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Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Georgie James

Revolution Hall, Thursday

In the closing moments of “Sons of Cain,” the first song on Ted Leo and the Pharmacists’ fifth album Living with the Living, Leo expels a series of hair-raising, throat-thrashing screams, summing up the album’s main gist in just 20 seconds: Ted Leo is pissed. Living is a more overtly political album than Pharmacists records past, and rightly so—one of our time’s most economical lyricists, Leo has the goods to voice dissent without coming off the least bit trite. Musically, the album is a logical step forward after 2004’s lean, mean Shake the Sheets; and Leo and his impressive rhythm section sound more than ever like a time capsule straight outta 1977. See Leo bare his punk-rock soul tonight at Revolution Hall along with the garage-y Georgie James, featuring ex-Q and Not U drummer John Davis. (Oct. 4, 8 PM, $15, 425 River St., Troy, 274-0553)

Mariza

Proctor’s Theatre, Friday

In a recent poll in Portugal, fado singer Mariza came in at No. 61 in the top 100 Portuguese of all time. Considering that Portugal has been around for quite a while, this is no mean feat. The 34-year-old sings this traditional style of music with just a trace of her background in gospel and jazz showing; most of the similarities reside in the passion of her performances. Born in the former Portuguese colony Mozambique (where her African mother met her European father), she was raised in “one of the most traditional quarters” of Lisbon, where she learned the songs and dramatic technique of fado singing. After her 2001 debut, Mariza’s fame spread quickly. In no time she was singing a duet with Sting at the 2004 Olympics and being featured at Live 8. And now, after conquering the world, Mariza comes to Schenectady. (Oct. 5, 8 PM, $20-$35, 432 State St., Schenectady, 346-6204)

Sontiago

Tess’ Lark Tavern, Friday

Hip-hop! From Portland, Maine of all places! One of Urb magazine’s Next 100 up-and-coming artists of 2007, Sontiago is an eclectic poet-singer-MC and songwriter with a diversity of influences from hip-hop to jazz to indie rock. In addition to her musical accomplishments, Sontiago has a luminous resume of volunteer work and awards, and is widely active in a variety of youth programs aimed at introducing young men and women to hip-hop music. She’s hugely popular in her native city—a CD-release party for 2004’s Abuse my Adoration sold out, leaving a crowd of fans to listen on the sidewalk—and her upcoming album, Steel Yourself, due in November, deals with some heavy issues, from Hurricane Katrina to domestic violence. Sontiago performs at Tess’ Lark Tavern Friday night, joined by collaborator and friend Dilly Dilly, plus a host of local hip-hop talent. (Oct. 5, 10 PM, $5, 453 Madison Ave., Albany, 463-9779)

Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello

Times Union Center, Saturday

Q: What can we say about Bob Dylan that hasn’t already been said? A: Nothing, really. We can say that we’re still astounded by the legions of new fans this living legend picks up year after year. There is no stereotypical age or type for a Dylan fan; his appeal is as broad-ranging as his catalog. That catalog, by the way, has been given the full-on greatest-hits treatment for a new collection called Dylan, which is available in one- and three-CD versions, and is the first such collection to span the man’s entire 40-odd-year career. So bone up and get ready for some “Sylvio.” We’re also excited to see another living legend, Elvis Costello, warm up with a solo set that should draw from his own extensive catalog, one that’s even broader-ranging than Dylan’s. (To wit: Dylan never cut a record with Burt Bacharach.) Amos Lee opens. (Oct. 6, 7 PM, $39.50-$69.50, 51 S. Pearl St., Albany, 800-30-EVENT)


Foo Fighters

Foo Fighters

Glens Falls Civic Center, Tuesday

We love Dave Grohl, but we’re not so sure about the title of his band’s latest album: Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace. For a band that traffics in the loud-soft-loud dynamics of alternative rock, the title’s a bit misleading—where’s the thunder, the bombast? That said, this latest album is a solid addition to the Foo Fighters catalog, easily (and by-design) more concise and focused than the 2005 double-disc In Your Honor. The Foos, a reliably powerful live act, just celebrated their 10th anniversary, marked by a deluxe reissue of their 1997 disc The Colour and the Shape; now, if they’d only give the same treatment to the far-superior self-titled disc . . . (Oct. 9, 7:30 PM, $38.50, 1 Civic Center Plaza, Glens Falls, 798-0202)

Kasey Anderson

Valentine’s, Tuesday

The Valentine’s Web site calls Washington-based singer and alt-country standout Kasey Anderson “part Tom Waits/part dirt floor in a cabin. Good shit you should hear.” We might try to pare that down, but why mess with Anderson’s flavor? Anderson’s third full-length release, The Reckoning, is described as unflinchingly personal and unapologetically political, with characters that resonate the hope, rage and fear across the invisible lines created by culture and geography. It is, in a word, Americana: a blend of solidly arranged folk-based melodies and driven lyrics which a San Francisco Examiner critic described as the melancholy sound of gravel roads and broken-down love.” Anderson’s storytelling ability and strut may be reminiscent of a Whiskeytown-era Adams in, but you really shouldn’t hold that against him. (Oct. 9, 8 PM, $5, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)


Also Noted
Avett Brothers

Tonight (Thursday), Patty Larkin returns to the Caffe Lena stage (7 PM, $25, 583-0022). . . . Also tonight, Oregon-based folksters Horse Feathers return for an intimate show at Amrose Sable Gallery; Seattle’s Johanna Kunin and Albany’s own Swamp Baby open (7 PM, $5 donation, amrosesablegallery.com). . . . Newgrass poster boys the Avett Brothers headline Revolution Hall this Friday; local faves Ramblin Jug Stompers and Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned open (8 PM, $15, 274-0553). . . . For the children: Family faves the Laurie Berkner Band are at the Palace Theatre Saturday morning (11 AM, $25-$35, 465-3334). . . . You say jump, we say: Mighty High is the new dub album from Gov’t Mule; the band plays Proctor’s this Sunday night, with Grace Potter and the Nocturnals opening (7 PM, $28-$29, 346-6204). . . . Prepare to have your ass torn out . . . by metal! The always guttural Cannibal Corpse headline a bill that includes Massachusetts-based deathcore act the Red Chord at Northern Lights on Sunday (7 PM, $23, 371-0012). . . . Tom Brosseau, whose John Parish-produced Cavalier comes out next month, plays Valentine’s this Monday, with area singer-songwriter (and part-time Grainbelter) Chris Blackwell opening (9 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . We’ve already reserved our hotel room: Clive Davis’ best buddy Kelly Clarkson comes to the Event Center at Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona on Wednesday (8 PM, $75, 877-833-SHOW). . . . In the other direction, indie-mope-rock critical darlings the National play Pearl Street in Northampton, Mass. on Wednesday night (8:30 PM, $18, 413-584-7771).


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