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Anders Parker

Valentine’s, Thursday

In the late ’90s, the Capital Region was privy to more than its deserved share of shows by New York City-based band Varnaline, whose excellent recorded catalog helped shape the perimeter of the burgeoning alt-country movement. Anyone who was there would fondly recall the band’s fantastic—and unannounced (it was supposed to be a solo gig)—2001 Larkin Lounge show with Richard Buckner, one of the band’s last appearances together. Varnaline leader Anders Parker took a few years to release his first solo record, Tell It to the Dust, but since then he’s been very busy: 2006 alone saw the release of his latest, self-titled album, plus a collaboration with Son Volt’s Jay Farrar known as Gob Iron. Tonight (Thursday), Parker returns to town to share his music with the locals. Go buy the guy a beer. Jeffrey Foucault opens. (April 12, 9 PM, $7, 17 New Scotland Ave., 432-6572)

Skinless, Disciples of Berkowitz CD Release

Revolution Hall, Friday

There is nary a more intimidating sound than a grown man belching out his innards over grinding, squealing guitar work. That is a principle area death-metal bands live and die by (mostly die). However, as death-metal bands go, the belching principle is not the most important part of a band’s persona. The most important part is the album art—the bleeding skulls, the naked vampire nuns, and the impaled Bible. Skinless and Disciples of Berkowitz are the local kings of gut-belching death metal. When considering how they could increase their intimidation factor, they decided that they needed to rerelease past albums with album packaging whose metalness is increased by at least 50 percent. So, come out to Revolution Hall tomorrow (Friday), pick up a couple of metal-as-hell CDs, bang your head, and don’t forget: Hail Satan! (April 13, 7:30 PM, $8, 425 River Street, Troy, 274-0553)

Earth Day Music Festival

Skidmore College, Saturday

April 22 is Earth Day—chosen by the global powers of the ’70s as the date when we would all hold hands to celebrate the beauty and benevolence that surrounds us. It’s also Lenin’s birthday, and according to Wikipedia.com, some people believe the date was chosen because of a “communist plot” to commemorate him, “although Lenin was never noted for his environmental credentials.” Conspiracy theories aside, the inconvenient truth is that the spirit of Earth Day has been dampened over time, but at least some—like Skidmore College—are doing their part. The Earth Day Music Festival, an all-day event to honor Mother Earth, will feature local faves the Kamikaze Hearts, folk- festival darling Dar Williams, and from Vermont, Red Heart the Ticker, among many other bands. Bonus: The concert is free, so you can finally start saving up for that hybrid. (April 14, noon, free, 815 N. Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 580-5000)

Jimmy Webb

WAMC Performing Arts Studio, Saturday

You’re in luck! Last January, Jimmy Webb—the guy behind such undeniable classics as “Macarthur Park,” “Up, Up and Away,” “Wichita Lineman,” and, of course, “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”—came to the “Linda” for a splendid, albeit short, concert of his best-known material. He was so pleased by the venue and audience that he vowed that very night to return—“I’m coming back; I love this place” were his exact words—and he’s kept his promise. Webb plays only a handful of dates each year, so if you want to hear some of the finest doggone pop songs ever created, rendered by the man who brought them to life, this is simply a can’t-miss. (April 14, 8 PM, $28, 339 Central Ave., Albany, 465-5233 ext. 4)

Billy Joel

Times Union Center, Tuesday

Aside from an album of classical pieces in 2001, Billy Joel hasn’t released an album of new material since River of Dreams all the way back in 1993—a full 14 years ago. During this semi-retirement, Joel has managed to keep himself busy with rehab and marrying a woman 30 years his junior. Earlier this year, he released a new single called “All My Life.” This Tuesday, Joel will play the Times Union Center—a pretty big arena, at first glance, for a man approaching 60 whose signature song, “Piano Man,” is older than his wife. But Joel has six Grammys (from 23 nominations) working in his favor, as well as an impressive 33 Top 40 hits, not to mention more than 100 million albums sold worldwide. That’s a fucking lot of albums. (April 17, 8 PM, $86 and $50.50, 51 S. Pearl St., Albany, 800-30-EVENT)


The Tragically Hip

The Tragically Hip, the Constantines

Northern Lights, Wednesday

Like fellow countrymen Sloan, the Tragically Hip are one of those bands who are regarded as godhead in their Canada but haven’t gotten much of a break below the border. It’s unlikely that their new record (World Container) and tour will do much to change that fact, but the band are definitely gaining ground here—after almost 20 years—as evidenced by the number of sold-out venues on their itinerary. (As of press time, tickets were still available for this Wednesday’s Clifton Park engagement.) Opening the Hump Day show are Juno-award-winning Ontarians the Constantines, who are currently working on the follow-up to their 2005 release Tournament of Hearts. (April 18, 7 PM, $20, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)

 


Also Noted
Eight-string-guitar wiz Charlie Hunter presents the local debut of his new trio, featuring keyboardist Erik Deutsch and drummer Simon Lott, tomorrow (Friday) at Red Square (9 PM, $15, 465-0444). . . . The Erotics, profiled in these pages on March 8, bring the glam-rock to Valentine’s on Saturday along with Strip Club Devils and Demons Alley (9 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . At Revolution Hall this Saturday, Florida’s Poison the Well celebrate a decade of the punk-rocking, with help from Fear Before the March of Flames, Heavy Heavy Low Low, and the End (6:30 PM, $12, 274-0553). . . . You can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but it’s doubtful you can pick a guitar like Leo Kottke or Chris Smither; the two fingerstyle aces will share a bill at the Calvin Theatre in Northampton, Mass., on Sunday (8 PM, $20-$35, 413-584-1444). . . . Bicoastal experimental- rockers the Punks have a bunch of area shows on the calendar, starting this Wednesday at Valentine’s, with area experimental-rockers Gun Christmas (8 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . Young girl, get out of my mind—er, club: Teenage-sister act Smoosh play Pearl Street in Northampton, Mass., this Wednesday, with guests the Postmarks and the Novels (7 PM, $14, 413-584-7771).

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