10/8/10: Today’s Tips: Friday

MUSIC: Sonos vs. Straight No Chaser, the Battle of the We-Still-Ain’t-Got-No-Bands. Really? What are the odds of two premiere contemporary a cappella groups landing in Albany on the same night? So take your pick: Sonos, the co-ed, LA-based six-voice group who met at UCLA and sing a cappella renditions of songs by Bjork, Fleet Foxes, Rufus Wainwright and the Jackson 5. Or Straight No Chaser, the all-male, 10-voice group who met at Indiana University and sing a cappella renditions of songs by Frankie Valli, Toto and Soft Cell, as well as “The 12 Days of Christmas.” Sonos @ The Linda, Albany. 8pm. $17. Straight No Chaser @ the Palace Theatre, Albany. 9pm. $27.50, $34.50, $39.50. (Related story: Sonos preview with video)

FILM: “Beauty and the Beast” @ the Arkell Museum, Canajoharie. No this definitely ain’t the Disney version. Jean Cocteau’s masterful 1946 film tackles the classic fairy tale love story with sensuality and surrealism. 7pm. FREE.

MUSIC: Gordon Lightfoot @ the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy. “If You Could Read My Mind,” “Sundown,” “Early Morning Rain,” “For Lovin’ Me,” “Ribbon of Darkness,” “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”… The list of classics penned by the iconic Canadian troubadour and folk laureate is endless. 8pm. $40, $50.

CONVENTION: Albacon @ the Best Western Sovereign Hotel, Albany. The annual gathering of science fiction and fantasy writers, artists and fans. The featured writer is Allen Steele; featured artist Ron Miller. With workshops, anime screenings, gaming, art exhibition and more. $65 for a three-day pass. Or $25 today; $30 for Saturday; $25 for Sunday; ages 12 & under free with adult; students half off. (Through Sunday)

MUSIC: Blue Oyster Cult @ the Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield. Speaking of science fiction, the thinking man’s heavy metal band BoC invade the very classy, cozy Colonial with their deep songbag of such gems as “Veteran of the Psychic Wars,” “7 Screaming Diz-Busters” and “This Ain’t the Summer of Love.” And with vocalist Eric Bloom and guitar hero Buck Dharma cranking it out, BoC is always worth the price of admission. 8pm. $35, $45.

THEATER: “Spamalot” @ Proctors, Schenectady. Who ever thought that Monty Python could possibly translate into a hit Broadway musical? Silly? Oh, to be sure. And we’re ever so thankful for it. $20, $35, $50, $60. (through Saturday)

MUSIC: Billy Faier @ the Colony Cafe, Woodstock. Chances are you’ve never heard the name Billy Faier before. That is, unless you’re a banjo player, in which case Faier is some kind of mythological being. A innovative pioneer on the five-string, the 79-year-old Faier returns to Woodstock, where he lived for many years, for a homecoming concert tonight. 8pm. $10. (Related story: Billy Faier’s Five Firsts)

FILM/MUSIC: Robert Millis and Parashi @ Upstate Artists Guild, Albany. Presented by the Albany Sonic Arts Collective, Millis (of the Climax Golden Twins) performs solo and screens his new film, “This World Is Unreal Like a Snake in a Rope.” Parashi (aka, Mike Griffin) also performs a solo set utilizing microphones, pedals, tapes, synthesizers, guitar, metal bowl, washboard, tin box, tin whistle, noise generator, and more. 8pm.

MUSIC: Jeanne O’Connor & Nat Phipps @ A Place for Jazz at the First Unitarian Society Whisperdome, Schenectady. After kicking off their concert series with a pair of high profile concerts by Lee Konitz and Mike Moreno, A Place for Jazz switches gears to shine the spotlight on some tasty local talent, pairing up vocalist O’Connor with pianist Phipps and some able-bodied support from bassist Pete Toigo and drummer Pete Sweeney. 8pm. $15. (Related story: Jeanne O’Connor’s Five Firsts)

ARTS WALK: The Hudson ArtsWalk @ various locations, Hudson. Actually, this year the annual Columbus Day Weekend ArtsWalk has spread to Chatham, too, which means that there’s even more free visual arts, music, readings, kids activities and all-around autumnal fun. Don’t miss C. Ryder Cooley’s weekend-long installation and Saturday evening performance at the Hudson Opera House. Through Monday. FREE. (Related story: C. Ryder Cooley, Cool Factor 10)

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