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JD & the Straight Shot

Red Square, Thursday

What’s this? Another new music venue in downtown Albany? Well, not exactly. The recently opened 33 Degrees went for the old one-two, opting for the early-term name switch. And, we must say, the new moniker (Red Square) is much more suitable to the space—33 Degrees just sounded so Jillian’s. It looks like there’s a good thing going here, and we can only recommend you go see for yourself. Tonight would be a good time to do so, as Red Square welcomes Manhattan-based band JD & the Straight Shot to the stage. The band’s debut album, Nothing to Hide, is a competent, if not incendiary, collection of blues-rock originals. They’re fronted by Jim Dolan, the guy who runs both Madison Square Garden and Cablevision. Wait, he’s got the blues? Come on. (Sept. 22, 8 PM, $10, 388 Broadway, Albany, 432-8584)

The Gordon Stone Band

WAMC Performing Arts Studio, Friday

Ten or more years ago, Gordon Stone was a commodity, his musical talent as a banjo picker and steel pedal guitarist craved by megastars like Phish, who invited Stone to perform on the albums A Picture of Nectar and Rift. Since then, Stone has brought his ambition to a new height with the creation of his “funkabilly newgrass” band, the Gordon Stone Band. His music relishes in the eclectic; his entirely instrumental repertoire delves into aspects of jazz, funk, blues, bluegrass, and even Latin and salsa beats. Together with his troupe, including bassist Aram Bedrosian and fiddler Mike Barnett, Gordon Stone impresses the ears of a wide variety of fans. Says Phish bassist Mike Gordon, “Their music lifted me up and carried me away. . . . I became so absorbed that I forgot to swallow.” (Sept. 23, 8 PM, $12, 339 Central Ave., Albany, 465-5233)

The Rudds CD release

Valentine’s, Friday

Beantown’s been good to John Powhida. Since moving to the city on the hahbah three-or-so years ago, the former Staziak frontman has seen his star rise significantly. A perfunctory rifling through the press clippings that accompany Get the Femuline Hang On (the second release from Powhida’s current band, the Rudds) finds feature-length profiles of the man and his band from the likes of The Boston Phoenix, Boston Herald, and Boston Globe. That’s quite the trifecta, so what’s with all the hype? Simple: The Rudds are one of the best power-pop bands to come out of a city that has produced some of the genre’s all-time greats, and Hang On is a damn fine record. But don’t take our word for it—catch the band in action this weekend as they unveil the new wax for the locals. The Day Jobs open. (Sept. 23, 9 PM, $5, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

Terence Blanchard

The Egg, Saturday

Trumpeter Terence Blanchard is from New Orleans. It’s worth mentioning this up front, not so much to talk about the way the city’s rich musical tradition has informed his playing—which it has—but because of, obviously, the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, and how that has informed his recent performances. Philadelphia Inquirer critic Kevin L. Carter described how, in a Sept. 9 show, Blanchard dedicated a poignant version of “I Thought About You” to his hometown. As Carter wrote, that song isn’t, structurally, a blues—it is, as per the lyrics, a lament—but Blanchard imbued it with a bluesy feeling. Carter took pains to point out that the show wasn’t all deep emotions—you can look forward to sharing the excitement of music from his most recent album, Flow, on Saturday night—but, like much of our popular culture right now, the multiple facets of Katrina will be on everyone’s minds. (Sept. 24, 8 PM, $24, Empire State Plaza, Albany, 473-1845)

tim fite

The Pernice Brothers, Tim Fite

Valentine’s, Sunday

“What the hell do you mean by feel-good album?” are the words out of Joe Pernice’s mouth after hearing his bandmates’ reactions to their new album, Discover a Lovelier You. The “feel-good” comment could perhaps come from his MFA in writing (his lyrics are laced with poetic language) or the fact that the album’s songs were inspired by such figures as Duran Duran, George Harrison and, yes, Claire Danes (one track on the album titled “My So-Called Celibate Life” is a mixture of Danes’ 90’s television show and the Shins song “Celibate Life.”) The Pernice Brothers show promises to be an eclectic one, with a mix of indie-pop, ’70s rock, and waltzes. Opening the show is Brooklyn-based songwriter Tim Fite, who—if press materials are to be believed—was born without blood. Regardless of the PR machine, his debut album (Gone Ain’t Gone) is a darn good’un. (Sep. 25, 8 PM, $10, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)




Northern Lights, Sunday

Sunday, the day of rest? No, dude, Sunday is the day of rock. Christian rock, though, so it’s OK. The godly Stryper suffered the same waning interest as other pop-metal acts when the leaner, more aggressive sounds of Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, et. al, hit the scene; and like those other acts—Britny Fox, Cinderella, Girlschool—they were pretty much blown off the musical map in the early ’90s by Nirvana and the other grungesters. But suffering ain’t nothing to the Christians. There were crises of musical faith, sure, but in a perfect metaphorical congruence, Stryper have returned—with a new album titled Reborn. Now, can they get a witness? (Sept. 25, 7:30 PM, $20, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)

Also Noted
youth group

Buzz-heavy Australian band Youth Group will pay a visit to Revolution Hall this evening (Thursday), on the eve of a two-week opening stint with indie-rock godhead Death Cab for Cutie. From the few tracks we’ve heard, their new album (Skeleton Jar) nails the sound and energy of the early Sloan records, which is a very nice thing. Edison and Crimea are also on tonight’s bill (8 PM, $8, 273-2337). . . . Snuggly alt-country group the Luxury Flats will head up a bill at Valentine’s tonight that also features Himalaya and Kelli Hicks (9 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . The third go-round of the Ska Is Dead tour makes a stop at Saratoga Winners tonight; the current version features headliners Catch 22 and the Toasters, with the Planet Smashers, Westbound Train, and Kicking Sicily helping to establish ambience (7 PM, $12, 783-1010). . . . Meedly-meedly-meeee! Al DiMeola will unleash a jazz-fusion tornado at the Egg tomorrow (Friday, 473-1845). . . . None more pink: Darkest Side of the Moon performs at Northern Lights on Friday; as you might have guessed, they’re a tribute act (7:30 PM, $18, 371-0012). . . . The now-less-psychedelic Breakfast will play Rev Hall on Friday; Rezi opens (273-2337). . . . John Cruz, the 2005 Grammy winner for Best Hawaiian Music Album, plays the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, Mass., on Tuesday (7 PM, $13, 413-584-0610).

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