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Great Northern

Red Square, Friday

L.A.-based quartet Great Northern play pretty-sounding, electronica-enhanced pop-rock music. It’s easy on the ears, with male-female vocal interplay and lots of twinkly keyboards and such. We’ve little more to offer in the way of critique—better just to sit back, spin the tracks from their Eenie Meenie Records debut Trading Twilight for Daylight, and let their soundscapes massage your weary indie-pop soul. Along for the ride tomorrow (Friday) night are Albany’s own Palatypus, plus singer-songwriter Katie Haverly, who will make a rare solo-electric appearance. As Lloyd Dobler once said, “You must chill”—and this is a good place to start. (Oct. 19, 9 PM, $10, 388 Broadway, Albany, 465-0444)


Yo La Tengo

Yo La Tengo

Colony Cafe, Saturday

One of indie rock’s most beloved trios will be bringing it all back home—or to Woodstock, as it were—this Saturday. Hot off their acclaimed super-size release I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass, the pride of Hoboken are doing a short tour they’ve subtitled The Freewheelin’ Yo La Tengo. The all-acoustic jaunt is a tie-in with the band’s participation in the soundtrack for Todd Haynes’ Dylan biopic I’m Not There, which looks to be the fall season’s safest bet—in addition to Yo La Tengo, the two-disc release sports contributions from Eddie Vedder, Stephen Malkmus, the Hold Steady, Cat Power, Jack Johnson, Jeff Tweedy, and, well, pretty much everybody else. But it’s Georgia, Ira and James who will take the stage this weekend in Woodstock; get your tickets in advance for this intimate affair. (Oct. 20, 8 and 11 PM, $35 and $45, 22 Rock City Road, Woodstock, 845-679-5342)

Eighth Step 40th Anniversary Concert

GE Theatre at Proctor’s, Saturday

It was 1967: The first home microwave hit the market; The Graduate hit the box offices; a bunch of free-thinking, free-loving kids hit the streets of San Francisco wearing flowers in their hair; and the Eighth Step’s first show hit Albany, offering a forum for coffee, music, poetry, and political debate. Now a concert series instead of a coffee house, Eighth Step has remained independent, volunteer-run and member supported, and has never faltered in offering top-notch folk music, despite repeated venue changes. This week they celebrate 40 years of acoustic/folk music and camaraderie with a show in their latest (and hopefully lasting) venue, the GE Theatre at Proctor’s. Eighth Step favorites performing at Saturday’s anniversary concert include folk legend Bob Franke, banjo-strumming singer-poet Lui Collins, klezmer-jazz-folk duo Addie & Olin, folk quartet Betty and the Baby Boomers, singer Laurie Siegel, Celtic duo Byrne and Barrett, and writer-choreographer Judy Trupin. (Oct 20, 7:30 PM, $21-25, 432 State Street, Schenectady, 346-6204)

Sirsy CD release

Revolution Hall, Saturday

You know ’em, you love ’em—and that’s why they’re consistently voted one of the area’s top bands in our annual Readers Poll. Melanie Krahmer and Rich Libutti, the duo better known as Sirsy, are set to drop their new disc, Revolution, with a CD-release show at Revolution Hall (where else?). This is their first studio recording since downsizing to the duo format; for Saturday’s show, they’ll be abetted by violinist Mark Frederick on several tunes. Area faves Sean Rowe and Phoebe Henry are slated to open, and the first 100 people in get free Sirsy T-shirts. Sounds like a bargain, from a band who have a pretty unique sense of economy. (Oct. 20, 8 PM, $10, 425 River St., Troy, 274-0553)

Spokinn Movement

WAMC Performing Arts Studio, Saturday

A hip-hop collective at the Linda? Whudda thunk it? Fronted by Boston-born singer-rapper iLLspOkiniN, the highly touted New York City-based group also feature like-minded musicians Dave Cinquegrana (guitar), bassist-sax man Chris Cuzme and drummer Yoni Halevi. Been down to the city lately? Maybe you’ve experienced iLLspOkiniN, who is known for his expert freestyling and who hosts a weekly hip-hop open mic at Sin Sin (2nd Avenue and 5th Street, Manhattan). So his skills are, at least, well-honed and up-to-date. FYI: He and the rest of the group count Big Daddy Kane, De La Soul, Digable Planets and George Clinton as influences/inspirations; what, no Soul Coughing? (Oct. 20, 8 PM, $10, 339 Central Ave., Albany, 465-5233 ext. 4)

Anúna

Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Saturday

Many folks—including some dude named Elvis Costello—don’t think it was Michael Flatley who made the original Riverdance such a sensation when it debuted in 1995. It was Anúna, the black-robed Celtic choir who created the haunting sounds for Riverdance. Originally founded in 1987 by composer Michael McGlynn, Anúna continue to sing their haunting music in a combination of languages, including “English, Gaelic, Irish, Breton, Latin and Greek.” (Gee, that’s three more than Bryan Ferry managed in “A Song for Europe.”) The group issued their first new album in six years in 2006, and some critics say Anúna seem recharged by the experience. Ireland’s Sunday Tribune wrote that “the choir continues to amaze, not just for its special sounds but also for the imaginative style of presentation with lighting, spatial effects and music.” In other words, Anúna deliver a complete musical/theatrical experience. (Oct. 20, 8 PM, $29, $32, 2nd and State streets, Troy, 273-0038)


Also Noted
Another busier-than-usual week for live music kicks off tonight (Thursday) at Red Square, where up-and-coming locals 28N will celebrate the release of their new CD, Where Tenses Meet, with help from Ben Karis, Fred Shafer, and From These Eyes (8 PM, $5, 465-0444). . . . Also tonight, English prog-rockers Porcupine Tree play the Egg (8 PM, $27, 473-1845). . . . Environmentally-friendly jammers Perpetual Groove play Revolution Hall tonight, along with the Breadbox Band (9 PM, $16, 274-0553). . . . Folk-punk singer Erin McKeown is on tour in support of her new live disc, Lafayette; she’ll play the Iron Horse in Northampton, Mass., tomorrow (Friday) night (7 PM, $20, 413-586-8686). . . . Scottish traditionalists the Battlefield Band have two regional stops this weekend: Friday at the Towne Crier in Pawling (9 PM, $35, 845-855-1300) and Saturday at Harrietstown Town Hall in Saranac Lake (7:30 PM, call for price, 637-4989). . . . Big Frank and the Bargain Bingers celebrate the release of a new CD at Positively 4th Street this Saturday (9 PM, free, 687-0064). . . . The Albany All-Stars Roller Derby League will host a fundraising event and “zombie prom” this Saturday at Valentine’s; besides the undead-related activities, there will be music from Beware! the Other Head of Science, Dr. Jenkins and Back From Japan, Architect Sound System, and DJ Danse Magik Danse (8 PM, $10, $8 in costume, 432-6572). . . . The Lonesome Brothers roll back into town for a Saturday-night show at the Ale House (9 PM, $5, 272-9740). . . . The Michael Vlatkovich Quartet play free jazz for a fee at the Sanctuary for Independent Media on Monday (7 PM, $10, 272-2390).

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