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The Velmas label-signing party

Valentine’s, Thursday

Area pop-rock outfit the Velmas have been at it for six years or so now, bringing their radio-friendly sound and energetic live shows to venues across the northeastern United States and beyond. City Canyon Records, an independent label based in New York City, apparently has taken note of the Velmas’ considerable work ethic: The label recently signed the group to a deal that will see the release of a brand new Velmas album, tentatively titled Station, later this year. To celebrate having signed on the dotted line, the band will throw a big ol’ party this evening (Thursday). They promise giveaways, live music from Sun Domingo and Ten Girl Pile Up, and of course a full set of Velmas music. (Feb. 9, 9 PM, $5, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)



red square, saturday

“I was knocked out!” said Trey Anastasio of the Vermont jazz trio Vorcza. As impressive as that might be, in our mind Trey Anastasio is the kind of guy who is knocked out by a lot of things. “Dude! Your shirt is totally green!” Thud. And yet after listening to Vorcza we found ourselves asking, “Dude! Did you totally hear that drum fill?” (We did manage to stay conscious, however.) Vorcza have shown off their jazz-jam skills alongside both the Trey Anastasio band and Dave Matthews, which means they have likely smoked enough reefer to sedate King Kong after swallowing a methamphetamine plant. In fact their MP3s function as digital ganja to jam heads all over the world. Check out Vorcza Saturday night at Red Square: They’re gonna get you as high as . . . a jam band from Vermont. (Feb. 11, 9 PM, $5, 388 Broadway, Albany, 432-8584)



Country Joe MacDonald

The Van Dyck, Saturday

And it’s one-two-three what are you waitin’ for? Country Joe MacDonald was a charter member of the San Francisco hippie hall of fame. He was right there with Janis and Marty and Grace and Skip and Jerry and the rest of the dudes and dudettes who made the Bay Area so . . . vibrant (stoned?) in the mid- to late-’60s. With Country Joe and the Fish, he made music that ranged from experimental acid rock to the good-timey sing-along songs that had them all joining in at Monterey and Woodstock. And it’s five-six-seven, isn’t it really great? Country Joe is coming to bring a genuine blast of hippie sunshine to Schenectady on Saturday night. You could resist the draft, but you can’t resist Country Joe. (Feb. 11, 7 and 9:30 PM, call for prices, 237 Union St., Schenectady, 381-1111)

Valentine’s @ Valentine’s

Valentine’s, Tuesday

Let us begin by reminding you that you are currently reading Metroland’s annual sex issue. So, before you get all high and mighty about what Valentine’s Day really means—please, tell us, we’re dying to know—let us remind you that with practically every grand romantic gesture comes a seedy ulterior motive. So, why not explore the seedy (we’ll call it “sexy”) side of this supposed holiday with what is being billed as “an erotic night of sight, sound, and taste”? In addition to the perpetually sexy soul-rock sounds of Bryan Thomas, Valentine’s @ Valentine’s will include an “erotic open mic” for poets, artwork by local artists Joe Hall, Julia Howard, Ryan Pooler and Sandra Williams, “sensual cheesecakes,” and door prizes for those who care to dress up—which is recommended, because as that chick on those late-night chat-line commercials says, “you’re bound to hook up!” How very romantic. (Feb. 14, 7 PM, $6, $10 per couple, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

In Flames

Saratoga winners, Tuesday

Godfathers in the realm of crime are bad mama jammas who get themselves piz-aid. Unfortunately for In Flames, godfathers of the musical realm generally only have one part of the equation down. James Brown (the godfather of soul), Marc Bolan (punk) and Neil Young (grunge) were bad mama jamas who never got paid for their influence. In Flames want to buck that trend and get their palms greased for being the godfathers of the American metal-core scene. Rather than rest on their Swedish laurels, In Flames signed on to American metal-core home Ferret Records, wrote an album with the occasional female lead vocal, and are touring with a gaggle of bands they influenced. While some have accused In Flames of selling out and becoming metal whores, they are sadly mistaken—godfathers who get paid are pimps. (Feb. 14, 7:30 PM, $22, 1375 New Loudon Road, Latham, 783-1010)

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Pearl Street, Wednesday

As an expat of the famously dysfunctional Brian Jonestown Massacre, Peter Hayes should know a thing or two about life in a fucked-up band. So when his latest project, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, was unceremoniously dumped by Virgin Records after two Jesus and Mary Chain-beholden releases, and drummer Nick Jago up and left the band, did he freak out? Nahh, bro, he just waited—and, apparently, listened to a lot of blues and gospel in the downtime. Lo and behold, both Jago and the major labels (RCA, in this case) came a-runnin’ back, and BRMC reemerged last year with Howl, their best album yet. It’s a throwback record in the best sense of the word; a deeply rootsy outing that just reeks of Mississippi River runoff. They’ll bring their new old sound to Pearl Street this week along with the Morning After Girls and New York-based guitar-rock band Elefant. (Feb. 15, 8:30 PM, $18, 10 Pearl St., Northampton, Mass., 413-584-7771)

Also Noted

The somewhat-annual Kissy Kiss Love Affair takes place tomorrow (Friday) at Valentine’s, with music from Complicated Shirt, Connecticut rockers Fatal Film, a rare performance from Rockets and Blue Lights, and Zahnartz, featuring members of the Amazing Plaid; bring candy (9 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . Cajun dance band the Back Porch Rockers will help celebrate Time and Space Limited co-founder Claudia Bruce’s 60th birthday at TSL this Friday; bring cake (7 PM, $10, 822-8448). . . . Check out a jam-packed pop-rock bill at Northern Lights on Friday, featuring band-on-the-rise Winterpills, the newly revamped Brian Kaplan Band, the newly re-drummered Hector on Stilts, and My Last Sunrise (7:30 PM, $8, 371-0012). . . . David Bromberg and his “big band” will explore the nooks and crannies of Americana and folk music at the Egg on Friday (8 PM, $28, 473-1845). . . . Excellent new area band the Luxury Flats will take part in an indie-rock revival of sorts at the First Presbyterian Church in Hudson on Saturday; Sufjan Stevens cohort Denison Witmer, P.G. Six, Micah Blue Smaldone, and Alex Lukashevsky share the bill (6 PM, $8, 828-4275). . . . An array of musicians will team up for a benefit concert this Sunday at the State Room in Albany; proceeds will help offset the medical costs for Myles McAdoo, a 3-year-old area boy who recently began treatment for a rare form of brain cancer. WNYT’s Benita Zahn will be on hand to emcee, and the aforementioned array includes Hung Jury, Sonny & Perley, Nate Buccieri and more; call ahead for advance tickets (2 PM, $40, 522-0753). . . . The Exit will play a free show for all you lovers this Tuesday (that’s Valentine’s Day, sucka) at the Skyline (7 PM, free, 472-8150).

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