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Citizen Cope

The Egg, Friday

Word on the street is that Clarence Greenwood, the sole hombre behind Citizen Cope, plays a five-string guitar with a detuned B-string. But that’s not the only thing that sets him aside from the flock of hip-hopping folk-poppers. Grittier than Jack Johnson, more booty-shaking than Ben Harper, Greenwood’s real-world story-songs bear the jaw-clenched pathos of Everlast but bounce like Sublime. Dude can rock a car commercial to boot. Don’t expect any frills on this one, though: no band, no beats, Friday night’s just Cope, a stage, and that weird guitar. (Sept. 26, 8 PM, $26, Empire State Plaza, Albany, 473-1845)

Blind Boys of Alabama, Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Proctors, Friday

By the time Preservation Hall opened in 1961 to revive New Orleans Dixieland jazz, Jimmy Carter had been singing with the Blind Boys of Alabama for 20 years. As a gospel purist, it took Carter almost 50 more years for his now-legendary group to join forces with the Hall. It’s not that the offer hadn’t been extended; Carter had seen countless friends cross over to the world of jazz, soul and R&B. To him, though, it was the message that mattered, so when Hurricane Katrina hit N.O. and preservation became synonymous with faith, the two bands finally found a common cause to take on the road. It’s the kind of thing that only happens once every half-century. (Sept. 26, 8 PM, $20-$40, 432 State St., Schenectady, 346-6204)

Randy Newman

Calvin Theatre, Sunday

Ten years ago, Randy Newman took a break from a decade of lucrative film scoring and dropped Bad Love, one of the best albums of his career. The baleful “I Miss You” and jaunty “Great Nations of Europe”—the latter hopefully prophesizing the end of Western civ—were first among equals in a pungent set of tunes. Another decade (and more lucrative film work) has passed, and Newman now delivers Harps and Angels, another great album. Though it hardly seems possible, this time he’s angrier. “A Few Words in Defense of Our Country,” for example, notes that our current leaders are awful, but they’re not as bad as, say, the pedophile early Caesars, or, “Hitler, Stalin/Men who need no introduction.” So when Newman plays a lot of the new stuff alongside “Political Science” and “Marie” at the Calvin this weekend, you’ll probably be the opposite of disappointed. (Sept. 28, 8 PM, $37.50-$47.50, 19 King St., Northampton, Mass., 413-586-8686)

Zodiac Mindwarp

Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction

Valentine’s, Monday

Had Mark Manning played his cards “right,” he might have landed his band an opening slot on CrüeFest a couple weeks back. However, Zodiac Mindwarp, his sneering alter ego, deals exclusively in the “wrong,” and would have, no doubt, had little patience for those motley poseurs. Put him in a box full of sweat and booze, with Jack Shitt and Cobalt Stargazer at his side and his six-string “Sleaze-Grinder” in hand, and just watch how the angels blanch. A true renaissance rocker, the guy’s written family-friendly titles like “Fucked by Rock” and “Get Your Cock Out,” but look no further than “Feed My Frankenstein,” a tune he co-wrote with Alice Cooper for the Wayne’s World soundtrack, to gauge his true mettle. Not amused? You can take it up with Alice himself in a couple of weeks . . . (Sept. 29, 8 PM, $5, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

Seether, Ashes Divide

Northern Lights, Wednesday

We’re a little shocked that a grunge band named after a Veruca Salt song has had so much success this late in the new millennium. But Seether might actually be immune to the rules of the modern-rock road—for starters, they hail from South Africa, a country not exactly known for its grunge-rock scene. As for Seether’s stateside success, chalk that up to a series of gritty, mid-tempo rock singles that sound as at-home in your average small town as they might in Cape Town. When Seether come to town on Wednesday, they’ll be joined by Ashes Divide, the new project from A Perfect Circle guitarist/ co-founder Billy Howerdel. State of Shock also are on the bill. (Oct. 1, 8 PM, $25, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)

Also Noted

They don’t bump open-mic night for many things, but Melissa Ferrick apparently is on the short list of acceptable substitutes; she, not you, will perform tonight (Thursday) at Caffe Lena (7 PM, $24, 583-0022). . . . Get your instrumental prog-rock dance party on tonight with Lotus at Revolution Hall (8 PM, $17, 274-0553). . . . Lo, the prog is deep tonight: Woodstock-based proggers 3 will take the Valentine’s stage with guests Kiss Kiss, Ophelia, and the Red Lions (7:30 PM, $12, 432-6572). . . . Mattie Safer of dance-punk act the Rapture will rock a DJ set, along with a host of area talent, at tomorrow’s (Friday) Official Unofficial Troy Night Out Afterparty at Revolution Hall (9 PM, $10, 274-0553). . . . Friday at Red Square, jam out with up-and-coming locals Timbre Coup and Nautilus (9 PM, $7, 465-0444). . . . The Eighth Step at Proctors opens its 41st season this Saturday with a performance by French Canadian group Gadelle (7:30 PM, $26, 434-1703). . . . Also on Saturday in Schenectady, the First Reformed Church will host a Jazz for Peace concert featuring Rick DellaRatta; the show will benefit the Center for Community Justice (7:30 PM, $25, 377-2201). . . . Tuesday brings another Albany Sonic Arts Collective presentation, this time at Valentine’s: Blues Control, Psychedelic Horseshit, Pink Reason, and Century Plants will all bring the noise (7 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . The Dodos and Au share a bill at Pearl Street Nightclub in Northampton, Mass., this Wednesday night; for an introduction to the latter, you can read about their new disc on this week’s Recordings page (8:30 PM, $16, 413-586-8686).

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