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Graystar CD-release party

Northern Lights, Thursday

Eight years into their existence, Graystar seem to have finally settled on a spelling for their name. Which is nice—there was an errant “e” in there for years—although there is a Scottish band with the same name, which could be uncomfortable. But the emo foursome shouldn’t worry—the Albany contingent have at least a six-year advantage on the Scots. Although the Scots can at least drown their sorrows in a brew, Graystar (Albany) singer Dylan is still two years shy of the legal drinking age. Maybe that’s why he’s so charged up on the band’s new album, Between Dreams and Waking, released on their own Urban Disaster imprint. Celebrate the release with the band tonight (Thursday), when they throw a big ol’ CD-release bash at Northern Lights, with guests the Loyalty, Last Minute Letter and Prima. (March 29, 6:30 PM, $10, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)

Cold War Kids

Pearl Street, Saturday

Cold War Kids are Heap Big Shit right now, a from-the-ground-up success on the back of a handful of independent EPs, tons of Band to Watch buzz, and the newly released Robbers and Cowards LP (Downtown Records). They’re big shit enough that the folks at Pearl Street saw it fit to move this weekend’s show from their clubroom to the more-than-twice-as-large ballroom. If you’re not hip to their shtick, think Crooked Rain Pavement with a really whiny singer and not a lot of hooks. It at least sounds fun, though, and probably makes for an entertaining, if not entirely cohesive, live set. Find out for yourself when the Kids play Pearl Street this Saturday, along with Tokyo Police Club and Delta Spirit. (March 31, 8:30 PM, $14, 10 Pearl St., Northampton, Mass. 413-584-7771)

Roni Ben-Hur

WAMC Performing Arts Center, Saturday

Israeli jazz musican Roni Ben-Hur’s career began in Manhattan in the mid ’80s, after he fell in love with jazz—a “natural” progression, he says, from the Sephardic Jewish melodies and North African rhythms he grew up with. A protégée of jazz great Barry Harris, Ben-Hur has honed his skills playing in different bands; he says he learned from his mentors that music “is never just about chords and scales and musical theory. It’s about the story you tell.” Ben-Hur (who currently lives in New Jersey) is now an elite band leader, composer, arranger, author, and educator. His guitar playing, infused with Middle Eastern and Latin sounds, has been lauded by aficionados, critics, and peers: Jazz guitarist Russell Malone once said, “Everything Roni does is beautiful. He has the magic touch.” Ben-Hur will appear at the Linda on Saturday with special guests Albany High School Jazz Ensemble. (March 31, 8 PM, $18, 339 Central Ave., Albany, 465-5233)

Siobhan Quinn & Michael Bowers

Caffe Lena, Saturday

Husband-and-wife musical duo Siobhan Quinn and Michael Bowers will drop by Caffe Lena this weekend for an evening of folk and rock. Quinn—who once notched Metroland’s Best Female Vocalist—has a history of singing “traditional Irish, English and American folk, art songs and medieval madrigals in five languages, as well as rock & roll.” A former coordinator of cultural affairs at Hudson Valley Community College, the California-born Quinn moved to Virginia after she married Bowers. Now, in addition to touring solo, she also tours (and writes and records) with her husband. (March 31, 8 PM, $12, $15, 47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs, 583-0022)

Doc Watson and David Holt

Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Sunday

This Sunday may be re -served for all fools, but the musicians appearing in Troy that night are no joke. It has been said that Doc Watson virtually invented the art of playing Appalachian fiddle tunes on the flattop guitar. Though Watson lost his vision before the age of 1, he didn’t let it stop him from becoming one of the foremost influential folk musicians of his time. Seven-time Grammy Award-winning Watson will take the stage with a fellow Grammy winner—folk guitarist, banjoist and storyteller David Holt—on Sunday at the Troy Music Hall. Banjoist Abigail Washburn will open the show. (April 1, 7 PM, $25, $28, 2nd and State streets, Troy, 273-0038)

Widespread Panic

Palace Theatre, Sunday

After last year’s celebration of two decades as a band, the graying Southern rockers in Widespread Panic have once again hit the ol’ American road for a boatload of sold-out shows. The Georgian funk/blues jam band are still going strong after the 2002 death of their cofounder Michael “Panic” Houser. They released a new album last summer called Earth to America, which they say was the light that brought them out of their mourning and darkness. The three upcoming performances in their hometown of Athens sold out less than two days after going on sale, but if you’re into epic instrumental jams that sometimes go on well over 10 minutes, you can still grab tickets to their show at the Palace Theatre this Sunday. (Apr. 1, 7 PM, $32.50, 19 Clinton Ave., Albany, 465-3334)

Also Noted
Breaking up is hard to do, but get-ting back together is pretty damn easy, at least for Lou Barlow. Just a year after making nice with arch nemesis J. Mascis for a reunion of the original Dinosaur Jr. lineup, Barlow’s back together with Jason Loewenstein and Eric Gaffney—the original lineup of indie-rock heroes Sebadoh. The new old band will play Pearl Street in Northampton, Mass., tonight (Thursday) with guests the Bent Moustache (8:30 PM, $18, 413-584-7771). . . . Fans of brilliantly askew pop should also consider getting out to Northampton tonight, as the incomparable Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus 3—that’s Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey and Bill Rieflin (or “3/4ths of the Minus 5 and half of R.E.M.,” in Hitchcock’s words)—play the Iron Horse Music Hall, with special guest Johanna Kunin (7 PM, $20, 413-584-0610). . . . One more out-of-towner, then we’ll stop: The one and only Lindsey Buckingham (of Fleetwood Mac fame for you noobs) plays the Calvin Theater in Northampton tomorrow (Friday); he’s currently touring in support of his strong 2006 release Under the Skin (8 PM, $35-$45, 413-584-1444). . . . Good times, great oldies: Proctor’s Theatre hosts a Sixties Spectacular this Saturday night, featuring the classic sounds of the Turtles, Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals, the Happenings, and Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels; we’re there just to hear those awesome drum fills on “Devil With a Blue Dress” (7:30 PM, $30-$47, 346-6204). . . . Their name apparently is not a joke: The Taking Back Sunday show at the Washington Avenue Armory on Sunday, with guests Underoath and Armor for Sleep, is sold out. Sorry, kids (7 PM, 694-7160).


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