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Carlos Giffoni

Valentine’s, Thursday

Ever try to burn a copy-protected CD? Or peerhaps (heh heh) you’ve downloaded a corrupted MP3 from Kazaa? Imagine the sound of 25 Casio SK1 keyboards falling down the steps of a fifth-floor walkup on the Lower East Side, during rush hour, with a blasting crew hard at work just outside the window. Maybe that’s pushing it a bit, but if this sounds at all sonically appealing to you, you should definitely dig the noise that Carlos Giffoni makes on purpose. New York-based sound artist Giffoni is curator of the popular No Fun festival, and he’ll kick off his Summer Death tour tonight at Valentine’s. Bring earplugs. Also appearing: Grain and the Gestalt, and Lunch With Beardo. (Aug. 18, 9:30 PM, $5, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)



Saratoga Winners, Thursday

Dredg are a hard band to pigeonhole. This can be evidenced by their show’s move from Northern Lights to Saratoga Winners. Or the fact that they are labeled anything from emo to progressive to radio rock. Tool are the only band they are frequently compared to, and yet Dredg are hardly as metal, technically precise or pretentious. Yes, they produce fairly straight-ahead rock with a progressive lean that finds them swimming around in the radio-friendly prog pond with muddled-named compatriots Trapt and Hoobastank. Yet somehow a light of artistic sincerity shines through Dredg’s vaporous existence that keeps them from completely being a radio-friendly unit shifter. (Aug. 18, 8 PM, $12, 1375 New Loudon Road, Latham, 783-1010)

Al Stewart

WAMC Performing Arts Studio, Thursday

The old adage goes, “quality over quantity,” but for Al Stewart, the two qualifiers are not mutually exclusive. This prolific artist has released 23 albums since he broke onto the scene in 1967 with Bedsitter Images. Just don’t equate Stewart’s productivity with the cheap and money-grabbing rush jobs that such volumes of material sometimes means: Stewart’s brand of folk rock is a carefully shaped, sometimes experimental craft that lyrically tries to balance his own life’s impulses and directions against the weight of history (Stewart’s Web site features a page that explains the historical references that occur throughout his entire discography). Often concerned with the effects of wars on our lives, the historically minded Stewart might prove capable of providing an enlightening—and audibly pleasing—perspective on our history’s current shape. (Aug. 18, 8 PM, $22, 339 Central Ave., Albany, 465-5233)

The Sixfifteens CD-release party

King’s Tavern, Saturday

Catch area favorites the Six- fifteens on Saturday when they celebrate the release of their new CD, Feature, Conference, Transfer at King’s Tavern. This will be one of the band’s last area gigs before they take off on a fall tour throughout the country. You’d be well-served to make it to this show: The band will sell their new disc for $5 each for this one night only, and then the price jumps to $10. For a preview of the new album, you can check out four selected songs by visiting www.thesixfifteens. com. Joining the Sixfifteens for the celebration will be Tryst and Come Wander With Me. (Aug. 20, 9 PM, $5, 241 Union Ave., Saratoga Springs, 581-7090)


MASS MoCA, Saturday

As a sort of homeopathic rem-edy (like cures like, you know) for the dog days of August, we propose catching the Mosquitos at MASS MoCA on Saturday. The music of sultry, sweltering Brazil informs the stylings of this trio composed of two American indie- popsters and a South American chanteuse, and the advance word is highly favorable. Their refreshing and “sweet hybrid of bossa nova hypnosis and indie-pop restraint” sounds the perfect complement to a sweaty summer evening. (Aug. 20, 8 PM, $17, 1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, Mass., 413-662-2111)

Ruth Pelham, Lakshmi Damayanthi

Washington Park Lakehouse, Tuesday

When Ruth Pelham met Lakshmi Damayanthi in Sri Lanka back in 2002, it was the beginning of a musical friendship. Pelham—the musician-educator behind the Music Mobile—was on a Peace Through Music tour. Damayanthi—a performer with two decades of stage and TV experience—joined Pelham to perform with Sri Lankan kids in dozens of villages. Flash forward to December 2004, when the devastating tsunami hit. Through the Friends of Sri Lanka, Pelham again teamed with Damayanthi to raise money to buy and distribute useful items to survivors. Well, Damayanthi is here in Albany now, and will be performing again with Pelham at two Hands Around the World concerts, first in Albany’s Washington Park on Tuesday and then at Troy’s Riverfront Park on Aug. 25. These are presented as a “thank you” to the Capital Region for being so supportive. Come on out and share the love. (Aug. 23, 7 PM, free, Washington Park, Albany,

Also Noted

A few months back, members of area noise-rock bands Struction and Brevator had some equipment stolen from their van; on Friday, Lincoln Money Shot, Clam of God, and Catacomb Gypsy Vagina will band together to help raise money for new gear in a benefit show at King’s Tavern in Saratoga; the show is also a CD-release party for K Sonin’s 29th (yes, 29th) album, called The Revolutionary Masterpiece That Forever Changed 70 Chestnut St., Apt 1B (9 PM, free, donations requested, 581-7090). . . . Catch one of our area’s most talented and inventive saxophonists at Justin’s on Saturday when the Keith Pray Group will take the stand (9:30 PM, $5, 436-7008). . . . Tawasentha Park in Guilderland will play host to the aptly named Guilderfest this Saturday; bringing the live music will be Erin Harkes and the Rebound, Gumption, Depot, and Chris Blackwell and Hogtown (6 PM, free). . . . Oxford Collapse and Cause Co-Motion will bring the screamo at MASS MoCA’s Café Latino on Saturday (10 PM, $5, 917-526-0128). . . . Also on Saturday, Colin Hay (of Men at Work—and more recently, the Garden State soundtrack—fame) will perform two shows at the West Kortright Center in East Meredith (6 and 9 PM, $24, 607-278-5454). . . . Folk duo Camille and Alexander McGregor—also known as Ponies in the Surf—will perform at Better Than Toast in downtown Saratoga this Sunday afternoon (3 PM, $3, . . . Mississippi emo band Waiting for Brantley play the Flywheel in Easthampton, Mass., on Monday; we reckon there’s plenty to be emo about where they’re from (6:30 PM, $5, 413-527-9800). . . . Break out the fairy dust: Tori Amos returns to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center this Tuesday on her Summer of Sin tour (naughty!); the Ditty Bops and the Like open (7:30 PM, $15-45, 476-1000). . . . At the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, Mass., this Wednesday, catch former D-Generation frontman and occasional Ryan Adams whipping boy Jesse Malin (7 PM, $15, 413-584-0610).

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