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Insights into Suburbia

This exhibit, which opens Tuesday at the Opalka Gallery, tackles a vast subject: American suburbia. And we do mean vast, for the United States is nation of sprawling suburbs from sea to not-so-shining sea. Featuring 50 works by 25 women artists from all over this fat, happy land, Insights into Suburbia aims to “reveal characteristics of contemporary suburbs . . . artworks coalesce into four main areas, and paramount among them is the importance of social associations which appear to form the backbone of suburban relationships.”

Pictured is Lisa D. Weinblatt’s oil-on-canvas Man Woman 2 (1997).

Insights into Suburbia opens Tuesday (Sept. 4) at the Opalka Gallery (Sage College of Albany, 140 New Scotland Ave., Albany) and continues through Oct. 21. There is a catered reception from 5 to 9 PM on Sept. 7, as part of Albany’s monthly 1st Friday event. There will also be a panel presentation on Sept. 23 from 1 to 3 PM. For more info and gallery hours, call 292-1903 or visit

Capital District Scottish Games

This is the 30th anniversary edition of the CDSG, and the 90th anniversary of featured performers the Schenectady Pipe Band. It’s two days of fun for all ages: food, drink, vendors, step dancing, historical military displays, a Scottish dog show, Scottish black-faced sheep, Clydesdales, highland athletics—caber toss, hammer throw, stone put, sheaf toss—and plenty of music.

Saturday, bands will include Kevin McKrell and the Hard Road Céilidh Band, Hair of the Dog, the Brigadoons and Colin Grant-Adams; Glengarry Bhoys are featured Sunday, along with second performances by Grant-Adams and the Brigadoons.

The 30th anniversary presentation of the Capital District Scottish Games will be held Saturday (Sept. 1) from 8 AM to 6 PM and Sunday (Sept. 2) from 10 AM to 5 PM at the Altamont Fairgrounds (Route 146, Altamont). Admission Saturday is $18; admission Sunday is $12. For more info, visit

American Idols Live!

Only a few of us watched much of American Idol this year, though we were aware enough of the contestants to be grateful that Jordin Sparks (pictured) won. We were just mildly interested in this concert—until we saw the set list.

Now, we’re convinced this may be the most jaw-dropping musical experience of the year. Savor the poptastic weirdness of the top 10 American Idol finishers singing 40 years of classic songs.

The covers are dizzyingly all over the place. A Supremes melody? Cool. A boatload of Bon Jovi? Totally expected. The Zombies, Labelle, Maroon 5 and Jamiroquai? Kinky! Sanjaya Malakar singing two Michael Jackson songs? Hilarious, and yet, sad—a measure of how unseriously the erstwhile King of Pop is taken these days. But here’s the cover that really rules: “America.” Not Bernstein and Sondheim, or even Paul Simon. Prince’s “America,” from the criminally undervalued album Around the World in a Day.

We only wish that when the entire group sings the Black Eyed Peas’ “Let’s Get It Started,” they would belt out the original lyrics of that song. (If you don’t know what we’re referring to, well, crank up the Google.)

American Idols Live! will be presented tonight (Thursday, Aug. 30) at 7 PM at the Times Union Center (51 S. Pearl St., Albany). Tickets are $70 and $39.50. For tickets and info, call 487-2000.

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