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Kelly Clarkson

Reba McEntire, Kelly Clarkson

Times Union Center, Thursday

This show might appear to carry less oomph than when it was originally advertised, due in large part to what seemed like a cold reception to Clarkson’s latest LP (2007’s My December). But believe it or not, despite all the controversy surrounding the album at the time of its release (the label wanted something more commercial, yadda yadda), Clarkson came out on top: She proved her commitment to being a career artist, hits be damned, and she remains a big concert draw. And although the parallels end there, Clarkson could certainly glean some career pointers from Reba McEntire, the 7th-biggest-selling female artist of all time. Now that her TV show’s off the air, the so-called “Queen of Country” has returned to touring, and she’ll share the stage with Clarkson tonight (Thursday) in Albany. (Nov. 6, 7:30 PM, $49.50-$59.50, 51 S. Pearl St., Albany, 800-30-EVENT)

Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band

Academy of Music Theater, Thursday

We’re not sure which is more startling here: the fact that Conor Oberst has parted ways (for the moment) with Bright Eyes, the band with whom Oberst is virtually synonymous, or the fact that he spent a month with his new band in Tepoztlán, Mexico, recording a self-titled album. Either way, Oberst just gets better with age. This time he’s scrapped the affected emo thing for true-blue (occasionally) honky-tonking Americana. For this you can be glad. Be also glad that Oberst is bringing his band a stone’s throw from home. If you’re the giddy type, then bring a moist towelette, because Ben Kweller opens. (Nov. 6, 7:30 PM, $28, 274 Main St., Northampton, Mass., 413-320-9132)

Maple Mars

Savannah’s, Friday

There was a time when great psychedelic bands, as a matter of course, named themselves after one fairly mundane household object and a flavor. While the planet Mars is hardly mundane or household, L.A. psych-pop band Maple Mars definitely picked up what the Strawberry Alarm Clock were throwing down. Lots of musicians have scored commercials and TV shows to make ends meet, but few bands can boast a songwriter, like this one can, who penned tunes for both Sweet Valley High and The Power Rangers. Albany’s croony power-poppers the Crayons—not to be confused with the Red Krayola—are also on the bill. (Nov. 7, 10 PM, $5, 1 S. Pearl St., Albany, 426-9647)

Chad and Jeremy

Colonial Theatre, Saturday

If you could play a guitar, were halfway good-looking and—most importantly—you were British, you had a good shot at pop stardom for a couple of years in the mid-’60s. Chad and Jeremy fit all the aforementioned requirements, plus they could sing—very well. As a result, they had a number of folk-rock hits, including “A Summer Song,” a cover of “Willow Weep for Me” and “Yesterday’s Gone,” and made amusing appearances on American TV shows of the day: On The Patty Duke Show, they charmed both Patty Dukes, and on Batman, Julie Newmar’s amazonian Catwoman had ill designs on them. (Lucky them.) The duo, coming to Pittsfield this weekend, have been working steadily for the last few years, playing their hits (and near misses), and charming audiences with stories and witty banter. It’s a nostalgia trip well worth taking. (Nov. 8, 8 PM, $22-$40, 111 South St., Pittsfield, Mass, 413-997-4444)

DJ Acucrack, Acumen Nation, Cyanotic

Red Square, Monday

Old-school industrial-music fans from the QE2 might recall the glory days of Acumen Nation. Acumen and local industrialites the Clay People were at the forefront of the coldwave movement that saw distorted, beat-heavy tracks covered with metal guitars. Appropriately this night at Red Square is being billed as “QE2 resurrection.” Since the old days of industrial, Acumen Nation’s techno project DJ Acurack have in some ways eclipsed the bands work with their more guitar-centric project, as Acucrack album Sorted saw the group flirting with mainstream success; as headliners, Acucrack should have you shaking your ass after the noise-heads get their fix from Acumen Nation and Cyanotic. (Nov. 10, 8 PM, call for prices, 388 Broadway, Albany, 465-0444)

Also Noted
Carolina Liar

We really can’t stress it enough: Feedback, Metroland’s Local Music Bash and Food Pantries Benefit, happens tomorrow (Friday) at Valentine’s; for more, check out this week’s Night & Day page. . . . You could probably even catch the second half of our show after seeing local light (and Feedback alum) Sarah Pedinotti front Railbird at the Egg on Friday; they’ll split the bill with legendary songwriter Phil Roy (8 PM, $25, 473-1845). . . . Vermont-based folksters the Wood’s Tea Company celebrate the addition of new member Patti Casey this Friday at Caffe Lena (8 PM, $15, 583-0022). . . . Jazz chanteuse Karrin Allyson closes out this season’s A Place For Jazz series at the Whisperdome in Schenectady on Friday; her latest CD is a collection of Brasilian music (8 PM, $15, 393-4011). . . . Jam out with U-Melt and the Brew this Saturday night at Revolution Hall (8:30 PM, $16, 274-0553). . . . Emo? Power-pop? Alternative? Bands like The Academy Is, We the Kings and Carolina Liar are blurring the lines, and they’ll share a bill this Tuesday at Northern Lights (7 PM, $22, 371-0012).

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