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Straylight Run

Saratoga Winners, Thursday

Taking Back Sunday has all the requisite elements of a successful emo act in place: booming drums, quasi-metal guitars, a vocalist that turns on a dime from sensitive whine to strained wail, and lyrics that cover all the bases (from young love to heartbreak and back). That’s why guitarist John Nolan and bassist Shaun Cooper ditched the band in 2003 and formed Straylight Run. The new band (also featuring drummer Will Noon and Nolan’s sister Michelle on guitar and piano) is a stretch less predictable, which bodes well for their future—this whole emo thing is bound to wither and die at some point, right? Straylight Run’s self-titled debut is chock-full of complex, piano-driven pop; granted, the lyrical content isn’t all that different from that of the former band, but hey, the kids dig it. They’ll play Saratoga Winners tonight with guests Gratitude (featuring Jonah Sonz Mantranga of Far and Onelinedrawing), the Honorary Title, and Spitalfield. (May 5, 8 PM, $13, 1375 New Loudon Road, Latham, 783-1010)



Delano Grove, Cynix, Slim Pickins

Valentine’s, Friday

New York-based Delano Grove (formerly the Stereotypes) will take over Valentine’s upstairs stage tomorrow night with a good ol’ rock & roll show full of melodies so sweet that—this according to the band—they will make their audience members “crap a rainbow.” Led by Luke Lappin (computer programmer by day/rockstar and songwriter by night), Delano Grove and their song “Atomic Car” are on the soundtrack for Strangers With Candy: The Movie (which was screened at Sundance and is due out at a theater near you by fall 2005). Also on the Delano Grove payroll: Morgan Lappin on drums, Mike Stock on vocals and keys, and Brian Ajjan on bass. (Ed Pasquale is listed as the bass player on their Web site, but the band’s blog states that they lost their bass player because of some “problems here and there.” Opening the show are Cynix, Slim Pickins and Hollywood Funeral. (May 6, 8 PM, $8, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

Dave Lippman

Arts Center of the Capital Region, Friday

Dave Lippman, renowned folk satirist and comedic songwriter and anti-corporation activist, has booked a few Capital Region dates to spread his gospel to you good upstate people. To give you an idea of the material you’ll hear at the shows, his new CD is called I Hate Wal-Mart, and features sure-to-be-hits like the title track, “Teenage Immigrant Welfare Mothers on Drugs,” “Guess Who’s Coming After Dinner,” “All My Friends are Semi-Famous,” and more. You can deduce the rest for yourself. We already caught the first Lippman performance (see Live, page 30). This one, at the Arts Center of the Capital Region, will benefit Friends of WRPI. (There is also a show tonight at 8 PM for $5 at the Moon & River Café in Schenectady). (May 6, 7:30 PM, $10, 265 River St., Troy, 273-0552)

Jeff Siegel Trio

Justin’s, Saturday

Drummer Jeff “Siege” Siegel (now that’s an aggressive nickname) returns to Justin’s on Saturday night with his trio, featuring (we think) Michael Jefrey Stevens on piano and Tim Ferguson on bass. Modern Drummer has praised Siegel’s “forward energy and abundantly attractive ideas,” and we couldn’t agree more. From his late-’90s work with Sir Roland Hanna through his own quartet recordings, Siegel has been at the heart of some jazz that’s both propulsive and engaging. The Hudson Valley-based musician is also a favorite on the European circuit, as both a performer and teacher; at his Web site, you can see a charming-in-its-crudeness flyer for drum clinics held in Germany. Oh, and speaking of Deutschland, we found a great quote from a German jazz critic on Siegel’s playing. Unfortunately, as it didn’t make any sense, we’ll forego reproducing it here. (May 7, 9 PM, $3.50 cover/$7.50 minimum, 301 Lark St., Albany, 436-7008)

The All-American Rejects

Northern Lights, Saturday

For all the good stuff the punk movement gave the world, it’s also responsible for all the lame shit that has tried to pass itself off as punk since—you know, like Hot Topic and Matthew Lillard. And, of course, there’s the music. Among punk’s many illegitimate offspring, radio-friendly, upbeat pop-punk bands continue to increase exponentially. (Always more pop than punk, they at least try to dress the part.) Which brings us to the All-American Rejects. They’ve got a lightheartedly self-deprecating name and they sing about the requisite teenage heartbreak—you remember their infectious hit “Swing, Swing” from a couple years ago, don’t you? They’ve also got a spot on this summer’s Warped Tour. So if you’re under 18 and have long bangs and a pair of Chuck Taylors, check them out this Saturday at Northern Lights, where they’ll share a bill with Armor For Sleep and HelloGoodbye. (May 7, 7 PM, $15, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)


King’s Tavern, Saturday

Northampton-based Spouse aren’t so much a band as a cast of characters revolving around one José Ayerve. Spouse’s genre-hopping, occasionally bilingual music (imagine a cross between Lotion and late-period Wilco) has been captured on three full-length records now: Nozomi, Love Can’t Save This Love (check out that album’s brilliant “Sad Not Trashed”), and last fall’s Are You Gonna Kiss or Wave Goodbye? The band’s live performances have earned the tag “schizophrenic,” though it’s a safe bet that has more to do with the fact that there’s a different lineup onstage at practically every show. Ayerve may also be recognizable to fans of the Pernice Brothers, as he got a lot of screen time on their recent tour DVD (that’s him driving the van), but that’s neither here nor there—he’s as interesting and prolific a writer as Pernice himself. Also on Saturday’s show: Albany’s own Brian Bassett. (May 7, 9 PM, $5, 241 Union Ave., Saratoga Springs, 581-7090)

Also Noted
Eight-piece roots-reggae outfit John Brown’s Body will celebrate the release of their new CD, Pressure Points, at Revolution Hall tonight (Thursday); Gym Class Heroes open (8 PM, $15, 273-2337). . . . Firkin & Fox, a cozy new Wolf Road pub, will be the place to catch the area debut of Canadian Celtic fusion band Quagmyre; they’ll perform two shows tonight (Thursday, 8 and 10 PM, free, 453-2FOX). . . . Folk legend John Gorka takes the stage at Club Helsinki tomorrow (Friday, 9 PM, $25, 413-528-3394). . . . Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks will crowd onto the small stage at the Van Dyck on Friday (7 and 9:30 PM, $28, 381-1111). . . . Corn Mo, last seen here opening for They Might Be Giants at the Egg in September, will return to anchor a variety show of sorts at MASS MoCA on Saturday; Mo (imagine an accordion-playing Meat Loaf doing cabaret) will be joined by the Wau-Wau Sisters, who combine “aerial and circus skills, original songwriting . . . audacious costuming, ‘home cooking’ and hilarious use and misuse of props, propriety, cocktails, and cliché.” Sounds like, um, fun (7 PM, $16, 413-662-2111). . . . Also on Saturday, the Erotics will celebrate the release of their new CD before taking off for a tour of England and Italy. The show will take place at the Fuze Box in downtown Albany; also on the bill are Vainglorious (9 PM, $6 432-4472). . . . The Let Downs will play the New Age Cabaret on Sunday; George Demers of the Let Downs will also debut his new four-piece skate-core band, Buzzard, at the same show (7 PM, $7, 436-3465). . . . Do rainbows and sunny days get you down? Is that new Slipknot album just a little too upbeat for ya? Do you often use the words “ritual,” “worship” and “sacrifice” in the same sentence? Into skinning dead things? Then head to Northern Lights this Tuesday for the Enemy of God tour, starring Kreator, Vader, Death Angel, and If Hope Dies (7:30 PM, $15, 371-0012). . . . Finally, at the absolute polar-opposite end of the musical spectrum from that last thing: Three of the top names in contemporary Christian music—Michael W Smith, Selah, and Watermark—will perform at the Pepsi Arena on Wednesday. No word on whether the Big Guy will show up to cheer them on (7 PM, $35-$45, 476-1000).

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