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The Kennedys, Sons of the Never Wrong

WAMC Performing Arts Studio, Thursday

If you dig that rootsy Americana sound—and we hear that the kids just can’t get enough of it—then this double bill at WAMC’s “the Linda” is just for you. The Kennedys, featuring ex-Delta Ray Maura Kennedy and ex-Nanci Griffith lead guitarist Pete Kennedy, will bring their “exuberant mixture of folk, rock, country, pop and their own brand of secular gospel” for your musical edification. (We’ll be interested to discover exactly what “secular gospel” is, anyway—a Unitarian-type deal?) Also on the bill are Chicago’s Sons of the Never Wrong. Technically, two of the three Sons are daughters, as the trio consists of Bruce Roper, Deborah Lader and Sue Demel. While they deploy familiar folk-oriented instruments like the guitar, banjo, mandolin and dulcimer, we are assured, by the band themselves, that “their work is decidedly eccentric.” We can all get behind that. (Nov. 16, 8 PM, $15, 339 Central Ave., Albany, 465-5233 ext. 4)

Albumen

Valentine’s, Friday

Saratoga Springs-based rock band Albumen (we’re not quite sure how they chose their name, though we do know albumen is egg white) are an up-and-coming group that got together last year (through Craigslist) to make some music. The band cite Nick Drake, the Swans, the Minutemen and Iron & Wine as some of their influences, and so far, it seems their muses have served them well. Their first (and, so far, only) CD, Lake Desolation, has gotten some very positive reviews on some indie-music Web sites, like smother.net, which says: “The song writing throughout Lake Desolation is brilliant with arrangements that are smart and witty without being too over the top.” The band promise to debut a bunch of new material (in addition to songs from Lake Desolation, we’d imagine) at tomorrow night’s show at Valentine’s. Also on the bill are Elrod-Hotter (the glorious pairing of local mainstays Mitch Elrod and Mike Hotter), and Colin Carry and Magog. (Nov. 17, 8 PM, $5, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)


Laura Boggs

Laura Boggs CD-Release Party

Lark Tavern, Sunday

Honey-voiced folk songstress Laura Boggs (Metroland’s 2006 Best Female Singer-Songwriter) has finally released another CD. We say finally because her first, Live at Professor Java’s, was released many moons ago, and she’s been playing the local open-mic and gig circuit for years since, showing off her new songs, and newer songs, and newer songs . . . prompting frequent requests of “Where can I get this on CD?” So, needless to say, this project has been in the works for a while, and we’re glad to see that it has come to fruition. The disc itself is the first release on local arts advocate Harith Abdullah’s brand-new label, the Rev Records, and will be available at the CD-release party this weekend at the Lark Tavern. Special guest Jared Funari will open the show. (Nov. 19, 8 PM, $5, 453 Madison Ave., Albany, 463-9779)

Putumayo’s Acoustic Africa

Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Sunday

The Acoustic Africa tour brings together prominent African singer-songwriters Habib Koité, Vusi Mahlasela and Dobet Gnahoré for an evening infused with melody and rhythm, as well as message. In addition to being performers, each is also a social activist, seeking to increase awareness about the issues affecting their home country. The artistic identity of Koité and Mahlasela was particularly impacted by Africa’s vast social and political changes during the 1980s and ’90s. Expect a performance characteristic of the African acoustic tradition, but with a contemporary flair. The evening is a sampling of Putumayo’s Acoustic Africa CD, which features additional African artists. (Nov. 19, 7 PM, $25-$28, $15 students, 30 2nd St., Troy, 273-0038)

Sugarcult

Northern Lights, sunday

Sugarcult had one goal with their new album. “We talked early on about wanting to make a concise 11-song album.” Exciting, isn’t it? Sugarcult are hard to write about. Why? Because they don’t have a clearly manufactured, wacky back story; they don’t wear masks or makeup; their music isn’t emo, screamo, devo, hardcore, barcore, or trendcore. Their songs are poppy little ditties that don’t necessarily stand out for anything other than their well-produced studio sheen. The song “Do It Alone” is reportedly about “loveless sex.” Leave it to Sugarcult to take the fun out of anything. The band’s bio speaks of their work ethic, and says that their new album Lights Out “is an album that covers diverse sonic territory, but always remains on course; with a distinct balance between classic songwriting and forward thinking.” So, to translate, when you think Sugarcult, think “Stay the course!” (Nov. 19, 7 PM, $17, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)


Also Noted
Fear Factory

So, uh, are you afraid? No? How about now? Still not? Then try this: Fear Factory will churn out a hearty dose of the heavy at Revolution Hall tonight (Thursday), along with Suffocation, Hypocrisy and Decapitated—scary stuff, indeed (7:30 PM, $20, 274-0553). . . . On the local side, catch two of our area’s most-durable original acts—the Decadent Royals and Phillips Head—along with guest Cassandra Bacon at Red Square tonight (9 PM, $5, 465-0444). . . . A man with a mandolin: The David Grisman Quintet will play the Calvin Theater in Northampton, Mass. tonight (8 PM, $22.50-$35, 413-584-1444) and the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall on Saturday (8 PM, $29, 273-0038). . . . Find out what’s guiding Robert Pollard these days when he plays Pearl Street in Northampton, Mass., on Saturday; Richard Davies and the Heartless Bastards round out an excellent bill (8 PM, $18, 413-584-7771). . . . Chris Knight, a singer-songwriter described as an “angry John Mellencamp,” performs at the Ale House in Troy on Saturday (10 PM, $5, 272-9740). . . . How in the hell are Hinder selling so many records? And did the world really need a cut-rate Nickelback? (We just threw up in our mouths a little bit as we wrote “cut-rate Nickelback.”) Maybe they’re, like, an awesome live band or something; find out this Monday when they play a sold-out Northern Lights, along with Eighteen Vis ions and Lynam—a band who may or may not feature the love children of Ronnie James Dio and Stevie Nicks (7:30 PM, 371-0012).


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