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ZZ Top

Turning Stone Resort and Casino, Thursday

It would appear that ZZ Top haven’t been up to much since their 2004 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. So, with no new album to promote (their last was 2003’s Mescalero) and no current hit singles (it’s been a little longer since they had one of those), what keeps the bad boys from Texas on the road at this late stage in their career? The answer is simple: ZZ Top are a fucking badass rock & roll band. Always have been, always will be. Say what you will about their slick, commercial ‘80s output, but it was still better than 90 percent of the garbage on the radio at the time; and their collected works include some of the baddest boogie ever put to tape. And they’ve still got it. Find out for yourself tonight (Thursday); it’s well worth the drive. (Sept. 20, 8 PM, $55, 5218 Patrick Road, Verona, 877-833-SHOW)

Sunset Aside CD release

Tess’ Lark Tavern, Friday

Fans of heavy rock with a gothic edge (although that edge shows up more in their image than their music) should perk up, relatively speaking, for the new disc from Albany-based quintet Sunset Aside. The disc, Of What Remains, was recorded by John Delehanty at Scarlet East Studios, and sounds typically excellent; and the band are a supergroup of sorts, featuring members of myriad area bands present and past, including the Erotics, 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Complicated Shirt, and 1000 Young. Sunset Aside will reveal the new disc at a release party tomorrow (Friday), where they will be joined by special guests the Brides. (Sept. 21, 10 PM, $5, 453 Madison Ave., Albany, 463-9779)

Dropkick Murphys

Dropkick Murphys

Northern Lights, Friday

There was no better film-music pairing in the last 18 months than when the Dropkick Murphys’ “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” kicked Martin Scorcese’s The Departed into bloody high gear. As Village Voice writer Tom Breihan put it, “The Departed, after all, is a movie about Irish people doing violent shit in Boston, and the Dropkick Murphys are a band that sing about Irish people doing violent shit in Boston; it’s a match made in heaven.” The Murphys bring their muscular Irish-punk thing to the area this week on the strength of a new record, The Meanest of Times, which offers more of the oi their fans have come to crave. (Sept. 21, 7 PM, $25, Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)

Detachment Kit

Falstaff’s, Saturday

If the phrase “angular guitar rock” gives you a stiffy, you probably already know about Chicago-via-Brooklyn group Detachment Kit. If you don’t, know this: The band utilize the loud-soft aesthetic of forebears the Pixies, mixed with a hankering for the aforementioned angularity favored by bands like Wire; more recent like-thinkers might include Les Savy Fav or Versus. Still sporting a semi? Then check out tracks from their 2006 self-titled, self-released disc at and let the musical Viagra surge through your earholes. One more reason to check out Detachment Kit: They, unlike us, generally don’t bother with lame dick jokes. (Sept. 22, call for time and price, Skidmore College, 815 N. Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 580-5000)

John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension

the Egg, Tuesday

John McLaughlin has been her-alded as one of the wonders of the jazz world throughout his 40-year tenure. A guitarist of sterling reputation, McLaughlin has played with the likes of Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew and his own Mahavishnu Orchestra; he’s also credited with basically creating the genre of jazz-rock electric fusion. McLaughlin is touring with a handpicked band called the 4th Dimension, consisting of Gary Husband on percussion and keyboards, Hadrien Feraud on bass, and Mark Mondesir on drums; it’s the first time McLaughlin has toured North America with an electric fusion band in nine years. Audiences should expect a high-energy performance featuring selections from McLaughlin’s recently released and critically acclaimed Industrial Zen, as well as new material from an album due in 2008. Fans should pay special attention to an announcement regarding “instant CDs” available immediately after the show. (Sept. 25, 7:30 PM, $34.50, Empire State Plaza, Albany, 473-1845)

Just Surrender

Valentine’s, Wednesday

Aren’t you people sick of emo yet? New York based pop-punk band Just Surrender aren’t. The band started while its members were in high school, and quickly developed a following after posting songs on Over the last four years, they’ve played with Bayside, Matchbook Romance, Hawthorne Heights, and Armor for Sleep; and they continue to build steam as they set out on a tour in support of their sophomore album, We’re in Like Sin. Squeeze into your girl jeans, cake on some eyeliner, pull your bangs over your eyes to hide your tears and check them out upstairs at Valentine’s on Wednesday. Metro Station, Valencia, and We the Kings open. (Sept.26, 7 PM, $10, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, NY, 432-6572)

Also Noted
Nellie McKay

It’s a hard-rock summit at Valentine’s tomorrow (Friday), when Bullet Proof Messenger, Ironweed, Kingscastle and S.C.U.M. bring down the house (7 PM, $10, 432-6572). . . . If you missed him at Washington Park this summer, you have another chance to catch UAlbany’s hip-hop pride J-Live this Friday night at Red Square, with guest Oddy Gato (9 PM, $5, 465-0444). . . . Saturday at Red Square, Ithicans Revision take the stage (9 PM, $7, 465-0444). . . . Mall goth-punks Aiden, whose new record Conviction was called the Most Anticipated Record of 2007 by Alternative Press, play Revolution Hall on Monday night, along with Drop Dead Gorgeous, Still Remains, and 1997 (7 PM, $15, 274-0553). . . . Also on Monday, jazz-pop chanteuse Nellie McKay, most widely heralded for her stubbornness in the face of record-label demands, will show off her almost-equally heralded voice at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, Mass.; New York-based guitar whiz and songwriter Swati opens (7 PM, $23, 413-584-0610). . . . Speaking of Northampton and widely heralded New York-based songwriters, Regina Spektor plays the Calvin Theatre on Tuesday (8 PM, $25, 413-584-1444). . . . Pop-rock balladeers Lifehouse return to the area for a show at Northern Lights on Wednesday (7 PM, $20, 371-0012).

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