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Charlie Louvin

WAMC Performing Arts Studio, Thursday

Charlie Louvin, one-half of the famous Louvin Brothers act, who got their tenuous start playing gigs at country fairs singing gospel tunes and twangy down-home favorites for the mostly red of neck, will perform in Albany tonight (Thursday). Louvin, a country idol from way down in Alabama, seemed unlikely to achieve national stardom but certainly made good. Members of the legendary Grand Ole Opry of Nashville, the Louvin Brothers have sung their distinctive “shape note singing,” gospel-based duets infused with good old country soul, in an arena that has housed the likes of such greats as the King himself. Though Louvin is now traveling and crooning solo, he has continued to sell out shows everywhere he plays. Though his most recent big hit, “See the Big Man Cry” last saw a spot on the Top 10 way back in 1965, Louvin has proven that he has staying power. (Oct. 5, 8 PM, $20, 339 Central Ave., Albany, 465-5233 ext. 4)

The Iguanas

Club Helsinki, Friday

This roots-rock New Orleans group will bring their tour, and the sounds on their latest album, Plastic Silver 9 Volt Heart, to the area this weekend. After their fifth album, they are still able to take their signature sound and shake it up with a new groove. The Times-Picayune dubbed Plastic Silver 9-Volt Heart as Album of the Year in 2003. Using R&B, Latin and Caribbean rhythms, the Iguanas’ live performance is said to “conjure up a seductive latenight atmosphere.” Check out their spirited mix of music and bilingual lyrics tomorrow in Great Barrington. (Oct. 6, 9 PM , $20, 254 Main St., Great Barrington, Mass., 413-528-3394)

Joanna Newsom

Bennington College, Friday

We can already hear the prog-folk kids wetting their pants over this one. While Devendra whets their whistle and Sufjan turns their crank, only Joanna Newsom can so gingerly pluck at their heartstrings. And, as it goes, her own harp strings, as that’s her instrument of choice. Over two self-released records, Yarn and Glue and Walnut Whales, she established herself as one of the most enchanting weirdos on the quiet-music scene, a flaxen-haired wisp with a voice like a hiccup. (A Drag City release, The Milk-Eyed Mender, followed in 2004.) This year, she went full-on freaky with Ys, a five-track, double-LP release (due Nov. 14) engineered by Steve Albini and produced by Jim O’Rourke, with orchestral arrangements by the one-and-only Van Dyke Parks. The perfect indie-prog storm. Newsom will perform in the Greenwall Auditorium at Bennington College tomorrow (Friday) night. (Oct. 6, 10 PM, $10, 500 Jennings Drive, Bennington, Vt., 802-442-5401)


Great Big Sea

The Egg, Wednesday

O, Canada: You have given us, the residents of the middle part of the North American continent known as the United States, so very much. For instance. . . . Hockey. SCTV. Mary Pickford. Cold fronts. Alan Thicke. Labatt’s Ale. Rush (the power trio, not the right-wing fathead-doper). Now, this weekend, you are sharing one of the musical jewels of Atlantic Canada, the Great Big Sea. “Fusing Newfoundland traditional music with modern pop, Great Big Sea has emerged as one of Canada’s most popular bands.” Frankly, this one-line description is all we need to know. “Popular in Canada” is good enough for us. Also, Great Big Sea, a trio of fine musicians, have been nominated for multiple Juno awards. We Canuckaphiles revere the Junos as some love the People’s Choice Awards. This concert is part of the Rhythm International concert series; we eagerly await the arrival of Canadians with rhythm. (Oct. 11, 7:30 PM, $24, Empire State Plaza, Albany, 473-1845)

The Sword, Seemless

Valentines, Wednesday

What is it that makes stoner rock and doom metal go hand-in-hand? Sure, there’s the sludge, but really, in the words of W. Axl Rose, “What’s so scary about being stoned anyway?” Well, my friends, that is a question better posed to Austin’s the Sword. According to their MySpace, the Sword sound like “a herd of bison being pushed off a cliff.” In reality, they sound more like a gaggle of stoners being pushed into a recording studio—lazy, paranoid, their heads full of grand ideas they can’t quite articulate, but that they’ll pound out of their instruments regardless. The bison will be accompanied by Seemless—the Queens of the Stone Age-esque project of ex-Killswitch Engage singer Jesse Leach. (Oct. 11, 7 PM, $5, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

Bullet for My Valentine

Northern Lights, Wednesday

The Welsh quartet Bullet for My Valentine will bring their punk-infused metal to Northern Lights this weekend. Vocalist-guitarist Matt Tuck, guitarist Padge Padget, drummer Moose Thomas, and bassist Jay James make up the group, who have really come into their own in the past couple years. In a review of the guys’ new EP, Hit Parader said, “Bullet for My Valentine are huge over in their native England, and thanks to Trustkill Records, the hard rock community stateside can get a taste of what all the freaking fuss is about. Hand of Blood is a 6-song, guitar driven EP that isn’t afraid to reveal its melodic side.” This show, sponsored by Channel 103.1, will also feature Drop Dead, Gorgeous, and Alliance. (Oct. 11, 7:30 PM, $12, Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)

Also Noted

Arlo Guthrie presents his Annual Fall Revival at the Guthrie Center in Housatonic, Mass., tomorrow (Friday) through Sunday (8 PM nightly, 413-528-1955). . . . The always-weird-and-wacky Blue Man Group bring their How to Be a Megastar Tour 2.0 to the Pepsi Arena Friday night (8 PM, $40.50-$86, 800-30-EVENT). . . . “Walking in Memphis” songwriter Marc Cohn should be walking a little lighter when he rolls into Northampton, Mass., this week—he’s fully recovered after being shot in the head during a botched carjacking just over a year ago; this week, his assailant was sentenced to 36 years in prison. Vienna Teng will open the Friday night show at the Iron Horse Music Hall (7 PM, $40, 413-584-0610). . . . The Radio Takeover tour hits Valentine’s this Saturday night; among the featured acts are If Hope Dies, Versus the Mirror, Oh Sleeper, and the Human Abstract (8 PM, $10, 432-6572). . . . The Al DiMeola Electric Quintet will play the WAMC Performing Arts Studio on Sunday. ’Nuff said (7 PM, $35, 465-5233 ext. 4). . . . Hot Buttered Rum will, um, butter the rum (or something like that) at the Parting Glass on Wednesday (9 PM, $12, 583-1916).

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