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Head Automatica

Northern Lights, Thursday

Sick and tired of the aggression of their hard-rock outfit Glassjaw, frontman Daryl Palumbo and drummer Larry Gorman were yearning to dance, or at least make pop music. The brainchild of Palumbo and hiphop beat maker Dan “The Automator” Nakamura, Head Automatica combine electronic beats with the sounds of rock, garage punk, and ’80s pop. The band first got attention when the track “At the Speed Of a Yellow Bullet” was added to a free CD that Palumbo’s girlfriend gave away with her clothing line. The result? It took off on its own. Coming off the 2004 release of their debut album, Decadence, the band have been touring incessantly since June, and will stop at Northern Lights with the Start on Saturday. (July 9, 7:30 PM, $12, Route 146, North Country Commons, Clifton Park, 371-0012)

Black Fuel CD-release party

Lark Tavern, Saturday

Black Fuel is the name of a new band made up of three local music mainstays, Albie Von Schaaf, Mike Weirich and Shawn McMann. This band are taking a new approach to the music scene: Instead of gigging for a few years and developing a collection of songs and eventually, someday, one day, making a record, Black Fuel are debuting with a CD- release party! That’s right, kids, we hear the hip thing is to do it backwards these days. The disc, called Scrap Iron, consists of 14 tracks mostly written by Albee. To hear the new trio, catch them as the celebrate the introduction of their disc, and of them, to the world this weekend at the Lark Tavern. Also, Mitch Elrod & the Hick Engine Ears (featuring Jonathan Cohen on bass and Pete Sheehan on drums) will reunite to open the show. (July 9, 10 PM, $5, 452 Madison Ave., Albany, 463-9779)

Round Lake Folk and Bluegrass Festival

Round Lake Auditorium, Saturday

Music lovers are invited to join together at this 12-hour festival in order to celebrate the recent reopening of the Round Lake Auditorium. Also invited to the christening are 19 different folk and bluegrass bands, including frequent Phish collaborator the Gordon Stone Band, and four-time Northeast Country Music Association Bluegrass Band of the Year winner Sweet Cider. Local favorites, such as Rosanne Raneri, Adam Foster, Iowa 80, Kamikaze Hearts, Mudfunk, and the Coal Palace Kings will share the bill. The auditorium, renovated with the help of a federal grant, is listed on both the state and national register of historic places and houses one of the country’s oldest organs. All proceeds raised by the festival will be donated to the auditorium restoration fund. (July 9, 11 AM, $20, Exit 11 off I-87, Round Lake, 899-7141)

John Waite

Hudson River Theater, Sunday

We’ve got to own up to being a little mystified here: We’re ancient, so we remember John Waite’s late-’80s work with Bad English (“When I See You Smile”), his solo successes of the ’80s (“Missing You”) and his first taste of fame back in the mid-’70s with the Babys (“Isn’t It Time”), and we remember the stuff fondly. But Waite’s been kinda quiet of late, and his most recent album, The Hard Way, hasn’t exactly shot up the charts. So, why does his Web site require registration for most of the features? And why is admission to this club show $35? What’s he got that we don’t know about? You think he spits blood live? Bites the heads off bats? It’s got to be something more than just the new album’s cover of Dylan’s “Girl From the North Country” or the new acoustic version of “Missing You,” don’t you think? (July 10, 9 PM, 521 Warren St., Hudson, $35, 828-9550)

Acoustic Outlaws Tour

Northern Lights, Sunday

Does the name Ron Keel do anything for ya? Probably not much. If you’re a particularly sharp metal geek, you might recall his self-named band in the mid-1980s, although his greatest boast is likely the brief stint (about three weeks) he spent singing for Black Sabbath. (Heck, we’d take three minutes if we could get it.) Now how about this one: Kip Winger. Even the dullest hard-rock fan must recall that chest hair and those beaming pearly whites. And who could forget the poetry: She’s a magic mountain/She’s a leather glove/She’s my soul/It must be love . . . She’s only seventeen. Gets us every time. Anyway, Keel and Winger—the guys, not the bands—have teamed up with a cast of characters (including Keel sideman Charlie Wayne and Nashville singer-songwriter Jamie Mandrell) for an acoustic tour, which is scheduled to hit Northern Lights this weekend. (July 10, 7:30 PM, $14, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)


Dinosaur Jr.

Pearl Street, Tuesday

We’re sensing some strange similarities between this, the reunion of the original Dinosaur Jr. lineup, and the last year’s reunion of another pioneering alternative-rock band. We don’t want to jump to any conclusions, but it seems a bit suspicious that, after 15 years, J Mascis and Lou Barlow have finally buried the hatchet. Well, the making-up part isn’t strange—they’re grown-ups, after all—but the whole tour thing is just so conveniently timed: About this time last year, the music world was marveling over the patched-up Pixies, whose chief members put aside a long-standing grudge to go out and make some bucks playing the oldies. (At least they didn’t cloud their intentions by promising a new record.) So although this tour is ostensibly in support of recent reissues of the first three Dino albums, the ticket price suggests that they’re out to do more than just sell records. (July 12, 8:30 PM, $28, 10 Pearl St., Northampton, Mass., 413-584-7771)

Also Noted
Brian Bassett and the Usuals (featuring three-quarters of Gobhi) play King’s Tavern tomorrow (Friday); Charmboy and Tom McWatters are also on the bill (9 PM, $5, 581-7090). . . . Fiery folksinger Erin McKeown returns to the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, Mass., on Saturday; also on the bill: Ida, whose latest album, Heart Like a Wheel, is as warm and relaxing as a morphine drip (7 PM, $18, 413-584-0610). . . . We have to admit, we truly miss having Second Wind’s live-music series in Washington Park this summer; thankfully, for those in the Electric City, Central Park continues to host live music on a semi-regular basis. Check out the eclectic lineup on the Agnes MacDonald Music Haven stage this Saturday, for example: The Rymanowski Brothers Orchestra swing the polka at 12:30 PM; New York band Blake and the Family Dog take the stage at 3:30 PM; and, at 5:30 PM, Captain Squeeze and the Zydeco Moshers play their, um, zydeco mosh music (free, 800-962-8007). . . . It’s a double bill of legendary blues performers at the Belleayre Music Festival in Highmont on Saturday, as Ruth Brown and Roomful of Blues do what they do best (8 PM, $40-$55, 845-942-6904). . . . Valentine’s sound system is on the fritz again; go help raise money to fix it by attending a Saturday show featuring Evolution/Revolution, Dead Unicorn, Kitty Little, Evixxtion and Bell County Silence (8 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . The recent self-titled release from Akron/Family sounds like a lot of drugs went into making it, in a good way; they’ll perform at the Fuze Box on Monday night, along with Sir Richard Bishop, Grain and Gestalt, Matt Valentine and Erika Elder, and teeny-boppers Lincoln Money Shot (9 PM, $5, 432-4472). . . . Horror-flick director Rob Zombie will celebrate his first love at Northern Lights on Tuesday—that’s music, not comic books; Priestess will open (7:30 PM, $30, 371-0012). . . . The Celtic Heritage Festival takes place at Empire State Plaza on Wednesday; live performers include Black 47, Searson, Bohola, and Hair of the Dog (11 AM, free, 434-2032).

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