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The New Pornographers

Calvin Theatre, Thursday

It should come as no surprise that the New Pornographers are playing on the same stage as Radiohead at this weekend’s All Points West Music and Arts Festival in New Jersey. The Vancouver, B.C.-based group have won fans over with their hook-laden indie-pop, releasing four albums via Matador Records in the past decade. But before storming the main stage in Jersey City, the band will roll into the Calvin Theatre tonight in support of their latest effort, Challengers, hailed by Blender as “the band’s best album yet.” The album’s instrumental diversity is complemented by chief songwriter Carl Newman’s quirky lyrics. And as for the band name? “There isn’t really any significance to the name. Some people think it’s offensive,” Newman told Suite101.com. “It’s no more offensive than Barenaked Ladies or Cowboy Junkies. It’s just a Canadian tradition of having blandly offensive names.” (Aug. 7, 8 PM, $25, 19 King St., Northampton Mass., 413-584-1444)

The Neville Brothers

Vapor Nightclub, Thursday

It’s been a little while since the folks at Vapor have had a big show on their schedule, but tonight they’re making up for it, big time. Known as “New Orleans’ First Family of Funk,” the Neville Brothers have been the preeminent name in Bayou-based soul for more than 30 years, mixing R&B, pop, jazz—a little of everything, really—into their funky, funky music. Their last studio release, Walkin’ in the Shadow of Life, was released in 2004, which means the band are likely to choose songs from their entire, extensive catalog. Which is good news for you, if you’re looking to party. And if you’re going to see the Nevilles, that’s what you should expect to do. (Aug. 7, 8 PM, $40, Saratoga Gaming and Raceway, 342 Jefferson St., Saratoga Springs, 584-2110)

Bitter:Sweet

Bitter:Sweet

Revolution Hall, Friday

All you music-making folk could take a cue from Los Angeles-based electronica/trip-hop (or whatever decade-old term you want to use) duo Bitter:Sweet. These days it’s all about the licensing, and these Angelenos have had their music used in everything from television shows (Grey’s Anatomy, Lipstick Jungle, Smallville) to films (Because I Said So, Shoot ’Em Up) to, naturally, advertisements (anybody remember the Zune?). Of course they wouldn’t be getting the business if their product sucked, and that it does not: The duo’s latest disc of new material, Drama, has drawn favorable comparisons to such acts as Morcheeba, Portishead, and Everything But the Girl. Joining them at Revolution Hall on Friday will be the Capital Region’s own purveyors of delicate, orchestral pop, the Red Lions. (Aug. 8, 8 PM, $12, 425 River St., Troy, 274-0553)

 

Amy Burton and John Musto

Tannery Pond Concerts, Saturday

It’s usually fun when classical performers slide across the line to perform classic American pop songs. This Friday in New Lebanon, New York City Opera soprano Amy Burton will do just that—and, with her pianist-accompanist husband John Musto, a few French songs as well. “I Love Paris/J’aime New York” is the official title of the program, which will feature, well, exactly what you might think it would feature: city-themed songs by Cole Porter (“I Love Paris”) and Vernon Duke (“April in Paris,” “Autumn in New York”), and favorites by George Gershwin and Francis Poulenc. Let’s face it. Are there really any cities in the world more worthy of a tribute in song? And if you start singing “we’ve got it all in All-bany,” we’re going to punch you. (Aug. 9, 8 PM, $25-$30, Mount Lebanon Shaker Village, Route 20, New Lebanon, 888-820-1696)

Mountain Music Meltdown

North Country Community College, Saturday-Sunday

Brandish your tie-dye T-shirts and prepare for the deadhead invasion. This two-day, all-ages show will mix it up with bluegrass, jam, folk, country, rock, and blues. Folk rocker and Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famer Chris Hillman, formerly of the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers, headlines Saturday evening’s program. The hippies will flock Sunday night, when Dark Star Orchestra are scheduled to perform. DSO play with fanatical detail, accurately re-creating entire set lists from the Grateful Dead’s 30 years of live shows. The Zen Tricksters also will perform on Sunday; the four-piece jam/rock band have been performing for three decades. Donna the Buffalo, Enter the Haggis, King Wilkie, Raisinhead and the Juggling Suns also are on the weekend schedule. Don’t forget the grilled cheese! (August 9-10, 12-9 PM, $28-$55 in advance, NCCC Soccer Field, Saranac Lake, 637-4989)


Also Noted
Andrew Bird

Veteran guitar-slinger Del Rey brings her bag of licks to Caffe Lena tomorrow (Friday) night (8 PM, $18, 583-0022). . . . The Blue Ribbon Boys with Julia Gottlieb return to one of their favorite stomping grounds, Club Helsinki in Great Barrington, Mass., on Friday (9 PM, $12, 413-528-3394). . . . Onetime Allman Brothers Band guitarist Dickey Betts and his band Great Southern will beat his former band to the area by a week, with shows Friday at Proctors Theatre (8 PM, $32, 346-6204) and Saturday at the cozy Bearsville Theater in Woodstock (6:30 and 9:30 PM, $43, 845-679-4406). . . . Get some for free this Saturday at the Coxsackie Riverside Festival in, yes, Coxsackie; besides the fun activities and food and all that, there will be live music from the Last Conspirators and the Foy Brothers, among others (2 PM, $2, 731-2666). . . . This is, by all accounts, a pretty big show, but we’re gonna put it out there and say that we have no idea who any of these bands are: Secondhand Serenade, the Graduate, My American Heart, PlayRadioPlay and Rookie of the Year play the hits (we think?) at Northern Lights on Saturday (7:30 PM, $15, 371-0012). . . . Sunday at Pearl Street Nightclub in Northampton, Mass., feel the power of the mighty Melvins, plus guests Big Business (8:30 PM, $18, 413-586-8686). . . . Monday is Irish night at the concert series in Albany’s Washington Park; jig in with music from Searson, Eileen McSweeney and the McKrells (6 PM, free, 434-3861). . . . Finally, if you don’t know about this one, you probably don’t want to: Wilco and Andrew Bird play the shed at Tanglewood in Lenox, Mass., Tuesday night (6:30 PM, $26-$36, 617-931-2000).


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