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James McMurtry

The Egg, Thursday

As singer-songwriters in the Americana genre go, they just don’t come more highly recommended than James McMurtry. His recently released ninth record, Just Us Kids, offers a stark vision of modern America, with the storyteller getting into the heads of those who have fought our wars, and into the faces of those who got us there. The critical praise has, naturally, been out of this world: The Washington Post said, “The disc transcends mere sloganeering by offering the kind of complicated characters and visual description you might expect from the son of novelist Larry McMurtry,” while Mojo simply stated, “A definite contender when those Best of the Year polls get underway.” If you’re a fan of McMurtry, you already have your tickets; if you’re mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore, you’ll want to make your way to the Egg this evening. Kieran Kane opens. (Nov. 13, 7:30 PM, $22, Empire State Plaza, Albany, 473-1845)

Michael Franti and Spearhead

Michael Franti and Spearhead

Palace Theatre, Friday

As recently as this summer—before capitalism imploded and a black man was elected president of the United States—when Michael Franti was busy throwing his annual free Power to the Peaceful concert in Golden Gate Park and touring to support his latest disc All Rebel Rockers, he was routinely dismissed as an idealist. Suddenly (praise be to Jah) the man seems like a pragmatist. You ain’t gonna get nothing but positive vibrations when Franti brings his multicultural band through town Friday night. Rest assured, fists will be raised, only this time it will be in triumph. Solillaquists of Sound and Cherine Anderson open. (Nov. 14, 8 PM, $32, 19 Clinton Ave., Albany, 465-3334)


Duncan Sheik, Lauren Pritchard

The Egg, Sunday

Imagine: As a young artist, you find your first LP picked up by a major label. It goes gold on the strength of your first single—which becomes one of the longest-tenured songs in pop-radio history, spending a full year on the Billboard charts and earning you a Grammy nomination. You go on to make a series of soft-spoken pop records until one day you decide to score a 120-year-old German play for the Broadway stage—and that musical goes on to win dozens of awards, including eight Tonys. Duncan Sheik, this is your life. He returns to the Egg this Sunday with opening act Lauren Pritchard, an original cast member from the aforementioned award-winning musical (Spring Awakening). (Nov. 16, 7 PM, $28, Empire State Plaza, Albany, 473-1845)

Travis Tritt and Marty Stuart

Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Sunday

Break out those old Levis and show that cowboy pride; two of country’s most respected and well-known stars are riding hard into the Capital Region. Travis Tritt and Marty Stuart have their spurs dug deep in country’s true roots. This rare acoustic tour is sure to be full of rich tales and even richer tunes. Stuart brings years of experience as a member of Johnny Cash’s band (as well as being Cash’s son-in-law); Tritt brings more than 30 Billboard hits and his tenure with the Grand Ol’ Opry to the table. Beware, Big and Rich fans—this is the real stuff here. Tritt and Stuart bring two stools, two guitars, and a whole chunk of country history to the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall this Sunday. (Nov. 16, 7 PM, $49, 2nd and State streets, Troy, 273-0038)


Valentine’s, Wednesday

We’re not sure what kind of band Savannah, Ga.’s Baroness are, exactly—terms like stoner rock, sludge metal, and psychedelic all seem to fit, but no single one of those terms quite narrows in on it. Their music veers from balls-out, Motorhead-esque riffage to Clutch-style, proto-funk breakdowns, with lengthy jams and elements of prog thrown in to keep headbangers from hurting their necks. (It’s awfully hard to bang your head in 7/8 time.) But whatever they are, we’re happy to say that Baroness are legitimately badass, and well worth checking out this Wednesday at Valentine’s, where they’ll throw down Southern-style with help from Chicago’s Minsk, Kentucky hardcore trio Coliseum, and local boys Ironweed. (Nov. 19, 8 PM, $12, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

Also Noted
Brett Rosenberg

The Kite Room, featuring former members of Jupiter Sunrise, will be the musical guests at this evening’s (Thursday) CRUMBS Night Out at the Linda; their performance will be followed by a panel on music licensing, which is highly recommended! (8 PM, free, 465-5233 ext. 4). . . . Boom boom: The Pat Travers Band will perform tomorrow (Friday) night at the Roadhouse Grill in Albany; they’ll be joined by local acts Stuck on Stupid and Starstruck, and the performance will be followed by a meet-and-greet (8 PM, $30, 489-3170). . . . The Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy presents a rock & roll dance party on Friday: Swingin’ for the Arts features music from Rocky Velvet and the Hi-Risers, plus free dance lessons so you can learn how to jitterbug with the best of ’em (7:30 PM, $15, $10 members, 273-0552). . . . Local boy gone Nashville Brett Rosenberg comes home for a show at Valentine’s on Saturday; he’s touring in support of a new album, Born Twice (9 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . If you were wondering what ’90s alt-hippy act Blind Melon might sound like with a new singer, you’ll need to wait a bit longer: The singer quit, and the band scrapped their entire tour, including Saturday’s scheduled date at Northern Lights. Refunds will be available at point of purchase; call the club for more info (371-0012). . . . Since the Bee Girl revival has been put on hold, try this one instead: Keith Pray’s Soul Jazz Revival will play 9 Maple Avenue in Saratoga on Saturday (9 PM, 583-CLUB). . . . Dancing fools, unite! Project/Object, featuring original Frank Zappa band members Ike Willis and Ed Mann, play the music of Zappa in stunning detail at Revolution Hall on Tuesday (7 PM, $20, 274-0553).

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