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Casket Architects CD-Release

Valentine’s, Thursday

Oh it’s on, bitches: “So-called under ground bands prance around the mainstream media, more into sporting their pierced, tattooed, and fashionably coiffed aesthetic than showcasing their sound.” That’s a sample of what we’ll call the Casket Architects’ “statement of principles,” available for your perusal on their Web site. And the Casket Architects, who will celebrate the release of their new CD, Skull Persuasion, at Valentine’s tonight (Thursday), seem to promise they’ll pummel you honestly and sincerely with their “sci-fi deth rock.” They also describe themselves as playing with “spastic frenzy,” their music an “eclectic sonic death ray.” This Altercation label-sponsored show also features Plastic Jesus, the Purrs and Danger to the System. (Sept. 14, 8 PM, call for prices, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

Gary Higgins and Red Hash

WAMC Performing Arts Studio, Friday

Listen to Gary Higgins’ recent Drag City release Red Hash and find yourself transported back to a long-forgotten time when a guy could write some tunes, invite his hippie friends and their flutes and mandolins into his wood-paneled living room, and make a dark, entrancing, and splendidly weird album. The quietly relaxed vocals and quasi-psychedelic folk songs suggest a post- Woodstock burnout that sounds like 1973 all over again—which makes sense, since Red Hash was recorded in that very year. The album didn’t make much of an impact on the collective psyche in its time, but thanks to some major praise from a new psych-folk breed—Devendra Banhart, Joanna Newsom, et al.—Higgins and his masterpiece have been resurrected (figuratively, of course), and the man himself will bring the songs to life tomorrow (Friday) night at the Linda. (Sept. 15, 8 PM, $15, 339 Central Ave., Albany, 465-5233)

Our Lady of Bells

Our Lady of Bells

Valentine’s, Saturday

Northampton, Mass.-based Our Lady of Bells credit their western-Massachusetts surroundings with being an inspiration for their sound. On their Web site, they describe Northampton as “a strange place” where “rednecks sip their coffee with Unitarians” and “queer anarchists share their popcorn with the chief of police.” The band released their debut album, Forgetting the Way Home—a mix of chamber pop, country rock and folk—this past April. In a Gigtimes review, Michael Walker writes of the new recording that “all the right cymbal crashes, piano key pleading, and singing strings evoke heartaches, heartstrings, and other typical heart-related imagery, but the songs rise above clichés and put the folk-pop quintet on a promising path behind Kings of Convenience, Belle and Sebastian, and Okkervil River.” Our Lady have been touring with fellow New Englanders Brown Bird, who will open the show at Valentine’s along with local rockers Charmboy. (Sept. 16, 8 PM, call for prices, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

Peter Tork, James Lee Stanley

Caffe Lena, Sunday

It’s been 37 years since Peter Tork departed from the Monkees, but his career did not end with the ’60s pop band. A songwriter and entertainer, Tork is a veteran of guitar, banjo and keyboard. Since leaving the Monkees, he’s been involved with many obscure musical collaborations. He also left his music career for a bit to teach grade school. But recently, he’s released a live CD and has been touring with his current group Shoe Suede Blues to support it. After finishing that tour, he is now on another with close friend James Lee Stanley, in support of their new CD, Two Man Band, with Peter Tork. Stanley himself has collaborated and produced 20 albums, two of which received Grammy nominations. He performs 300 dates a year and has opened for a wide range of entertainers, including Bonnie Raitt, Bill Cosby and Robin Williams. It’s been said that when these two artists come together on stage, an audience can expect a night of laughs, stories and harmonies. (Sept.17, 7 PM, $20, Caffe Lena, 47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs, 583-0022)

Electric Six

Pearl Street, Sunday

“Girl! I wanna take you to a gay bar/I wanna take you to a gay bar/I wanna take you to a gay bar, gay bar, gay bar/Let’s start a war/Start a nuclear war/At the gay bar, gay bar, gay bar/Wow! At the gay bar/Now tell me do ya/Do ya have any money? I wanna spend all your money/At the gay bar, gay bar, gay bar/I’ve got something to put in you/I need to buckle down/Yeah! I’ve got something to put in you/I’ve got something to put in you/At the gay bar, gay bar, gay bar/Wow! You’re a superstar, at the gay bar/You’re a superstar, at the gay bar/Yeah! You’re a superstar, at the gay bar/You’re a superstar, at the gay bar.” Electric Six will play Pearl Street this Sunday, along with Aberdeen City and the Blue Van. (Sept. 17, 8:30 PM, $17, 10 Pearl St., Northampton, Mass., 413-584-7771)

Nick Lachey

Palace Theatre, Wednesday

Preteen girls and sexually con-fused boys: Rejoice! Pop sensation Nick Lachey, single both personally and professionally (famously, from fellow singer Jessica Simpson, less-so from his band 98 Degrees, who enjoyed a brief frenzy of popularity and MTV coverage in the late ’90s) will perform his emotionally charged ballads here in Albany on Wednesday. Lachey, whose mug has been plastered on the pages of virtually every celebrity tabloid (as well as a couple more reputable publications) over the past few months, has recently reemerged on the music scene as a solo artist, proving himself a force to be reckoned with among other boy-banders who have (far less-successfully) severed ties with their bandmates and forged on alone (think J.C. Chasez and Nick Carter). Though critics maintain that Lachey may be more famous for his high-profile romances then for his music, anyone who has heard one of his new singles (and, frankly, who hasn’t at this point?) has to concede that the man can at least hold a note. Armed with an arsenal of catchy ballads fresh off his 2006 sophomore album, What’s Left of Me, Lachey will kick off his 26-date tour in Albany this week at the Palace. (Sept. 20, 7:30 PM, $29.50-$39.50, Palace Theatre, 19 Clinton Ave., Albany, 465-3334)

Also Noted
Mates of State
There’s something going on every night this week. Here’s proof: Tonight (Thursday), catch indie-pop stars Mates of State and Starlight Mints at Pearl Street in Northampton; both acts are plugging new releases (8:30 PM, $14, 413-584-7771). . . . Groove Collective and the Sam Kiniger Band will play a free, outdoor (weather permitting) show on the South Green at Skidmore College tomorrow (Friday, 9 PM, free, 580-5710). . . . As Sublime cover bands go, they don’t get much more, um, sublime than Badfish; they’ll headline a Saturday-night show at Northern Lights that also features Paranoid Social Club and local cats Teknique (7:30 PM, $15, 371-0012). . . . On Sunday, head out to Club Helsinki in Great Barrington, Mass., for the alt-country stylings of Chip Taylor and special guest Kendel Carson (8 PM, $15, 413-528-3394) . . . . OK, we lied: The previously scheduled Black Swans show at Valentine’s on Monday has been canceled. . . . Kettle Joe’s Psychedelic Swamp Revue will play Revolution Hall on Tuesday (8 PM, $16, 274-0553). . . . Fat Possum recording artists Blackfire Revelation play an early show on the downstairs stage at Valentine’s this Wednesday (7 PM, $7, 432-6572).

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