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Dierks Bentley, Jack Ingram

Glens Falls Civic Center, Friday

All the clichés are there: country roads; pickup trucks; railroad tracks; women who done wrong; probably a horse or two. But with two platinum albums under his oversize belt buckle, Dierks Bentley probably isn’t too interested in defying convention. Bentley’s late-2006 release Long Trip Alone spawned two No. 1 country singles, “Every Mile a Memory” and “Free and Easy Down the Road I Go,” and now he’s playing to sold-out crowds on his Throttle Wide Open tour. Accompanying Bentley this time out is Jack Ingram, a rising country star who has managed four consecutive hit singles including “Wherever You Are” and “Love You.” Ingram also created a country rendition of the Hinder power ballad “Lips of an Angel,” effectively doubling the radio life of the already ubiquitous song. Thanks Jack. Thanks a lot. (Dec 7, 8 PM, $35, 1 Civic Center Plaza, Glens Falls, 798-0366)

John Mellencamp

John Mellencamp, Los Lobos

Times Union Center, Saturday

Thanks to the fine folks at Chevrolet and our insatiable pro-football-viewing habit, John Mellencamp’s “Pink Houses” rewrite “Our Country” is stuck uncomfortably and irretrievably deep in our memory banks. We’ll let that slide, though, based on a few factors: Little Johnny Cougar has been responsible for some of the most sublimely guilty pleasures of the rock era (plus the awesome “Rain on the Scarecrow,” for which we feel no guilt whatsoever), and his live shows are a lot of fun. For reals. One thing—with “Our Country” serving as the NFL’s de facto theme song this year, how the hell did Petty get the Superbowl halftime show? Somebody needs a new agent! Mellencamp comes to Albany this weekend with Los Lobos, who were last here six months ago for a free show. This time you’ll pay, but trust us, they’re worth it. (Dec. 8, 8 PM, $49.50-$106, 51 S. Pearl St., Albany, 800-30-EVENT)


Richie Havens

The Eighth Step at Proctor’s GE Theatre, Saturday

Richie Havens is not just the guy in the robe who opened the original Woodstock Music and Arts Fair with an acoustic guitar and a soul-stirring rendition of “Motherless Child.” People, he is the one who showed Jimi Hendrix the chord tunings he used in his version of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower”—the definitive adaptation that we recognize today. Havens is synonymous with the sounds of the Greenwich Village folk scene of the 1960s; known for his soulful covers of pop and folk songs, Havens played President Clinton’s Inaugural Ball in 1993 and came full- circle in 1999, when he performed at the 30th anniversary of Woodstock (the civilized one that took place in Bethel, not the rape-and-fire-fest in Rome, N.Y.). Havens brings to the stage a unique and intense guitar style, and a voice that is as poignant and timeless as ever. (Dec. 8, 7:30 PM, $25, 432 State Street, Schenectady, 346-6204)

Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned CD release

Valentine’s, Saturday

Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned, the product of five University at Albany students (Alex and Adam Muro, Tim Koch, Dan Pardee and Donna Baird), have been kicking around the area for about three years now. Calling themselves “Internet street musicians,” the group have lived up to both portions of that claim: They’ve released a whole bunch of recordings via their Web site,, in addition to releasing a few CDs; and, they’ve taken an anywhere-at-anytime approach to performing, setting up their ever-expanding shop (they’ve recently ballooned into a 9-piece band) at coffeehouses, clubs, and concert venues alike. In February, they’ll pay tribute to their most obvious forebears, Neutral Milk Hotel; on Saturday, they celebrate the release of their latest collection, The Thing About Time, at Valentine’s, with help from fellow gigantic band Margan and the Red Lions, plus My Friend Peter and Son of Adam. (Dec. 8, 8 PM, $8, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

Rat-a-Tat Tattoo and Music Expo

Northern Lights, Saturday-Sunday

Last year, Brick by Brick’s Mike Valente brought together a smorgasbord of local tattoo artists and the area’s best hardcore and metal bands, along with tasty treats from Bombers, to deliver an experience like never before seen or heard in the Capital Region—and now he’s doing it again! Featuring bands such as Murphy’s Law, Murderer’s Row, the Erotics, PooP, Horror Business and Brick by Brick, the Rat-a-Tat Tattoo and Music Expo is sure to ink you up, fill your belly, and blow out your eardrums. Get your tattoos judged—or get some fresh work done by the artists on hand—and rock out to live music from 20 bands. Note: Lodging is your own concern. (Dec. 8-9, noon, $15, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)

Fly 92 Jingle Jam

Northern Lights, Wednesday

OMG! This should pan out to be the polar opposite of Saturday’s festival, trading the menacing, goateed dudes for prim teenage girls, and the drop-tuned heavy metal for slick emo-pop. Boston band Boys Like Girls have enjoyed a big year, thanks to a tour with the Cute Is What We Aim For (really, it is?), and brisk sales of their self-titled debut disc (which recently got the deluxe-edition treatment), and a Top 10 pop single (“The Great Escape”). Fancy that: Emo is Top 40. And we thought it would be dead and buried by now. Also on Wednesday’s bill are New York-based artist Matt White (a John Mayer lite, if that’s at all possible) and South Carolina’s I-Nine (an Avril Lavigne lite, if that’s at all possible). Grab a BFF and practice your shrieking. (Dec. 14, 4 PM, $30, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)

Also Noted

Tonight (Thursday), the Alpha Xi Sigma chapter of Phi Theta Kappa—that’s Greek for party!—holds a benefit for the American Cancer Society at Slow Jed’s Mud House; performers include MotherJudge, Denise Culhane and April Marie (6 PM, donations accepted, 674-1845). . . . Hector on Stilts head up a two-pronged celebration at Ballinger’s tomorrow (Friday): It’s the kickoff of the brand-new Ballinger’s Live music series, plus it’s the local release party for the band’s new Fun Size EP; Maggie Mayday will open (9 PM, $5, 598-1800). . . . Suzanne Vega returns to the area for a concert at the Egg on Friday; Richard Julian opens (8 PM, $28, 473-1845).

. . . Brooklyn’s Longwave return to Valentine’s on Friday, with Scientific Maps opening (9 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . Also Friday, Victory Records will celebrate, well, themselves with their 2007 tour; on the bill are Bayside, June, the Sleeping, A Day to Remember, and Driver Side Impact (7 PM, $15, 274-0553). . . . As previously highlighted, the annual Rock for Chris concert, to benefit the Chris Ryan Arts Scholarship, takes place at Valentine’s on Saturday; the Staziaks, Florence, Don Bazley, Fahrenheit 420 and Jonesville will be on hand to rock for Chris (7 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . They must have a killer microwave: Hot Tuna, still hot after 40 years, play the Egg on Wednesday (7:30 PM, $28, 473-1845).

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