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Toby Keith

Toby Keith

Times Union Center,Thursday

Blah blah blah boot in their ass blah blah blah. We were hoping that flag-waving country crooner Toby Keith would have disappeared up his own ass by now, but it looks like he is, in fact, still a going concern, and he’ll bring his Hookin’ Up & Hangin’ Out tour (yes, that is the real name) to town this evening. Keith is touring to support White Trash With Money, which presumably doubles as both a description of the performer and his latest album title. Clever. He’ll be joined by Miranda Lambert and “the hottest new talent from Show Dog Records”—which just happens to be Keith’s own label. Turn your mind off, relax, and give some beer to the horses before heading off to this one. (Jan. 25, 7:30 PM, $25-$58.75, 51 S. Pearl St., Albany, 800-30-EVENT)



Pat Travers

Positively Fourth Street, Friday

Canadian-born guitarist Pat Travers has been releasing albums for more than three decades, the most recent, an album of classic-rock covers in 2005 with the P.T. Power Trio. Tomorrow night, Travers will pick up his acoustic for a stripped-down performance at Troy’s Positively Fourth Street. It’s kind of hard to imagine the guitarist who once graced the cover of Guitar Player magazine—following his old tradition of inviting fans onstage to rock some air guitar—in this acoustic setting. Even though his heyday was before the time of modern 20-something concertgoers, let it be known that Travers has a song called “Snortin’ Whiskey”—solid evidence of rocking. (Jan. 26, 8 PM, $15, 46 4th St., Troy, 687-0064)

Kim and Reggie Harris CD-release party

WAMC Performing Arts Center, Saturday

The holidays are over, but Kim and Reggie Harris feel compelled to perform charitable deeds year-round. Their CD-release party for Get On Board! Underground Railroad & Civil Rights Freedom Songs is a celebration within a benefit. The folk-music veterans commemorate Black History Month with this new compilation, while simultaneously raising money for the Families United Network, an organization run out of Albany that provides support for families whose children face serious emotional and behavioral problems. The Harrises have dedicated the past 25 years to educating and entertaining diverse audiences—they’ve given concerts in Canada, Italy and all over the United States—using their talents as “singers, songwriters, storytellers, educators, historical interpreters and cultural advocates.” Kim and Reggie Harris are pretty much the multitasking masters of the Northeast folk-music scene. Find out why they’ve been described by critics as “magical” and “powerful” when they perform this Saturday. (Jan. 27, 8 PM, $22, 339 Central Ave., Albany, 465-5233)

The Cuban Cowboys

MASS MoCA, Saturday

Our favorite factory-turned-innovative-art-Mecca to the east, MASS MoCA, will hold a Rock en Español Dance Party this weekend featuring the Cuban Cowboys. According to the MASS MoCA Web site, this is “alternative Latin surf rock” at its best. Known for their comical shows (which they perform in Spanglish, by the way), the Cuban Cowboys are a family act, so feel free to bring the kids to this one. The New York Daily News said in a recent review, “Their endearing mash-up of Cuban Son, spaghetti-western twang and alternative rock could inspire even the most jaded New York hipster to get up and dance.” That’s reason enough for us. (Jan. 27, 7 PM, $6 kids, $12 adults, 1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, Mass., 413-662-2111)


Valentine’s, Saturday

Boston-based rapper Akrobatik (née Jared Bridgeman) may be best-known for his part in hip-hop collective the Perceptionists (along with Mr. Lif and DJ Fakts One). But his 2003 solo release Balance remains a much-loved underground hip-hop record, garnering Akrobatik favorable comparisons to such politically minded MCs as Talib Kweli and Michael Franti. And his work with the Perceptionists, especially 2005’s Black Dialogue, is some of the tightest shit in recent hip-hop memory. So the dude’s got a pretty good batting average. And some of the tightest area rappers—Rick Whispers, Skyste, and Eraserheadz—will join him on Saturday’s show. (Jan. 27, 8 PM, $13, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

T.O.P. Jazz Trio featuring Jacky Terrasson

The Egg, Sunday

In the 1990s, the combo of pianist Jacky Terrasson, bassist Ugonna Okegwo and drummer Leon Parker were, according to The New York Times, “one of jazz’s fresher-sounding acoustic piano trios, distinguished not only by [Terrasson’s] fluid pianism but also by the resonant bass tone of Okegwo and the pared-down percussive drive of Parker.” After the group broke up, Terrasson went on to record interesting albums with Cassandra Wilson (the atmospheric Rendezvous) and local hero Stefon Harris. This trio, however, first reunited under the T.O.P. moniker last year, and have been gigging around quite a bit lately—good news indeed. (Jan. 28, 7 PM, $24, Empire State Plaza, Albany, 473-1845)

Also Noted

We call into question the self-described “inexhaustible energy” of the Casket Architects—they look all tuckered in the photos on their Web site—but we recommend you see for yourself when the punks roll into Red Square tonight (Thursday) with guests Bone Parade, Zahnarzt and Jason Jette; the show will be followed by an all-night dance party with DJ Lady Luck (9 PM, $5, 465-0444). . . . Scottish indie-poppers Camera Obscura play Pearl Street in Northampton, Mass., tomorrow (Friday); they’re joined by the Essex Green (8:30 PM, $17, 413-584-7771). . . . honky-tonk legend Sleepy Labeef brings his time-tested genius to Club Helsinki in Great Barrington, Mass., on Friday (9 PM, $20, 413-528-3394). . . . “Icelandic” rockers Five Alpha Beatdown return from an eight-month hiatus for a show at Tess’ Lark Tavern on Friday, with rock trio Charmboy opening (10 PM, $5, 463-9779). . . . Schenectady-based punk-rockers the Renowned Army play upstairs at Valentine’s on Friday, along with Marc Berley and This Morning Song (8 PM, $8, 432-6572). . . . On Saturday, on Valentine’s downstairs stage, catch the guess-they’re-not-so-broken-up knotworking, plus Red Hopes and Princess Mabel (9 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . “Bitchin’ Babe” Camille West returns to the Caffe Lena stage on Saturday (8 PM, $15, 583-0022). . . . Soulive saxman Sam Kininger and his Band are at Red Square on Saturday (9 PM, $8, 465-0444).

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