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Come along, sing a song: Pelham in the Music Mobile.

Art Beat


TIME TO CELEBRATE It can’t really be 30 years, can it? It was only . . . 5 years ago that I wrote a cover story on the 25th anniversary of the Music Mobile. So, um, yeah: It has been 30 years that singer-songwriter and educator Ruth Pelham has been bringing song to the kids of the Capital Region. And beyond: Let’s not forget her international journeys, including ones to Sri Lanka both before and after the tsunami.

Tonight (Thursday, Feb. 7), the Music Mobile celebrates with a “music-filled” event titled Across Generations . . . Across Borders. It’s at the Emerson Community Hall of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany (405 Washington Ave., Albany) from 6-8 PM. Pelham will be joined by jazz pianist Lee Shaw and the ever-popular Ramblin Jug Stompers. Tickets are $50, and go to support the Music Mobile.

Watching Pelham in action is a treat, and a learning experience. Years before I wrote for Metroland (or the Times Union or The Source), I did a ride-around with Pelham through the South End, as part of a sort-of video-documentary project that didn’t pan out. Grown-ups who remembered going to her playground workshops would wave and come over to the van. And when it was time for the workshop, it was amazing to see Pelham relate to the kids, and how the kids responded, making their own instruments and singing together. So, like I said, the Music Mobile is an excellent cause—why not support it? Call 462-8714 or e-mail to reserve tickets to tonight’s event.


TAKE THAT, HOLLYWOOD This is the definition of success. Indies at the Madison, a program of locally made short films, organized by Jeff Burns and playing at the Madison Theatre all week, kicked the studios’ asses. As Burns wrote in an e-mail, “the [Indies program] sold more than twice as many tickets as its nearest competitor, Meet the Spartans.” If you haven’t seen the 90-minute program yet, tonight’s the last night, with screenings at 7:15 and 9:35 PM at the Madison Theatre (1036 Madison Ave., Albany). Tickets are $6.


ANOTHER WORTHY CAUSE Looking for something to do Saturday night (Feb. 9)? Have something fun and carnival-esque to wear? Revolution Hall (425 River St., Troy) is hosting Fat Saturday for the Arts, a party to benefit the Arts Center of the Capital Region. There will be live music provided by Captain Squeeze and the Zydeco Moshers; vaudeville-style fun with belly dancers and jugglers; a silent auction of works by local artists; the crowning of the king and queen of Fat Saturday; and prizes for best decorated mask, umbrella and costume. Greg Wynnyczuk will be the master of ceremonies. Admission is $15. For more info, call the Arts Center at 273-0552.


CALL FOR ENTRIES And while we’re on that side of the Hudson, the City of Troy has put out a call for entries from “artists and artisans” for this year’s River Street Fest, which will be held June 14. Please send slides or digital images by April 28 to Chet Hardin’s pal Jeff Buell, Troy City Hall, Troy, NY 12180.


SHALL WE DANCE? It’s that time again. Next weekend, Feb. 15-17, the Dance Flurry Festival returns to Saratoga Springs for three days of swing, country and boogie dance workshops and parties, plus the Lindy Hop, the Charleston and more. Events will be held at the Saratoga Hotel, City Center, Temple Sinai, Saratoga Music Hall, the Parting Glass, Canfield Casino and the National Museum of Dance. Music will be provided by the Doc Scanlon Trio, Red Stick Ramblers with Tom Mitchell, Teresa Broadwell Quartet, Lindy Hop Heaven, the Saints of Swing and many more. Events are Friday, Feb. 15 from 7:30 PM-2 AM; Saturday, Feb. 16 from 11:15 AM to midnight; and Sunday, Feb. 17 from 11 AM to 5:30 PM. For complete info, visit

—Shawn Stone

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