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Ed Harcourt

Ed Harcourt

Iron Horse Music Hall, Thursday

Ed Harcourt made quite the splash with his 2001 debut Here Be Monsters. The album earned loads of critical accolades for its mix of singer-songwritery intimacy and studio-abetted sonic expanse. It also spawned the video for “Apple of My Eye,” which made hairless cats look almost cute. Almost. Monsters was later nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize, which, of course, translated to sales of about 300 copies here in the States. (We’re exaggerating for effect; it was probably closer to 3,000.) Anyway, for those who may have thought that Harcourt packed it in and headed for the hills, he’s actually released two more albums since (From Every Sphere and Strangers), both of which are wonderfully bold and highly recommended. Harcourt is currently in the midst of a solo tour to support Strangers, and he’ll appear at the Iron Horse tonight. Sylvie Lewis opens. (April 21, 10 PM, $13, 20 Center St., Northampton, Mass., 413-584-0610)



Enter the Haggis

WAMC Performing Arts Studio, Friday

The internationally acclaimed Celtic rock band Enter the Haggis are on a tour that includes stops in Italy, Germany, Canada, Ireland and (obviously) the United States—which isn’t too bad for five young guys who got their start in a Toronto garage. Employing the traditional fiddle and bagpipes, ETH have created a unique fusion of a number of genres: rock, bluegrass, folk, funk, blues, Latin, etc. So if your previous Celtic-music experience is made up of a few toothless drunks shouting old Irish drinking songs down at the Publick House, push all that aside and Enter the Haggis. Once in, they claim, you’ll never leave. (April 22, 8 PM, $15, 399 Central Ave., Albany, 465-5233)

Lee Ann Womack

Glens Falls Civic Center, Friday

One of modern-day country’s most popular performers will make a rare area appearance tomorrow (Friday) night. Since debuting nearly a decade ago, Lee Ann Womack has eschewed the pop-chart-minded leanings of her colleagues, rather applying her big, beautiful voice to traditional roadhouse fare and the occasional gospel number. Not that she’s completely avoided crossover success—her 2000 single I Hope You Dance was, to say the least, huge. For her latest, There’s More Where That Came From, Womack teamed with pop-country hitmaker Byron Gallimore. But don’t fret none, longtime fans: The results are less Faith (Hill), more Dolly (Parton, silly). Womack is about to embark on a mammoth summer tour with professional patriot/fuckwad Toby “The Angry American” Keith, so get up to Glens Falls while the getting’s good. Bryan White opens. (April 22, 8 PM, $29.50-$49.50, 1 Civic Center Plaza, Glens Falls, 798-0202)

Roger McGuinn

The Egg, Saturday

Here’s what this show has going for it: The Byrds were one of the greatest American rock bands, and Roger McGuinn was the big Byrd from the beginning to the end; even 40 years on from “Mr. Tambourine Man,” McGuinn still has a terrific voice; and McGuinn is a witty and engaging stage presence. All those are good reasons to see ex-Byrdman McGuinn’s solo set at the Egg this weekend, but not the best reason. The best reason is that McGuinn is known for killing as a solo performer. On his last Capital Region visit a couple of years ago, McGuinn (solo) played blues, folk, country and rock & roll with the ease of the old pro he is. And, setting aside McGuinn’s legend status, the voice and the charm, the main reason he is still compelling is his guitar playing. It’s amazing. Opening will be Happy Traum, who has worked with his share of luminaries from Rory Block to Jerry Jeff Walker to Bob Dylan. (April 23, 8 PM, $24, Empire State Plaza, Albany, 473-1845)

Jonathan Byrd and Dromedary

Caffe Lena, Saturday

North Carolinian Jonathan Byrd has quickly become a star on the close-knit folk circuit. In 2000, his spare, earnest debut (Wildflowers) earned high praise from none other than Tom Paxton, who said, “What a treat to hear someone so deeply rooted in tradition, yet growing in his own beautiful way.” His 2003 release, The Waitress, brought more attention, landing his music on radio playlists nationwide. Byrd’s latest recording project, The Sea and the Sky, pairs him with renowned world-music duo Dromedary, who bring charango, Appalachian dulcimer, mandolin, cumbus, and flamenco guitar to the mix. We’re not sure what all those things are or how they work, but they sure do sound nice. The newly minted trio will venture up the charmingly creaky front stairs of Caffe Lena for a show this Saturday. (April 23, 9 PM, $12, 47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs, 583-0022)

Green Day

Pepsi Arena, Monday

Sure, they’ve become multiplatinum-selling, Grammy-winning gazillionaires, but Billie Joe and the boys in Green Day are still “jest folks.” Yes, they recorded a concept album—formerly the province of prog rockers and pop divas—but they’re still the punks we’ve known and loved. And critical praise? The rock press fell all over themselves praising said concept album, American Idiot, but the fellows didn’t let it go to their heads. Don’t believe us? Think Green Day have become a bunch of big-headed artistes with big chips on their (heavily tattooed) shoulders? Well, we read on (or was it that, just recently, Billie Joe stood in the bathroom line at a New York (or was it L.A.?) nightclub with the rest of the rabble, and happily humored the stuttering dweebs who talked at him. That’s “jest folks” behavior. This Pepsi show is technically sold out, but, in the past for other shows, some tickets have been released at the last moment. (We’re not promising anything.) My Chemical Romance will open. (April 25, 7 PM, $35, 51 S. Pearl St., Albany, 487-2000)

Also Noted

Renowned Irish tenor Ronan Tynan will let loose his mighty voice tonight (Thursday) at the Calvin Theatre in Northampton, Mass.; he’s touring in support of his new release, Ronan (8 PM, $25-$45, 413-584-1444). . . . The Figgs return to the roost tomorrow (Friday) for a show at King’s Tavern; they’ll joined by Parwana (see Listen Here, page 38, for more on that band) and long-running Northampton-based indie-rockers the Mitchells (9 PM, $8, 581-7090). . . . Our inner adolescent still gets a kick out of this name: Popa Chubby will play two shows at the Van Dyck on Saturday; this time around, he’s performing Electric Chubbyland, a tribute to Jimi Hendrix (7 and 9:30 PM, $17, 381-1111). . . . This week’s Awesome Band Name award goes to (drumroll, please) Tequila Retribution! While no prizes will be awarded for this distinction, we will note that they are playing this Saturday at Valentine’s, along with Blasé Debris, Tripod, and Highjinx (9 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . Just how funky can one man be? We may never know, because Alan Evans, drummer of Soulive, is bringing his band, Play On Brother, to support him on his Saturday night show at Revolution Hall; Peter Prince opens (9 PM, $12, 273-2337). . . . Happy fun noise-rock band of Japan Melt-Banana play show Saturday on Iron Horse! Music band An Albatross also play on show! Happy fun time will be for everyone! (10 PM, $13, 413-584-0610). . . . Bad news for fans of the fifth Beatle: This Tuesday’s scheduled performances by the Pete Best Band at the Van Dyck have been canceled due to illness. The shows will be rescheduled at a later date; contact the Van Dyck at 381-1111 for more information.

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