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Scientific Maps CD release

Valentine’s, Friday

We picked ’em as Best Pop Band in our 2006 Best of the Capital Region issue, and now’s your chance to hear why—at least in a portable format. After kicking around the Capital Region music scene for four years or so, Aaron Smith and his Scientific Maps are finally releasing their debut CD, Get Off the Moon. The album’s 16 tracks feature Smith and his cronies on a multitude of instruments, from Moog synthesizers to plastic tubing, and topics run the gamut of pop-song subject matter: from “the supernatural and crypto-zoological to British invasion to Sherlock Holmes to Elephant 6 and then back to supernatural.” British ghost-detective elephants? We’re so there! Celebrate the release of Get Off the Moon with Scientific Maps tomorrow night, along with guests Gun Christmas and the Wasted. (Jan. 12, 9 PM, $5, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

Robert Cray

Robert Cray Band

The Egg, Saturday

If you’re looking for some blues with a little antiwar ’tude, look no further than Robert Cray and his shades-rockin’ band. The Robert Cray Band will perform songs from their two-disc 2006 CD Live From Across the Pond, nominated for a Best Contemporary Blues Album Grammy. Cray’s sound has always gravitated more toward soul than blues, especially of late, and that soulful croon resonates on the powerful “Twenty,” an emotional ballad sung from the perspective of a mournful soldier in Iraq. Watch for that one on Saturday, as well as “The Things You Do to Me” and “Back Door Slam.” Hey, there’s a local boy involved, too—keyboardist Jim Pugh hails from Amsterdam. (Jan. 13, 8 PM, $29.50, Empire State Plaza, Albany, 473-1845)



Project/Object with Ike Willis

Revolution Hall, Saturday

Project/Object have been channeling the late Mother of Invention since the early ’90s, and Frank Zappa’s former bandmate Ike Willis will be jammin’ with the gang at Revolution Hall come Saturday night. The group, named after Zappa’s self-termed practice of repeating themes in his music and lyrics, is considered one of the better Zappa tribute bands around. P/O’s André Cholmondeley’s retort to those who prefer Frank’s flesh-and-blood son Dweezil (of this summer’s famed tour “Zappa Plays Zappa”): a knock on “D’Weasel’s insistence on slagging every band, including us, that has worked so hard to keep [his father’s] band’s music alive while he was hosting bullshit Food Network shows.” Ouch. (Jan. 13, 9 PM, $16, $18, 425 River St., Troy, 274-0553)

Princess Shella’s Birthday/American Heart Association Benefit

Valentine’s, SaturdaY

In a strange juxtaposition of celebrations, Saturday night’s show at Valentine’s will serve two purposes: to celebrate avid concertgoer Princess Shella’s birthday (we assume the princess in question has decreed that it was OK to share the day), and to raise funds for a very worthwhile organization: the American Heart Association. The players in this show are none other than local faves the Erotics, Blackcat Elliot, Demons Alley, and Have a Go Heroes. Go revel in the fun. (Jan. 13, 8 PM, $5, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

The Bakerton Group

Red Square, Tuesday

The Bakerton Group are proto-jam-rock outfit Clutch without singer Neil Fallon. That may actually be enough to get some of you to the club, but we’ll go on. Actually, we take that back—per the Clutch Web site, “It’s not ‘Clutch without Neil.’ It’s a completely separate venture altogether.” Fine, we stand corrected. Anyway, the Bakertons promise an “all instrumental set with a couple covers and some original joints smoothed out on a blues type tip.” (Sounds like they’re skewing jam rather than rock.) So it’s a means for the band to make some bank when Fallon doesn’t feel like touring, right? Find out for yourself when they come to town this Tuesday. Never Get Caught and Dead Rabbits open. (Jan. 16, 8 PM, $10, 388 Broadway, Albany, 465-0444)

Also Noted

Shake your Eastern European groove thang this Saturday with eight-piece New York-based folk-dance machine Metropolitan Klezmer at the Otesaga Resort Hotel in Cooperstown; the show is part of the Cooperstown Concert Series (7:30 PM, $15, $5 students, 607-547-1812). . . . Also on Saturday, sax ace Keith Pray and his Soul BBQ play 9 Maple Ave. in Saratoga (9 PM, $2, 583-2582). . . . Boston act Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles play songs from their album Silver City at Club Helsinki in Great Barrington, Mass., on Saturday (9 PM, $10, 413-528-3394) an on Sunday at Caffe Lena (7 PM, $14, 583-0022). . . . A fund-raiser and live-CD recording for musician Scott Dorrance will take place Sunday at Positively 4th Street in Troy; the all-day event features musical performances by Maurizio, Kim Buckley and Mike McMann, the Lawn Sausages, the Sidewinders, and a bunch more (1 PM, $10, 687-0064).

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