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Reba Hasko, Matthew Loiacono

WAMC Performing Arts Studio, Thursday

Call it a homecoming: Reba Hasko, who will perform as part of this evening’s “night of experimental pop songs,” was born right here in the Capital Region. Sure, the singer-composer-pianist has moved on—to the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, to San Francisco, to her current home of Berlin, Germany—but we’re proud to call her one of our own. Hasko’s music is a mixed bag—on one track, she’s part Gary Numan, part Siouxsie Sioux; on another, she’s a further-out-there Tori Amos. It’s creative and challenging stuff—not for everyone, mind you, but highly recommended for those who prefer their pop sans bubblegum. Also on the bill is oft-upright Kamikaze Heart Matthew Loiacono. (Dec. 22, 7 PM, $7, 339 Central Ave., Albany, 465-5233)

The Commander Cody Band

Iron Horse Music Hall, Friday

George Frayne, aka Commander Cody, has been making his distinctive brand of high-octane rockabilly for decades, and the folks still love it. He has a new CD/DVD combo out, All the Way Live From Turkey Trot, with such favorites as “Lost in the Ozone,” “Down to the Seeds and Stems Blues” and, of course, “Hot Rod Lincoln” available for your enjoyment in both audio and video formats. There isn’t much else to add about the good Commander, except that he should be pleased he’s made such an impact on the culture: When Altria (formerly known as Philip Morris) stock hit a new high last week, Fortune felt moved to reference Cody’s hit “Smoke Smoke Smoke (That Cigarette).” Opening the evening’s festivities will be Stewart Jones & the Juke Joint Allstars. (Dec. 23, 7 PM, $15, 20 Center St., Northampton, Mass., 413-584-0610)


Hatebreed, Stillborn Fest

Northern Lights, Tuesday

A cow says “moo.” A hardcore breakdown says “chugga, chugga, reeet, chugga, chugga, reet, reet.” This is your primer for Hatebreed’s Stillborn Fest, a tour that features a lineup of bands on hardcore impresario Jamie Jasta’s Stillborn record label. These bands are some of hardcore music’s toughest up-and-comers, so you need to be ready. Pop quiz, hotshot! What do we do when we hear that tender hardcore breakdown sound? That’s right, we start throwing punches toward the ground and roundhouse kicks into the air, and then all sit Indian-style on the floor for naptime. . . . Er, no, now we open up a savage circle pit of doom! We almost got you with that one. If you go to Northern Lights, bring your game face and maybe you’ll be lucky enough to have Jasta rearrange it for you himself. (Dec. 27, 6 PM, $18, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)



Trophy Scars

Valentine’s, Tuesday

The five young men who make up Trophy Scars all hail from New Jersey’s Morris County, where they got together to form a band whose purpose would be to “travel the country teaching others of supernatural specimens, unearthly beauty, smoke and sex.” OK. Anyway, Trophy Scars are touring in support of their most recent release, Goodnight Alchemy (Death Scene), out last summer. The band’s Web site promises that they are “not just a roving clan of substance abusing ninjas, but also a distinguished group of intelligent musicians.” Don’t take their word for it—go check them out at Valentine’s where they’ll headline a bill featuring Graystar, A Day Past Forever, Rockwell and Hotel Shipwreck. (Dec. 27, 7 PM, $9, 17 New Scotland Ave., 432-6572)


Northern Lights, Wednesday

We’ve seen the name around plenty, and witnessed the logo—a bastardization, or abbreviation, of the old “Ozzy” trademark—on more T-shirts than we can count. We’ve been told they’re very, very popular, even outside the Jackass circuit. (Drummer Jess Margera’s brother, Bam, is quite famous for taking it in the nuts.) So what’s the deal with CKY? According to lead singer Deron Miller, the band’s An Answer Can Be Found is “the best fucking record of the year,” so they’ve got that going for them, which is nice. And, as their bio posits, their music is “aggressive without being metal, melodic but not pop,” which should make for a darn good time in concert this Wednesday. A.S.G. and Puny Human open the hump-night show. (Dec. 28, 7:30 PM, $14, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)

Also Noted
The holidays done gone and screwed up the live-music week. Honestly, we covered everything we could find, and there’s nothing left to talk about here. You’ll all be spending the weekend at home with your families anyway (or at least you ought to be). So stock up on eggnog (don’t forget the rum!) and rent a few DVDs. The 40 Year Old Virgin is out now. That was pretty funny. Oh, and we highly recommend the first few seasons of Arrested Development. Comedy gold, that show. As for the few leftovers on the club scene, Meg Johnson and her band will play Red Square tonight (Thursday); if you haven’t been down to check out this great new performance venue, now’s a good time to do so (8:30 PM, $5, 432-8584). . . . Anti-folk, Americana, or whatever you call it—we’re just happy that Paddy Kilrain is back on the performance circuit; she and her band are at the Van Dyck tomorrow (Friday, 9 PM, $6, 381-1111). . . . Also on Friday, Saratoga Winners will host the most Christmas-y of Christmas parties, brimming with holiday cheer from the likes of Held Under, Organ Harvest, Torn Asunder, Heal These Wounds, and Necromancy. Caroling is highly unlikely, and the gift exchange will consist entirely of items that can cut bone. We’re joking about that last part (8 PM, $10, 783-1010). . . . Empariah will play Caffe Lena’s emerging artist series on Wednesday (7 PM, $2, 583-0022).

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