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Run Away From the Humans

Kings Tavern, Friday

There are band names, and there are band names. Long before we ever heard them, for example, local tune- fracturers Lincoln Money Shot won a place in our hearts. When first we heard the name of Philadelphia’s Run Away From the Humans, the affinity was instantaneous: There are a couple of us here in the office who have, sensibly, dedicated great time and effort to this activity. (Particularly when the humans in question were local musicians.) We don’t recommend actually running away from the humans in this band, or the music they make, especially if you dig the Postal Service or Death Cab for Cutie. What do the critics think? While Splendid magazine is underwhelmed by the band’s “electronic adornments,” Punk International finds Run Away >From the Humans “promising.” Also on the evening’s program: Ghostwife and Nat Turner’s Ghost. (May 27, 9 PM, $5, 241 Union Ave., Saratoga Springs, 581-7090)

Sloan Wainwright, Nadine Goellner

Caffe Lena, Friday

Sloan, little sister of Loudon and aunt to Rufus and Martha, lives up to the Wainwright name with music that The Boston Globe refers to as “a treasure.” The folkie began like any folkie worth their salt—in the coffeehouses and at the open mics that riddled New York City in the 1970s. She then took a long hiatus from music, using the time to raise two sons and to open a bakery with her sister. Then, in the ’80s, Wainwright got back into the open-mic scene. In the mid-’90s, Wainwright formed the Sloan Wainwright Band with guitarist Steven Murphy, and debuted with a self-titled album in 1996. Since then, the folkie’s musical career has grown, and she has received critical acclaim for her four albums. According to Wainwright’s own Web site, critics have drawn comparisons to Bonnie Raitt and Kate Bush. Catch her tonight at Caffe Lena; Nadine Goellner opens. (May 27, 8 PM, $12, $10, 47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs, 583-0022)

Chanteuse Club

Hudson River Theater, Saturday

In recent years, hip theatrical presentations like Rent, Urinetown and Hedwig and the Angry Inch have revamped the image of the musical. Risque, even outré, subject matter coupled with compositions and scores that are more likely to challenge audiences than to send them into sugar shock, boldly pronounce, “This ain’t Naughty Marietta.” But though Alan Cumming in Cabaret may draw, what about, you know, cabaret? On Saturday, the Hudson River Theater hosts the Chanteuse Club for a two-show evening of cabaret that may drive community dinner-theater stigma attached to cabaret from the minds of theatergoers. The Club comprises Kate Pierson of the B-52’s, Maggie Moore (of the aforementioned Hedwig) and singer-guitarist Gail Ann Dorsey, who has put in time supporting the likes of David Bowie, Bryan Ferry and Boy George. Working with material ranging from serious songwriters such as Randy Newman and Joni Mitchell to light singles such as “Up, Up and Away” and “Love Will Keep Us Together,” this trio bring cred to cabaret. (May 28, 7 and 9:30 PM, $20, 521 Warren St., Hudson, 828-9550)

Toots and the Maytals

Berkshire Music Hall, Monday

Here is precisely how a legend is made: In 1968, Toots and the Maytals recorded a song called “Do the Reggay,” from which an entire musical genre was given its name. Who else can make that claim? Before you start making the argument that some bizarre electroclash artist did the same, what about this: Frederick “Toots” Hibbert and his Maytals are still going strong, touring and recording with no less virility than they did while dropping classic reggae numbers like “54-45 Was My Number” and “Pressure Drop” more than 30 years ago. Toots and co.’s latest album, the all-star affair True Love, recently took home a Grammy for Best Reggae Album, and the group is due to reach a whole new generation of fans with a appearances at this summer’s Bonarroo Festival and on the heavily hyped Zooma Tour (which also carries Ben Harper and Trey Anastasio). But first, they’ll take a night to themselves this Memorial Day at the new Berkshire Music Hall. (May 30, 8 PM, $35, 30 Union St., Pittsfield, Mass., 413-528-3394)

blue merle

Blue Merle, the Shore

Northern Lights, Wednesday

Nashville foursome Blue Merle, who claim to have taken their name from a Led Zeppelin lyric (it’s also a color of dog coat, made up of black spots on a grey background), have been making quite the splash lately with their Island Records debut Burning in the Sun. The album’s quietly insistent songcraft and unusual instrumentation (upright bass, drums, mandolin, and acoustic guitar) have rightfully earned them comparisons to both the Dave Matthews Band and

Coldplay (an odd mix, indeed). The scruffily coiffed Los Angelenos of the Shore have also found themselves saddled with the “c” word (that’s Coldplay, you dirty bastard), although their dreamy pop really owes more to ’90s shoegazer bands like the Verve than it does to the aforementioned self- important wankers. One or both of these bands are bound to break big in the coming months, so this could be a rare chance to catch them on a (relatively) small stage. (June 1, 7:30 PM, $12, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park 371-0012)

Deicide, Skinless

Saratoga Winners, Wednesday

How many upside-down crosses are hanging over your dashboard? If you answered more than four, then you are required by the church of Satan to attend every Deicide-Skinless show you can. The Voltronesque death-metal combination of the professors of the “Holy Deception” and the masters of the “Tampon Lollipop” likely will produce an orgasmic mesh of misogynistic blasphemetal only the pious can afford to miss. Canadian death-core superheroes Despised Icon, whose singer is less fond of the sounds of Satan as he is the sound of dying pigs, will open the show. (June 1, 7 PM, $20, Route 9, Latham, 783-1010)

Also Noted
In correlation with the Union College art show Visions Of Johanna: Art Inspired By Bob Dylan, His Words And Music, Sing Me Back Home: the Seventh Annual Bob Dylan Birthday Celebration will take place today at the Old Chapel; participants include (just to name a few) Michael Eck; No Outlet; Hollis Brown Dangerfields; Albie & Black Fuel (in their long-awaited debut); Mark Tolstrup; Frank Jaklitsch; Circle of Willis; Rob Skane; G.C. Haymes; Folding Sky; Jason Martin; and Hannah Imbesi (4 PM, $5 suggested donation, 388-6124). . . . Solitude standing-room-only: Legendary folk-pop chanteuse and critical Pavlov’s bell Suzanne Vega will play what is presumed to be a solo performance (two, actually) at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, Mass., this evening (Thursday); it would be wise to call ahead, though, as the shows are bound to sell out. Philly-based pop guy Jim Boggia will open both shows (7 and 9:30 PM, $31, 413-584-0610). . . . Speaking of legendary pop folk, Marshall Crenshaw will lay it down at the new Hudson River Theater on Friday (9 PM, $20, 828-9550). . . . We’re not sure how they’re going to pull this off, but the Mathematicians will convert their manic electronic pop to a simpler, acoustic equation at Caffe Lena Sunday; One Man Machine will open (7 PM, $5, 581-0022). . . . He’s played with Dylan, Mississippi John Hurt, and Ringo Starr, among others; on Sunday, singer-guitarist David Bromberg will do his own thing at Mass MoCA in North Adams, Mass., with special guests Angel Band (8 PM, $30, 413-662-0111). . . . The one and only Dick Dale surfs it up at the Iron Horse on Sunday, along with Boston-based garage rockers the Downbeat 5 (7 PM, $25, 413-584-0610). . . . The Madeleine Peyroux Quartet will jazz it up at the Iron Horse on Tuesday, along with the Sonya Kitchell Band (7 PM, $25, 413-584-0610). . . . Graham Parker and the Figgs will kick off their North American tour at the Hudson River Theater on Wednesday; per usual, the Figgs will open the show with a set of their own material (9 PM, $30, 828-9550).

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