SteelDrivers at Troy Music Hall
Won the 2016 Grammy for best bluegrass album. 7:30 pm -- $27

Thursday: Gibson Brothers at Caffe Lena
Bluegrass -- playing two shows (the 6:30 pm show is already sold out). 8:30 pm -- $37

Friday: Noam Pikelny at Helsinki Hudson
Ace banjo player. 9 pm -- $20

Friday: Big Mean Sound Machine at The Hollow
"A thunderous dance party that fuses Afrobeat, Jazz, Funk, and Psychedelia..." With: Hartley's Encore. 8 pm -- $12

Saturday: Regina Carter "Simply Ella" at The Egg
A show inspired by Ella Fitzgerald. Also: Carter will be at UAlbany earlier in the day for a "Creative Life" conversation (4:30 pm). 8 pm -- $34

Saturday: Get the Led Out: The American Led Zeppelin at The Palace
Like it says on the label. 8 pm -- $29.50 ahead / $32.50 day of

Saturday: Andy Black at Upstate Concert Hall
From Black Veil Brides. With: William Control, Palaye Royale. 7:30 pm -- $17 ahead / $20 day of

Saturday: Sō Percussion at MASS MoCA
"The innovative ensemble Sō Percussion explores America's fraught relationship with guns in this theatrically staged concert. Taking mallets to disassembled sniper rifles and assorted drums, the musicians serve as Greek chorus, commenting instrumentally on sung and spoken texts drawn from the nightmares and nostalgia of armed experiences." 8 pm -- $18 ahead / $24 day of / $12 students

Saturday: That 1 Guy at Parish Public House
"As inventor and player of The Magic Pipe, That 1 Guy's show has to be seen to be believed, as he single-handedly (and foot-edly) plays his amazing instrument, made out of miked steel pipes with a single, thick bass string wired from top to bottom, not to mention an Appalachian handsaw, an electric cowboy boot and belching smoke." 8 pm -- $12 ahead / $15 day of

Saturday: Musicians of Ma'alwyck at Cohoes Music Hall
Chamber music ensemble. 7:30 pm -- $19

Sunday: Less Than Jake + Pepper at Upstate Concert Hall
Ska. With: The Attack, The Bunny Gang. 8 pm -- $22.50 ahead / $25 day of

Sunday: Birds of Chicago at Helsinki Hudson
"[A] sprawling collective of soul-inflected, groove-based Americana..." With: Levon Henry. 8 pm -- $15

Sunday: Girl Blue at Caffe Lena
AKA Arielle O'Keefe. 7 pm -- $12

To do list

1. If you are inclined to go out to eat on Valentine's Day and don't already have a reservation -- you should make one right now. Don't wait.

These are a just a few things for this week, not a comprehensive list. Look for out "Stuff to do this weekend" list for the upcoming weekend on Friday.

Know of something people should be looking forward to this week? Please share!

The Spectrum, The Madison, and Troy Music Hall advertise on AOA.

photo: Alex Brenner

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