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The Yellowjackets
Van Dyck, Thursday

It takes a single lineup change to signal the end of most bands. So when guitarist and front man Robben Ford left the Yellowjackets, many music critics closed the book on the experimental jazz quartet. But, 14 years and 12 albums later, the Yellowjackets continue to record and refine their mixture of jazz, R&B, rock and bluegrass. After several personnel changes, the Yellowjackets have settled around the lineup of keyboardist Russell Ferante, bassist Jimmy Haslip, drummer Peter Erskine and saxophonist Bob Mintzer. All noted session players, the four have become a musician’s band, playing a mixture of contemporary jazz and fusion. Though the Yellowjackets’ popularity has dwindled in recent years, their music continues to progress; on their latest studio album, the group played around with vocal tracks and worldbeat rhythms. Refusing to be pigeonholed as a smooth-jazz outfit, the group is known to stretch out their material in concert, adding a darker edge to their “greatest hits.” Tonight (Thursday), the Yellowjackets will showcase their jazz stew in two performances at the Van Dyck. (March 7, 7 and 9:30 PM, $28, 381-1111)

Dexter Romweber, Rocky Velvet
Valentine’s, Friday

Some bands don’t just sound retro—some are retro. Dexter Romweber—one-half of Chapel Hill, N.C.’s Flat Duo Jets—is one retro mofo. Flat Duo Jets rose through the rockabilly ranks in the ’90s, providing raw roots-rock punkabilly-swing to their adoring fans (or is that “psycho-punk-a-goth-a-billy-spaghetti-surf,” as quoted in Ninevolt magazine?). Seemingly possessed singer-guitarist Romweber and hard-hitting drummer Crow merged the old cats—Eddie Cochran, Johnny Horton and the Ventures—with punk and power chords to create their own authentic form of crazed rock. They toured with the Cramps and Beck, were featured in the film Athens, Ga.: Inside/Out, and made 10, mostly lo-fi, independently released albums in their 15 years together. Their last, Lucky Eye (Outpost Records), made it to the majors, but some diehard fans bemoaned the string and horn arrangements that accompanied the duo on the album. Then they broke up. Romweber, who apparently doesn’t like to talk about the circumstances of the split, will play a solo show at Valentine’s tomorrow (Friday), with Rocky Velvet opening. (March 8, 10 PM, $7, 432-6572)

Vassar Clements, Austin Lounge Lizards, Northern Lights
Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Saturday

With the success of the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, bluegrass seems poised for a full-fledged assault on the mainstream. Longtime fans, or newbies eager for a sampling, can experience a good representation of the genre’s perhaps-surprising diversity at the Troy Music Hall on Saturday, when Vassar Clements, the Austin Lounge Lizards and Northern Lights swing through the Collar City. Known as the “Miles Davis of bluegrass,” Clements has been at it for over 50 years, and is still regarded by many as the foremost bluegrass fiddler in the world; the Austin Lounge Lizards will provide an irreverent counterpart to the canonized Clements with their combination of solid bluegrass licks and “lyrics that eviscerate, embarrass, embellish and otherwise poke fun at parody-worthy people and places”; and Northern Lights will present a mélange of styles, from traditional bluegrass to jazz and classical and “everything in between.” (March 9, 8 PM, $24, 273-0038

Agnostic Front, T.S.O.L., The Casualties, The Lost Angels
Valentine’s, Sunday

Originally called the Zoo Crew, Agnostic Front got their start back in 1982 in New York City. Now, 20 years later, these guys are still respected as the Godfathers of Hardcore—though front man Roger Miret and guitarist Vinnie Stigma are the only original members still onboard. “To me, hardcore punk was a movement and not two distinct styles of music,” Miret has stated. “In my opinion, hardcore was always the aborted child of punk.” It was Stigma who created the band’s name—according to Miret, “He just liked the name Agnostic, so he thought of Agnostic Front like a movement.” And despite misconceptions that have dogged the hardcore scene, he says, the scene is about inclusion: “A.F. is for everyone. We are about unity. We don’t support ignorance and hatred within our scene.” Miret and Stigma are joined on bass by Mike Gallo and drums by Jim Colletti on the band’s 2001 Epitaph release, Dead Yuppies. Agnostic Front come back to our area Sunday for an all-ages show at Valentine’s. Joining them on the bill are T.S.O.L., the Casualties and the Lost Angels. (March 10, 8 PM, $12, 432-6572

John Hiatt, Tim Easton
The Egg, Sunday

His songs have been covered by the Everly Brothers, Joe Cocker, Bonnie Raitt, Iggy Pop, Paula Abdul, Don Henley, Three Dog Night, Eric Clapton and B.B. King, Ronnie Milsap and Bob Dylan—to name only a few. That sentence sounds like one a fledgling songwriter would make up for himself while daydreaming about how he’ll be introduced at the Grammys, doesn’t it? And yet, this is the true story of John Hiatt. For more than 25 years, Hiatt has been writing and recording songs that even the biggest of shots can’t wait to perform. And though his best-known songs are probably most familiar to you as sung by others (“Thing Called Love” by Bonnie Raitt, or “Angel Eyes” by the Jeff Healey Band, for example), Hiatt’s done all right for himself as a performer as well. His album Crossing Muddy Waters earned him a Grammy nomination, and in 2000 he was named the artist/songwriter of the year at the Nashville Music Awards—where they know a thing or two about songwriting. In his sold-out show at the Egg on Sunday, Hiatt will present some of his best and some of his newest songs in the purest of settings: solo acoustic. Tim Easton will open. (March 10, 7 PM, $26, 473-1845)

Leading Ladies & Uduboy
The Egg, Wednesday

Several of the Capital Region’s finest female musicians—and one equally talented fellow—will converge on the Egg’s Swyer Theatre on Wednesday for an unusual program titled Leading Ladies & Uduboy. The male of the title is area percussionist Brian Melick, whose nickname refers to the udu, an African drum he often features in his performances. Subtitled “a celebration of friendship and musical diversity,” the program will feature assorted solo and duo performances showcasing the eclectic skills of those participating, whose work encompasses everything from roots music to classical to worldbeat; Melick’s participation in many of the numbers will provide the evening’s musical continuity. The distaff contingent includes Adirondack folksinger Bridget Ball, pianist Peggy Delaney, vocalist-harpist Martha Gallagher, violinist Sarah Milonovich (one of Melick’s band mates in the McKrells), blues-folk singer Siobhán Quinn, cellist Monica Wilson-Roach, singer-pianist-accordionist Zoe Zak and flamenco guitarist Maria Zemantauski. Expect a spirited mix of instrumental and vocal pyrotechnics, and perhaps even an unscheduled jam or two. (March 13, 7 PM, $15, $12 seniors, $10 kids, 473-1061)

also noted

Jazz-funk jamsters Psychedelic Breakfast will play Valentine’s tonight (Thursday), with Jacob Fred’s Jazz Odyssey opening (9 PM, $8, 432-6572); Psychedelic Breakfast will then head over to Pearl Street in Northampton, Mass., for a show tomorrow (Friday), with Cold Duck Trio and Platypus Complex opening that show (8:30 PM, $8, 800-THE-TICK). . . . Celebrated jazz harmonica-player Toots (get it?) Thielemans will team up with spiritual pianist Kenny Werner for a show tomorrow at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall (8 PM, $24, 273-0038). . . . New York City band Darediablo will make their Albany debut at the Fuze Box tomorrow, with Hungry Jack and Great Day for Up (9:30 PM, $5, 432-4472). . . . Schenectady County Community College will host a two-day Multicultural Music Festival; on Friday, Trinidad and Tobago Steelband and Hair of the Dog will play; on Saturday, the six-member Catskill Klezmorim and Alex Torres and the Latin Kings will play (8 PM, $6, $10 for both, 381-1336). . . . Acoustic rockers Hector on Stilts, who recently moved to the area from Tucson, Ariz., will play the Larkin on Saturday, and drumming for the duo will be fellow Arizonian, and ex-Sidewinder, Bruce Halper; knotworking shares the bill (10 PM, $5, 463-5225). . . . Hartford-based rock band Pleasurecrush will play an all-ages show with the Bruise Bros. at Impulse Tattoo in Latham on Saturday (7:30 PM, $2, 783-8282). . . Berkshire Community College will host the Pittsfield Folk Fest on Saturday, which will feature Orleans alum John Hall, legendary folk-singer Bill Staines and Berkshire native Bobby Sweet (7 PM, $25, 499-4660, ext. 291).


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