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The Used Kids, the Bloodreds

Valentine’s, Friday

The Used Kids, a poppy punk five-piece hailing from New York City, view themselves as a sort of happy antidote for the hipster disease. They are playing a trio of New York shows before heading out on a two-week national tour. New Jersey-based the Bloodreds are also on the bill, offering up their tried-and-true punk-rock. And a murder of Capital Region punk bands are set to open up for these two acts at Valentine’s tomorrow (Friday). Spread ’Em, Outa Commission and Sugar Eater are on the bill, the last of which one fan described as follows: “It was energetic . . . like vomit. Like, a LOT of vomit. Enough vomit that it could theoretically congeal itself into a human form, and then if that human/vomit entity were to vomit up MORE vomit, that would be your band.” We assume that those with an aversion to vomit are also welcome. (Feb. 20, 8 PM, $8, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany. 432-6572.)

Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad

Red Square, Friday

It’s not quite Burlington or Ithaca, but Rochester can be a pretty irie place. That is, if Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad can be seen as any indication of it. The reggae outfit have grown from their humble Rochester roots into a six-piece international touring force, logging 180 tour dates last year, including three weeks boosting their cred in Jamaica. Rebellious enough for the “guerilla” and spacy enough for the “dub” qualifiers, these guys (and girl) are most at home with easy-skanking one-drop roots, full of sweet harmonies and uncompromising positivity. It’s a fitting arrangement, then, that they’ll be dropping by one of the more irie spots in these parts. (Feb. 20, 9 PM, 388 Broadway, Albany, 465-0444)

Erin McKeown

Club Helsinki, Friday

The Philadelphia Weekly once said that “more singer-songwriters should follow the lead of Erin McKeown,” and we’re in no position to argue. McKeown has taken a most unusual and singular path over her decade-long career. Her debut album, Monday Morning Cold, found her practicing in the girl-with-guitar tradition of her folky forbears; Distillation followed, expanding her sound to include elements of jazz and pop and positioning her as a kind of quirky third-cousin to Fiona Apple and Aimee Mann. More recent releases have found her dabbling in rock & roll (We Will Become Like Birds), jazz standards (Sing You Sinners), and the all-important live album (Lafayette). This all may sound a little scatterbrained, but it makes a lot of sense when you take into account McKeown’s degree in ethnomusicology. The artist will show you what she knows Friday at Club Helsinki. (Feb. 20, 9 PM, $15, 284 Main St., Great Barrington, Mass., 413-528-3394)

Kris Kristofferson

Kris Kristofferson

The Egg, Saturday

There are some artists who need no introduction. We’d submit that Kris Kristofferson is one of that elite group. But then, he’s playing the Egg rather than a larger theater, so it’s entirely possible that some of our readers don’t know that Kristofferson wrote the Johnny Cash hit “Sunday Morning Coming Down,” probably the best beer-for-breakfast song we’ve ever heard. And perhaps our readers don’t know that the one Janis Joplin song they sing at all the karaoke bars—“Me and Bobby McGee”—is a Kristofferson composition. Still even more readers may not have seen the man in one of his dozens of film roles. Or maybe our readers are just being coy, and they’ll pack the Egg when Kristofferson comes to town Saturday night. (Feb. 21, 8 PM, $34.50, Empire State Plaza, Albany, 473-1845)



Blitzen Trapper, Alela Diane

Pearl Street, Wednesday

The Pacific Northwest is known for being a particularly woody and mountainous region. So it’s no wonder that much of the music exported from there in recent years has also had a woody and mountainous quality. That whole psychedelic folk-pop thing the kids are into these days—Fleet Foxes and Band of Horses and all those animal bands—has strong roots in Seattle and Portland, Ore. Portland band Blitzen Trapper are part of that new tradition, and their latest release, Furr, is looking to be their ticket to the big kids’ table. Joining the group on tour is Alela Diane, a recent Rough Trade signee whose voice and music harken back to vintage Greenwich Village folk in the least annoying way possible. (Feb. 25, 8:30 PM, $13, 10 Pearl St., Northampton, Mass., 413-586-8686)

Also Noted

Janelle Reichman

If you were planning to check out the CRUMBS Night Out show and panel at the Linda tonight (Thursday), turn around and go back: It’s been postponed to next week (465-5233 ext. 4). . . . Or, if you’re already three-quarters of the way to Albany and in search of something else to do, check out some great area talent tonight at Red Square with Sea of Trees, Jared Funari, and Matt Durfee and the Rattling Baddies (8 PM, $5, 465-0444). . . . At Gaffney’s in Saratoga tonight, it’s the weekly songwriter night with Molly Durnin, Rachel Matthews and Jesse and Colin (9 PM, free, 587-7359). . . . The Sanctuary for Independent Media presents another multimedia mashup this Saturday: This week, New York City saxophonist Rob Brown performs alongside poet Amiri Bakara, who will read from his new book Somebody Blew Up America and Other Poems (8 PM, $10, 272-2390). . . . Albany’s all right if you like saxophones: Sunday at the College of Saint Rose’s Massry Center for the Arts, DownBeat award-winning sax player Janelle Reichman sits in with the college’s Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Guitar Ensemble (2 PM, $8, $4 students and seniors, free with college ID, 454-5102). . . . Some guy on some show once said “If it’s not Scottish, it’s crap”; the Tannahill Weavers, performing at Caffe Lena on Sunday, aren’t crap—follow? (7 PM, $25, 583-0022).

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