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Nellie McKay

Colony Café, Saturday

Nellie McKay has a special place in her heart for our warm and fuzzy friends, which is why she’ll perform a special concert at the Colony Café in Woodstock this weekend to help raise funds for the Woodstock Animal Sanctuary, a newly formed nonprofit organization with a mission to educate the public about the treatment of animals used for food. According to WFAS press, the shelter provides lifelong care for neglected, abused and discarded farm animals. The official opening date for WFAS is summer 2006, but you can get a sneak peak the day of the concert. McKay, a spunky, witty Columbia recording artist, received critical acclaim for her debut album, last year’s Get Away From Me. (Aug. 27, 8 PM, $25, 22 Rock City Road, Woodstock, 845-679-5955)

Sick Shitfest II

Valentine’s, Saturday

Holy fucking shit! It’s Sick Shitfest II, and it is back with the vengeance. And who better to herald the return of the fecal-focused fest than good old Anal Cunt? You know, the band with the song “Kill Women”? (Chorus: “Kill women-die/kill women-die, bitch!”) At this point you’re probably asking yourself how any band can be more disgusting than Anal Cunt. Well dear sir, or madam, if that is the case, you have given yourself away. You clearly have not sampled the bevy of gore-core talent our area has to offer. But don’t think this phenomenon is a taste exclusive to the Capital Region. Local gore favorites (and Sick Shitfest II participants) Wasteform and Mucopus have recently taken their upstate style of grind-till-you-puke metal overseas: Wasteform to the Czech Republic and Mucopus to Japan. Organ Harvest, Held Under and Balls Deep are also on the bill. (Aug. 27, 1 PM, $16, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)


Candye Kane

The Van Dyck, Saturday

It’s a colorful name for a colorful performer—though the most prominent hue in Candye Kane’s spectrum is definitely blue. In her current incarnation as a hard-touring bar belter, the blue is in the form of, you know, the blues. But Kane’s worked another kind of blue. As a means of supporting herself and her young son back in her East L.A. home, the prodigiously-lunged Kane appeared on the cover of such music-industry bibles as Juggs and Hustler, and wrote a column in Gent. This line of work got her off welfare and subsidized her progression from sex worker to cow-punk frontwoman to Women’s Studies major. Along the way she stumbled onto the gutsy work of blueswomen such as Big Maybelle and Etta James, and you can guess where it went from there: Schenectady—well, on Saturday, anyway. (Aug. 27, 8 PM, $15, 237 Union Ave., Schenectady, 381-1111)



Outhouse Rock!

The Flywheel, Sunday

Outhouse Rock! isn’t a band; it’s a theme. Not wanting to spoon-feed you, dear reader, see if the point emerges in the following descriptions of the bands. Cars Can Be Blue grew out of an improv comedy group. They—Becky and Nate—want to entertain you with their “simple, catchy songs” that are, they say, the musical equivalent of Dressy Bessy meets Tenacious D. (In the photo on their Web site, Nate’s performing in his underpants—briefs, if you must know.) Johnny Hobo combines “catchy melodies” with “screaming.” (All right then.) Mantits is an acoustic performer noted for his “miserable optimism.” The best-named band on the program, Jerk Off Jack Off Frig Face, are a project of the Vomit Dichotomy; their catchy number “The Legend of Scary Steve,” about an evil cowboy with teeth like nails, is as much radio skit as song. (Yeah!) So, let’s review: underpants, screaming, cheerful misanthropy and cowboys. Added up, it’s music fit for an outhouse. (Aug. 28, 7 PM, $5, 2 Holyoke St., Easthampton, Mass., 413-527-9800)

Meat Loaf: the Show

Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Monday

According to Google, the hardest-working entrée in the music world can still draw a crowd—at least as far as Web hits go. The Web search engine ranks the musician’s official Web site well above Better Homes and Gardens’ guide to meat loaf recipes, so he’s got that going for him. All kidding aside, there’s a good reason this tour has “the Show” attached to its name (besides the need to differentiate the suburban dinner from the 50-something rocker). Last time he-of-the-bitch-tits came through the Capital Region, you could see the sweat flying off him from the top row as he hurled himself from one end of the stage to the other while pyrotechnics blazed and a mammoth, ever-changing set transformed behind him. Sure, you can hear “Paradise by the Dashboard Lights” sung by drunken couples at jukebox-equipped bars any night, but seeing Meat Loaf perform is an experience that’s worth the price of admission. (Aug. 29, 8 PM, $15-$42.50, Saratoga Spa State Park, Route 9, Saratoga Springs, 584-9330)


Valentine’s, Wednesday

During a recent Monday-night show at the Fuze Box, the Brooklyn-based foursome Akron/Family controlled the attention a sizeable (for a Monday) audience until well into the following morning. Now that’s no small feat—it’s hard enough to get people out on a school night; harder still to keep them interested so far beyond bedtime. So what is it about this group that makes them so darn captivating? Divide believers into two camps: Fans of psychedelic folk-rock, and followers of the experimental spirit. Both camps will be duly pleased when Akron/Family returns to our area this week; they’ll play an early show (which should please that third group—people who missed out last time because they were sleeping) at Valentine’s this Wednesday, with guests Lincoln Money Shot and Great Lake Swimmers. (Aug. 31, 7 PM, $7, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

Also Noted

Hardcore outfit Throwdown, are touring in support of this summer’s release, Vendetta; catch them tonight at Saratoga Winners. Agony Scene, Remembering Never, and Sinai Beach are also on the bill (7:30 PM, $14, 434-1943). . . . Here’s a name you haven’t heard in a while: F-Timmi will play their first show in two years at Valentine’s on Friday; sharing the moment will be Bell County Silence, the Nightlife, and On the AM (8 PM, $7, 432-6572). . . . From new beginnings to just plain beginnings: Catch the debut performance by hard rockers Sense Offenders (featuring singer-songwriter Tom McWatters) this Friday at King’s Tavern; Antebellum is also on the bill (9 PM, $5, 581-7090). . . . Just down the road, the Burns Sisters Band bring their lovely harmonies to Caffe Lena, with backup provided by local boys Rich DiPaolo, Tony Markellis and Kevin Maul (8 PM, $15, 583-0022). . . . SPAC has a one-two punch this weekend (one-two-three, if you count the aforementioned Meat Loaf show): A Steve Perry-free version of Journey will run through their boatload of hits on Saturday (7:30 PM, $15-$52.50, 476-1000); on Sunday, it’s Canadian pop idol Avril Lavigne, plus rising stars Gavin DeGraw and Butch Walker (7 PM, $15-46, 476-1000). . . . You know things are headed downhill when a low- concept, highly vulgar act like Insane Clown Posse can actually claim to have a protégé (what exactly could they have taught them, anyway?); see if the student can surpass the master when Twiztid performs at Northern Lights this Sunday, with guests ABK (7:30 PM, $15, 371-0012). . . . On Monday, the Fuze Box will be the place to see Philadelphia’s Pattern is Movement, who are on tour in advance of their upcoming album Stowaway; also on the bill: Complicated Shirt and Brent Gorton and the Tender Breasts (9 PM, $4, 432-4472). . . . The Pepsi Arena will be overrun by gallons and gallons of cowboy hats this Tuesday, as Alan Jackson brings his new-Nashville sound to town; Sugarland and the Wrights open (7:30 PM, $39.50-$60.50, 476-1000).

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