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Bayou Café, Saturday

“Rocking the village” is the slogan for Minneapolis-based performer Yawo Attivor. The “village” he speaks of is the world, of course, and his band’s music reflects that global mindset. A native of Togo, West Africa, Yawo, together with his eight-piece band, has developed a sound that incorporates reggae, Afrofunk and R&B. His message—one of peace and freedom, generally—helps give the music an undeniably “up” vibe, which means if you go to a Yawo show, you’re bound to come away happy. And “up” is just what the doctor ordered for downtown Albany this weekend, as Yawo and the Afrofunk band make a tour stop at the Bayou. (July 7, 9:30 PM, $5, 79 N. Pearl St., Albany, 426-8550)



Dan Zanes and friends featuring Natalie Merchant

The Egg, Sunday

Dan Zanes is not your typical children’s-music artist. That is to say, he is not a struggling, super-cheesy, guitar-playing annoyance. That is not to say, however, that he doesn’t sometimes enjoy wearing a lime-green-and-pink suit. Zanes has been on the music scene since the ’80s, when he was a member of the popular band the Del Fuegos. He has gone on to form his own record label, Festival Five Records, and has produced numerous folk and children’s albums. According to The New York Times Magazine, “Zanes’ kids music works because it is not kids music; it’s just music—music that’s unsanitized, unpasteurized, that’s organic even.” This sound won Zanes and friends a Grammy for their latest release, Catch That Train, on which guests ranged from the Kronos Quartet to Nick Cave. Zanes and friends will return to the Egg for a Sunday-afternoon show, with help from another friend: Natalie Merchant. (July 8, 4 PM, $25, Empire State Plaza, Albany, 473-1845)

Nickelback, Staind, Daughtry

Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Sunday

If you had told us seven or eight years ago that a middle-of-the-road Canadian rock act would become the biggest-selling act of the ’00s, we probably would have told you to stick it up your yeah. But with more than 23 million records sold worldwide and an album (All the Right Reasons) that’s rarely left the Billboard Top 20 in two solid years, Nickelback are positively massive—whether you like it or not. (We’re not saying we like it, but that “Photograph” song sure was catchy!) The band’s summer tour brings them to Saratoga this Sunday with perennial dad-haters Staind, a band who once seemed bound for the same lofty heights as their mentors, Limp Bizkit. (Alas.) Opening will be American Idol also-ran Chris Daughtry and his eponymous band who, with 3 million albums sold in less than eight months, could be the next Nickelback. Imagine that. (July 8, 7 PM, $65, $35 lawn, Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs, 476-1000)

Cat Power and the Dirty Delta Blues Band

Pearl Street Nightclub, Monday

Oh, Chan Marshall, how we love/ hate thee! We listen to your albums, like last year’s weepy soul exercise The Greatest, and, oh, do we swoon! We see your photographs in our indie-rock magazines and, oh, do we swoon! Then we see your concerts and, oh, do we want to wring your pretty little neck! But thanks to those cherished indie-rock magazines, we see that you’ve cleaned up your act, and this is good. We even hear that you’re finishing shows these days, which is nice, since we still want that 20 bucks back from the last time we saw you. So, Chan, it is with some reservations that we will march dutifully to Northampton and watch you play once more this week. Because, deep down, we know you will come through for us. And because, oh, you are hot! (July 9, 8:30 PM, $25, 10 Pearl St., Northampton, Mass., 413-584-0610)

Unearth, Shai Hulud

Revolution Hall, Wednesday

Ambassadors from our neighboring metal state of Massachusetts, Unearth, will pay the hardcore city-state of Troy a visit this Wednesday. They will bear gifts of both thrash and melodic death. There will be beers drunk (when not guzzled) and circle pits formed; tough guys will bang heads (lovingly) and all will rejoice. And it will be good. Unearth’s traveling companions Shai Hulud, who hail from Poughkeepsie, will give the crowd a special lesson in old-school metalcore circa 1995. They will bring with them a sense of humor, something quite foreign in the realm of metalcore: Their 2005 “retrospective” was titled A Comprehensive Retrospective: Or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Release Bad and Useless Recordings. Destro, Heal These Wounds, and Save Your Breath also are on the bill. (July 11, 7:30 PM, $15, 425 River St., Troy, 274-0553)

Also Noted
1990s hitmakers Gin Blossoms are 1) still around, and 2) playing the new Vapor nightclub at Saratoga Gaming and Raceway tomorrow (Friday, 9 PM, $25, 584-2110). . . . The folks at Red Square probably don’t realize it, but they could be upsetting a delicate balance in presenting their first Americana night (we understand that this whole Americana thing is pretty close to certain club owners’ hearts); in any case, soak in the rootsy tunes this Friday with Red Haired Strangers, Dana Monteith, and the Sidewinders (8 PM, $7, 465-0444). . . . Also on Friday, Grey Sky Sunday, featuring former members of onetime Albany power-pop heroes Queer for Astro Boy, are at the Skyline with Phillips Head (9 PM, $5, 473-8150). . . . The performance by platinum-selling rapper Juelz Santana at the Washington Avenue Armory this Saturday has been canceled; ticket refunds are available at point of purchase (694-7160) . . . . History will stand before you—and perform, naturally—when Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys take the stage at MASS MoCA on Saturday (8 PM, $26, 413-662-2111). . . . Saxophone-and-clarinet ace Al Gallodoro celebrates his 94th birthday (!) with a performance this Saturday at Justin’s (9:30 PM, $5, 436-7008). . . . Hailing from a state known as Emohio, Hawthorne Heights will bring an evening of whine and song to Northern Lights on Saturday (7 PM, $18, 371-0012). . . . One more for Saturday: Wreckloose bring the jam to Tess’ Lark Tavern (10 PM, $5, 463-9779). . . . Pittsburgh-based singer-songwriter Brad Yoder does hit thing at the Muddy Cup in Albany on Wednesday (8 PM, free, 458-6120).

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