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Mechanical Bull

Tess’ Lark Tavern, Thursday

With their newly released second CD, A Million Yesterdays, Ulster County-based country act Mechanical Bull seem poised to break through to a mainstream audience. The group, led by guitarist-vocalist Chase Pierson and singer Avalon Peacock, recorded Yesterdays over the summer at Pierson’s home in the Woodstock area, and the result is a charmingly organic and commercially viable disc with lyrics that occasionally tread the fine line between stupid and clever. Regional guitar-slinger David Malachowski provides some tasty licks, and famed Hammond organist John Medeski guests on one track, making it a bit of an all-star affair. Joining the band for a country-riffic evening at Tess’ place are New York-based artist Erin Sax Seymour and new local talent Jesse Stewart. (Nov. 8, 9 PM, $5, 453 Madison Ave., Albany, 463-9779)

Spanish Harlem Orchestra

Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Thursday

It’s getting cold outside, but it’ll be caliente in Troy tonight when the 13-member Spanish Harlem Orchestra make a stop at the Troy Music Hall. The group, under the direction of Oscar Hernández, have a sound that’s been described as “classical meets contemporary,” their focus being on New York old school “salsa dura,” or heavy salsa. They’ve been nominated for three Grammy awards since 2002, winning one in 2004, and their spicy live shows are celebrations of sound, spirit and dance. We have a feeling this show will be muy excellente! (Nov. 8, 8 PM, $15-$28, 2nd and State streets, Troy, 273-0038)

The Subdudes, Marcia Ball

The Egg, Saturday

The Subdudes self-defined their sound as a “gumbo of roots music that blends soul music, gospel music, Louisiana music, blues and good old rock and roll.” Despite disbanding and reuniting twice, the New Orleans-based five-man band have turned out nine albums since their inception back in ’89, and have stayed true to their complex, rock-a-bluesy Cajun roots. With more than 30 years under her belt as a solo artist, Marcia Ball is touring to promote her Grammy-nominated live release, Live! Down the Road. Known for her blues vocals and zydeco-blues piano stylings, Ball was inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame in 1990. Classically trained since she was 5 years old, Ball has a polished technique, but the “swamp pop” of her Louisiana roots shines through. (Nov. 10, 7:30 PM, $28, Empire State Plaza, Albany, 473-1845)

Asleep at the Wheel

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Sunday

Good lord, there’s a lot of swingin’ going on around the region this weekend—not the least notable of which is Sunday’s performance by Asleep at the Wheel. The nearly-40-year-old band are known for playing both kinds of music—country and western—with a particular love for fiddle-fueled Western swing. In 2005, they expanded their considerable empire beyond the live-music stage with A Ride With Bob, their first-ever theater production, about the life and times of legendary composer and bandleader Bob Wills. Earlier this year, the group played backing band to Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Ray Price as part of the Last of the Breed Tour, but this Sunday, the stage is all theirs. (Nov. 11, 7 PM, $25-$35, 14 Castle St., Great Barrington, Mass., 413-528-0100)

Marti Brom, Rocky Velvet

The Ale House, Sunday

This isn’t going to start with some lame “She’s a little bit country, they’re a little bit rock & roll” line, and shame on you for thinking it would. Marti Brom started singing on her husband’s Air Force base in Illinois and then moved to Austin, and fast became a staple on the rockabilly scene there. Brom boasts influences ranging from Patsy Cline to Joan Jett. Her traditional songbook of both original tunes and classics infuses an old-fashioned country sound with a sexy pin-up girl attitude as heard on her new album, Heartache Numbers. Touring with Brom are Albany homegrown rockabilly favorites Rocky Velvet, supporting their long-awaited full-length album, It Came From Cropseyville. We named them Best Band in this year’s Best of the Capital Region issue. Go see why. (Nov. 11, 8 PM, $10, 680 River Street, Troy, 272-9740)


Against Me!, Sage Francis

Northern Lights, Wednesday

No one is necessarily taking action against southern Florida’s Against Me!, despite the urgency of their name. With a major-label-debut album, New Wave, that’s been cited as one of the year’s best by a number of major music publications, Against Me! are enjoying a, uh, new wave of fans. They’ll be joined on Wednesday’s show by rapper/spoken-word artist Sage Francis, the encouragingly perky World/Inferno Friendship Society, and refreshingly morbid and snake-fixated Cobra Skulls. World/Inferno and Cobra Skulls both play the kind of hard-hitting, danceable music worthy of punk shows; meanwhile, the outspoken Francis is continuing his march in support of this year’s Human the Death Dance. (Nov. 14, 6:30 PM, $17, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)


Also Noted

Go forth and rock: Boy Hits Car, Split 2nd Alibi and Await the Atlantic play tonight (Thursday) at Northern Lights (7 PM, $12, 371-0012). . . . The Crayons are set to unveil their new album, What’s Wrong with You, with a release party tomorrow (Friday) at the Skyline in downtown Albany; like-minded pop groups the Churchills and Maggie Mayday share the bill (10 PM, $10, 472-8150). . . . Singer-songwriter Joy Adler will play two local shows this weekend: Friday, she’ll team with musician and healer Patricia White Buffalo for a “musical healing event” at the Center for Natural Wellness in Albany (7 PM, $30, 489-4026); Sunday, she’ll share a bill with Rachel Vogt at Proctor’s GE Theater (7 PM, $12, 346-6204). . . . Saturday brings two indie-rock shows for the price of one at Valentine’s: Upstairs, Complicated Shirt will celebrate the release of a new, limited-run CD single, with help from Empire State Troopers and Bone Parade; downstairs, Severe Severe sit atop a bill that also includes Dead Muse, Bunnies and Che Guevara T-Shirt (9 PM, $5, 432-6572).

. . . Wait—weren’t they just here? No matter: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists return for a show at the Skidmore College Intramural Gym this Saturday (9 PM, $10, $5 students, 580-9298). . . . And again: Yo La Tengo continue their (mostly) acoustic Freewheelin’ Yo La Tengo tour at MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center this Saturday night (8 PM, $30, 413-662-2111). . . . Get experimental at the Upstate Artists Guild this Sunday, when Century Plants, Stone Baby, Antique Brothers and Sleepwalkers Local 242 play the gallery’s first-ever live show (7 PM, free, 442-5705). . . . Tuesday brings an action-packed blues bill to Proctor’s: The Solid Blues tour features Mavis Staples, Charlie Musselwhite, North Mississippi Allstars and Joe Krown (8 PM, $20-$35, 346-6204).

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