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Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

Vapor Nightclub, Thursday

The hard-swinging sound of that band from Swingers blows full-tilt into downtown Saratoga tonight. For those of you who missed it, Saratoga Gaming and Raceway has opened a new nightclub, Vapor, to augment their already-expansive facilities, and tonight’s show will be Vapor’s first foray into the live music arena. And really, what better way to break in the casino’s new stage than with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, who have played many a casino stage (real and fictional) in their time. The seven-piece, horn-fired old-schoolers in BBVD are one of the few acts to survive the brief swing boom of the late 1990s, and they continue to pop up wherever and whenever there’s a need for some horn-fired, old-school swing. So lace up your finest dancing shoes, and go daddy-o! (June 7, 9 PM, $25, Saratoga Gaming and Raceway, 342 Jefferson St., Saratoga Springs, 584-2110)

Gloria Deluxe

club helsinki, friday

Singer, songwriter and performer Cynthia Hopkins first brought Gloria Deluxe together in 1999; since then, they’ve performed at a number of prime New York City venues and festivals. Failing to conform to a set standard of music—ironically, along with most “alternative” bands today—Gloria Deluxe lace their country-folk sound with a hint of bohemian jazz cabaret (if we can get away with calling that a genre of music). In addition to the more traditional sounds of guitar, upright bass, accordion and viola, Gloria Deluxe’s instrumentation includes such curiosities as saw, washboard and spoons—you might want to bring along a household appliance of your own and see what you can bang out, although we’re not so sure the folks at Helsinki would be too keen on the idea. Matty Charles and the Valentines will share the bill tomorrow. (June 8, 9 PM, $15, 284 Main St., Great Barrington, Mass., 413-528-3394)



Calvin Theatre, Friday

Pleasantly voiced Canadian song stress Leslie Feist is currently touring in support of her critically acclaimed new album The Reminder, on which she sweeps from one genre to another with remarkable ease (highlights include the country-inflected “1234,” the indie-poppy “I Feel It All” and the subtle but haunting folk number “The Park”). The winner of People’s Critic’s Choice Award, The Reminder has served as a kind of catapult for Feist, propelling her into the international spotlight and garnering a ginormous amount of positive press from music mags like Blender and Spin, as well as more austere publications like The New York Times and The Boston Globe. (The Times went so far as to call Feist “pop’s new one-name wonder.”) Catch Feist in all her on-top-of-the world glory at the Calvin tomorrow night; melancholy Brooklynites Grizzly Bear will open the show. (June 8, 8 PM, $25, 19 King St., Northampton, Mass., 413-584-1444)

Despotic Robot

Valentine’s, saturday

This was supposed to be a preview for Boston’s Despotic Robot, but the band had to go and change their name. So now this is a preview for Ramming Speed. That doesn’t make the band formerly known as Despotic Robot any less sassy, or any less classy. They still sound like Black Flag, Anal Cunt and Slayer forced to practice in the same room. And the still have their priorities straight: Their MySpace slogan reads “I love pizza more than my mom!” They still thrash you live with tracks like “Pizza Party” and “2 Plus 2 Equals Sex.” Also on board for Saturday’s thrashing: Storms, Sin of Angel, Lolita Black, and I, Destroyer. (June 9, 7 PM, $5, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hank Williams Jr.

Times Union Center, Saturday

Are you one of those kids who holds an affectionate place for “Sweet Home Alabama” in your heart, even though you’ve lived, breathed, worked, and slept in upstate New York your entire life? Do you miss the days of burning out of your high school parking lot, all ready to go home and get yourself some grub? Never quite grew out of your Southern fantasy? Sick of shouting “Play ‘Free Bird’!” at concerts to no avail? Lucky you: The Rowdy Frynds tour, starring Lynyrd Skynyrd and Hank Williams Jr., is coming to the Times Union Center this week. Besides being close to the hardest band name to type ever, Skynyrd are one of the most celebrated Southern—excuse us, Southyrn—rock bands of all time, while Williams has had more than 35 Top 10 singles on the country-music charts. Randy Houser will open the show. (June 9, 7 PM, $25-$69.50, 51 S. Pearl St., Albany, 487-2000)

Jeremy James CD-Release Show

Valentine’s, Sunday

Singer-songwriter Jeremy James will celebrate the release of his third album, Landlocked, with a Sunday-night show at ye olde Valentine’s. James’ country-flavored songs are startlingly direct, and straightforwardly catchy. The Arkansas native, long since relocated north, sings about heartland-style subjects; songs on his new disc have titles like “Home,” “Old Man Winter,” “Thruway” (we listened to that one on his MySpace page, and it is indeed about the New York State Thruway) and “The Sober Light of Day.” The lineup also includes two local acoustic duos, the hard-gigging Almost Awake (as in, they play a lot of gigs) and the just-back-from-a-hiatus Bookdrop Bees (as in, they took a break from playing out at the end of 2006). This show is about the quiet and gentle, so act accordingly: No darts-playing! (June 10, 8 PM, $5, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

Also Noted

It’s about that time again: The 2007 Alive at Five series gets started this evening (Thursday) at Albany Riverfront Park (located at the Corning Preserve); tonight is Oldies Night, featuring music from Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals and the Happenings (5 PM, free, 434-2032). . . . Mechanical Bull, a satirical band sometimes referred to as the “Tenacious D of country,” play the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock tonight; Bret Mosely opens (9 PM, $10, 845-679-4406). . . . Rootsy (in a rockabilly way) NYC trio Boss Tweed bring their “dark blues and country twang” to Stray Bar in Hudson on Saturday (10 PM, $8, 828-7303). . . . The avant-garde takes center stage at two regional venues this Saturday: Jesse Stiles and Ross Goldstein will present The Coconut Museum, “an evening of metaphysical pop songs, sonic installations, and improvised electro-acoustic hullabaloo” at the Arts Center in Saratoga (8 PM, $8, $5 students, 584-4132); meanwhile, at the Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy, experience the percussion-and-violin mastery of the Kahil El’Zabar and Billy Bang Duet (8 PM, $10, 272-2390). . . . Red Square will host a Ween after-party on Tuesday night, in lieu of their regular open-mic happening; the brown sounds of Sound of Urchin and Vomlette will be featured (11 PM, $10, $7 with Ween ticket stub, 465-0444). . . . It’s not the exact polar opposite of Ween, but it’s damn close: Celtic Woman will come to the Times Union Center on Tuesday (7:30 PM, $39-$57, 800-30-EVENT). . . . Pearl Street Nightclub in Northampton, Mass. closes out the Metroland week with a pair of marquee shows: the legendary Lee “Scratch” Perry rubs a dub on Tuesday (8:30 PM, $23, 413-584-7771); on Wednesday, it’s Strokes guitarist and skinny-tie enthusiast Albert Hammond Jr. (8:30 PM, $18, 413-584-7771).

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