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Northern Lights, Friday

At Facelift’s Web site, Ralph Saenz sings the praises of the Alice in Chains tribute act: “Nobody—I mean nobody—do Alice in Chains better than you guys.” Who, though, is Ralph Saenz? Saenz is David Lee Roth in the Atomic Punks, the official Van Halen tribute act, of course. We were thinking about getting Garry Noth, who plays Lester Bangs in the official Creem tribute publication, to comment on all this, but we figured enough was enough, already. Point is, if you want to check out Alice in Chains, you’re SOL, since lead singer Layne Staley died in 2002. But, word is, Facelift provide the Alice in Chains experience—and in a more honest way than the hordes of Alice in Chains lite bands that have choked the airwaves in the Seattle band’s wake. Really, has any good band since Sabbath had as pernicious an influence as AIC? But we digress. (March 11, 7:30 PM, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, $8, 371-0012)

DJ Toast 16th Anniversary Show

Hudson Duster, Saturday

Back yonder, in the early ’90s, Troy was overflowing with top-notch hardcore and metal bands; for several years, the city was locked in a tight battle with New York over whose hardcore scene was more vital. Really—the two cities’ mayors even arm-wrestled over the title! Alright, that didn’t happen, but it still could, because Troy is again spiking the national radar, thanks to its activity in the underground hiphop community. DJ Toast has built a reputation for spinning the best in underground and old-school hiphop—local and national—on his hugely popular Friday-night radio show (heard on WRPI 91.5 FM), and to celebrate the show’s 16th year on the air, the Hudson Duster will throw a big ol’ party this weekend. Featured performers include Sean Price (aka Ruck from Helter Skelter), Rustee Juxx, Bathgate, German Luger, and El Gant, plus some representatives from Troy’s own Pitch Control crew. Need we say more? (March 12, 9 PM, $10, 40 3rd St., Troy, 687-2391)

Bowels of Destruction Fest

Valentine’s, Saturday

Valentine’s is hosting the Bowels of Destruction Fest this weekend, but don’t worry, it’s not what the name suggests. There will be no Taco Bell, McDonalds, or other gut-wrenching fast food served. What you will find is delicious, flame-broiled death metal—all meat and no processed cheese. Uncooked, raw chords of destruction, topped with a special sauce of brain-bashing goodness. Mmm, smell the metal. We’re talking Internal Suffering, Malignancy, Goratory, Wasteform, Clitorture, Raising Kubrick, Mucopus, Carnal, DRC, and Israf, all on a sesame-seed bun. Would you like fries with that? Too bad! It’s $12 at the second floor—thank you and come again. (March 12, 4 PM, 17 New Scotland Ave., $12, 432-6572)

Steve Earle & the Dukes, Allison Moorer

Berkshire Music Hall, Sunday

This is a big show. We don’t real-ly think we need to explain why, but, for those who need a little prodding, we’ll run the Steve Earle highlight reel. There’s Guitar Town, where the young Earle makes his mark as a country-music outlaw. There’s Copperhead Road, the record that first gains him crossover success. (Some would later peg this album as the origin of the “alternative-country” tag.) There’s a brief murky period (drugs, jail time), followed by a string of great records (I Feel Alright, El Corazón, Transcendental Blues) that establishes him as a folk-rock icon. There’s also a best- selling book of fiction (Doghouse Roses), a weekly radio show on the lefty Air America network, and a record called The Revolution Starts . . . Now, which wins the Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album in 2005. He’s important, damn it, and so is Allison Moorer, who will open Sunday’s show. (March 13, 8 PM, $35, 30 Union St., Pittsfield, Mass., 800-594-8499)

Benefit for Scott Dorrance

Artie’s River Street Stage, Sunday

You may not recognize the name, but you might well have caught Scott Dorrance handling bass duties for the Staziaks (back when they haunted area clubs), or, more recently, for this week’s cover girl, Erin Harkes. Now’s your chance to give something back to someone who’s given of himself to make your life more enjoyable, at least for 45 minutes at a time. A longtime diabetic, Dorrance has been battling complications from the disease for years, and he recently underwent a major surgery that will keep him out of work for four months. He’s got insurance and all, but four months is a long-ass time without a paycheck, so Artie’s is hosting an all-day event to help raise Dorrance some dough. Helping with the raising of the funds will be the Lawn Sausages, Nobody’s Fools, Blackcat Elliot, Mark Emanatian, and many more. (March 13, 2 PM, $5, 194 River St., Troy, 687-0064)

Leaves of Grass: Fred Hersch and Walt Whitman

Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Sunday

It’s been 150 years since Walt Whitman more-or-less singlehandedly established American poetry as its own vital form, no longer beholden to European convention and idiom. Remarkably, his poetry still today retains its muscular and joyous force. So, what better way to celebrate the origin of one American creative tradition with a top-notch example of another? Pianist-composer Fred Hersch has been touted as one of comtemporary jazz’s greats, and on Sunday he’ll be joined by vocalists Kate McGarry and Kurt Elling, a perennial Downbeat critic’s poll winner, in celebrating Whitman’s work. The Washington Post has described Hersch’s tribute Leaves of Grass as “an eloquently orchestrated celebration of Walt Whitman’s poetry, vision, and above all else, humanity.” (March 13, 7 PM, 7 State St., Troy, $27, $24, 273-0038)



Also Noted
Emil Beaulieau

Emil Beaulieau, one of the great figures of the underground noise scene, will perform at Valentine’s tomorrow (Friday) night, along with Karlheinz, Sickness, and NSFW (9 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . The Hudson Duster will host the Kevin Butler Memorial Benefit on Friday, with music by 357 Justice, Dying ta Live, More, Organ Harvest, Necromancy, and our pick for the No-Bullshit Band-Name award, Poop (8 PM, $8, 687-2391). . . . Sure, the real deal is back in action, but these guys do Judas Priest thing as well, if not better, than the original (and for a substantially lower ticket price): British Steel will play Saratoga Winners on Friday (8 PM, $10, 783-1010). . . . They say you can’t keep a good band down. Same goes for the Samples, who are still at it, despite having had a major-label contract revoked early in their career for being “hopelessly uncommercial and hopelessly uninteresting.” They’re at Revolution Hall on Saturday (8 PM, $15, 273-2337). . . . Does “Midnight at the Oasis” do anything for ya? If so, make a beeline for the WAMC Performing Arts Studio this Saturday to catch Maria Muldaur, who will likely perform that tune and more! (8 PM, $22, 465-5233). . . . Retro-rockers Super 400 will record their Saturday-night Lark Tavern show for an upcoming live album; as a bonus, John Powhida’s Rudds, who have a new album of their own on the way, will open the show (10 PM, $5, 463-9779). . . . Again with the noise: On Monday, Valentine’s welcomes the very heavy Finnish group Riisteyt, plus just-as-heavy acts No Fucker, Bludwulf, JBA, and the Jury (8 PM, $6, 432-6572).

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