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Valentine’s, Thursday

The Strokes cast a very long shadow. To wit: Brooklyn’s Longwave found themselves caught up in the NYC signing boom of the early ’00s, on the strength of one excellent indie effort, 1990’s Endsongs. A Dave Fridmann-produced RCA debut, The Strangest Things, followed, but to little public fanfare—remember, RCA was the same label that scooped the Strokes. 2005’s There’s a Fire found the band shuffling members, and taking their ethereal rock sound to reverberant new heights. Longwave are an interesting and inventive band, and well worth checking out—luckily, you’ll have your chance when they play Valentine’s tonight as part of a warm-up for their next studio outing. Kings Highway will open. (Sept. 13, 8 PM, $7, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

Grainbelt CD release

O’Brien’s at the Garden Grill, Friday

Here’s what you need to know about Capital Region Americana torchbearers Grainbelt: They’re the new band from former Coal Palace Kings leader Howe Glassman. If you were at all familiar with CPK, you should have an idea where this is going; if not, they offer Hank Williams and Joe Strummer as two signposts. This latest Glassman project features a few former CPK members, guitarist Jason Hughes and drummer Tim Hurst, plus bassist Chris Blackwell, a well-respected songwriter in his own right. The music is, in turns, raucous and heartrending, as any good country music should be, and their Brent Gorton-produced debut CD, Trouble Coming Down, will see the light of day tomorrow (Friday) at the Garden Grill. Do it. (Sept. 14, 8 PM, $2, 276 2nd Ave., Albany, 462-0571)

Gary U.S. Bonds

Revolution Hall, Saturday

What better way to psyche yourself up for Bruce Springsteen’s November appearance than to go check out one of his idols? Rhythm and Blues Foundation honoree Gary U.S. Bonds had his only No. 1 hit back in 1961 with “Quarter to Three.” On the strength of that song and a few other lesser hits, Bonds headlined a 1963 European Tour—over the Beatles. Bonds’ career simmered through the ’70s, then had a brief resurgence in the early 1980s thanks to a collaboration with Springsteen and Steven Van Zandt. He all but disappeared until mid 2004, when Back in 20, his first studio release in 20 years, was announced. Called the maker of “some of America’s best rock & roll” by Rolling Stone, Gary U.S. Bonds isn’t one of the greats; he’s one of the originals. Let his old-school R&B and rock & roll take your mind off the $30 service charge you had to pay for your Springsteen tickets. (Sept 15, 9 PM, $23, 425 River St., Troy, 274-0553)

The Figgs, The Gravel Pit

Valentine’s, Saturday

Surely you already know about the Figgs, who just celebrated their 20th year as a band. (If not, see “To Be Continued,” Aug. 30.) What really has us in a nostalgic froth is the other band on this bill: New Haven-via-Boston rockers the Gravel Pit. The Pit were an Albany club favorite during the power-pop boom of the mid- to late-1990s; they even shouted out our fair city in a song on their excellent ’99 disc Silver Gorilla. The band, known for their high-energy, Farfisa-organ-fueled rock, all but broke up several years back, with the four members all moving on and away to other projects, but they’re back together for a handful of shows, one of which happens to be right here in Albany. Lucky you/us. (Sept. 15, 9 PM, $10, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

Mandy Moore

Mandy Moore, Paula Cole

The Egg, Tuesday

Mandy Moore and Paula Cole may be on opposite ends of your pop-culture radar, but they’ve joined forces on stage. Moore is taking some time off from the big screen to rekindle her music career, and Cole is taking some time off of, well, taking time off. Cole won a Grammy in 1998 for Best New Artist, but you probably haven’t heard her music recently—unless you watch Dawson’s Creek in syndication. Cole says she’s done with the hiatus and taking baby steps back into the music industry, touring with Moore to promote Courage, her first album in eight years. On the other end of the spectrum is Moore, who you may have seen recently along side funnyman Robin Williams in the film License to Wed. The singer-turned-actress is showcasing her fifth album, Wild Hope, Moore’s virgin endeavor into songwriting. (Sept. 18, 7:30 PM, $32.50, Empire State Plaza, Albany, 473-1835)



Also Noted
Ashley Pond

Tonight (Thursday) at Pearl Street in Northampton, Mass., catch Broken Social Scene offshoot Do Make Say Think plus regional indie-pop collective Spouse (8:30 PM, $15, 413-584-7771). . . . Meet the new Nickelback: Daughtry will play a sold-out show at the Palace Theatre tonight (8 PM, 465-3334). . . . This month’s installment of the Garage Bands in the Garage series at the main branch of the Albany Public Library tomorrow (Friday) features Ashley Pond and Swamp Baby (6 PM, free, 427-4313). . . . The Sense Offenders release their self-titled debut disc at their favored haunt, Tess’ Lark Tavern, on Friday (10 PM, $5, 463-9779). . . . We are so hair-metal geeking-out right now: Lillian Axe still exist, apparently, and will play the Chance in Poughkeepsie on Friday (8 PM, $20, 845-471-1966). . . . The Irish 2000 Festival takes over the Altamont Fairgrounds this Friday and Saturday; featured performers include Enter the Haggis and the Tossers, plus such locals as Kevin McKrell and Flynn 529 (11 AM, $20, 888-414-3378). . . . Buffalo Tom will headline the main music stage at Larkfest this Saturday on Lark Street in Albany; other acts include L.A. rockers Astra Heights and Texan guitarist Ian Moore (10:30 AM, free, 434-3861). . . . Sarah Pedinotti leaves Saratoga for a big show at the WAMC Performing Arts Center this Saturday (8 PM, $23, 465-5233 ext. 4). . . .You can just call me Mike: No-talent ass-clown Michael Bolton is at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino on Tuesday (8 PM, $65-80, 877-833-SHOW).

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