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haale

Haale

Club Helsinki, Friday

According to The New York Times, Persian-American songstress Haale “underscores the evolution and transformation of centuries-old art forms as they adapt to the new realities of a multiethnic city.” Translation: Haale writes and performs Middle Eastern-influenced world pop. She must be an original, because her music has been compared with (so far) Radiohead, T-Rex, Led Zeppelin and Omme Kalsoum; if you can draw a link between these assorted musical masters, feel free to consider yourself a critical genius. According to her Web site, Haale “weaves Persian melodies and Sufi-inspired lyrics through a soundscape of tribal beats, sci-fi sonic guitars, and a twanging setar.” And she’s bringing this intriguing mix to the cozy confines of Club Helsinki tomorrow night. (Feb. 3, 9 PM, $12, 284 Main St., Great Barrington, Mass., 413-528-3394)

 

 

Skeleton Key

College of Saint Rose Commuter Lounge, Friday

The only band (we know of) whose lineup includes a full-time garbage-basher are coming to town. Skeleton Key are the brainchild of bassist-vocalist Erik Sanko, who describes his band’s music as “the film score to a freight train flying off the tracks, but a freight train . . . filled with flowers.” (Sanko was also a founding member of John Lurie’s great faux-boho-jazz group the Lounge Lizards, so he’s jumped a few tracks in his time.) With only two releases—the Grammy-nominated Fantastic Spikes Through Ballon and the Ipecac Records release Obtanium—to show for a decade of music-making, the Skeleton Key catalog may appear light, but considering that the band are rumored to subsist on a tour-van music regimen consisting entirely of Devo and King Crimson, you can imagine just how much action they pack into their sound. Friday’s bill also features Aficionado, Life in Your Way, and Theodore Grimm. (Feb. 3, 7:30 PM, $5, free for Saint Rose students, College of Saint Rose, 432 Western Ave., Albany, 588-1511)

Jazz Mandolin Project

Skidmore College, Saturday

“The whole concept of the Jazz Mandolin Project has been one of experimentation,” says James Masefield, founder of the Burlington, Vt.-based band. In the early ’90s, Masefield took his knowledge of mandolin—an instrument commonly associated with bluegrass and folk—and combined it with his love of jazz to form the ever-evolving trio. Downbeat.com says that JMP may constitute the “world’s most creative and unusual power trio.” Check them out and get your jazz-jam on when they play at Skidmore this weekend. (Feb. 4, 8 PM, $10, Filene Recital Hall, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, 580-5298)

Keller Williams

The Egg, Saturday

Keller Williams has been called a one-man band many times by critics who refer to his tendency to do some heavy looping in his distinctive solo recording process. His live shows are often described as “captivating” because he recreates his recorded sound on stage. Williams uses his unconventional writing style to convey his liberal views and sense of humor. On his new album, Grass (slated to be released next month), Williams enlisted the talents of his old buddy, Larry Keel, and his wife, Jenny Keel, on guitar and bass guitar. Saturday’s Egg performance will feature an additional special set by Keller and the Keels, where they will most likely perform some of the songs from Grass. (Feb, 4, 8 PM, $15-$18, Empire State Plaza, Albany, 473-1845)

Mest

Saratoga Winners, Saturday

Remember punk rock? You know that thing that the Sex Pistols, the Buzzcocks and the Ramones did? You know, the thing with the social strife, the stabbing of girlfriends and the hopeless angst? No? Well, don’t worry—neither do Mest. The first single, “Cadillac” (off their latest album, Destination Unknown), is about the ultra-heavy, buzz-killing experience of being young, being in a band, and having your girlfriend dump you when you are out on tour. I mean imagine all those groupies you would have to go through to find a suitable replacement! Damn. Besides knowing how to party, Mest also know how to mix Good Charlotte-styled “punk” with reggae, DJ scratching, garage rock and doo-wop. Check ’em out on Saturday. You may have finally found that Smash Mouth-Sugar Ray substitute you’ve been looking for. (Feb 5, 7:30 PM, $15, 1375 New Loudon Road, Latham, 783-1010)

Shannon Curfman, Lennon, Swati

Valentine’s, Sunday

If your perfect antidote to the Big Game involves attractive, hard-rocking young women playing acoustic guitars, look no further than the Sunday-night lineup at Valentine’s. Twenty-one-year-old Lennon Murphy came out swinging a few years back as the lead singer for a metal band that shared her first name. These days, she channels the intensity of a drop-tuned five-piece through just her voice and guitar. She’s found an unlikely tourmate in Minneapolis-based singer-guitarist Shannon Curfman. Curfman made waves with her assured blues-rock sound on her 1999 debut album, in large part because she was all of 14 at the time. Now legal, she’s titled her upcoming album Take It Like a Man. Opening the show is regionally based eight-string guitar slinger Swati. (Feb. 5, 7 PM, $8, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)


Also Noted

The Bunny Brains, recently back from a national tour with Devendra Banhart and his band of dirty hippies, will play Ground Zero (aka the basement at RPI’s Nugent Hall) tomorrow (Friday); the Face Stabbers, and Grab Ass Cowboys share the bill (8 PM, $3, www.gzbasement.net). . . . It’s been a while since we’ve heard from our pick for Best Rock Band of 2004, and this might be the last chance for some time to catch the Sixfifteens; they’ll play Valentine’s on Friday night with Brevator and Multiple Cyclops (9 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . Rachael Sage and Pamela Means team up for an evening of fiery folk at Caffe Lena on Friday (8 PM, $12, 583-0022). . . . Mark O’Connor will perform at the Egg on Friday (473-1845). . . . Ernie Williams celebrates his 81st birthday with a show at the WAMC Performing Arts Studio on Friday (8 PM, $15, 465-5233). . . . Same place, next night: Marshall Crenshaw visits the WAMCPAS for a solo turn on Saturday (8 PM, $22, 465-5233). . . . It’ll be a strange intersection of power-pop and noise-rock when the Churchills, the Red Hopes, and the very busy Face Stabbers hit the stage (separately, of course) at Valentine’s on Saturday night (9 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . Ladysmith Black Mambazo return to the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall on Saturday (8 PM, $15-$29, 273-0038).


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