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K.D. Lang

Proctors Theatre, Thursday

What is there to say about k.d. Lang that hasn’t already been said? How about this: Her publicist once turned down an interview request with one of Metroland’s straight male writers for the specific reason that they’d prefer to “keep it in the family.” We’ll let our readers connect the dots on that, and add that the Canadian crooner/gay-rights activist/multiple Grammy winner has just released a new CD that should appeal to listeners of all sizes, shapes, colors, and orientations. Watershed, lang’s second release for the Nonesuch label, finds the singer in the role of producer for the first time, and it’s her first collection of new original music in quite some time. She’ll take the Proctors stage tonight to perform tunes from throughout her illustrious musical career. (March 13, 8 PM, $20-$55, 432 State St., Schenectady, 346-6204)

The Mountain Goats

The Mountain Goats

Pearl Street Nightclub, Thursday

Detractors might dismiss the Mountain Goats based on their lo-fi early material, leader (and onetime sole Mountain Goat) John Darnielle’s adenoidal singing voice, or the fact that they are not, in fact, actual goats. Fine, have it your way. But the group’s brand-new Heretic Pride is a piece of work that seems solely designed to win over skeptics: It’s a splendid piece of work, easily one of the group’s very best, distilling all of the strengths of the group’s recent works into a tidy 13 songs. The Goats family has expanded to include drums, cello, and a number of other instruments, but be not fooled—Darnielle’s highly literary lyrics are still at the forefront, and they’re just as bookwormy as ever. Mountain Goats live shows are typically excellent, and there’s one of them tonight over in Massachusetts, should you remain unconverted. The Moaners and Drew Hickum open. (March 13, 8:30 PM, $18, 10 Pearl St., Northampton, Mass., 413-584-7771)

Janis Ian

The Eighth Step, Saturday

Having been banned from the airwaves early in her career in the ’60s for a controversial song about the pressures of a relationship between a black boy and a white girl, Janis Ian abandoned a lucrative contract in 1982 with Columbia Records to pursue other avenues of art. Ian reinvented herself in the’80s, spending time studying the art of dance and theater—and reestablishing herself as a songwriter in Nashville, penning songs for Bette Midler, Amy Grant and John Cougar Mellencamp. She’s regarded as a folk legend, and her 2006 recording Folk Is the New Black only served to further cement that status. Ian returns to the Eighth Step this weekend. (March 15, 7:30 PM, $25, GE Theatre at Proctors, 432 State St., Schenectady, 346-6204)

Ralph Stanley and his Clinch Mountain Boys

WAMC Performing Arts Studio, Saturday

OK everyone, now get ready—this is the Ralph Stanley here. One of the pioneers of bluegrass music; Grand Ole Opry inductee; man of many large hats; living banjo guru. In fact, he’s just so darn good, the man even has his own “Stanley-style” way of playing his circle-shaped axe. The good doctor (he’s got an honorary Doctorate from Lincoln Memorial U to back that up) and his boys aren’t performing at Bonnaroo this year, so make sure you get a front seat on Saturday at the Linda. Seriously, this guy is big news—he has a museum dedicated to him! He’s been named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress! If you’re not into fiddler-faddling yet, this ought to do the trick. (March 15, 8 PM, $40, 339 Central Ave., Albany, 465-5233 ext. 4)


Northern Lights, wednesday

Hurt feature the kind of blustery alt-rock lead singer who can gruffly (but on key) rhyme words like “star” and “car,” “real” and “feel”—even “obscene” and “routine.” (Nice.) Hurt may in fact be the ideal alt-rock band prototype. They have a flavor of prog—a dash of Tool mediated with a dab of Stone Temple Pilots’ glammy flair. They also feature violins on many tracks, serving to recall a certain power ballad that just will not die. (Bush’s “Glycerine,” for those keeping count.) Their name, Hurt, is also the name of Nine Inch Nails’ biggest power ballad, which is actually quite appropriate because the band deliver overwrought power ballad after overwrought power ballad. So if you dig all that modern-rock radio has to offer, check out Hurt this Wednesday. Because they could be Staind but they aren’t . . . they are Hurt. (March 19, 7 PM, $12, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)

Also Noted

Also Noted It’s time again for the wearin’ o’ the green and all that whatnot. St. Patrick’s Day is upon us, and with it comes a slew of Irish-themed entertainment. The following is but a brief sampling of the various venues in which to get your green on this week: Kevin McKrell has revived the McKrells name, and he’ll take his act all over the region this week. Today (Thursday), they play at the Crandall Public Library’s Center for Folklife in Glens Falls (7 PM, 792-6508); tomorrow (Friday) and Monday, they’re at the Parting Glass in Saratoga (8:30 PM Friday, 2 PM Monday, 583-1916); Saturday, they share a bill with the Ramblin Jug Stompers at Revolution Hall in Troy (8 PM, $15, 274-0553); Sunday, they’re part of an “Irish House Party” at the Spa Little Theater in Saratoga Springs (7:30 PM, $15, 587-4427). . . . Fiddle-driven Canadian octet Leahy pile onto the mainstage at Proctors on Friday (8 PM, $20-$32, 346-6204). . . . Flynn 529 will perform three times over four days at the Albany Hibernian Hall on Ontario Street—Friday, Saturday and, of course, Monday (call for specific times and prices, 438-8320). . . . It’s about a mile from the actual parade site, but that’s not stopping the Elbo Room from hosting a post-parade bash on Saturday afternoon, with music from the Tom Healey Band (2 PM, 257-7300). . . . Hair of the Dog play Revolution Hall on Monday (7 PM, $15, 274-0553). . . . Across the river, Ramblin Jug Stompers will dance an Irish, um, jug at their monthly appearance at Tess’ Lark Tavern on Monday (8 PM, no cover, 463-9779). . . . And up the road—in Clifton Park—catch a set Monday from Celtic-guitar enthusiast (and Metroland contributing writer) Glenn Weiser and Dancing Bear at the Ravenswood Pub (4 PM, 371-8771).

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