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Eytan and the Embassy

Really, there’s only one thing better than an evening of groovy, Motown-inspired, Elvis Costello-with-a-falsetto indie soul music . . . a free evening of groovy, Motown-inspired, Elvis Costello-with-a-falsetto indie soul music.

Maybe you recall when Brooklyn’s Eytan and the Embassy got things started for OK Go at Northern Lights this fall, with piano, bari sax and swagger. Maybe you recall how the dudes popped their fingers and the girlies swooned. Well, this time, the self-described pimp owns the evening, with Middletown’s The City Never Sleeps opening the show, all for the price of your good looks at the door.

Eytan and the Embassy will come to Jillian’s (59 N. Pearl St., Albany) tonight (Thursday, Jan. 6) at 8 PM. Tickets are irrelevant. Call 432-1997 for more info.

Wine & Dine for the Arts

Albany launched Wine & Dine for the Arts last year and the result was a smashing success—tantalizing the palates of more than 1,300 festivalgoers with an array of locally prepared delicacies and raising $37,000 for Capital Repertory Theatre. This year, in the wake of deep funding cuts, local arts organizations need the help more than ever, and Wine & Dine for the Arts has stepped up the game. The festival offerings have grown, and the funds—the goal is $60,000—will benefit four of the city’s treasured champions of the arts: Capital Rep, the Albany Symphony Orchestra, Albany Center Gallery and Park Playhouse.

The festival begins with an evening of “Dine Around” prix-fixe menus and wines available at 14 area restaurants, and continues over three days with a delectable menu of events at the Crowne Plaza. Two grand tastings each feature four hours of sampling from dozens of the area’s top restaurants—and more than 250 global wine, spirit and beer companies. In addition to sampling food and drink, the grand tastings offer a taste of the local arts with singers, instrumentalists, even live portraiture, and seminars with food and drink experts, including celebrity chef Ric Orlando, Yono’s sommelier Dominick Purnomo and Honest Weight “cheeseman” Gustav Ericson.

The whole delicious shebang culminates in a gala dinner featuring a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception, a five-course dinner menu prepared by five of Albany’s premier chefs, a cheese and fruit presentation from Dale Miller, an eveninglong silent auction and a dynamic live auction conducted by restaurateur and celebrity auctioneer LeGrande Serras.

Wine & Dine for the Arts begins tonight (Thursday, Jan. 6) with prix-fixe menus and wine available at 14 area restaurants. The festivities kick off at the Crowne Plaza (State and Lodge streets, Albany) tomorrow (Friday, Jan 7) with the first grand tasting from 4 to 8 PM and continue Saturday (Jan. 8) with another grand tasting from noon to 4 PM and the gala dinner beginning at 5:30 PM. Admission to each grand tasting is $50; tickets for the gala dinner are $150 and must be purchased in advance. For more info, or to purchase tickets, visit albany winefest.com.

The Tartan Terrors

They’re all young and smiling. They’re all wearing kilts or skirts. And they all look like they can kick ass—serious ass.

The indefatigable Eighth Step series begins an impressive 43rd season this weekend, including this performance by the aforementioned Tartan Terrors. They’re eight (or nine, depending on the gig) talented Celts, who sing, dance, play traditional Celtic instruments and will do their best to make you laugh. This troupe have been praised for their musicianship (specifically, “blistering piping”), enthusiasm and vigor; one critic wrote that they’re “guaranteed to bring a lift to your spirit and a smile to your face.”

The Tartan Terrors will perform Saturday (Jan. 8) at 7:30 PM at the Eighth Step at the GE Theatre at Proctors (432 State St., Schenectady). Tickets are $25. For more info, or to order tickets, call the box office at 346-6204.

 


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