3/4/10: Today’s Tips: Thursday

ART INSTALLATION: Chris Salter: Just Noticeable Difference (JND): Sensory Reduction Environment @ EMPAC at RPI, Troy. Visitors enter an environment of almost total darkness and silence but once inside find that the chamber emits micro-levels of visual, auditory and tactile feedback that changes in response to their movements. Reservations are required. 12noon-6pm. Free. Through Saturday.

PANEL DISCUSSION: Chris Salter, Michael Century, Mark Changizi and Ted Krueger @ EMPAC at RPI, Troy. A talk with experts regarding such topics as thresholds of perception, multi-modal perception and the use of research in art practice. 7pm. Free.

MUSIC: John Hiatt @ The Egg, Albany. Singer-songwriter Hiatt has captivated me for 35 years – ever since we shared the stage at the Bitter End, where he played “I Killed an Ant With My Guitar.” Now he’s got a new album, “The Open Road,” which was just released this week. He’s still captivating. He’ll be performing with his latest band, the Combo, featuring guitarist Doug Lancio, drummer Kenneth Blevins and bassist Patrick O’Hearn. Holly Williams opens the show. 7:30pm. $34.50.

MUSIC: John Ellis & Double-Wide @ Red Square, Albany. The saxophonist leads his unique jazz band through joyous music that spins on the New Orleans/New York axis. See CD review. 9pm. $12.

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BOOKS/READING: Lydia Davis @ UAlbany’s Campus Center Assembly Hall, Albany. New York State Writers Institute hosts short story master Davis, a 2003 MacArthur Foundation fellowship winner and 2007 National Book Award Finalist for her story collection, “Varieties of Disturbance.” 8pm. Free.

MUSIC: Fairview Avenue @ LT’s Grill, Niskayuna. Got bluegrass, if you want it. Oh yes, we do… 6:30pm.

MUSIC: Enter the Haggis @ the Parting Glass, Saratoga Springs. The Canadian Celtic rock group is here to remind you that St. Patrick’s Day is less than two weeks away. 8pm. $15.

FILM: In anticipation of International Women’s Day on March 8, Half The Sky is a one night event inspired by the New York Times bestseller “Half the Sky” by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, a book that follows the stories of extraordinary women around the world as they struggle to overcome oppression. The film is screening at Crossgates Cinema 18, Albany. 7:30pm.

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