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Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Pepsi Arena, Friday

We couldn’t think of anything new to say about the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s annual visit, so here’s what we said last year—er, two years ago: “Imagine if Queensrÿche were to perform something called Operation: Nütcracker and you’re in the ballpark of what the Trans-Siberian Orchestra might have to offer. Since 1996, Paul O’Neill, Robert Kinkel and ex-Savatage vocalist (we just had to mention that) Jon Oliva have been slicing, dicing and mostly shredding traditional holiday music to create their unique spin on the seasonal standards. By pairing heavy-metal guitars and drums with full orchestration, the TSO have sold millions of records and become something of a seasonal standard in their own right.” Here’s proof: There are now two touring companies of this production. Excellent! (Dec. 22, 4 and 8 PM, $40-$50, 51 S. Pearl St., Albany, 800-30-EVENT)

Brian Bassett, knotworking

Lark Tavern, Friday

They always come running back. Friday’s lineup at the Lark looks like something that might have happened in, oh, 2004: Heart-on-sleeve alternapopper Brian Bassett and heart-in-the-ashtray alt-country collective knotworking will team up for what is being billed as a “homecoming.” Bassett bolted the area for Raleigh, N.C., early this year, leaving behind a couple of rather good releases (Rock and Roll, Nothing to Lose); no official word on his current status, but we have a feeling he’ll have more to offer in the coming months. Knotworking leader Ed Gorch took his act to Brooklyn a few years back, and is currently working on a few projects there; he’ll reunite with a few of his old bandmates for this show, and he’s made vague promises about a fourth knotworking record in 2007. Hold him to it. (Dec. 22, 10 PM, $5, 463 Madison Ave., Albany, 463-9779)

4th Annual Ghosts of Hardcore Past

Valentine’s, Friday

Operation Ivy are scheduled to headline over the Buzzcocks this Friday, and opening for them are the Violent Femmes and—get this—Weezer. OK, yeah, so . . . not really. The deal is this: An eclectic mix of local bands are getting together to perform sets of covers of their influential alt-punk forefathers. (Yes, we just called Weezer an influential alt-punk forefather. It has come to that.) But we have to admit, we’re really excited by the clash of styles that the show promises to produce. We really sort of dig Evixxion’s Joy Division cover, so we have high hopes for the sludgesters’ take on “My Name Is Jonas” (Please tell us you’re covering “My Name is Jonas!”). (Dec. 22, 7 PM, $10, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

Channel 103.1 Yule Rock

Northern Lights, Friday-Saturday

The folks at Channel 103.1 FM are all about the holiday cheer. To prove it, they’ve expanded their annual Yule Rock concert to a two-night event. Night one (Friday) features the unfortunately named alternative-rockers-on-the-rise Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, plus the Audition, Patent Pending, and Moros Eros. Night two (Saturday) is a decidedly more punishing affair (for those on the “naughty” list, we presume) featuring the Stillborn Fest. The event is headlined by ho-ho-hardcore heavies Hatebreed; and the packed lineup features sets from God Forbid, Full Blown Chaos, Subzero, the Risk Taken, Scurvy, Recon, Brick by Brick, and Johnny Mathis. Just kidding on that last one. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good ni-i-i-i-ght! (Dec. 22, 7 PM, $12; Dec. 23,5 PM, $18, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)

Jordan Loder & Friends

Club Helsinki, Tuesday

If you’re still feeling that egalitarian Christmas vibe on the day after, boogie over to Great Barrington’s Club Helsinki. There you will find neo-hippie poet-nomad Jordan Loder “combining reggae, folk and rock,” and alternating between “hard truths and tender invocations” in his original compositions. Dude will be joined by a variety of Berkshire notables, including three MacVeetys (Bob, Sue and Max), Steve Ide, Jeff Stephens and many more. It’s kind of a homecoming for Western Massachusetts-born Loder, so look for old friends and kind buds. Opening will be Rob Sanzone’s Bah Humbugs. (Dec. 26, 8 PM, $12, 284 Main St., Great Barrington, Mass., 413-528-3394)


Also Noted
Michael Amante

If you like your dreamy pop sounds mixed with big gleaming slabs of classical romanticism, check out Michael Amante at Proctor’s Theatre tomorrow (Friday) night. Tony Bennett says the dude’s the next Mario Lanza, and the times demand another Mario Lanza (8 PM, $19.75-$77.50, 346-6204). . . . Saturday night at Red Square: Super-happy-tastes-like-candy pre-Xmas fun with Kitty Little, the Luxury Flats, Evolution Revolution and Scientific Maps. Go ahead and indulge, it’s too close to Christmas for Santa to notice (9 PM, $5, 465-0444). . . . Also Saturday, another dance-tastic international/Latin party with Babaloo at Club Helsinki (9 PM, $15, 413-528-3394). . . . Let us take you down, ’cause we’re going to—Schenectady. Specifically, the Van Dyck on Wednesday night to dig Tom Raider. He will be channeling John Lennon in his Imagining Lennon show (8 PM, $15, 381-1111). . . . Or, you could saddle up with the New Riders of the Purple Sage and go lookin’ for “Panama Red,” also on Wednesday, at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton (7 PM, $25, 413-584-0610).


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