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Drag the River, Coal Palace Kings
Valentine’s, Friday

Now that Jeff Tweedy’s gone avant-garde, and Jay Farrar’s gone . . . well, wherever he’s gone, some of you dyed-in-the-flannel No Depression fans may be silently pining away for all the raucousness and regret that was alt-country in its prime. The good news is that Albany’s own Coal Palace Kings have remained true to form all along, banging out good-time music about the hard-luck life (or vice versa), without ever resorting to artsy bangles. On Friday, CPK share the stage with another stalwart of the genre, Drag the River. Though formed from the remnants of punk-revival bands (including the well-loved ALL), Drag the River channel that passion into a boozy country-blues that matches rough-edged rock with the rawest melancholy. Good for what ails ya. (April 11, 9 PM, $5, 432-6572)


Deni Bonet, Bryan Thomas
RPI Chapel + Cultural Center, Friday

Alt-pop violinist Deni Bonet is a little less rosin, a little more go-go boot than you’d tend to expect from a violinist. She’s feisty, has a list a mile long of famous folk whom she’s collaborated with or arranged for—Robyn Hitchcock, R.E.M. and Sarah McLachlahan are but a few—and has created quite a buzz with merely one CD to her name. Well, actually, Bonet has self-released a couple of EPs, the songs of which are included on her 2001 debut CD Bigger Is Always Better. Hitchcock and Kimberley Rew (writer of the Katrina and the Waves hit “Walking on Sunshine”) are featured on the recent release, and Hitchcock also will be featured on her weekly TV show, Duets With Deni—shown in New York City. The show claims to be part Sessions at West 54th and part Wayne’s World—with Bonet and her guests performing each other’s songs. Tomorrow (Friday) at the Chapel + Cultural Center on the RPI campus, you can see for yourself what made Time Out New York exclaim, “She could become HUGE.” Our very own pop star Bryan Thomas opens. (April 11, 8 PM, $10, $5 students, 274-7793)

Make a Living Tour
Caffe Lena, Friday

When visual artist Andy Friedman and songwriter Paul Curreri met in college, they had the same ambition: to become painters. Now, though the goal has changed, they still share the same vision—they want to combine visual arts with folk-blues music in a unique and memorable way. The two have collaborated to create a distinctive tour in which Friedman is able to display—and perform—his art (which includes drawings, sketches, and Polaroid photos) with stories and anecdotes, and Curreri is able to follow with a set of quick-picking, folky original songs. Friedman sums it up when he says, “Paul and I are different kinds of artists tapping into the same vein.” Andy Friedman and Paul Curreri will present their one-of-a-kind performances when the Make a Living Tour hits Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs tomorrow night. (April 11, 8 PM, $12, $10, 583-0022)

Loudon Wainwright III, Erin McKeown
the egg, friday

For a man who made his name singing about roadkill, Loudon Wainwright III sure boasts a fancy pedigree. The Westchester County-raised descendant of colonial governor Peter Stuyvesant burst onto the American folk-rock scene in 1972 with the ubiquitous Top 40 novelty hit “Dead Skunk.” In the ensuing decades (and 22 albums later), Wainwright has earned respect as a solid singer- songwriter whose oeuvre rests in exquisitely wrought confessional songs. In his spare time, he acts (including a stint on M*A*S*H*, and most recently in the Sandra Bullock-in-rehab vehicle, 28 Days). He’s also come to be known as “Rufus’ dad”—that being hot young pop musician Rufus Wainwright. At the Egg on Friday, Wainwright will perform lots of songs from his recent critically acclaimed release, Last Man on Earth. Singer-songwriter Erin McKeown, who calls herself a cross between “Django Reinhardt and G. Love,” will open the show. (April 11, 8 PM, $24, 473-1845)

F-Timmi CD-release
Saturday, Saratoga Winners

It seems like only yesterday that the guys in F-Timmi—having followed up failed high school football careers with a successful series of expulsions from institutions of higher learning—were an opening act on the local stage at Edgefest. Now, the hard-rocking quartet are headlining a big CD-release party for their first full-length album, The Middle Class. Everyone who comes to this all-ages show at Valentine’s on Saturday will receive a free full-length CD—you heard right pal, free—packed with a lucky 13 songs. This is in addition to a first-class ear-lashing from the likes of special guests Brand New, Breaking Pangaea, Armor for Sleep and the headliners. Following this show, F-Timmi will hit the road for a nationwide tour, so give the band a proper send-off, will ya? (April 12, 8 PM, $12, 432-6572)

Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players
club helsinki, Great Barrington, Mass., sunday

Remember those out-of-focus slides of that ill-fated trip to the Grand Canyon when you were 8—the ones Dad still insists on dragging out at family reunions? Well, they might just have a little more entertainment value than you think, at least if the Trachtenburg family gets hold of them. The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players—consisting of dad Jason (keyboards, vocals), mom Tina (vintage slide projector) and 9-year-old Rachel (drums, no less)—set family slides that they buy at estate sales to music, quirky pop-rock tunes that actually kick ass. “Mountain Trip to Japan, 1959” is but one stellar example. Plus, according to the Austin Chronicle, “You haven’t lived until you hear a 9-year-old-girl drummer command, ‘I need more vocals in the monitors,’ ” So get to Club Helsinki on Sunday and live already. (April 13, 8 PM, $12, 528-3394)

 also noted
Altar Records (housed where Café Web used to be next to the Madison Theater) is holding what’s “sure to be the most earth-shattering event since the last earth-shattering event,” according to the show’s promoter, tonight (Thursday): The bill features local bands Burma (hiphop), K. Sonin (math), DJ Panzah Zandahz (hiphop), Ted Hyland and the High-Fiving Electified Booby Tassles (this may be a joke, we’re not sure) and End of a Year (with members of Madeline Ferguson and Burning Bridges) (7 PM, free, 690-2816). . . . Progressive jam-band fans will be pleased to know that the Disco Biscuits—claimed by the Voice to be the “best live rock band in the world”—will make their way to Troy’s Revolution Hall tomorrow (8 PM, doors, $20, $18 advance, 273-2337). . . . Soul and blues performer Denise LaSalle will play the Maureen Stapleton Theatre on the Hudson Valley Community College Campus tomorrow, and she’ll bring her 11-piece band with her; the George Boone Blues Band will open (7:30 PM, $20, $10 students, 629-4849). . . . The all-time party-in-the-bar band NRBQ will come back to Valentine’s for a show tonight (8:30 PM, $15. 432-6572). . . . The Stars of Rock will play the downstairs stage at Valentine’s tonight, with SOR spin-off band Scientific Maps—made up of SOR members Aaron Smith and Jonathan Pelerine and Day Jobs main dude Rich Baldes—and Troy-based electro-posters Denim and Diamonds sharing the bill (10 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . Soul-singing star Aretha Franklin will belt it out at the Palace Theatre tomorrow (Friday), with local blues legend Ernie Williams opening (8 PM, $46.50-$66.50, 465-4663). . . . Tex-Mex star Freddy Fender will hit the Columbia-Greene Community College stage Friday, with Ice Nine opening (8 PM, $20, 828-4181). . . . Local rock-pop stars the Wait will play the Van Dyck stage Friday (7 and 9:30 PM, $8, 381-1111). . . . Saturday’s jam-band show is also a biggie, with Rusted Root playing Northern Lights (7:30 PM doors, $25, $22 advance, 371-0012). . . . Canadian Afro-Cuban jazz trailblazer Jane Bonnet with Spirits of Havana will play the Troy Music Hall on Saturday (8 PM, $24, $21 advance, 273-0031).

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