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The Count Basie Orchestra with Diane Schuur

Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Thursday

The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall—one of our area’s most beloved and legendary performance halls—is celebrating its 130th anniversary in style tonight (Thursday) with a concert by the Grammy-winningest big band ever. Sure, the Count himself is long since gone, but his spirit lives on in the form of this 19-piece ensemble. Under the direction of Grover Mitchell, the performers stay reverent to Basie’s original compositions, swinging all those revival bands like Big Bad Squirrel Nut Voodoo Crown Revue under the table. They’ve collaborated with some serious vocal talents over the years, from Rosemary Clooney to Elvis Costello; tonight, they’ll stand (and sit) behind the “new first lady of jazz,” Diane Schuur. (April 28, 8 PM, $45-$150, 7 State St., Troy, 273-0038)

Clem Snide

MASS MoCA, North Adams, Mass., Saturday

What you really need to know about Eef Barzelay’s outfit Clem Snide, you’re not gonna get here: For what you really need to know, you’ll really need to head to MASS MoCA and give a listen to what the Brooklyn- and Nashville-based band can do with elements of classic country, radio-ready pop, and indie rock. What we can give you is some trivia: Like, the name “Clem Snide” is taken from William Burroughs’ creepy masterpiece Naked Lunch; and, after numerous stylistic and lineup changes, Clem Snide got a big break when their song “Moment in the Sun” was chosen as the theme song for the TV show Ed; and the big break didn’t slow the lineup changes; and the band’s lineup now comprises former members of the Lounge Lizards, Crooked Fingers and Lambchop; and the origin of the phrase “the whole nine yards” is . . . oh, sorry. (April 30, 8 PM, $16, 1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, Mass., 413-662-2111)

Tift Merritt

Tift Merritt

Columbia-Greene Community College, Saturday

Grammy-nominated country songstress Tift Merritt will stop in Hudson on her current tour of the eastern United States. Merritt has kept a moderately low profile and has been considered a critics’ darling since her 2002 debut Bramble Rose hit the masses. The Los Angeles Times says, “Tift Merritt has been pegged as the Next Big Thing in country since her 2002 debut, often drawing comparisons to the original ‘white lady of soul,’ Dusty Springfield.” Her album Tambourine (out on Lost Highway in 2004) was up against the likes of superstars Loretta Lynn and Tim McGraw for Country Album of the Year. Although many considered the recognition of the album justified, Merritt was still surprised that she was selected, since she calls her brand of music not country, but soul-rock throw-down. See what she means by this when she plays the CGCC. Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Iron will open the show. (April 30, 7 PM, $20, Performing Arts Center, 4400 Route 23, Hudson, 828-4181)

SUNY Parkfest

Altamont Fairgrounds, Sunday

For those who haven’t been to one of these events in a number of years, we should first point out that the beer-and-weed-fueled free-for-alls of Parkfests past are no more. Not that the debauchery and live music have been eliminated, just relocated (from Lincoln Park to the Altamont Fairgrounds). See, if someone lit the fairgrounds on fire, it would likely be contained before doing any serious damage; odds are the governor’s mansion wouldn’t be so lucky. This year’s gate charge will get you live sets by rap superstar (and aspiring thespian) Ludacris, toastmaster Elephant Man, vanilla rockers Hoobastank and Canadian pop-punkers Simple Plan, plus a buttload of local and regional acts. There are a ton of security restrictions, so think twice before bringing any dogs, coolers, or surface-to-air weaponry. Besides that, have fun and don’t forget: Take two aspirins and a tall glass of water before bed, and you’ll be golden in the morning! (May 1, 11 AM, $30, Route 146, Altamont, 476-1000)

Jefferson Starship

Hudson River Theater, Tuesday

Jefferson Starship have changed more than a handful of members over the years. They still have two of the original members of Jefferson Airplane, Paul Kantner and Marty Balin, but others have jumped on board for a chance to play some of their favorite music with them. It’s a band born out of San Francisco psychedelia—or is it a band born out of a band out of San Francisco psychedelia? That whole decade is kind of fuzzy. Anyway, their music was lined up with some of the best, and while many other bands of the era have tribute bands, Starship still hold much of the authenticity of an original, because it’s more of an evolution rather than a totally different band. Individual members came from folk, jazz and blues roots, and moved into the electric explosion of the ’60s. Since the ’70s they lost and gained members, but their current lineup is reputed to be the best they’ve sounded since the original. The only way to get to a Jefferson Starship concert is to hop in a cab and yell at the driver to “Follow that rabbit!” When he gives you that confused look, just tell him you took the pill that makes you smaller and if he doesn’t hurry, you will be forced to pay him in tiny little bills. (May 3, 9 PM, $40, 541 Warren St., Hudson, 828-9550)

Also Noted
bouncing souls

The Kamikaze Hearts are reportedly finishing up a new album, but they’ll take a break from recording to play a show at the Lark Tavern tomorrow (Friday); Matt Hebert (of Northampton band Ware River Club) and Mike Hotter (of the now-dormant Albany band knotworking) will open (9 PM, $5, 463-7875). . . . Salem’s not just for witches anymore: Providence band Rebecca Nurse will play Artie’s River Street Stage on Friday night, along with Blackcat Elliot and Phillips Head (9 PM, $5, 687-0064). . . . Long-running punk band the Bouncing Souls will bring along the Explosion, Let it Burn, and the Loved Ones for Friday’s show at Saratoga Winners (8 PM, $14, 783-1010). . . . Starting this Friday and Saturday, the Larkin is the new place for cabaret with three weekends of shows of Four Bitches Barkin’ at the Larkin with Greg Anderson, Nate J. Buccieri, Ward Dales, and Nancy Timpanaro Hogan (6 and 8:30 PM on Fridays; 8 PM on Saturdays, $25 per performance, 664-5244). . . . Think you might have what it takes to do this rap thing? The Pitch Control Music folks want to see what you got this Saturday at the Hudson Duster; the Verbalist #3 MC battle will feature performances by Hangar 18 and Awar, plus a cash prize for the best MC (8 PM, $8, 687-2391). . . . Fleeting Forms will release their new CD this Saturday at Valentine’s; the Other Two and Black Jack Blades will fill out the bill (9 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . The Berkshire Music Hall will hold an SMI Emerging Artist showcase on Saturday featuring No Lindsay, Binaural, Channel, and Ragged Company (7 PM, $8, 413-499-5446). . . . Also on Saturday, erstwhile Saratogian Jes Hudak will return home for a show at King’s Tavern; Southerly will open (9 PM, $5, 581-7090). . . . Folkstress Patty Griffin and Charanga Cakewalk (aka Michael Ramos) will perform at the Egg on Sunday night (7 PM, $24, 473-1845); they’ll also be at the Calvin Theater on Wednesday ($20-$32.50, 413-584-1444). . . . It’s a multiracial metalfest at Northern Lights on Sunday, featuring hard-touring heavies Sevendust and Bad Brains-beholden rockers Skindred, plus Bobaflex and Soundevice (7:30 PM, $22, 371-0012).

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