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Steve Howe

Northern Lights, Thursday

Attention all proggers: This is not a test of the Progressive Rock Orientation Grid (aka PROG). This is an actual communication of relevant coordinates. An important classic-era prog rocker will be performing in the Capital Region tonight, namely Steve Howe. We’re not going to get into the whole Fripp vs. Hackett vs. Howe thing, except to note that the longtime Yes man is one of the most important guitarists in the genre. While Yes may be only a memory, Howe has been keeping himself extremely busy. Last year saw the release of the eclectic and aptly named album Spectrum, which featured a number of “sons of proggers” joining Howe in carrying on the tradition, as well as the acclaimed concert DVD Remedy Live. End of transmission; please proceed with all deliberate speed to Clifton Park at the time noted here. (April 13, 7:30 PM, $15, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)


Valentine’s, Friday

Join the legions of Zappatistas at Valentine’s tomorrow night to bask in the twisted glow of one of the most popular and long-lived of the bands dedicated to the music of “Eff Zee.” (If you’re wondering why Project/Object refer to Frank Zappa as “Eff Zee,” well, let’s just say that the Zappa Family Trust is very protective of its trademarks.) Project/Object play music from every era of the long career of the late head Mother, with an emphasis on inventive new arrangements and the long guitar jams Frank himself became well-known for. In the past, such former Zappa band members as Jimmy Carl Black and Bunk Gardiner have performed with P/O; on Friday, Ike Willis—vocalist on Joe’s Garage and other late-’70s/1980s recordings—will be singing with the band. It may not be an actual freak out, but it’s the closest you’re going to get to one. (April 14, 8 PM, $18, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)


Skyline, Friday

This week’s biggest show also happens to be its smallest, sort of: MiniKiss, the world’s littlest Kiss tribute, rolls into the Skyline this Friday night for an evening of the classic rock & roll tunes you know and love—as played by little people. The band, led by Joey Fatale (aka Mini Gene), have been through some lineup changes in their six years—by Fatale’s count, 24 members have donned the makeup, and Fatale himself has, at one time or another, played as Gene, Paul, and Ace—but such is the life for a band who require their members to be both vertically challenged and retain an extensive knowledge of the Kiss recorded catalog. That’s a tall order if we do say so ourselves. Go ahead and chuckle, but Fatale and his merry band of metal munchkins get the last laugh: Even the real Gene Simmons is a fan. “He had a huge smile from ear to ear,” Fatale told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. (April 14, 11:30 PM, $10, 4-6 Sheridan Ave., Albany, 472-8150)

Alpha Male Gorillas

Northern Lights, Saturday

The Alpha Male Gorillas, a hiphop-rock outfit who offer such messages as “party hard and crush whoever stands in your way,” make their debut in the Capital Region this week. The members themselves are self-proclaimed “crazy white guys” who spread this philosophy through their music. Since they formed in 2004 as a local act, they’ve promoted themselves to popularity in downstate New York, enough to afford them a custom-painted Banana Bus that’s used to drive friends and fans to far-away shows. With songs like “Bleed Marinara,” and frequent bar gigs, they draw fans with booze stories and comedy as well as by their music. Support for AMG will be local rock and pop-punk bands Skadee, Corona of the Sun and Stuck in First. (April 15, 8 PM, $6-$8, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)

bela fleck and the flecktones

Bela Fleck and the Flecktones

The Egg, Tuesday

It’s been a while since we spoke of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. No hard feelings or anything, but there was a good, long stretch of time when they came through town every three months. (We’ll leave that consciously unsubstantiated.) Anyway, you already know all there is to know about the band: Fleck is the master of jazz-fusion banjo (a title to which there are no challengers); percussionist Futureman plays a bunch of strange gadgets; bassist Victor Wooten is pretty much the bass player’s bass player; and relative newcomer Jeff Coffin occasionally plays two saxophones at one time. If you didn’t know, now you know. The band are back on tour after taking a year off for solo projects, so get ’em while they’re fresh (again). (April 18, 7:30 PM, $29.50, Empire State Plaza, Albany, 473-1845)



Also Noted


The Charms, Wait Until Dusk, and Boxer Brown will play at Positively Fourth Street tonight (Thursday); it should be noted that P4th owner Artie Fredette has been raving about Boxer Brown (9:30 PM, $5, 687-0064). . . . Sarah Borges Band and Danielia Cotton Band coheadline a show tonight the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, Mass. (7 PM, $13, 413-584-0610). . . . Also tonight, check out Pensacola, Fla., screamo band Red Lipstick Letter at Saratoga Winners; Broken Image, Chatam, Moonshine and First Thing First will open (6:30 PM, $10, 783-1010). . . . Guster will play at Union College tomorrow (Friday); if you’re lucky, you can probably bribe a Union student for tickets to this sold-out show (8 PM, call for prices, 388-6118). . . . Also on Friday, don’t miss the downstairs show at Valentine’s, featuring “cryptic bedroom pop” band Pants Yell!, who just released their new album, Recent Drama, on Asaurus and Paper Cities Records. Brent Gorton and the Tender Breasts and the Gazetters will open (9 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . And on Saturday, catch the sounds of Celtic band Glengarry Bhoys at the WAMC Performing Arts Studio (8 PM, $20, 465-5233).

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