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Today Is the Day, Cephalic Carnage, Disciples of Berkowitz, Detriment
Valentine’s, Thursday

“Austin delivers a dose of pure reality with every release, one that strikes hard and grabs the listener by the throat relentlessly and without mercy.” That is how metal rag Unrestrained described Today Is the Day frontman and founder Steve Austin, also detailed by Alternative Press as “a cultish Robert Fripp/John McLaughlin hybrid; a noise-rock auteur known as much for his off-kilter, damaging riffs and vocals, as for his soaring Gilmour-style leads.” That, coupled with some whacked-out album covers (Live Till You Die’s close-up photo of Charles Manson, and Temple of the Morning Star’s sperm descending on a pentagram) should be enough to lure the adventurous to give Today Is the Day’s newest release, Sadness Will Prevail, a listen. Today Is the Day stop in to Valentine’s tonight (Thursday), joined by Cephalic Carnage, Disciples of Berkowitz and Detriment. (Oct. 17, 8 PM, $12, $10 advance, 432-6572)

Ray’s Vast Basement, Michael Zapruder, Wood
The Fuze Box, Friday

The last time Jon Bernson and his bandmates were in town, they were playing backup for notorious impersonator Extreme Elvis. After playing a show, and then subsequently being ousted from Valentine’s, Elvis reportedly went on a rampage, making stops at several Lark Street establishments—horrifying some curious onlookers and delighting others as he dropped his sequined trousers, peed in a beer glass, and then guzzled it down. Well, Elvis won’t be coming along this time, but Bernson’s band, Ray’s Vast Basement, should be entertainment enough tomorrow (Friday) at the Fuze Box. The San Francisco-based ensemble comprise 12 musicians who employ everything from an upright piano to glass bowls in crafting their lush compositions. Thanks to Bernson’s gravelly voice and the strong sense of narrative purpose the band weave into their music, the rambling, earthy rock of Ray’s Vast Basement invites comparisons to Tom Waits and Bruce Springsteen. Singer-songwriter Michael Zapruder, deemed a “damn fine songwriter” by The Village Voice, will also appear, along with local acoustic group Wood. (Oct. 18, 9 PM, 432-8866).

Kenny Rogers
Proctor’s Theatre, Saturday

Somebody decorated his life, and Kenny Rogers gave back with hit after hit after middle-of-the-road country crossover hit. Critically, Rogers has never earned a great deal of respect: His easy-to-digest pop hits, delivered in an agreeably gruff vocal style with limited dynamics, have been widely dismissed as radio-friendly fluff. But don’t tell that to the various academies and associations that have showered him with awards over the years, and especially not to the fans who made Rogers a rich man by snapping up album after album (60 of ’em, to date) full of songs like “Lucille, “She Believes in Me,” “Coward of the County” and “The Gambler.” Those fans are still coming out to see him in droves—witness last year’s sold-out show at this very same Proctor’s—so Rogers clearly knows that it ain’t time to fold ’em yet. (Oct. 19, 8 PM, $59-$42, 346-6204)

David Poe

David Poe, Bryan Thomas, John Brodeur
The Larkin Lounge, Sunday

Was a time, back in heady late ’90s, when it seemed like New York City-based singer-songwriter David Poe considered Albany his home away from home. He gigged here with some regularity, winning crowds over with his intimate perfect pop (kindly throwing in a killer cover of Big Star’s “The Ballad of El Goodo” for good measure) and easygoing stage manner. Then—poof—he was gone. Well, he’s back. Rumor has it he was banging around Europe for a while, winning them over there as well, and he obviously spent some quality time in the studio, because he’ll be toting a new disc when he hits the Larkin on Sunday, the aptly titled The Late Album. Poe will be supported on Sunday by Albany soul-rocker Bryan Thomas (who’s got a new album of his own, Ones and Zeros) and local pop star John Brodeur. (Oct. 20, 7 PM, $5, 463-5225)

The Larkin Lounge, Monday

Lanky (otherwise known as Frank Stabile, former guitar slinger for the New Jersey rock act Darby Jones), wisely anticipates the question faced by music consumers the world ’round when faced with an unknown like his new solo release, Inner Onwriter: “Why should you listen?” And he offers up a couple of compelling answers: “Because this record hits you where you want to be hit,” is ambitious; “because it’s comforting to those in need in comfort,” is humane; and “because he’s broke and needs a couple bucks and a few favors to keep playing and promoting the CD,” is shooting straight from the hip pocket. Extra points for honesty. (Oct. 21, 8 PM, $5, 463-5225)

 also noted

Tomorrow (Friday), the Garden Grill holds a prenuptial blowout for former Fear of Strangers drummer Al Kash and Janet Moore, who’re getting hitched. The duo’s present band, Mare’s Nest, will play with a slew of their musical friends and well-wishers—Todd Nelson, Steven Clyde and Folding Sky among them. (6 PM, $2, 462-0571). . . . At Valentine’s on Friday, indie-rockers the Damn Personals and the Kickovers (the new project of former Bosstone Nate Albert and ex-Weezer Mikey Walsh) team up to unleash the revenge of Boston on unsuspecting Albanians. The Beantown-based bands are touring together to promote their new split 7-inch titled, you guessed it, The Revenge of Boston. Also on the bill, Cannibal Cat and Mr. Wednesday (8 PM, 432-6572). . . . Sparing you a trip to the garage, Thee Ummmm and the 1234’s gather up their gear and plunk down conveniently at Saratoga’s Club Caroline on Friday ($10, $5, 580-0155). . . . The Pitch Control Music collective will host a hiphop show Friday at Five Eighteen (297 Ontario St., Albany), with All Bully and DJ Handicap providing the sounds for the 18-and-over show (doors 10 PM, $5, 438-1294). . . . Northern Lights hosts ’70s monster rockers Blue Öyster Cult and rockers of a more recent vintage, Antigone Rising, on Friday (7:30 PM, $17, 371-0012). . . . Changing Spaces welcomes Tom Burre, sans Bone Oil, and knotworking on Friday (9 PM, 433-1537). . . . Kitty will take the Northern Lights stage on Saturday, along with Unloco and Clockwise (7:30 PM, $12, 371-0012). . . . Just back from a recent trek to the West Coast, Wetworks will break out some new material on Saturday upstairs at Valentine’s, where they’ll be joined by Black Inc. (featuring former members of the Clay People) and Catch Fire (8 PM, 432-6572). . . . Downstairs at Valentine’s that very same night, Seattle-based quartet Honey Tongue, who performed at the 2002 NBA All-Star Game, will do their thing, with the assistance of Sam Jones and Immobile Homes (9 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . Bethy Bacon and Wuji Tableaux perform an unusual combo of Chinese poetry, martial art and musical accompaniment on Sunday at the Artists’ All-Faith Center (7 PM, 436-3465) . . . . The Ale House observes the Sabbath with a visit from rockabilly vets Bill Kirchen and Too Much Fun (8 PM, $7, 432-7348). . . . Valentine’s brings a whole mess o’ rock on Tuesday, in the forms of Midtown, Recover, the Reunion Show and Christiansen (8 PM, $12, 432-6572). . . . Rockapella will play a benefit for the Albany County Court Appointed Special Assistants, who represent abused or neglected children in court, at the Troy City Savings Bank Music Hall on Tuesday (7:30 PM, $25 adult, $17 student/senior, 273-0038). . . . And, for those of you who can’t catch him over the weekend, Tom Burre makes another appearance on Tuesday as part of B.R. Finley’s Goodship Tuesdays music-and-video-art series. He’ll be joined by turntablist J’ai Truck (271-9190).

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