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Clutch have been churning out albums almost yearly now since the early ’90s—and they seem to get better with each release. Clutch’s most recent album, From Beale Street to Oblivion, has been heralded by a number of critics as the band’s greatest work. Clutch’s metal funk is sure to the end the night on a, ahem, high note, but stoner metal openers Puny Human and Priestess will ensure everyone starts the night out with a buzz.

Clutch will perform Saturday (Dec. 20) at 8:30 PM at Northern Lights (Route 146W, North Country Commons, Clifton Park). Tickets are $25. For more information, call 371-0012.



First Night Saratoga

Usher in the new year with art, music, magic, dancing, fireworks and more with First Night in Saratoga Springs. This year’s schedule is packed with over 400 artists in over 40 venues, offering an ecclectic mix that’s sure to please any palette—kidsongs to Celtic to indie-folk-pop to the great Alex Torres and His Latin Kings (pictured), clowns, caricatures and carousel rides—First Night is a special way to mark a new year, a fresh start, and the end of the holiday whirlwind.

And start practicing your “oohs” and “aahs”; there will be two New Year’s Eve fireworks shows, one to start the night at 6 PM, and one at midnight to welcome the New Year.

First Night Saratoga kicks off at 6 PM on Monday (Jan. 31) at venues throughout downtown Saratoga Springs. First Night Buttons, which grant the wearer admission to all First Night events, are $13; buttons for children under 5 are free. For a complete schedule of events and information on where to purchase buttons, visit the First Night Web site at or call 583-9622 ext. 132.

Chris Rock

Who’s funnier than Chris Rock?

Certainly it’s a matter of taste, but Rock has consistently been one of the funniest stand-ups of the last decade. He’s got a hit TV show, Everybody Hates Chris, and earlier this year, directed and cowrote (with Louis C.K.) the nifty comedy I Think I Love My Wife.

What we really like about Rock is how obnoxious he can be, and the complete judiciousness with which he deploys it. For example: On awards shows in recent years, Rock cheerfully insulted Jude Law and Good Charlotte. Who could argue with either?

Chris Rock will perform Sunday (Dec. 30) at 7 PM at the Palace Theatre (19 Clinton Ave., Albany). Tickets are $45.50 to $75.50. For reservations and information, call 465-4663.

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