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Zox, Tally Hall, Ryan Montbleau Band, Making April

Revolution Hall, Thursday Zox are a rarity in today’s music industry, in several ways. They sold tens of thousands of CDs on their own before signing a distribution deal with SideOneDummy Records. Until recently, they booked all of their own tours, designed all of their own merchandise, and somehow found a way to make their band a self-sustaining business. And, believe it or not, they’re one of very few rock bands to include a violin player and not totally suck. They’ll play Rev Hall tonight with Michigan-based nerd-rockers Tally Hall; we’re not sure if those guys actually look like the Lego characters they’re portrayed as on their Web site, but we’re willing to check ’em out and see. The Ryan Montbleau Band and Making April will open. (Nov. 9, 7:30 PM, $14, 425 River St., Troy, 274-0553)

Rock for Choice

Red Square, Thursday We’re always happy to support our community-based nonprofits, including Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood. This Thursday, local and regional bands will gather at Red Square to help raise some funds for UHPP so they can continue to do what they do best. Appearing to support UHPP is Marc Von Em, a New York City-based singer- guitarist who recently toured with (and opened for) Matchbox 20, but who is probably better known for singing the jingle “This Bud’s for You” in Budweiser commercials a few years back. Also lending their talents to the cause are Cooper Union, Christina Abbott & Hot Bitch Arsenal, Palatypus, and comedian Erick James. The $15 cover includes one drink ticket. (Nov. 9, 8:30 PM, $15, 388 Broadway, Albany, 465-0444)

Audra McDonald

Audra McDonald

Colonial Theatre, Saturday; Proctor’s Theatre, Sunday You will have two chances to see Tony award-winning, Juilliard-trained chanteuse Audra McDonald this weekend, in a pair of historic regional theaters: the Colonial in Pittsfield on Saturday, and Proctor’s in Schenectady on Sunday. McDonald is one of those rare Broadway stars who has made herself a successful concert and recording career, thanks to—as The New York Times wrote—“an ideal blend of gorgeous sound, emotional engagement and interpretation.” Her new CD, Build a Bridge, finds McDonald singing works by some seemingly unlikely composers: Nellie McKay, John Mayer, Elvis Costello and Neil Young. McDonald has a solid local following; she was the last performer at Proctor’s before the big renovations, so get your tickets sooner than later. (Nov. 11, 8 PM, $35-$75, 111 South St., Pittsfield, Mass., 413-997-4444; Nov. 12, 7 PM, $29.75-$42.75, 432 State St., Schenectady, 346-6204)

Ralph’s World

The Egg, Sunday The Egg’s Family Wonders series con tinues with a Sunday concert that’s appropriate for the entire family. Ralph’s World, billed as “children’s music that adults can enjoy,” is a creation from Chicago-based indie-pop-rocker Ralph Covert, who used to be the bandleader of that city’s Bad Examples. Last month he released a CD-DVD on Disney Sound called Welcome to Ralph’s World, a follow-up to last year’s Grammy-nominated Green Gorilla. David Edelstein of The New York Times said of Ralph’s World, “Forget sickeningly sweet ditties. Ralph Covert makes indie rock for music fans who still hold their parents’ hands. It is possible that Mr. Covert will turn out to be [the] genre’s Elvis Presley, or at the very least its Elvis Costello.” (Nov. 11, 3 PM, $8, $12, Empire State Plaza, Albany, 473-1845)

 Angels and Airwaves, the Sounds, Envy on the Coast

Northern Lights, Tuesday Now that the three members have split into two camps, we’re finally able to cement our argument that Tom DeLonge was the reason Blink 182 kinda sucked. Case in point: The other two Blink guys started +44, and that band actually seem decent (except for the name). DeLonge’s new band Angels and Airwaves isn’t the worst thing in the world—their layered alt-rock pushes our buttons from time to time—but we’ll never get over that damn voice. (If you’re not a 13-year-old British kid, don’t try to sing like one!) Angels and Airwaves come to town this week for an all-ages event (read: no alcohol) that includes opening sets from Swedish rockers the Sounds and Long Islanders Envy on the Coast. Note: This show has been moved from the Washington Avenue Armory to Northern Lights. (Nov. 9, 8 PM, $25, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)

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