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Mountain Jam 2008

No higher an authority than Rolling Stone called Mountain Jam 2008 one of eight best festivals of the summer concert season. In a season unusually crowded by multi-day rock fests, that’s quite an honor. And we can see where they’re coming from: Hunter Mountain is a beautiful backdrop, with a not-overly-large hillside that’s well suited for the occasional rock concert.

Plus, there are bands.

Festival anchor Gov’t Mule (pictured) headline tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday night. Friday’s roster also includes Umphrey’s McGee, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals and handfuls more; Saturday’s eclectic lineup features Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Ray LaMontagne and Ingrid Michaelson. (Local bonus: Albany’s own Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned open Saturday’s bill.) Sunday is something else entirely, with headline sets from old pros (Levon Helm’s Ramble on the Road, Bob Weir and Ratdog), plus new(er) acts like Dr. Dog, Drive-By Truckers, and the Felice Brothers. The bang-buck ratio is in your favor.

Mountain Jam 2008 kicks off tomorrow (Friday, May 29) at noon and continues until late Sunday (May 31) evening. Information on tickets and all things Mountain Jam-related is available at

eba Spring Salon Concert

Let’s all give a not-so-silent cheer for Maude Baum and Company Dance Theatre, who will celebrate their 35th anniversary with a pair of Spring Salon Concerts this weekend. The program, which reflects the company’s “diverse repertoire of classical and historical modern dance and avant garde” works, including Baum’s inspiringly abstract Splendor in Stone and farcical Ballerina Barbies.

The eba Spring Salon Concert will be presented tomorrow (Friday, May 30) and Saturday (May 31) at 7 PM at the eba Theater (Lark Street and Hudson Avenue, Albany). Tickets are $20 general admission, $15 seniors and students, and $12 enrolled eba dance students. For more info, call 465-9916.

Laura Ingalls Wilder

From what we’ve heard, the young ’uns are still quite enamored of the 19th- century, coming-of-age novels by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The day-to-day struggles faced by the agriculturally employed family in Little House on the Prairie (and the rest of Wilder’s series) are different from what kids and parents today face, but the emotions and conflicts remain resonant.

The Egg’s Family Wonders series will host a musical play based on these beloved books, Laura Ingalls Wilder, this Saturday afternoon. In song and story, the Arts Power USA production will bring to life the Ingalls family’s “pioneering spirit” and the family bonds that are “tested but never broken.”

Arts Power USA will perform Laura Ingalls Wilder on Saturday (May 31) at 1 PM at the Egg (Empire State Plaza, Albany). Tickets are $8 adults, $6 children; the production is recommended for ages 5 to 10. For more info, call 473-1845.

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