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KC and the Sunshine Band

Vapor, Thursday

Rumor has it KC and the Sunshine Band’s main goal is to make listeners feel happy. So, whether hits like “(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty,” “Get Down Tonight,” and “That’s the Way (I Like It)” make you want to boogie down with your bad self or sulk in the corner with a bad case of post-funk misery, be sure to recognize the intention. Founded by Harry Wayne Casey and bass guitarist Richard Finch in 1973, KC and the Sunshine Band have almost 35 years of experience playing their mix of funk, R&B and disco. And with nine Grammy nominations, record sales topping 100 million, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, they’ve had a long and successful career, to say the least—after all, nothing says success like hearing your song in a K-Mart commercial. (July 12, 9 PM, $30, Saratoga Gaming and Raceway, 342 Jefferson St., Saratoga Springs, 584-2110)

Richard Buckner, Six Parts Seven

WAMC Performing Arts Studio, Thursday

Yeah, he was just in town a year ago (almost to the date, in fact) and, yeah, we go all gaga every time he comes around, but Richard Buckner is so worth it. Last summer, he turned in an understated solo-electric show at Valentine’s in front of a surprisingly small group of admirers. Tonight, he graduates—finally—to the relative expanse of the WAMC Performing Arts Studio, where he’ll bring his honed melancholia to full, booming glory, backed by Suicide Squeeze recording artists Six Parts Seven. The Ohio sextet, whose instrumental soundscapes bring to mind those of Calexico and Lambchop, also will open the show. (July 12, 8 PM, $15, 337 Central Ave., Albany, 465-5233 ext. 4)


Valentine’s, Thursday

Some might say that Swati has questionable judgment. The New York City native turned down a full scholarship to Juilliard in favor of pursuing a career as a singer-guitarist. Granted, it was a trombone scholarship, but still—at least go so you can say you went to Juilliard! But she may have gotten the last laugh, albeit after a long wait. She’s developed a unique sound that employs eight strings strung across a standard 12-string acoustic guitar, a bunch of effects boxes, and her beguiling voice; and this year, in May, Bluhammock Records released her debut disc, Small Gods. Catch the rising star tonight at Valentine’s, where she’ll share a bill with Zelazowa, Burning Man, and Whisper to Apocalypse. (July 12, 8 PM, $5, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

The Voyces

King’s Tavern, Friday

For a New York City band, the Voyces sure don’t sound like the city they call home. They’re the brainchild of California-born singer-songwriter Brian Wurschum, and their songs have an undeniable West Coast lilt: On the title track from their new record, Kissing Like It’s Love (on the tiny Planting Seeds label), Wurschum sings about the scent of “Coppertone and firewood” over a breezy ’70s-pop groove. Rich with harmonies and more hooks than a pirate museum, Kissing Like It’s Love made waves by selling out of its initial pressing well before its actual release date—certainly no small feat for an independent band. The Voyces will bring the pop to King’s Tavern tonight, with area rockers the Blisterz opening. (July 13, 9 PM, $5, 241 Union Ave., Saratoga Springs, 581-7090)


Jenny Owen Youngs

Jenny Owen Youngs

Dream Away Lodge, Saturday

Here’s an act we discovered through MySpace who doesn’t 1) suck ass, 2) spam us with messages about friend counters and ringtones, or 3) look like a total whore in her profile picture. In fact, New Jersey native Youngs looks to be about as squeaky clean as they come—except for that pesky F-bomb in the title of her first single, “Fuck Was I,” and lines like “Everything I touch turns to shit” (from “Drinking Song”). But her full-length debut, Batten the Hatches, recently reissued by the Nettwerk label, offers much more than coyly deployed expletives: Her voice, a cross between Regina Spektor and Chan Marshall, is enough to recommend a drive into the Berkshires for Saturday’s show. Plus, she does a mean cover of Nelly’s “Hot In Herre.” Seriously—it’s really good. (July 14, 9 PM, free, 1342 County Road, Becket, Mass., 413-623-8725)



WGNA Country Fest 2007

Altamont Fairgrounds, Saturday

Country Fest 2007 stampedes into town this weekend, so grab your cowboy hats and shine those stirrups . . . or just get in your truck and drive. Coors Light and Chevrolet are just a few of the sponsors for this event, which features the testosterone-dominated lineup of Joe Nichols, Josh Turner, Darryl Worley, Jason Michael Carrol and American Idol also-ran Bucky Covington. We here at Metroland don’t claim to be authorities on all things country, but we can assure you that these guys bleed red, white and blue. Find out for yourself at WGNA’s Web site where, in an effort to heighten anticipation, they’ve started an official countdown clock, ticking down to the big day. And we thought the Death Clock was scary. Yee-haw! (July 14, 11 AM, $33, free for children under 10, Altamont Fairgrounds, Route 146, Altamont, 377-0810)

Also Noted
Lloyd Cole

Rochester’s Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad plan to spread the good vibes at Red Square tonight (Thursday); Badgerpants will open (9 PM, $8, 465-0444). . . . Also tonight, the fine Americana songwriter Amy Speace and her band the Tearjerks are at Club Helsinki in Great Barrington, Mass. (8 PM, $12, 413-528-3394). . . . Saturday, the Belleayre Music Festival in Highmount welcomes the one and only Dr. John, plus special guests Hazmat Modine (8 PM, $45-$65, 800-942-6904). . . . Here’s a name we haven’t thought of in a while, but damned if it doesn’t make us want to pull out a Commotions record: Lloyd Cole warms up for a European tour with a hometown show at Easthampton, Mass., venue the Brass Cat on Saturday (10 PM, $5, 413-527-4085). . . . John Mayer, probably still coming down from jamming with the Police at Live Earth last weekend, brings his Continuum tour to SPAC on Sunday, with Ben Folds and Brett Dennen in tow (7:30 PM, $33.50-$55, 587-3330). . . . Randy Newman drops the big one on the Calvin Theatre in Northampton, Mass., on Sunday (8 PM, $37.50-$47.50, 413-584-1444). . . . The blues usually set in around Wednesday afternoon, and Buddy Guy is just the, um, guy to help shake them off—he’ll play the Egg Wednesday night (8 PM, $36.50, 473-1845).

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