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Richard Julian

WAMC Performing Arts Studio, Friday

Ditching the real-estate phone-answering business, longtime New York City resident Richard Julian has slowly been resurrecting himself and his acoustic guitar. Julian is currently on tour promoting his fourth album, Slow New York, which features guest appearances by Norah Jones, Tim Luntzel of Bright Eyes, Dan Resier of Marcy Playground and more. Julian’s close friend Jones calls it her “favorite collection of songs by one of my favorite songwriters.” Philadelphia Inquirer describes Julian this way: “His razor-sharp acoustic-spun vignettes about life in the big city and its varied inhabitants—coupled with his honey-and-sand vocals—Julian’s sparkling guitar work shines throughout, as does his wit.” Arriving back from the United Kingdom and Ireland, where he accompanied Roseanne Cash, Julian will play his Manhattan soundtrack in Albany on Friday. Opening will be Valerie DeLaCruz. (June 16, 8 PM, $15, 339 Central Ave., Albany, 465-5233)

Emma’s Revolution, Cindy Kallet

Caffe Lena, Friday

Caffe Lena is hosting a few of the nation’s most notable women folk songwriters this Friday: Emma’s Revolution and Cindy Kallet. On Emma’s Revolution’s Web site, the band are described in “10 (okay, 11) words: A musical uprising of truth and hope from award-winning, activist songwriters.” In fact, if you Google “activist songwriters,” the first hit you’ll get is Pat Humphries, Emma’s Revolution’s frontwoman. Comprising Pat Humphries and Sandy Opatow, Emma’s Revolution have won countless awards, including the John Lennon Songwriting Contest for “If I Give Your Name,” a song written about the undocumented workers lost on 9/11. Their powerful, singable songs will be coupled with Cindy Kallet, a songwriter, singer, and guitarist who is said to be one of “folk music’s most respected singer-songwriters,” whose “Big Dark’s Fancy” happens to be the theme song for WAMC’s Hudson River Sampler. (June 16, 8 PM, $12, 47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs, 583-0022)

Skinless, Last Call, Held Under CD Release

Saratoga Winners, Saturday

Metal is big business these days. Boom states like North Carolina, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania are pumping out nationally viable, steroidally heavy death-metal-hardcore combinations as if those states contain some sort of satanic assembly lines. Meanwhile, Albany’s once-ripe metal scene has seemingly gone under the radar. But Albany does have one ambassador of metal in the form of Skinless, who have been signed to Relapse records for years now. The press for their new album Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead claims Skinless will “Trample the Weak, [and] Hurdle the Dead to lay claim to death metal’s reign by any means necessary.” This may be true, but they are not crushing their local compatriots, as they have invited two pillars of the local metal scene, Last Call and Held Under, to join their CD-release bash and to bring their new albums with them. (June 17, 7:30 PM, $14, 1375 New Loudon Road, Latham, 783-1010)

bruce springsteen

Bruce Springsteen and the Seeger Sessions Band

Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Monday

Everyone’s favorite workingman’s musician, Bruce Springsteen, has been touring this year in support of his new album (released in April), We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, on which he covers folk legend Pete Seeger’s tunes, including “Eyes on the Prize,” “John Henry” and “Mary Don’t You Weep.” Word has it that on tour, Springsteen has been performing a fleshed-out version of Seeger’s Vietnam War anthem “Bring Them Home (If You Love Your Uncle Sam),” complete with new verses that Springsteen wrote (and that are not on the album). You can download the song at for a listen before the concert at SPAC on Monday. (June 19, 8 PM, $38-$93 Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs, 587-3330)



Lymbyc Systym

Valentine’s, Monday

Lymbyc Systym are a pair of brothers, Jared and Michael Bell, who combined their musical talents into an act in 2001. Naming Sigur Ros, Mice Parade and Tortoise as key influences in their sound, the Arizona-based duo have cultivated a following with their unique fusion of sounds. Phoenix’s New Times describes the brothers’ live shows with awe: They “display their intense musical relationship via jaw- dropping keyboard and percussion performances. Their sound blends elements of electronica and indie rock, and winds up being unique with strong beats and impressive grooves.” According to Lymbyc Systym’s Web site, their most recent album, Carved by Glaciers (which can be sampled at their MySpace site, my is a “melodic and cohesive EP that blurs the borders between IDM [intellectual dance music, that is], folktronica, and indie rock.” Sounds like an intellectual good time to us. Also on the bill: Back Ted n Ted, the Hero Cycle and Alaska. (June 19, 7 PM, $7, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

Bo Bice

Northern Lights, Monday

Sales of Badlands’ Voodoo Highway didn’t take off after Bo Bice’s a cappella performance of “In a Dream” in the final weeks of last year’s American Idol, but the album is long out-of-print. Too bad, because Bice’s own debut album, The Real Thing, is, unfortunately, far from what its title would suggest. Not only does the album lack a version of that bluesy lullaby (we know, it was a long shot), but the Southern-rock roots and charm that took the wavy-maned Alabama native to the final two of AI’s fourth season have been smoothed-out and shaved-down to a bland pop-rock sheen that sounds disappointingly like Nickelback or latter-day Bon Jovi. (No surprise, then, that Chad Kroeger, Richie Sambora and Jon Bon Jovi all have writing credits.) Here’s hoping Bice cranks up the Freedom Rock at Northern Lights this week. Maybe he’ll even sing “Vehicle”—or at least “Sweet Home Alabama.” (June 19, 7:30 PM, $12, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)

Also Noted

It’s Blues and Zydeco night at Alive at Five (Albany Riverfront Park at the Corning Preserve) today (Thursday), with music by Elvin Bishop and CJ Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band (5 PM, free, 434-2032). . . . Alt-rockers Lifehouse are at Northern Lights tonight, with Rocco DeLuca slated to open (7 PM, $20, 371-0012). . . . Also tonight, songwriter Dan Bern performs at the WAMC Performing Arts Studio (8 PM, $15, 465-5233 ext. 4). . . . Western Mass.-based alt-pop outfit Spouse return to Valentine’s tomorrow (Friday), along with 5 ’Til Midnight and the Day (9 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . .Here’s something you already knew: Dave Matthews Band are at SPAC this Friday and Saturday, with ALO (Animal Liberation Orchestra) opening both shows; the Saturday show is sold out, but rumor has it that tickets may still be available for Friday’s performance (7 PM, $40.50-$59.50, 476-1000). . . . Perhaps you know him, perhaps you love him: Steve Forbert plays his songs at Club Helsinki in Great Barrington, Mass. on Saturday (9 PM, $20, 413-528-3394). . . . New and exciting, or, we really dig the name: K Sonin’s Che Guevara T-Shirt play Valentine’s on Saturday, along with Struction (9 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . How many bass players does it take to screw in a light bulb? You may not get the answer to that, but you’ll certainly see plenty of bassists at the Northeast Bass Revolution featuring Michael Manring this Wednesday at Revolution Hall; Mike Dimin and Chuck Bianchi will also perform—on the bass, of course (8 PM, $15, 273-2337).

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