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The Ventures, Rocky Velvet

Alive at Five, Thursday

Surf’s up! Riding the tide as 2008 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, the Ventures will bring five decades of smash hits into Alive at Five this evening (Thursday). The sultans of surf-rock have quite a resume: They’re the best- selling instrumental rock group of all time with nearly 100 million albums sold worldwide, and their catalog counts 250(!) albums. The sextet, founded by guitarists Don Wilson and Bob Bogle in 1958, are widely recognized for their 1960s gold singles “Walk Don’t Run” and “Hawaii Five-O.” Surf rock’s distinct genre regained notoriety in the ’90s thanks to the golden soundtrack to Pulp Fiction, eternally marrying surf music with badass motherfuckers. Joining the Ventures at the Hudson Riverfront Park to complete the sonic time-travel are local rockabilly quartet Rocky Velvet. (June 12, 5 PM, free, Hudson Riverfront Park, Corning Preserve, Albany, 434-2032)


Mercat

Mercat

Amrose Sable Gallery, Thursday

Mercat are a strange animal in deed. The New York City-based, all-female quintet practice in an anything-goes offshoot of Americana, with drums, bass, and strings (violin, viola, cello) rubbing up against such nonrock instruments as accordion, bird whistles and melodica. It’s a tough beast to describe, even for the band—on their MySpace page they claim that “Mercat sound like a tired sailor looking through the snow at the shore, where he sees a broken-down amusement park that was built in the ’30s and lost popularity in the ’50s.” (We know exactly what that sounds like.) Those up on their Kamikaze Hearts lore should recognize cellist Karen Codd; tonight’s show serves as a homecoming of sorts for Codd, and as the first date of a mini-tour that will take the group through western New York, to Akron, Ohio, and then to Philadelphia. Scientific Maps share tonight’s bill. (June 12, 8 PM, free, 306 Hudson Ave., Albany, 607-437-6977)

The Wait, Strange Faces

Revolution Hall, Friday

Speaking of homecomings, the last time we heard from the Wait was around the end of the second Bush’s first term. Despite some talk of a new album around that time, life led members in different directions, and the band basically (though never officially) called it quits. Four years later, the lads are reuniting for this show at Revolution Hall; fans should expect to hear all the songs that made the band one of the Capital Region’s most beloved acts for a good long run there, plus some of their unreleased hits-to-be. To bring things full circle, the new band from three-fifths of the Wait will open. Raleigh, N.C.-based Strange Faces comprise Ryan Barnum on vocals and guitar, bassist Mark Connor, and drummer Art Pierce. The band’s forthcoming debut disc should please fans of the Wait’s anthemic-guitar-rock sound. (June 13, 8 PM, $10, 425 River St., Troy, 274-0553)

Sean A. Lane

First Unitarian Society of Schenectady, Friday

We may as well keep the theme going. . . . Schenectady-born jazz pianist Sean A. Lane will return home tomorrow (Friday) to perform a benefit concert for his childhood school district. Lane hopes to spread his passion for music and learning, which began at age 7 when he discovered his father’s record collection. He then started piano lessons, and went on to earn a music degree at SUNY Fredonia and a master’s degree at the University of Maryland. Highly regarded as one of Washington D.C.’s most accomplished musicians, Lane has performed at three presidential inaugural celebrations and in Bay Jazz Project, which has been nominated for the “Best Jazz Duo/Group” by the Washington Area Music Association. Combining smooth jazz, R&B, Dixieland, and other genres, Lane’s unorthodox style will be complemented by woodwind player Seth Kibel, bassist George Rush, and drummer Pete Sweeney. (June 13, 7:30 PM, $20, $10 students, 1221 Wendell Ave., Schenectady, 374-4446)

Mary Gauthier

Club Helsinki, Saturday

Between Daylight and Dark seems like an apt title for an album from someone who’s spent as much of her life treading that line as Mary Gauthier. The Louisiana-based folk-singer—who didn’t even write her first song until age 35!—traveled a rocky road to relative stardom, from being given up for adoption at birth, to spending her 18th birthday in jail, to battling the prejudices that come with lesbianism. She doesn’t get into much of that on Between Daylight and Dark, her fifth record and second for the Lost Highway label, though darkness abounds in her lyrics. The daylight, presumably, is in the album’s excellent, live-in-the-studio performances, which are aided by the smart production touch of Joe Henry. Gauthier is on a seemingly never-ending tour, which brings her to Great Barrington this week. (June 14, 9 PM, $25, 284 Main St., Great Barrington, Mass., 413-528-3394)


Also Noted
José Gonzalez

If you prefer your music festivals mud- and camping-free, check out the mini music fest presented by the New York State Ancient Order of Hibernians tonight (Thursday) at the Schenectady AOH Hall; headlined by Canada’s Greenwich Meantime, the event also features music from Who’s Your Paddy, Flynn 529, and Mike DeAngelis and Rick Bedrosian of Hair of the Dog, and you can get home in time to catch Conan (7 PM, $20, 374-9003). . . . Jimkata, Jack’s Wasted Life, and Disposable Rocket Band play Red Square tomorrow (Friday) night (9 PM, $8, 465-0444). . . . Your weekly dressing-down comes courtesy of Hamell on Trial, who will bring his off-off-Broadway act to the Linda on Friday (8 PM, $15, 465-5233 ext. 4). . . . Speaking of the Linda, Saturday’s show featuring Guy Clark, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, and Slaid Cleaves has been postponed due to Clark’s suffering a broken leg; the date should be rescheduled for November, but call the venue to look into refunds (465-5233 ext. 4). . . . A show that was postponed back in April makes it to the stage this weekend: Greg Brown plays the Egg Saturday evening (8 PM, $24, 473-1845). . . . Berkshires-based singer-songwriter Bobby Sweet shares his songs and stores at the Taconic Hills Performing Arts Center in Craryville on Saturday (7:30 PM, $12, $8 seniors and students, 325-0447). . . . And here’s this week’s one to drive for: Swedish-born Argentine José González brings his soft and subtle songcraft to the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, Mass., on Tuesday, with guests Twi the Humble Feather (7 PM, $28, 413-584-0610).


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