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Eric Hutchinson

Revolution Hall, Thursday

Taste is a funny thing. Cranky old brats that we are, we have had a hard time not liking Eric Hutchinson’s debut single “Rock and Roll.” It’s got elements that usually make us turn our noses skyward—jivey, rapid-fire male vocals a la Jason Mraz; ska rhythms a la Sublime—but somehow Hutchinson pulls it off without sounding like an ass. And he’s a hard worker! Dude could have thrown his hands up and said “screw it” when his original label pulled the plug (on themselves, not him specifically), but instead he self-released his Sounds Like This disc, and watched as it rose to the iTunes Top 5 last fall—making it the highest-charting album by an unsigned artist in iTunes history. Encouraging! Hutchinson and his band were last in the Capital Region for a free set at LarkFest; tonight, they’ll play a “regular” show at Revolution Hall. Meaghan Smith and Matt Hires are scheduled to open. (Dec. 4, 7 PM, $14, 425 River St., Troy, 274-0553)

Mercury Rev

Mercury Rev, Dean and Britta

Bearsville Theater, Thursday

A few weeks ago, we reviewed the latest albums from Mercury Rev—Snowflake Midnight, and its all-instrumental companion Strange Attractor. And we liked them very much indeed. The Rev are embarking on a U.S. tour in support of those records, beginning tonight at in Woodstock, which should be something to behold: Now just a trio, the band seem to be following in the footsteps of their fellow fearless freaks, the Flaming Lips. That is to say, the live show is about grand gestures and high drama, and not just a bunch of dudes staring at their effects pedals. Also on tonight’s bill are former Luna bandmates turned happily married New Yorkers Dean (Wareham) and Britta (Phillips). (Dec. 4, 8 PM, $25, 291 Tinker St., Woodstock, 845-679-4406)

Bill Kirchen and John Tichy

The Linda, Saturday

Lotsa musicians list an address in Austin, Texas, as a way to legitimize their place in American roots music. If it weren’t for folks like Bill Kirchen, though, they’d be nothing more than Texans with blue jeans and six strings. Over the course of his 30-year career, the Austin guitar slinger has written, recorded, performed and collaborated enough for Guitar Player magazine to name him “a titan of the Telecaster.” When his 2007 release Hammer of the Honky Tonk Gods came out, the title properly praised both the classic Fender instrument and the man who’s played it all these years. On Saturday he’ll reconvene with former Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen bandmate John Tichy, who just happens to teach tribology at RPI. (Dec. 6, 8 PM, $25, 339 Central Ave., Albany, 465-5233)

Ha Ha the Moose

Revolution Hall, Sunday

We really wish we could tell you moe. about this one. They don’t tour much, and little moe. is known about this power trio than that they met once upon a time in a Swiss jail. The regional Mexican/fusion/ German pop sounds produced by Dr. Guano, Sludge, and Jeff (von KickAss)—who insist on performing incognito—deliver moe. brain-numbing madness than their numbers might suggest. One of the band’s many international fans described the experience as “feeling like [he] had just gone fishing in Cambodia circa 1974.” What’s moe., this show caps the band’s Northeast run. As far as chances to catch these guys go, you may not get many moe. (Dec. 7, 7 PM, $18, 425 River St., Troy, 274-0553)

David Archuleta

Northern Lights, Wednesday

Seventeen-year-old singer David Archuleta is truly one of a kind. Not because of his talent—watching Archuleta on the 2008 season of American Idol, we frequently wondered, “Why does everything he sings sound like a showtune?” Instead, we cite his unique position as the first Idol winner (we know he didn’t actually win, but let’s face it, the kid’s a much better singer than Cookie) to have been raised on Idol, to actually have been inspired by the world’s favorite game show. Which makes his rise to stardom strangely compelling—what happens next when your whole young life was based on a talent competition? Find out this week when Archuleta headlines Fly 92’s annual Jingle Jam show, along with pop-rocker Gavin DeGraw and local act Ten Year Vamp. (Dec. 10, 5:30 PM, $30, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)

Also Noted
Bela Fleck and the Flecktones

Ladies and gentlemen, Lil Wayne! Psych—the rap empresario’s show at the Times Union Center, originally scheduled for tonight (Thursday), has been postponed; refunds are available, though tickets will be honored for the rescheduled date, which has yet to be announced (800-30-EVENT). . . . We got our guy into the White House, but there are still some loose ends to take care of—namely, legal bills. On Friday, Oddy Gato, Cultural Relativity, Witness, and Pony in the Pancake will perform at the Social Justice Center in Albany to raise money for protestors who were illegally arrested at this summer’s Republican National Convention (7 PM, $5 suggested donation, 434-4037). . . . Hot on the heels of the release of that new Bruce Springsteen tune, Springsteen tribute act Bruce in the USA will play at Revolution Hall on Friday (8 PM, $12, 274-0553). . . . Perhaps you, like us, were thinking about heading down to Poughkeepsie for this Saturday’s performance by legendary singer-songwriter and Kinks frontman Ray Davies; if so, we assume you’ll be just as bummed as we are to hear that it’s sold out (845-473-5288). . . . The one-man guitar tornado known as Martin Sexton plays the Bearsville Theatre in Woodstock on Saturday, with the Trapps opening (9 PM, $35-$45, 845-679-4406). . . . OMFG! We don’t have to run their picture this year! But we’ll still tell you that Trans-Siberian Orchestra are making their annual holiday run through the Times Union Center this Sunday (3 and 7:30 PM, $20-$50, 800-30-EVENT). . . . If you’ve ever wanted to hear “Angels We Have Heard on High” played in 9/16 time by a virtuoso jazz-funk band with a lead banjo player, this is probably your only real chance: Bela Fleck and the Flecktones present a holiday show Tuesday night at the Egg (7:30 PM, $34.50, 473-1845).

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