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Northern Lights, Friday

These are different times for California rockers Tesla, the working-class group that hit their stride during the heyday of all things hair-metal. To wit: Tesla, the band, is only the fourth listing to come up on a Google search for the name. (Granted, their namesake was a pretty famous dude, and Google didn’t exist when the band was first active, but hey.) But after being more-or-less shut out by grunge rock and packing it in after 1994’s unfortunately titled Bust A Nut, the band regrouped in 2001 and found a new generation of fans. Tesla have always had a deep respect for the bedrock bands of their genre, and their latest, Real to Reel, finds them tackling tunes by Led Zeppelin, the Guess Who, and, even, UFO, with their signature no-nonsense, blue-jeans-and-a-T-shirt style. And, really, what self-respecting rock fan can resist Jeff Keith’s Marlboro-enhanced rasp? Admission includes a limited-edition CD. (Aug. 31, 7 PM, $45, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)

Taylor McFerrin

MASS MoCA, Friday

Being the son of composer-conductor-vocalist-“Don’t Worry, Be Happy” guy Bobby McFerrin can’t be easy. Sure, Taylor McFerrin is doing pretty well for himself—but his father has 10 Grammy Awards and recorded the most hummed song of 1988. That’s one long-ass shadow. Still, the younger McFerrin has had an already-impressive solo career: The soulful future hip-hop sound of his first EP, Broken Vibes, garnered a wide fan base and international acclaim for the producer- performer. With a dexterous blend of Fender Rhodes, synthesizers, sampling, and beatboxing, not to mention some smooth vocal stylings, McFerrin brings his one-man show to MASS MoCA on Friday. But please, try not to hum “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” during the show. It’s rude. (Aug.31, 8 PM, $18, 87 Marshall St., North Adams, Mass., 413-662-2111)

Michelle Malone

Revolution Hall, Friday

For a girl from the deep South with deeper roots in the church, Michelle Malone does her share of rocking. But despite her religious upbringing, Malone doesn’t spend too much time singing gospel, and instead delivers a dose of reality with songs about messing around and messing up. She considers herself part devil and part angel, rugged and independent; and with just her slide guitar and a microphone, she’s performed alongside major artists like Joan Jett and Indigo Girls. Malone has brought Hell for almost 20 years, and no man can slow her down. (Well, maybe one Man.) Sure, there’s the occasional mention of Jesus, but she’s not looking to convert anybody—unless they’re looking to believe in her music. Michelle Malone plays Revolution Hall tomorrow night with guests Sister Funk and Kim Buckley. (Aug.31, 9 PM, $13, 425 River St., Troy, 274-0553)


Tanglewood Jazz Festival

Tanglewood, Friday-Sunday

Bookend your summer with a weekend of live jazz in the Berkshires. The Boston Symphony Orchestra presents the annual Tanglewood Jazz Festival this weekend; Latin, Cuban and Brazilian jazz artists will make up five of some of the 20-some acts scheduled to perform. The festival will kick off Friday evening with the Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band with Cuban jazz pianist Aruan Ortiz preceding that main-stage show. The South American sound will be revisited on Sunday when Brazilian superstars Cesar Camargo Mariano, Romero Lubamo and vocalist Leny Andrade take the stage. The Saturday afternoon lineup will begin with a live taping of NPR’s Piano Jazz; it’s Marian McPartland’s sixth year hosting the show from Tanglewood, and will feature pianist Renee Rosnes. Main stage concerts held at Seiji Ozawa Hall will be preceded by additional acts at the Jazz Café prior to showtime. (Aug. 31-Sept. 2, call for times and pricing, Lenox, Mass., 888-266-1200)

Meat Puppets

Pearl Street, Wednesday

We can’t believe it either, but psychedelic-punk pioneers Meat Puppets are back in action. That is to say, this didn’t even seem possible a few years ago when bassist Cris Kirkwood, following years of drug problems and run-ins with the law, was imprisoned for attacking a security guard in a Phoenix, Ariz. parking lot—a skirmish that got him shot twice in the stomach. But for the first time since 1996, Cris and Curt Kirkwood have returned to the stage, together; and, along with new drummer Ted Marcus, the Puppets released the very good Rise to Your Knees this summer. You’ve heard Kurt Cobain play their songs on the radio; now’s your chance to hear them done up right. The Sterns open. (Sept. 5, 8:30 PM, $18, 10 Pearl St., Northampton, Mass., 413-584-7771)

Also Noted
Let me clear my throat. (Ahem.) Ahh, that’s better: DJ Kool spins at the Grotto in Saratoga on Friday (10 PM, $10, 584-CAVE). . . . Valentine’s has a whole mess of music on Friday night: Upstairs, Mucopus will loudly celebrate the release of their new CD, Undimensional, with help from Disciples of Berkowitz, Without Remorse, Sexcrement, and others (7 PM, $10, 432-6572); downstairs, Suzy Wong and the Honkeys head up a bill that includes Syracuse-based band (and apparent Alex Chilton devotees) the Sister Lovers and Albany’s own dark new-wave rockers Severe Severe (9 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . A relatively new addition to the scene, jazz-fusion group the Static Port already have a self-titled debut disc out, and they’ll play the Hotspot in Troy on Friday (8 PM, free, 268-1111). . . . Whisky and Spite, another newish act, featuring former members of Three Black Hats and Happy Hollisters, play Red Square on Friday along with Mitch Elrod’s CountrySoulHouse and Idette and the Sunrunners (9 PM, $5, 465-0444). . . . The annual moe.down festival runs Friday through Sunday at the Snow Ridge Ski Area in Turin, NY; in addition to the nightly jams by headliners moe., the fest features sets by Perry Farrell’s Satellite Party, Meat Puppets and the Roots, plus many more ($110, 315-348-8456). . . . If you missed them at Alive at Five a few weeks back, here’s one more chance to dance: Los Lobos plays the Belleayre Music Festival on Saturday (8 PM, $20-$65, 800-942-6904). . . . Closing out the week, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk play Revolution Hall on Wednesday (8:30 PM, $18, 274-0553).

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