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The Prodigals

Alive at Five, Thursday

You might have thought there were a lot of Irish-punk bands in Boston, but New York City has a little something to say about that. New York’s own “jig-punk” act the Prodigals will help close out the Alive at Five concert series tonight, and they’ll bring with them the melodies of traditional Irish music, the kick-you-in-the-grill attitude of punk rock, and a big belly full of Guinness. The group have been performing for more than 10 years; their latest album, Momentum, was released n 2006. The City of Albany is going the extra mile to make sure you have an all-encompassing awesome time tonight: After the show, stick around for a bad-ass fireworks display. (Aug. 14, 5 PM, free, Albany Riverfront Park, Corning Preserve, Albany, 434-2032)

Hothouse Flowers

Music Haven Concert Series, Sunday

You’d think it was mid-March, what with all the Irish sounds drifting through the Capital Region this week. (Perhaps the area’s free- concert programmers are trying to stage a coup?) In any case, there’s certainly no reason to complain when Schenectady gets to play host to a freebie from one of Ireland’s greatest exports. Hothouse Flowers were called the “best unsigned band in Europe” by Rolling Stone in the 1980s; they rose to fame thanks in part to a ringing endorsement from Ireland’s favorite son, Bono. While the band have been on and off over the years, they’ve been back at it since 2004’s Into Your Heart; a hits collection recently hit the market and new material is reportedly on the way. This one is well worth the admission price. (Aug. 17, 7 PM, free, Central Park, Schenectady, 382-5152)


Rasputina

Rasputina

The Linda, Tuesday

Art-rock’s not dead. For the past 15 years, chamber-rock trio Rasputina have sparked the imaginations of listeners with their cello-driven rock orchestrations and conceptual themes. Though they’re sometimes written off as gothic freaks dressed in Transylvanian gowns, the group’s reputation as a unique and compelling live act is not merely a result of their eccentric image and mysticism. Bandleader Melora Creager’s use of digital effects and distortion make a Rasputina concert one of the only places where you’ll hear a cello sound as heavy as Jimmy Page’s epic bowed guitar solo on “Dazed and Confused,” while drummer Catie D’Amica’s “punk-folk” style gives the songs a strong sense of dynamics. Rasputina are touring in support of their latest release, Oh Perilous World, which marks a shift in Creager’s lyrical focus from vampires and fairy tales to the bizarre current events of our modern world. Naturally, it’s as creepy as anything they’ve done thus far. (Aug. 19, 8 PM, $20, 339 Central Ave., Albany , 465-5233 ext. 4)

 

Meg and Dia

Valentine’s, Wednesday

Fist-pumping anthems of teen angst? Not exactly. Although there will be plenty of power chords, tight jeans, and eyeliner permeating Valentine’s on Wednesday evening, emerging pop-rockers Meg and Dia are smarter than your average pop/emo outfit. “As odd as this sounds, I don’t get my influences from bands or artists. I get them from books,” Meg Frampton (no relation to Peter) told absolute punk.net. Seeking the works of John Steinbeck and George Sands for inspiration, the sisters started writing songs and strumming guitars in their mid-teens. The duo became a quintet in 2005 with the addition of a bassist, drummer, and lead guitarist; their 2006 release, Something Real, received critical acclaim from Rolling Stone for its “close, pristine harmonies,” spawning the hit singles “Monster,” and “Roses.” Joining Meg and Dia Wednesday are Jonezetta, Dropping Daylight, and Danger: Radio. (Aug. 20, 7 PM, $10, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

Neil Diamond

Times Union Center, Wednesday

It would be a bit of misdirection to call Neil Diamond’s recent ascent to the top of the pop charts a comeback; it’s not like the guy ever stopped selling concert tickets. But with his latest album, the Rick Rubin-produced Home Before Dark, Diamond earned the first No. 1 album of his career. Seems unbelievable, doesn’t it? Of course we live in an era where an album can top the charts by selling 200,000 copies, but we digress—the point is, Neil is as popular as ever and, at age 67, he can still rock an arena like no other. Get your “bah bah bah” warmed up for Wednesday’s big show. (Aug. 20, 8 PM, $55-$120, 51 S. Pearl St., Albany, 800-30-EVENT)


Also Noted
Eddie Money

Jazz vocalist Sharon Rose will record a series of live shows at the Fort Salem Theater in Salem tomorrow (Friday) through Sunday (8 PM Fri-Sat, 2 PM Sun, $20, 854-9200). . . . Get some outdoors in ya at the Green World Festival, to be held this Saturday at Cuomo’s Cove in Windham; performers include Catie Curtis, Jess Klein and Meg Hutchinson (11 AM, $12, 800-734-5903). . . . The goof-rockin’ sounds of Electric Six invade Northampton, Mass., this Saturday; they’ll play the Iron Horse Music Hall with Tragedy: All Metal Tribute to the Bee Gees and the Coke Dares, featuring members of Magnolia Electric Co. (10 PM, $17, 413-584-0610). . . . Just as Neil Diamond will sing “They’re coming to America” this week in Albany, over in Great Barrington, Mass., America will be coming to them—the “Sister Golden Hair” classic-rockers play the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center on Sunday (7 PM, $55-$125, 413-528-0100). . . . Free! Eddie! Money! No, really—Eddie Money will perform as part of the free ValleyCats Fan Festival in Troy’s Monument Square this Monday (5:30 PM, free, 629-2287). . . . Marcia Ball headlines the final show of the Monday Nights in the Park series in Washington Park Monday evening; local light Sarah Pedinotti opens (6 PM, free, 434-3861). . . . The Allman Brothers Band and Bob Weir and Ratdog share a bill this Tuesday at Saratoga Performing Arts Center; we can only imagine how it’s going to smell out there (7 PM, $20-$59.50, 476-1000). . . . Got your tickets to the gun show? Ted Nugent plays Northern Lights Wednesday night (7:30 PM, $28, 371-0012).


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