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The Jon Rauhouse Sestet

Valentine’s, Friday

Andy Whitman of Paste magazine claims that Jon Rauhouse “plays pedal steel guitar the way John Zorn plays the saxophone.” While that’s a heady claim—and very much false, considering how differently the two instruments are played—we’re psyched to hear how this longtime Neko Case sideman bends the will of his instrument, one so often relegated to giving country music that “weepy” quality. Rauhouse’s new Bloodshot Records disc, Steel Guitar Heart Attack, is a hoot, and his band features members of Calexico, and Howard says he’ll kill you if you don’t show up—if you still can’t find a reason to check this out, your life is in your own hands. (Sept. 7, 9 PM, $7, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

Blonde Redhead

Pearl Street, Friday For a band who were pegged as a second-rate Sonic Youth early in their career, Blonde Redhead sure have found a way to make that work to their advantage, in that their experimental nature has helped them turn out a few first-rate records in recent years. Much like fellow acid-punk-casualties-turned-studio-geniuses the Flaming Lips, Blonde Redhead have developed into a group who prefer to envelop their listeners with sound, rather than attack them with it. Their latest record, 23, finds the band dabbling more in beats and synthesizers than on past releases; while not as intoxicating as 2004’s exceptional Misery is a Butterfly, it’s a worthy addition to the canon, and should come across swimmingly in a live setting. (Sept. 7, 8:30 PM, $20, 10 Pearl St., Northampton, Mass., 413-584-7771)

Nnenna Freelon

Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival

Albany Riverfront Park, Saturday

Enjoy eight hours of free, first-rate jazz on the Hudson, complete with food and fireworks when the City of Albany presents the 6th annual Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival. This year’s performers span the rich traditions and transitions of jazz: Fresh local band New Regime will kick off the festival Saturday afternoon with their distinctive world-jazz groove; Alexa Ray Joel follows in her father’s footsteps with a diverse repertoire of jazz, pop, blues, country, funk and rock; the Rebirth Brass Band infuses contemporary flair into their traditional brass-band sound; six-time Grammy Award nominee Nnenna Freelon offers her celebrated interpretation of the life and music of Billie Holiday; and festival headliners the Joshua Redman Trio craft poetically fluid improvisations within their deceptively simple sax-bass-drums format. Food, beverages and children’s activities will be available, and the evening concludes with a fireworks display over the river. (Sept. 8, noon, free, Corning Preserve, Albany, 434-2032)



Times Union Center, Wednesday

Sixteen years seems like enough time for people to have forgotten about We Can’t Dance, or at least the members of Genesis should hope. With the Turn It On Again tour, Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks leap into a fall season crowded by reunion jaunts. Theirs, of course, does not qualify as a whole reunion—Peter Gabriel apparently decided it wasn’t the right time to pull out the old sunflower costume—but enough pieces are in place (including the excellent Chester Thompson on drums) to make for what should be a very entertaining arena-rock concert from one of the great arena-rock bands of the 1970s and ’80s. (Sept. 12, 8 PM, $58-$203, 51 S. Pearl St., Albany, 800-30-EVENT)

Misery Signals

Valentine’s, Wednesday

Formed from the ashes of highly influential Wisconsin metal-core outfit 7 Angels 7 Plagues, Misery Signals are a standout in a wasteland of a genre dominated on one side by tough-guy posing and on the other by mascara worship. As it turns out, Misery Signals spend more time on writing their music than they do picking out their outfits or crew affiliation. And, while they are a band with great musicality, their live shows are notoriously emotional and hectic. Even a quick opening bill by the band is worth catching; this Wednesday, they get a headlining slot. Opening will be the Agony Scene and Emmure. (Sept. 12, 7 PM, $10, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

Also Noted

Michael McDonald

Tonight (Thursday), A.J. Croce, the moustache-free son of legendarily mustachioed singer-songwriter Jim, plays the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Mass.; Micah Stone opens (8 PM, $17-$25, 413-997-4444). . . . Also tonight, jam out with Massachusetts-based foursome the Brew at Red Square (9 PM, $7, 465-0444). . . . After a quiet August, the WAMC Performing Arts Studio flickers back to life tomorrow (Friday) with the big-band sound of the Swing Docs (8 PM, $12, 465-5233 ext. 4). . . . The intriguingly but not-so- threateningly named Ten Pound Tiger play the MochaBlend Café in Troy on Friday (8 PM, free, 271-1089). . . . The Academy of Music Theater in Northampton, Mass., welcomes “America’s best unknown songwriter,” Roger Salloom, for a live performance and a screening of So Glad I Made It, a new documentary about the man, on Friday (7 PM, $10, 413-584-9032). . . . Michael McDonald plays the showroom at the Turning Stone Casino and Resort in Verona on Tuesday. Yah mo B there; how bout U? (8 PM, $75-$90, 877-833-SHOW).

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