2/19/15: Today’s Top Tips: Thursday

February 19th, 2015, 8:00 am by Greg

MUSIC: J.J. Grey & Mofro @ The Egg, Albany. A tantalizing blend of front porch soul, funk, R&B, blues, southern rock and down-home storytelling has made the band a popular fixture on the American roots music scene. With the London Souls opening the show. 7:30pm. $28.

MUSIC: Todd Nelson @ the Machine, Albany. The guitarist of TN3 and the Cutaways plays a solo show. 5pm.

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MUSIC: The Jazz Vibes Duo @ Speakeasy 518, Albany. Michael Benedict on vibes and David Gleason on piano. 9pm.

COMEDY: Tommy Davidson @ the Comedy Works, Albany. The actor, stand-up comedian, musician, and singer has an impressive resume from “In Living Color” to three of his own Showtime specials. 7pm. $35.

ARTIST TALK: Mark Dion @ MASS MoCA’s Club B-10, North Adams. Mark Dion discusses his career and “The Octagon Room,” on view in the galleries, his mini-retrospective that is equal parts cabinet of curiosity, Victorian sitting room and military bunker. 5:30pm. $7.

FILM: “Hits” @ the Spectrum 8 Theatres, Albany. A dark comedy exploring the nature of fame in 21st Century YouTube America. The directorial debut of David Cross. A Skype Q&A session with Cross follows the screening.

MUSIC: Sydney Schizzano @ the Low Beat, Albany. With Chris Coakley, Laura Fleming and Ryan Leddick. 8pm. $5.

THEATER/MAGIC: “The Illusionists: Witness the Impossible” @ Proctors, Schenectady. This mind-blowing showcase features the jaw-dropping talents of seven incredible illusionists – Yu Ho-Jin, Dan Sperry, Jeff Hobson, Andrew Basso, Kevin James, Aaron Crow and Adam Trent. Expect an evening of hilarious magic tricks, death-defying stunts and acts of breathtaking wonder. 1 & 8pm. $20-$85. Through Sunday.

MUSIC: The Dylan Perrillo Orchestra @ City Beer Hall, Albany. 9pm.

MUSIC: Koko Jones & Soul Spirit @ the Falcon, Marlboro. Percussionist Koko Jones (formerly Kevin Jones) has a resume that stretches from Whitney Houston to the Isley Brothers, Carlos Santana to Buddy Miles, Archie Shepp to Marcus Miller. 7pm. Donations encouraged.

MUSIC: Erin Harkes @ Bobby T’s Sports Grill, Albany. 5pm.

THEATER: “Hamlet” @ Hudson Valley Community College’s Maureen Stapleton Theatre, Troy. Shakespeare & Co. presents the classic murder and revenge tale. 12noon. FREE.

MUSIC: Last Daze @ Putnam Den, Saratoga Springs. 9pm. FREE.

MUSIC: Colleen Pratt & Friends @ the Van Dyck, Schenectady. 7pm. FREE.

MUSIC: The Williams Jazz Faculty @ Williams College’s Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall, Williamstown. Williams outstanding jazz faculty – saxophonists Kris Allen and Mike Kolodny, trombonist John Wheeler, bassist Avery Sharpe, pianist Andy Jaffe and drummer Conor Meehan – will be playing all original compositions by members of the band. 8pm. FREE.

COMEDY: The Local Underground Showcase @ the Comedy Works, Albany. Featuring some of the best undiscovered, up-and-coming comedians from all over the Northeast. 6:30pm. $5.

MUSIC: Patti Melita & Nat Phipps @ the Stockade Inn, Schenectady. 7pm. FREE.

MUSIC: Three Quarter North @ LT’s Grill, Niskayuna. Bluegrass and brew on a Thursday night? You bet! 6:15pm.

PERFORMANCE/MAGIC: Bill Blagg’s 10 Illusions @ the Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield. An entertaining magic and illusion show combined with audience participation, comedy and his trademark off-the-cuff personality. 2pm. $15.

MUSIC: David Breitman @ Skidmore College’s Zankel Music Center, Saratoga Springs. The acclaimed pianist presents a program of music by Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert. 8pm. $8; $5 seniors; FREE students & children.

OPEN MIC: Eighth Step Open Mic & Jam @ Proctors’ Apostrophe Cafe, Schenectady. Cathy Winter hosts Eighth Step’s monthly third Thursday session. 6:45pm sign-up; 7pm open mic; 8:15 open jam. FREE.

READING: Third Thursday Poetry Reading @ the Social Justice Center, Albany. Dan Wilcox hosts the monthly open mic for poetry with poet Sarah Michelle Sherman as this month’s featured reader. 7pm sign-up; 7:30pm reading. $3.

FILM: “Grazers: A Cooperative Story” @ The Linda, Albany. With interest in a farm-to-table food on the rise, a small band of upstate New York farmers sees an opportunity to hold on to their endangered farms by raising and selling grass-fed beef, but they soon discover that the marketplace surprisingly can’t support their simple ambitions. 7pm. $8.

MUSIC: Matty Finn @ Carney’s Tavern, Ballston Lake. 6pm.