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Adam Richman
Valentine’s, Thursday

Allentown, Pa., native Adam Richman typifies himself as part indie rocker and part mad scientist, and cites as musical influences Nine Inch Nails, Nirvana and the Monkees—which puts him a little bit all over the map, doesn’t it? But as much as this sounds at first like content-free PR, Richman’s product backs it up. He weds an indie DIY spirit with some high-tech home-recording savvy, and a hard-rock crunch with a penchant for unabashed pop-rock hooks, securing himself a respectable address in the Weezer-Jimmy Eat World neighborhood. (Jan. 6, 8 PM, $5, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

Peter Ostroushko
WAMC’s Linda Norris Auditorium, Thursday

Peter Ostroushko grew up in an Ukranian enclave of Minneapolis, where he was exposed to a wide array of musical styles and instruments—how old were you when you heard your first balalaika, after all? So, how he settled on the the mandolin and the fiddle—as opposed to the bandura, say—is anyone’s guess. But the choice has served him well, and he’s now regarded as a master of both instruments; as such, he’s been called upon by some of the major players of the folk- and roots-music genres, from Robin and Linda Williams, Greg Brown and Emmylou Harris to Willie Nelson, just to name a few. (His first recording session, in fact, was an uncredited mandolin contribution to Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks.) He’s also turned out a bunch of solo works, and put in time as musical director for A Prairie Home Companion. (Jan. 6, 8 PM, $18, 339 Central Ave., Albany, 465-5233)

Mieka Pauley, Dave Strumfeld
Van Dyck, Friday

Boston-born Mieka Pauley has been on the fast track for a couple years, winning contests and places on compilation albums and in festival lineups, and touring the country relentlessly. Critics compare her to everyone from Bonnie Raitt to Sarah McLachlan, and Billboard says that her self-titled record is a “lovely recording by a charming young artist.” In a July 2004 review of Pauley’s live show, Cornerstone Player says that 23-year-old performer is unique enough to be able to remain an individual instead of being clumped together with all the other cute, all-American female singers that have taken the country by storm over the last few years: “Michelle Branch? Nah, she’s cooler. Vanessa Carlton? Nah, she rocks harder. Christina Aguilera? Nah, she’s not skanky. . . . Mieka Pauley is poised to become the next meaningful female voice of her generation.” The Boston Globe even touted her voice on her debut record as “seasoned and soulful.” Catch this up-and-comer when she plays the Van Dyck tomorrow night. Latham-based folk-rocker Dave Strumfeld opens. (Jan. 7, 8 PM, $5, 237 Union St., Schenectady, 381-1111).

The Elvis Birthday Bash
Daisy Baker’s, Saturday

Had his heart not exploded from ingesting a truckload of pills 27 years ago, Big El would have celebrated his 70th birthday this Saturday. Can you just imagine? We certainly don’t want to think about it. If you’re that hung up on the image of a geriatric Elvis, go rent the DVD of Bubba Ho-Tep—Bruce Campbell was just swell in that flick. However, if you’d rather kick back with some local rockabilly types and reminisce about the good old days—that’s the pre-Vegas years (although we did enjoy the King’s rendition of “Bridge Over Troubled Water”)—try the annual Elvis Birthday Bash over at Daisy Baker’s. On hand to raise ruckus will be the Lustre Kings, Rocky Velvet throat Ian Carlton, plus guitar slingers Johnny Rabb and John and Graham Tichy. Thankyouverymuch. (Jan. 8, 10 PM, $10, River St., 33 2nd St., Troy, 266-9200)

Also Noted

Tomorrow (Friday) night, gravel-voiced Adam Foster will perform at Artie’s River Street Stage in downtown Troy (9 PM, 687-0064). . . . Check out local performers who want to help the hundreds of thousands of tsunami victims this Saturday at a Tsunami Relief Concert at the Lark Tavern—performers include Rosanne Raneri, Mike Grosshandler, Eric Halder, Lincoln Money Shot, Mike Trash, Katie Haverly and many more (9:30 PM, $5, 463-9779). . . . Folding Sky and Erin Harkes will perform at Savannah’s on Saturday, Folding Sky having just announced that they (with Harkes as their featured vocalist) are the winner of the Northeast Blues Society Contest held at Empire State Plaza this past July. See the award-winning group this weekend before they’re off to play the International Blues Competition in Memphis in February (10 PM, $5, 426-9647). . . . Also on Saturday, Troy’s Revolution Hall will play host to instrumental groove quartet Oshe for their CD-release party for The Good Book; Oshe will open for the Niche, a jam-art-rock band from Rochester (9 PM, $8, 273-2337).

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