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Charlie Hunter

Red Square, Thursday

Quick question for all you guitar-heroes out there: How many strings you got on that there ax? Well, Charlie Hunter’s got seven. Hold the pshaw, though. This dude’s got three bass strings he plays with his thumb, and four of the standard sort that he will use to shred your face. But, then again, you’ve probably already read about this in the countless guitar magazines where he’s been featured over the years. Funny thing, too—the guy can’t get enough of Red Square. Tonight’s will be the last of his August residency shows; catch him now before he disappears to Turkey. Really. (Aug. 28, 8:15 PM, call for price, 388 Broadway, Albany, 465-0444)

The Gay Blades

Valentine’s, Thursday

If Taking Back Sunday’s rise to superstardom was a rallying cry for emo-rockers to scrap the eyeliner, grow a pair of nuts and venture forth from their mothers’ basements, then the bands on this evening’s bill are the first wave of the movement. You better believe the freshman hordes will be prowling for this one. The term “trash-pop” has never been so aptly and affectionately used than in its application to Gay Blades. Their live show is, evidently, a cross between T-Rex and Bill Murray. We’re not sure what that means exactly, but it should feature some rocking dudeness. Also on tonight’s bill: the Sleeping, Envy on the Coast, and the Secret Lives of the Freemasons. (Aug. 28, 7:30 PM, $12, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

CRUMBS Night Out

The Linda, Thursday

The good folks at local-music web site have been putting on these little get-togethers for a while now, and tonight’s lineup is one of the best they’ve presented yet. The Crayons recently released their second full-length, What’s Wrong With You? Smartly produced by the Churchills, it’s a polished-perfect piece of alt-pop candy. Venomentality, led by singer-songwriter Valerie Webb, are the rare high-school band to transcend their relative youth; who knows how big they’ll be by the time they graduate. And Two Gun Man, our pick for Best Americana Band in this year’s Best of the Capital Region issue, are a party on wheels—the wheels of a double-wide trailer home. Get out tonight and enjoy some fine local tunes. (Aug. 28, 7 PM, $5, 339 Central Ave., Albany, 465-5233 ext. 4)

moe.down 9

Snow Ridge Ski Area, Friday-Sunday

It’s Labor Day weekend, which means it’s a great time to get out of the city. Might we suggest a vacation to moe.down? Now in its ninth year, moe.down predates most of the bigger camp-and-rock outings that have sprung up in recent years. Plus you get to take in a total of six sets over three days from festival namesake moe., the long-running act that, believe it or not, spent a few fruitful years right here in Albany. If that doesn’t do it for you, other acts include the Levon Helm Band, the Presidents of the United States of America, Fishbone, Sparrow Quartet, Benevento-Russo Duo, and bunches more. It’s a smaller and more manageable event than, say, Bonnaroo—at no point during the weekend do bands overlap—plus, you already have Monday off of work. Need we say more? (Aug. 29-31, 5 PM Fri, noon Sat-Sun, $130, 4173 West Road, Turin, 315-348-8456)

Country Joe McDonald’s Tribute to Woody Guthrie

Guthrie Center, Saturday-Sunday

The fish are staying home this weekend. Folk singer and Woodstock hero Country Joe McDonald was asked in 1975 by Harold Leventhal, then-manager of the Woody Guthrie archives, to put music to some of Guthrie’s unfinished song lyrics. McDonald went on to develop a one-man spoken-word-and-song performance saluting the life and legacy of Woody Guthrie, which he’ll perform this weekend at, naturally, the Guthrie Center. No greater authority than Billy Bragg, who was given unprecedented access to the archives in the mid-’90s by Nora Guthrie and penned two albums worth of music for her dad’s unrecorded lyrics, has said that McDonald “carries on the mission” of Woody Guthrie “like no one of his generation.” (Aug. 30-31, 8 PM, call for prices, 4 Van Deusenville Road, Great Barrington, Mass., 413-528-1955)


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