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Mike Doughty’s Band

Revolution Hall, Thursday

“It is 5 AM/And you are listening to Los Angeles.” According to his press peeps, ex-Soul Coughing singer Mike Doughty drove thousands of miles around the country all alone, and was “happier than [he’d] ever been.” No kidding. We very much enjoyed Soul Coughing (particularly Ruby Vroom), and this loner-with-a-hint-of-misanthropy thing isn’t much of a surprise. Remember “Get me on the bus/That will take me back to Beelzebub”? Well, Doughty has a new album (Haughty Melodic) and is touring with a full band for the first time since Soul Coughing split in 2000. He’s pleased as punch about this, since he’s the boss: In Soul Coughing, he “didn’t really feel a sense of ownership toward” the music. Which makes sense, since the songs were all credited to the band. Oh well, “you get the ankles and I’ll get the wrists.” (Sept. 8, 9 PM, $18, 421-425 River St., Troy, 273-2337)



George Benson

Washington Avenue Armory, Saturday

He did it: That magnificent bastard pulled it off. Former Albany County Executive (and ex-con) Jim Coyne did what everyone said would be impossible—he turned the empty hulk that was the Washington Avenue Armory into a newly remodeled sports and entertainment venue to anchor the Lark Street area. After years of development down the hill on Pearl Street, Lark Street finally gets some big-time action. We here at Metroland can vouch for the armory’s former decrepitude. From our former offices on Central Avenue, we could enjoy the wrecked beauty of the building up-close; just saving the building is a certified civic good. And, to celebrate this happy occasion, there will be a gala opening concert with smooth-jazz guitar master George Benson this Saturday. The show is at 8 PM, but for $125 you can attend a 6 PM VIP reception and get preferred seating at the concert. Lark Street, it’s time to party. (Sept. 10, 8 PM, $60, corner of Washington Avenue and Lark Street, Albany, 694-7160)


Saratoga Winners, Saturday

Clutch, who began their musical career in the early ’90s in the band’s hometown of Germantown, Md., are currently touring in support of this year’s release, Pitchfork and Lost Needles, which includes the four songs off their original debut called Pitchfork. Pitchfork and Lost Needles has been getting some rave reviews: says that the album is a “great pickup for both Clutch diehards and the uninitiated. . . . Everyone can revel in it, then share the surgical thread when it’s time for sewing ears back on.” If you want to sample the offerings of Clutch before heading to Saratoga Winners this weekend to catch their live show, head to their tremendously thorough Web site, where you’ll also be able to check out the winner of a recently held sticker contest, in which it seems that the band asked their fans to take unique pics of Clutch bumper stickers in weird places. The short-shorts made out of said stickers were, as one might expect, a close runner-up to the winner. Metalheads Stinking Lizaveta will open. (Sept. 10, 8 PM, $18, 1375 New Loudon Road, Latham, 783-1010)

Of Montreal

Valentine’s, Saturday

This won’t be the first time the loose confederation of artists, musicians and eccentric savants who hang with Kevin Barnes under the moniker Of Montreal (among others) have stopped in to Valentine’s. One memorable performance—under the rubric A Polonaire Rave—had the outfit performing obscure comic sketches to a prerecorded soundtrack of breezy psych-pop. It was as if Albert Jarry had hired the Beach Boys as his pit orchestra. This time through, the group are performing under their primary name, and may very well be playing tunes from their seventh album, The Sunlandic Twins, which also mines the surf-and-surreal vein. One critic has described it as “British Boys, pebble-dashed with Ray Davies’ finest harmonic daydreams, and then piped into a nursery where the infant Frank Zappa lays sleeping.” Also on the bill: the Management, and Evolution Revolution. (Sept. 10, 7:30 PM, $10, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

Drums & Tuba

Revolution Hall, Tuesday

Drums and tuba. Doesn’t sound like much of a band, at least not the type of “band” where the word isn’t preceded by the modifier “marching.” But that’s how it all began 11 years ago for this Britain-via-New York trio—just the puff and pound of tuba player Brian Wolff and drummer Tony Nozero (respectively). Upon adding guitarist Neil McKeeby, the trio hit the road and, seemingly, never went home. Their latest album, Battles Olé, is their third for the Righteous Babe label, although the group have little in common with label head Ani DiFranco. Instead, their music incorporates elements of punk, dub, jam, and noise to create something that sounds vaguely like a mashup of Girls Against Boys, Fugazi, and latter-day Radiohead. It’s unique and compelling stuff, to say the least, and, for those of you who consider yourself allergic to instrumental music, they now incorporate vocals into the mix. (Sept 13, 8 PM, $10, 425 River St., Troy, 273-2337)

Also Noted

You might want to check out the indie action at Valentine’s this evening (Thursday): The Wasted, Lux Perpetua, and Malcolm Perkins are on the bill (9 PM, $3, 432-6572). . . . If, for some reason, the price of gas is no object (and if so, shame on you for not donating to the hurricane-relief fund!), you might instead be inclined to check out the indie action at the Iron Horse in Northampton, Mass., tonight: The National and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah are on that bill (10 PM, $14, 413-584-0610). . . . Tomorrow (Friday), two of the Northeast’s hardest-working acts—Paranoid Social Club and Zox—will throw a double CD-release party at Revolution Hall; both bands’ new releases are gathering steam on a national level, so this could be one of your last opportunities to catch the band in a relatively small room (8 PM, $15, 273-2337). . . . National urban pop artist Teej will celebrate the release of his new album tomorrow night at Northern Lights. Proceeds from the event will go to the Women’s Breast Cancer Foundation and the Albany Children’s Hospital; Dee Morris of MTV will host this red-carpet event, and guest performers include Afraz, Clasiq and HL West (7 PM, $20, 371-0012). . . . Seu Jorge performs at Pearl Street in Northampton on Friday; although he has his own thing going on (his new album Cru just hit stores), you might best know him as the dude who played the Portuguese versions of David Bowie tunes in The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (8:30 PM, $20, 413-584-7771). . . . On Sunday, Philly-based pop geek/genius Jim Boggia will open for Jump (a.k.a. Jump Little Children) at Falstaff’s on the Skidmore College campus (7:30 PM, $10, 580-5785). . . . Chiodos will headline a bill that features Equal Vision Records act the Fall of Troy at Saratoga Winners on Wednesday; good thing it’s an all-ages show, as the members of Fall of Troy are all under 21 (7:30 PM, $10, 783-1010). . . . The Metroland week ends with a thud as Cold perform at Northern Lights on Wednesday (7:30 PM, $10, 371-0012).

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