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Fuck . . . I’m Dead, The Day Everything Became Nothing

Valentine’s, Thursday

Sing it with us: They come from a land down under, where metal bands produce thunder. In case you’ve been wondering what condition the condition of Australian deathgrind is in, look no further than tonight’s (Thursday) splatterfest, featuring two of Melbourne’s finest representatives of the genre. At the hilt of each band is guitarist Dave Hill; the dichotomy of his situation could only help serve to balance the dour nature of TDEBN’s subject matter (albums include Slow Death by Grinding and Invention: Destruction) with the more, er, sophomoric content of Fuck . . . I’m Dead, whose song titles include “Anal Abattoir,” “Colon Commando” and “Toilet Tantalizers.” (Ah, but the Aussies appreciate alliteration!). So throw some shrimp on the barbie and bring a fucking helmet. (May 22, 8 PM, $5, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

Session Americana

Session Americana

Caffe Lena, Friday

Looking for a way to kick off Memorial Day weekend that will honor the American spirit? Try this: Boston-based Session Americana come to Caffe Lena Friday armed with a bag of tunes that would rival that of any piano-bar plunker. The band, comprising a sextet of veteran musicians (current and former members of Treat Her Right, the The, and Patty Griffin’s band among them), has been building quite the following on their home turf, and now they’re branching out onto ours. They promise a variety of original songs, plus music from the Great American Songbook—which, according to drummer Billy Beard, includes “Prince, the Replacements, and Dave Alvin and the like, right next to Hank, Merle and the Band.” Sounds like a good time. (May 23, 8 PM, $15, 47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs, 583-0022)



East Durham Irish Festival

Michael J. Quill Irish Cultural and Sport Center, Saturday-Sunday

It’s one of the area’s longest- running festivals, and you didn’t even know it, right? The East Durham Irish Festival is in its 31st year, and this weekend’s lineup is arguably the best one yet. A smattering of the music you can expect: the Jimmy Sturr Band, Shannon McNally, the Glengarry Bhoys, Enter the Haggis, Greenwich Meantime, the Screaming Orphans, and the McKrells, among others. There’ll also be traditional dance instruction and participation, food, rides, games, and a lot of things painted or dyed green. Beware of the green beer, however—St. Patrick’s Day was a long time ago. (May 24-25, $13-$16, Route 145, East Durham, 634-2286)

Ann Hampton Callaway

Spa Little Theater, Saturday

Once in a while, we get to highlight something new. As a primer to the SPAC summer season, the underused Spa Little Theater will play host to a trio of concerts. First up this weekend is the Tony-nominated jazz-pop chanteuse Ann Hampton Callaway, of whom The New York Times wrote, “for sheer vocal beauty, no contemporary singer matches Ms. Callaway.” Callaway doesn’t shy away from the standards people never seem to tire of hearing (like “Blue Moon,” which you will hear on visiting her Web site), but she also showcases her own songs. She’s also an unusually “cheery” and optimistic songwriter and performer, about whom a snarky critic for The Hollywood Reporter observed, “She never let this disgusting philosophy overshadow the music, over which she showed an indisputable mastery.” Next up at the Spa Little Theater will be the Edmar Castaneda Trio on May 29, followed by Suzanne Vega on May 31. It’s a neat venue—give it a try. (May 24, 8 PM, $25, Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs, 587-4427)

Son Volt

MASS MoCA, Sunday

Wilco schmilco. While Jeff Tweedy and his band have followed some strange muses over the years (the ghosts of Can and Jerry Garcia, for instance), raking in commercial and critical accolades in the process, Tweedy’s onetime Uncle Tupelo partner Jay Farrar has done gone about his business just fine, thank you very much. Granted, none of Son Volt’s recent work has created as much buzz as their 1995 debut, Trace, but pick through the catalog and you’ll find a strong body of work that stands up nicely next to that of Farrar’s former colleague. This Sunday, expect to hear music from The Search, Son Volt’s 2007 release, along with tunes from throughout the band’s dozen-year history. (May 25, 8 PM, $24, 87 Marshall St., North Adams, Mass., 413-662-2111)

Also Noted

Getting old sure sucks—unless you’re Bob Dylan. If that’s the case, you get to be the subject of hundreds of birthday parties the world over, featuring thousands of musicians playing your beloved songs. We’ve a few such events in the area this week, beginning today (Thursday): The 10th Annual Bob Dylan Birthday Festival at the Old Chapel on the Union College campus will feature music from Jim Gaudet, Bryan Thomas, MotherJudge, and Berkshire Living editor-in-chief/Dylan biographer Seth Rogovoy, to name a few; a preconcert barbecue featuring the McKrells fires up at 4 PM (7 PM, $5, 388-6124). . . . Saturday, the Dylan-ing continues at Chatham’s Peint O’Gwrw Tavern with Rogovoy and his band (which also features Metroland columnist Paul Rapp, btw), a Bob-related open mic, trivia contest, and more (8 PM, 392-2337). . . . And on Sunday, the Rogovoy band will be featured at Forever Young: A Tribute to Bob Dylan at Club Helsinki in Great Barrington, Mass.; another open-mic-style event, this one will also feature performances by Kiki Dufault and John Clarke among others (8 PM, free, 413-528-3394). . . . Jumping back, the Original Sin party at Valentine’s on Saturday features live music from Mankind Is Obsolete and Standard Issue Citizen (9 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . Also Saturday, the Capital District Federation of Ideas hosts an afternoon show with the Woodstove, Ike Snopes, (DJ Miller of Small Axe) and Gay Tastee (5 PM, free,

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