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Joan Osborne

Joan Osborne

Alive at Five, Thursday

We still can’t get the chorus of Joan Osborne’s 1995 radio hit “One of Us” out of our heads, but Osborne is far from a one-hit wonder in terms of musical talent. After starting her own record label in 1991, the Louisville, Ky., native signed to Island/Mercury to release Relish in 1995, which sold 3 million albums and earned her a spot atop 1997’s Lilith Fair. Since Relish, Osborne has released a number of CDs spanning different musical styles: folk, alternative, country, pop, blues and soul. Her latest effort, Breakfast in Bed (2007), brings a revival of ’60s and ’70s Motown and R&B, with plenty of brass and horns to accompany her powerful pipes. Touring as a member of the Dead in 2003 and opening for the Dixie Chicks has further proved the singer’s versatility and onstage confidence. Osborne will be joined by acoustic rocker Sean Rowe today (Thursday) at Alive at Five. (June 26, 5 PM, free, Hudson Riverfront Park, Corning Preserve, Albany, 434-2032)



Thurston Moore and Bill Nace

Upstate Artists Guild, Thursday

We know enough not to expect to hear “Teen Age Riot,” but let us just say that we are completely stoked that Thurston freaking Moore is playing down the block from our office. Makes perfect sense that the Albany Sonic Arts Collective would have invited him on board for one of their far-out sessions of sound exploration—Moore, possibly the authority on experimental/ noise music, is prone to some magnificently fractured jams, and the improvisational guitar duo Northampton Wools (Moore, along with Bill Nace) is just one of several cacophonous side projects for the tallest Sonic Youth member. We’re just happy he agreed to show up! Northampton Wools will be joined on tonight’s bill by Century Plants, Pocahaunted, and Robedoor. (June 26, 8 PM, donation suggested, 247 Lark St., Albany, 426-3501)

Old Songs Festival of Traditional Music and Dance

Altamont Fairgrounds, Friday-Sunday

2008 will mark the 28th year of this annual festival of folk, Celtic and world music (and dance); expect lots of guitars, fiddles, flutes, banjos, horns, kazoos, and other instruments from the Land of Oz. This year’s schedule includes three concerts—Friday and Saturday beginning at 7 PM, and Sunday at 3:30 PM—as well as 120 workshops and performers, a crafts show, and instrument and food vendors. Featured musicians include Irish singer-songwriter Andy Irvine, blues guitarist Scott Ainslie, Scottish-folk quintet Malinky, and contradance band Rosie’s Ready Mix. If you are feeling ambitious, classes will be held for slide guitar, flatfoot dancing, and choral singing. To add the necessary absurdity to the event, Roger the Jester will be on hand to give the kids nightmares . . . er, chuckles. On-site camping will allow attendees to rest and hang out during the hectic schedule. (June 27-29, times and ticket prices vary, Altamont Fairgrounds, 129 Grand St., Altamont, 765-2815)

Melissa Etheridge

Palace Theatre, Saturday

Melissa Etheridge is mounting a massive tour this summer, and she’s bringing all of those ’90s guilty pleasures to Clinton Avenue this weekend. It’s been 20 years since her debut album—hence, “The Revival Tour”—but Etheridge aims to actually “revive rock & roll.” Sounds like hard work. She admitted in a recent interview that the only difference in touring from the ’90s is that “it’s harder to run from one side of the stage to the other now.” We feel her pain—we can barely walk across the office these days. In addition to nostalgic bits like “I’m the Only One,” “Come to My Window,” and “Like the Way I Do,” be prepared for songs from Etheridge’s latest album, Awakening. The new material is a bit happier and less desperate-sounding than past hits, but all the same just damn good. (June 28, 8 PM, $37-$102, 19 Clinton Ave., Albany, 465-3334)

Mindless Self Indulgence

Revolution Hall, Tuesday

We’re not sure how they did it, but somewhere along the way, Little Jimmy Urine and his cast of misfits turned their whole electro-shock-tech-rock thing into a pretty respectable career. Kudos to them, as Mindless Self Indulgence should go down in rock lore as one of the more innovative outfits of the ’00s. Though they’ve moved (slightly) beyond the vulgarity-filled microblasts of their 2000 masterpiece Frankenstein Girls Will Seem Strangely Sexy, their songs still pack quite a nut-punch, even as the music veers toward a (slightly) more straightforward sound. (Listen to “Get It Up” on their MySpace site for an example.) The new MSI album If is in stores now, and the band will be in Troy this week. (July 1, 7:30 PM, $25, 425 River St., Troy, 274-0553)

Also Noted
Frankie and his Fingers

It’s a little bit of a hike, but if you want to see one of the few Northeast headlining appearances by Ted Leo and the Pharmacists this year, you should start driving now: the band will play tonight (Thursday) at the Cuneen-Hackett Theatre in Poughkeepsie, with special guests Bear Hands and Frankie and his Fingers, before heading back on the road with Pearl Jam (7 PM, $10, 845-486-4571). . . . Also tonight, it’s Crumbs Nite Out at the Linda: the Fire Flies, Ben Karis-Nix and Rob Jonas are this month’s spotlighted regional talent (7 PM, $10, 465-5233 ext. 4). . . . Karis-Nix and the better-every-time-we-see-’em Scientific Maps share the bill at the Albany Public Library’s Garage Bands in the Garage show tomorrow (Friday) evening (6 PM, free, 427-4300). . . . His new album is called Seeds, and we think he might be referring to the kind that grow, you know, the funny stuff: Martin Sexton plays the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, Mass., on Friday (8 PM, $37, 413-528-0100). . . . Local band the Cooper Union celebrate the release of their new disc, The Past Isn’t Through With Us, Friday at Valentine’s; Palatypus, Alta Mira, and Marc Von Em help with the par-tay (9 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . San Diego-based reggae act Vegitation will spread their positive vibes this Monday at Red Square (9 PM, $7, 465-0444). . . . Finally, Tuesday finds trumpet virtuoso and Freihofer’s Jazz Festival alum Terence Blanchard and his quintet still hanging in Saratoga, where he’ll play a concert at Skidmore’s Bernhard Theater, kicking off the college’s summer jazz series (8 PM, call for prices, 580-5320).

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