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The Karma Police

Red Square, Thursday

Fitter. Happier. More productive. Et cetera. You already know them all by heart; now here’s your chance to hear all of Radiohead’s modern-art-rock classics in the intimate confines of Red Square—and not just on the jukebox! Billed as the “ultimate tribute to Radiohead,” Buffalo’s Karma Police have taken it upon themselves to learn and perform every song in the Radiohead catalog. Which is a lot of songs—anyone with a fleeting interest in Radiohead should know that the band turns out as many B-sides as album tracks; these guys know every one of them. And, we might add, they do a pretty convincing job, even if the singer sounds to be taking the Thom Yorke impression a tad seriously. (Funny thing, innit?) In any event, we’re just happy this isn’t a string quartet. (Jan. 17, 9 PM, $5, 388 Broadway, Albany, 465-0444)

Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Troy savings Bank Music Hall, Saturday

The men of Ladysmith Black Mambazo bring their famous South African sound to Troy this Saturday. The shifting group, currently eight strong, were formed in 1960, and launched to international fame when they recorded the backing vocals for Paul Simon’s album Graceland. Their charisma, rich harmonies, and tightly choreographed dance—all rooted in the Zulu musical tradition of Isicathamiya—have earned the crew astounding acclaim, including two Grammy awards and more than a dozen nominations. They have produced more than 50 albums, many of which went gold or platinum, and even have an Academy Award nomination to their name for the documentary film On Tiptoe: The Gentle Steps to Freedom. According to the Washington Post, you go to a Ladysmith Black Mambazo concert to “be reminded that the human voice is the most beautiful sound on Earth.” (Jan. 19, 8 PM, $27-30, $15 students, 30 2nd St., Troy, 273-0038)

Marcus Roberts Trio, Albany Symphony Orchestra

The Egg, Saturday

This month’s George Gershwin New York Living Legacy concert series continues Saturday with the teaming of the Marcus Roberts Trio and the Albany Symphony. This is a potentially exciting musical convergence, as Gershwin is one of those few composers who straddles jazz and classical repertories. Like any American orchestra worth its brass section, the ASO is on fine terms with Gershwin. And pianist Marcus Roberts has a well-earned reputation as a Gershwin interpreter. Roberts’ trio also features Roland Guerin on bass and Jason Marsalis on drums; David Alan Miller will conduct the ASO. (Jan. 19, 7:30 PM, $28, Empire State Plaza, Albany, 473-1845)

Berkshire Gospel Festival

Colonial Theatre, Sunday

“Discover soul Berkshire style.” Billboard calls gospel music one of the fastest growing musical genres in America. With this fundraiser for the Westside Neighborhood Resource Center of Pittsfield, the United Methodist Church of Lenox has brought together some of the area’s best gospel choirs to share the “good news.” The St. Agnes Folk Choir, Refuge, His Songs, Robin Oherin, the Messengers, Vikki True, the Second Congregational Church Gospel Choir, the Becket Praise Team, Price Memorial AME Zion Church Gospel Choir and the Morning Gospel Chorale join forces for this gospel spectacular to bridge gaps, have fun, share music, and raise money to help the Resource Center continue to help the young people of Pittsfield. Amen. (Colonial Theatre, 111 South St., Pittsfield, Mass., 4 PM, $15-20, 413-997-4444)


Bettye Lavette

Bettye Lavette

Iron Horse Music Hall, Wednesday

Forty years of toiling in relative music-biz obscurity and what does Bettye Lavette have to show for herself? A lot, it turns out: Lavette’s 2005 Anti- Records “comeback” disc, the Joe Henry-produced I’ve Got My Own Hell to Raise, found the singer wrapping her soulful voice around songs by Dolly Parton, Sinead O’Connor and Aimee Mann, among others, and found her a new wave of acclaim, unlike any she’d experienced since her ’60s sorta-hit “Let Me Down Easy.” With her latest album, a collaboration with rock band Drive-By Truckers called The Scene of the Crime, she’s hit another late-career milestone: a Grammy nomination. Lavette brings the soul to the Iron Horse on Wednesday night. (Jan. 23, 7 PM, $28, 20 Center St., Northampton, Mass., 413-584-0610)

 

 


Also Noted

Brace yourself: Ramming Speed and Anal Warhead share a painful-sounding evening at Valentine’s tonight (Thursday); Dangur also are on the bill (8 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . Former Orange and Jupiter Sunrise frontman Ben Karis-Nix rolls out his recently minted new band at Valentine’s tomorrow (Friday); also on the bill are 28N and the Spike Emerson Society (9 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . At Pagliacci’s this Saturday, experience the, um, tragedy of Tragic Lounge—DJ Burn (aka former Great Day For Up singer Mike Langone) will spin stoner rock over a screening of the film Dead Alive, followed by performances from Murderer’s Row, Purifier and Skeletons in the Piano (8 PM, $8, 465-1001). . . . Also on Saturday, catch an acoustic evening featuring Anthony Raneri of the band Bayside, plus Steve and John of the band Punchline, at the McNeil Room on the RPI campus (9 PM, $10, stepup presents.com). . . . The Ramblin Jug Stompers celebrate their second anniversary this Monday with their monthly hoedown at Tess’ Lark Tavern; if you’re stumped on what to get them for this momentous occasion, remember that one of the guys calls himself Bowtie (7 PM, free, 463-9779).


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