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Stuff to do this weekend

lake street dive 2016 v2

Lake Street Dive opens the outdoor concert season at Brewery Ommegang this weekend with Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings.

It's the holiday weekend and the unofficial kick off to summer.

So, what's your plan?

After the jump, not one, not two, but three days of goings on in the Capital Region this weekend, from parades and memorials to music and drive-ins. And that doesn't count the barbecues, picnics, lazy strolls, and patio time you can start logging.

Doing something that's not on the list? Tell us about it in the comment section. And whatever you're up to, have a fantastic weekend!

Lonely I'm Not ad 525 x 80

2016 Phish at SPAC ad 525x80

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The Remains Of The Day with James Ivory at The Madison

The Madison Theater will screening The Remains of the Day June 18 -- and the film's famous director, James Ivory, will be there for a discussion with film critic/historian Peter Biskind. Tickets are on sale now -- they're $15 until June 11 / $20 after that.

The 1993 The Remains of the Day, starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompason, was nominated for 8 Oscars. And its producers included Ivory's longtime partner Ismail Merchant. Their film company has produced a string of well-regarded period films -- so many, that "Merchant-Ivory" became a bit of a genre in itself.

The event at The Madison is Saturday, June 18 at 7 pm.

The Madison advertises on AOA.

Fence 2016

Fence show 2016

The annual Fence show recently opened at the Arts Center of the Capital Region and we stopped in this week to browse for a few minutes. It's worth a look if you have some time in Troy. There's an artists reception this Friday (May 27) evening during Troy Night Out.

What is the Fence show? Blurbage:

Now in its 51st year, the Fence Show got its name when members' artwork was exhibited on the iron fence surrounding Washington Park in Troy, the original location of the Arts Center. Today, the exhibition typically features approximately 500 pieces, displayed salon style (floor-to-ceiling) in our galleries. All levels of skill and ability are represented, from novice to professional.

One of the things we like about this exhibit is that it's usually a mix of works -- all sorts of materials, styles, and subjects. And this year's exhibit -- with 382 pieces by 231 artists -- is no different, with works ranging from illustration to painting to photography to sculpture.

The Fence show is on display through June 26. The annual Fence Select exhibit opens July 16.

Upbeat on the Roof 2016

olivia quillio 2015

Olivia Quillio opens the series July 1.

Rolling along with schedules for concert series this summer... Here's the lineup for the 2016 Upbeat on the Roof series of Friday evening shows at Skidmore's Tang Museum. As usual, it includes local acts across a range of genres -- from folk to jazz to gospel.

The concerts are all on the roof of the Tang (thus the name). And they're free.

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Freedom Park 2016 concert series lineup

Black Mountain Symphony

Black Mountain Symphony closes out the season in late August.

The schedule for this summer's series of free concerts at Freedom Park in Scotia is out. And, as usual, it's big -- really big -- with multiple concerts each week from late June through late August. And the lineup includes a bunch of different genres.

Freedom Park is on the Mohawk River, just over the Western Gateway Bridge from Schenectady, next to Jumpin' Jack's.

So, without further ado...

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Two local brewery anniversary parties this week

Druthers Albany

One of the interesting aspects of the local food scene in recent years has been the opening of a handful of new craft breweries/distilleries/cideries. And two of them are celebrating anniversaries this week:

Druthers in Albany
The Druthers location in Albany -- which includes a restaurant and production facility for the brewery -- is celebrating its one-year anniversary with a block party this Thursday with food (they're roasting a whole pig) and beverage indoors and out, along with brewery tours and live music. The section of Bridge Street alongside the brewery on Broadway in the Warehouse District will be closed off for the party. Thursday 4:30-11 pm

Rare Form
Rare Form Brewing Co. in Troy will be celebrating its second anniversary this Saturday and Sunday with the release of some beers and and some food pop-ups. Here's the lineup:

Saturday starting at 1 pm
+ Can releases of Royal Coconut Cream Ale and Sexy Beats IPA -- the first 50 people to purchase cans will receive a free Sexy Beats poster. (They're Rare Form's first can releases.)
+ Peck's Arcade "Alleycart" serving tacos
+ The Dutch Udder ice cream cart serving beer ice cream
+ DJ Chill Smith playing music from 8-11 pm

Sunday at noon
+ Brunch pop-up with The Shop serving savory and sweet crepes.
____

Druthers advertises on AOA.

Music Haven 2016 lineup

DakhaBrakha music group

"Adventurous Ukrainian ‘folkdrone Björkpunk’ quartet" DakhaBrakha will be there in August.

Here's the lineup for this summer's Music Haven concert series in Schenectady's Central Park, which is now in its 27th season. The Sunday evening series starts up July 10.

One of the things that sets Music Haven apart from the other summer series is that it tends to focus on world, jazz, and roots music. And this year is no different.

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Circus company setting up in Troy

Circus performer at Frear Building

From a performance in the Frear Building last year. / photo: Douglas Liebig

The circus performers who staged a show in Troy's Gasholder building last year are back in town to establish their headquarters -- and perform a series of shows around the Capital Region this summer.

Marquise Productions -- led by Round Lake native Aaron Marquise, a graduate of the National Circus School in Montreal -- will start off the production of a circus called YOL at the Gasholder building June 10-12. The production will then make stops at a handful of other venues in the area. The schedule is after the jump.

From the website for YOL:

YOL, which means "road" or "way" in Turkish, tells the story of one girl on a mystical journey, exploring a path formed by her own curiosity and imagination. Interacting with the supernatural and mysterious aspects of her own mind, she undergoes her own evolution as both storyteller and observer. A story told through a mix between a new form of circus and theatre, YOL explores what our beliefs say about us and the possibility of returning to a childlike wonder about the world around us.

Marquise talked with Lauren last year about the style of circus his company performs. There are no animals -- it's more like Cirque du Soleil than Ringling Brothers.

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Touring Olana as a three dimensional artistic composition

Olana from afar

Emily sent along this photo from one of the carriage paths as an example -- the lake, meadow, slope, trees, and house were all part of Church's design.

The Olana State Historic Site in Hudson -- the home and studio of Hudson River School painter Frederic Edwin Church -- has a new tour this season, and it highlights an aspect of the site that was new to us: That the area around the beautiful home is itself a designed landscape.

The guided electric vehicle tour follows roughly five miles of the carriage road system on the 250-acre site, surveying the various landscape elements that Church designed.

We heard about the new tour via Emily Lemieux*, who's been leading it. And we emailed her to find a more. Here's a clip from her response:

Frederic Church wasn't just a landscape painter, he was a landscape architect and the entire 250 acres of Olana is a designed landscape, a three dimensional artistic composition. It's like Disney Land for Art History fans.

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Troy Rockin' on the River 2016

The Felice Brothers

The Felice Brothers will be there in July.

The schedule for this summer's Rockin' on the River free concert series in downtown Troy is out. The Wednesday night series starts June 15 in Riverfront Park and runs through August 3.

And here's the lineup of acts...

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The week ahead

Luna the band

Luna is at MASS MoCA later this week.

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (summery), to art, to cities, to gardens, to cooking, to music...

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Stuff to do this weekend

Ira Glass

Ira Glass will be at the Troy Music Hall Sunday.

Remember on Monday, when you thought the weekend would never get here? Well, it's here. Now, what are you going to do with it?

After the jump, a plethora or options. Mix them, match them, share them with your friends. Doing something you don't see on our list? Drop it in the comments so we can all see.

And whatever you're up to, have a fantastic weekend!

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Sacred Sites Open House Weekend

cathedral of all saints exterior spring 2013

The Cathedral of All Saints on Swan Street (it stands behind the State Education Building).

A handful of local churches will be open for free tours this weekend as part of the New York Landmarks Conservancy's Sacred Sites Open House. Blurbage for the statewide program:

Over 170 churches, synagogues, temples, and meeting houses throughout [New York] city and state will be open for you to explore their wonderful religious architecture. You'll also learn about the cultural and essential social programs many of these institutions provide. Whether you are religious or not, you'll see why it is important to preserve these neighborhood anchors.
So, be a tourist in your own town. You'll be amazed at what you can discover.

Here's a map of the sites that will be open, including four in the city of Albany:
+ Cathedral of All Saints on Swan Street, which will have guided tours and an organ recital
+ Emmanuel Baptist Church on State Street, which will have guided tours
+ First Church in Albany on North Pearl Street will have self-guided tours
+ St. Andrew's Episcopal Church on North Main Ave will have self-guided tours

See the links for the times for each site.

Earlier on AOA:
+ A short tour of Albany's historic stained glass
+ Saints vs. The State for Washington Avenue

Capital District Roller Derby Showdown

capital district roller derby showdown 2016 posterCheck it out: The Albany All Stars and The Hellions of Troy will be facing off at the TU Center on June 4. It's the first time the two local roller derby orgs will go at it against each other on the track.

There is, of course, some history here. Back in 2008 the Albany All Stars Roller Derby had its first official bout at the Washington Ave Armory. And it was successful, drawing thousands of people. But later that year there was a derby schism and the Hellions of Troy broke off into their own org. Since then the two derby orgs have been operating in parallel here.

Both groups are now part of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association, and they're separated by a just a handful of spots in the WFTDA rankings.

The bout at the TU Center will be a home game for the All Stars.

Doors open at 6 pm, the first whistle is at 7 pm. Tickets are $15 / $5 for kids 12 and under.

There will be music from Diva & the Dirty Boys, along with activities and a raffle. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Food Pantries of the Capital District. A non-perishable food item will get you entered in a drawing for a prize.

Vaud and the Villains at Troy Music Hall

Vaud and the Villains music act

The music act Vaud and the Villains -- a "19 piece 1930s New Orleans orchestra and cabaret show" -- is set to play a show at the Troy Music Hall September 23. Tickets go on sale to the general public May 23 -- they're $27.

We weren't familiar with the group before today's announcement, so we watched some clips on line. It sounds like a party.

The Troy Music Hall announced two more shows today:

+ Black Violin -- "blend of classical, hip-hop, rock, R&B, and bluegrass music" -- on October 6. Tickets are $20 and up.

+ Bluegrass act The Gibson Brothers on October 8. Tickets are $25 and up.

Troy Music Hall advertises on AOA.

photo: Jessica Verma Photography

Alive at Five 2016 lineup

The Joy Formidable 2016

The Joy Formidable will be there June 16.

The city of Albany officially announced Monday that this summer's Alive at Five concert series will relocated to Tricentennial Park on Broadway. (As mentioned last week.) Mayor Kathy Sheehan explained that the one-year move was prompted by the construction on the pedestrian and bicycle upgrades at Corning Riverfront Park.

But the thing you probably want to know about is the lineup. And here it is...

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The week ahead

milk carton kids band 2016

The Milk Carton Kids (men?) are Troy Music Hall later this week.

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (cool start), to words, to cities, to classes, to comedy, to music...

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Stuff to do this weekend

fork_in_the_road_2015-05-01_1.jpg

The Fork in the Road food truck event returns to Albany Friday night.

Friggatriskaidekaphobia: A fear of Friday the 13th. Friggitriskadekaphobia: The sense that you don't care that it's Friday the 13th, because it's still a weekend and here is a whole bunch of fun stuff for you to do.

OK, we made the last one up, but after the jump, you'll see why. (Spoiler alert -- lots of stuff to do, from food trucks to Greek Fest to Canal Fest to super secret brunches to ... well, you get the picture. )

Take a look and pick your favorites. Doing something you don't see here? Drop it in the comments so we can all see.

And whatever you're up to, bring your umbrella along and have a fantastic weekend.

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Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution at Northshire Saratoga

Valiant Ambition book coverThe Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs will be hosting an event with the author of a new book about Benedict Arnold on June 6.

Nathaniel Philbrick -- author of Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution -- will appear in conversation with Steve Sheinkin, author of The Notorious Benedict Arnold. Book blurbage:

Valiant Ambition is a complex, controversial, and dramatic portrait of a people in crisis and the war that gave birth to a nation. The focus is on loyalty and personal integrity, evoking a Shakespearean tragedy that unfolds in the key relationship of [George] Washington and Arnold, who is an impulsive but sympathetic hero whose misfortunes at the hands of self-serving politicians fatally destroy his faith in the legitimacy of the rebellion. As a country wary of tyrants suddenly must figure out how it should be led, Washington's unmatched ability to rise above the petty politics of his time enables him to win the war that really matters.

As you might know, Benedict Arnold played a key role in the Battles of Saratoga -- and his actions there are honored in some indirect ways.

Philbrick won a National Book Award for In the Heart of the Sea, which was adapted as film directed by Ron Howard last year. And a handful of his other works are apparently in various stages of being adapted for film and TV.

The Northshire event is Monday, June 6 at 6 pm in the store on Broadway in downtown Saratoga Springs. Admission is $5 and redeemable for five bucks off the book.

Documentary makers screening films at the Carey Institute this weekend

The trailer for Two Trains Running'.

The Carey Institute for Global Good in Rensselaerville is hosting a workshop for young documentary filmmakers this week -- and some ace makers of documentaries will be there to teach and show and their films to the public.

The films that will be screened as part of events for the general public:

Friday, May 13: Two Trains Runnin'
This film by Sam Pollard "explores the search for two forgotten blues singers, set in Mississippi during the height of the civil rights movement." Pollard has also directed the docs 4 Little Girls, When The Levees Broke, and the PBS adaptation of Slavery By Another Name.

Saturday, May 14: Evaporating Borders
Iva Radivojevic's film is a series of vignettes about the experience of asylum seekers in Cypress. Radivojevic's short films have appeared on PBS and the NYT's Op-Docs series.

The films start at 7 pm each day and both will be followed by Q&A with the filmmakers. Admission is $10 ($15 for both films).

Proceeds benefit the NeXt Doc program that's holding the workshop this week for the young filmmakers -- it's a collaboration between Albany's YouthFX and the Carey Institute.

Historic Albany walking tour of Warehouse District architecture

Argus Press Building Albany 2016-April

The old Argus Press Building on Broadway.

Historic Albany has a walking tour -- "Industrial Downtown" -- lined up for May 18 that looks like it could be interesting. A tour description via Cara Macri, HAF's director of preservation services:

The Industrial Downtown Tour highlights the industrial buildings on Broadway from approximately Ferry Street north to Loudonville Road. It may cover a little more or a little less depending on how fast the group moves. It will cover the "Nipper Building", the former Argus Press Building (a 2010 Endangered Historic Resource), businesses like Adam Ross Cut Stone and other anchor buildings in Albany's Warehouse district. The tour will focus on the historic architecture and the area's development.

The tour meets at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, May 18. Tickets are $10 and reservations are required. Sign-up info is at the link above.

If you're interested in architecture or old buildings (or both), it's worth taking some time to wander around the Albany's Warehouse District looking at the buildings, seeing how they're used now -- and imagining what they might have looked like in the past. (A lot of the building fronts once included large windows -- see this 1930s photo of the building at the corner of Broadway and Loudonville Road.)

The neighborhood has long been a center of light industrial business in the city. But parts of it are now poised to undergo a transformation toward something more mixed-use. Examples: There are plans to turn both the Nipper Building and 960 Broadway into residences.

Walk [Your City] founder at Albany Roundtable

walk your city founder matt tomasulaThe founder of Walk [Your City] -- Matt Tomasula -- will be the featured speaker at the Albany Roundtable annual meeting May 18 at the University Club in Albany. It's open to public -- tickets are $40.

If Walk [Your City] sounds familiar, it's probably because it's been implemented here in Albany. Maybe you've seen the signs around downtown that note the walking time to various destinations.

Tomasula started Walk [Your City] in Raleigh, North Carolina in 2012 as a guerilla project that eventually won acceptance from the city government there. The idea has now been implemented in cities around the country.

Here's a 2014 profile of Tomasula and some of his "DIY urbanism" projects in the Raleigh-Durham area, which include a pop-up biergarten based out of a shipping container.

The Albany Roundtable event is Wednesday, May 18 from 6-8 pm.

photo via Matt for Raleigh FB page

NY Capital District Renaissance Festival 2016

New York Capital District Renaissance Festival joust

The New York Capital District Renaissance Festival is set to return June 11 and 12 at Indian Ladder Farms in Altamont. Festival blurbage:

Spend a day enjoying a long-forgotten past. Where the magic of princesses, dragons, and knights are intertwined with rich history and sport. Stroll the market and meet artisans selling the unique and beautiful. Enjoy a show by one of the many street or stage performers. Taste the flavors of forgotten foods and fresh menus. Learn about the art of battle. Thrill at the excitement of a joust tournament.

(The flavors of forgotten foods apparently includes ye olde fried Oreos.)

Tickets are currently available online -- they're $11 per day for adults / $3.75 per day for kids ages 3-12 (and free for for ages 2 and under). There's also a "royal" two-day pass for $19.

photo via New York Capital District Renaissance Festival

Fork in the Road returns this Friday

Fork in the Road Tricentennial Park

Tricentennial Park is the park on Broadway across from Kiernan Plaza/the old train station.

The Fork in the Road food truck series returns to Tricentennial Park in Albany this Friday, May 13 from 5-8 pm.

The truck lineup for this month:
+ The Hungry Traveler
+ Sweet Mama Mia
+ Emack & Bolio's
+ The Chuck Wagon
+ The Hollow will be serving beverages

There will also be music from Morris Code.

This is the second year for Fork in the Road. The Downtown Albany BID has said it averaged 600 people for each event last summer. And the spot seemed to work well, with the trucks lined up along Broadway and people sitting around the park. Here are pics from the first one last May.

The dates for this summer are: June 10, July 8, August 12, September 9, October 14.

The Downtown Albany BID advertises on AOA.

From Wolf to Woof! at Heather Ridge Farm

from wolf to woof cover

This could be fun for kids: Heather Ridge Farm is hosting an event with author/illustrator Hudson Talbott for his new book From Wolf to Woof! May 21. It's free to attend.

The children's book looks at how wolves may have become dogs. Book blurbage:

How did dog become man's best friend? Dogs come in such a variety of shapes, sizes, and breeds, that it is hard to believe that they all have a common ancestor-the wolf! Hudson Talbott takes readers on a fascinating journey through history to see how wolves' relationships with humans sparked their development into the dogs we know and love today.
Striking paintings, from an adorable wolf pup to a wide range of modern-day dog breeds, illustrate this insightful story of teamwork and friendship. Through the eyes of a prehistoric boy and a lone wolf pup, we see how the bond between our ancestors and these wild animals may have developed. Starting as enemies competing for food, the wolf and the boy realize that they'll eat better and be safer if they team up. Over time, others catch on, and as many of the wolves become more domesticated, the humans breed them for skills like hunting, herding, pulling, and rescuing. And today, there are more breeds of dog than of any other animal, all thanks to this relationship that started so long ago.

Copies of the book will be available for sale and Talbott will be there from noon-3 pm to sign copies. Heather Ridge will have a farm tour at 11 am that day "introducing guests to the farm animals, which includes cattle, pigs, sheep with lambs, goats with kids, chickens, geese, donkeys, llamas, alpacas and a couple of farm dogs." And the farm's cafe will be offering lunch.

Heather Ridge Farm is just over the southwest border of Albany County in Schoharie County.

Supper club: Heather Ridge's popular supper club has another dinner lined up for this Saturday, May 14.

The Scoop

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