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the young dubliners

The Young Dubliners

Albany Riverfront Park, Thursday

The Young Dubliners are not your average Celtic band. In fact, you can call their style “Celtic, Irish, or just plain rock.” Comprising both Irish and American band members, the Young Dubliners (or the Dubs, to all you devout fans) cover everything from “Irish-flavored anthemic rock to rowdy pub tunes.” Since their formation in 1994, the Young Dubliners have released several albums, including their most recent, Real World, and have toured and opened for acts such as Jethro Tull, John Hiatt, and Robert Cray. Some of their songs take on serious subject matter while others tend to make audiences feel as if they are drunk in a pub in Dublin. Today (Thursday), they play Alive at Five; if you plan on going, prepare to experience the Irish version of a mosh pit—a “jig pit,” according to sources—and the chance to sing along and drink to some of the Dubs’ mug-hoisting ballads. (June 8, 5 PM, free, Albany Riverfront Park, Albany, 434-2032,



The Knuckleheads

Lark Tavern, Friday

It’s been a many years since Frank Zappa asked his famous rhetorical question, “Does humor belong in music?” And, to most folks, the answer is obvious: no. Hell, no. Take, as exhibit A, this quote from a review in Time Out NY about the Big Apple’s own Knuckleheads: “Do you like funny songs? Neither do we.” Uh oh. “Still,” the critic continued, “anyone who pens a song called ‘Tommy Made Owen Wilson Cry’ can’t be all bad.” In other words, even people who don’t like humor with their chords of glory will find the Knuckleheads—two guys with guitars—funny. Find out for yourself at the Lark tomorrow (Friday) night. Currently, the duo are running a contest on their Web site to name the next Knuckleheads song. Maybe we upstaters can’t get that sophisticated New York humor, but the current frontrunner, “Necks! Necks! Necks!” is more puzzling than laugh-inducing. The fourth runner-up is hilarious, however: “Springtime for Hipster in Williamsburg.” (June 9, 9 PM, call for prices, 453 Madison Ave., Albany, 463-9779)

The SofaKingz

THE Van Dyck, Friday

Metal at the Van Dyck? Though the genre and the venue are an unlikely pair, the combo will happen tomorrow (Friday) night. Billed as “an intimate evening with the Sofa-Kingz,” this show will mark what the Kingz call the first foray of metal into this traditionally jazz-and-folk club. The Rotterdam-based band have developed quite a following over the past few years, opening for bands like Powerman 5000 and organizing metalfests here and there throughout the region. Go say hello to the boys, crack open a PBR (if the Van Dyck serves the band’s favorite beer—who knows) and discover what an intimate evening of metal sounds and looks like. Oh, and report back. We’re curious. Superpower, Idol Hands and Intraction are also on the bill. (June 9, 8 PM, $7, 237 Union St., Schenectady, 381-1111)

Two Cow Garage, Grainbelt, the Old Sweethearts

Valentine’s, Friday

As anyone who’s caught one of their live sets will tell you, Two Cow Garage are one of the best underheard bands around. The still-young Columbus, Ohio, trio have been peddling their wares to whoever will listen for about four years now, and (thankfully) there’s no sign that they’ll hang up the keys to the van anytime soon. That’s good news for anyone who digs classic, straightforward, heartland rock & roll a la Uncle Tupelo and the Replacements. And for those who want to see how the other half lives, you can now pick up The Long Way Around: One Badass Year with Two Cow Garage, filmmaker John Boston’s documentary on the making of the band’s second record (The Wall Against Our Back) and the grueling touring regimen that followed. Former Coal Palace Kings head honcho Howard Glassman will debut his new band, Grainbelt, at tomorrow’s show, and the Old Sweethearts will open. (June 9, 9 PM, $6, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

Susan Trump

Caffe Lena, Friday-Saturday

Armed simply with acoustic instru-ments and a mic, Susan Trump employs a simple approach to music, which has gained her fame on the East Coast. Her fans claim that she “has the voice of an angel, singing songs that go straight to the heart.” Trump’s songwriting ability and talent with the mountain dulcimer have earned her a steady local following; according to Caffe Lena’s Web site, “Susan Trump is a singer whose gentle voice and story songs have been crowd pleasers at Caffe Lena for years.” Susan even wrote the song “Live at Caffe Lena” in tribute to the venue. However, Trump is more than a small-town songstress; she has traveled nationwide educating others on the dulcimer. Trump’s mastery of the guitar, banjo and dulcimer help her to educate and mentor audiences filled with children and adults on the joys of music. (June 9-10, 8 PM, $14, 47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs, 583-0022)

The Aquabats

Saratoga Winners, monday

Five “super rad” men in blue spandex rash guards, black Zorro-type masks, and silver power belts are fighting villains with their “awesome forces” in three different nations. The Aquabats’ 2006 This Better Work or We Are Dead Tour began on the West Coast, near their home, Aquabania. . . . Oh, sorry, we mean Southern California; then they headed out to battle the rest of the United States, Canada, and England. MC Bat Commander, Eagle “Bones” Falconhawk, Ricky Fitness, Crash McLarson and Jimmy the Robot claim that they’ll rock some new wave synthesized pop-punk, straying from their original ska sound. The Aquabats are devoted to the notion of taking over the world, but before they do that, they’ll stop to perform a show in Latham. Saratoga Winners is going to “open the floodgates of awesome” on Monday to superhero backflips and space-monster attacks. Pick up a mask and an anti-negativity helmet while you’re there. Also on the bill are Whole Wheat Bread and the Aggrolites. (June 12, 7:30 PM, $15, 1375 New Loudon Road, Latham, 783-1010 )

Also Noted

james mcmurtry

Tonight (Thursday), catch Amy Speace and Jezzie Tree at Gaffney’s in Saratoga (8 PM, $5, 587-7359). . . . At King’s Tavern tomorrow (Friday), Western Mass.-based indie-rockers New Radiant Storm King play songs from their excellent new release, The Steady Hand (9 PM, $5, 581-7090). . . . Mike Doughty’s Band will return to Revolution Hall this Saturday; word has it they’re road-testing new songs for an upcoming record (9 PM, $16, 273-2337). . . . Area hip-hop collective Pitch Control Music hosts a double CD-release party for Left Handed Boy and Rick Whispers at the Lark Tavern this Saturday; also on the eclectic bill are the hard and heavy sounds of Scag Rotter and L.I.F.E. Long (10 PM, $5, 463-7875). . . . If you prefer your punk-rock shows to be rap-free, check out the Unseen, the Ducky Boys, Blasé Debris, and the Designer Drugs at Saratoga Winners on Saturday (7:30 PM, $12, 783-1010). . . . Valentine’s hosts another entry in their regular Monday-night indie-rock series; this week’s lineup features Your Black Star, Pattern Is Movement, the Wasted, and Gun Christmas (8 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . Renowned Americana singer-songwriter James McMurtry comes to the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, Mass. on Monday; the Ray Mason Band will open (7 PM, $17, 413-584-0610).

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