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Red Square, Thursday

Ithaca is not exactly known as a Mecca of hard-rock music; more often than not, you think of ivy-covered lecture halls before you think of the town’s (apparently) happening club scene. Ayurveda would like to change that perception. The five-piece band, whose name comes from a Sanskrit word meaning “the knowledge of life,” just released their debut album, Being: It’s a bold slice of heavy music with lyrics that, in keeping with the band’s name, look inward for the answers to life’s big questions. We’re not saying they find them, but these guys are young yet, give ’em time. To bring everything full-circle: Being was produced by Bad Religion producer Alex Perialas; Bad Religion singer Greg Graffin has a Ph.D. from Cornell; Cornell is in Ithaca; and our minds are blown. Get yours blown by Ayurveda tonight at Red Square. (Feb. 26, 9 PM, $7, 388 Broadway, Albany, 465-0444)

Jennifer O’Connor

Photo: John Von Pamer

Jennifer O’Connor

Valentine’s, Friday

The Matador Records press re lease accompanying Jennifer O’Connor’s latest release, Here With Me, was formatted in the style of a “10 Reasons You Should Listen to . . .” list, and while the list doesn’t hit on anything out of the ordinary, at least it doesn’t include yodeling. Indeed, the Brooklyn-based O’Connor is a perfectly normal singer-songwriter; she just so happens to be a very good one. So we don’t blame Matador for trying their best to make her stand out. If you really want to find out what makes O’Connor special, though, you ought to pick up a copy of the John Agnello-produced Here With Me (item No. 1) because it’s terrific, and get to Valentine’s tomorrow (Friday) night to hear her sing (item No. 4) because her voice is, also, terrific. Hold Steady keyboardist Franz Nicolay and Hudson-line regulars Knotworking open. (Feb. 27, 9 PM, $7, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)


Splatto Festival Chorus

Sanctuary for Independent Media, Saturday

The Sanctuary closes out its exceptional Free Jazz from the Sanctuary series this weekend with possibly the freest kind of free jazz. The Splatto Festival Chorus brings together four of the most exciting and prolific names in experimental music: Dave Barrett, Michael Bisio, Ed Mann, and Todd Reynolds. Barrett (saxophones) has played with a baffling array of performers, from Mr. Bungle to Mamie van Doren. Bisio (bass) has more than 45 CD credits to his name, including more than a dozen with co-conspirator Joe McPhee. Mann (vibraphone, percussion, electronic sound design) was one of Frank Zappa’s go-to guys in the studio, which is about as high an honor as any musician can wish for. And Reynolds (violin and laptop) is a member of Bang on a Can All-Stars, Steve Reich and Musicians, and Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project. The collective pedigree here is outstanding; the promise that anything can, and probably will, happen on Saturday, is even more so. (Feb. 28, 8 PM, $10, 3361 6th Ave., Troy, 272-2390)

Christian McBride

Skidmore College, Monday

Dropping out of Juilliard to play with the heavyweights is a classic rite of passage in the jazz world, and recording on the Ropeadope label earns an artist mighty street cred in the current indie-jazz scene. Philadelphia bassist Christian McBride happens to have done both. After cutting his teeth with the likes of Roy Hargrove, Freddie Hubbard and Pat Metheny, McBride earned a creative license for projects like the Philadelphia Experiment, a funky piece of soul-jazz in collaboration with Roots drummer ?uestlove and guitarist Pat Martino. Fronting his own band, McBride makes sure there’s plenty of backbeat in every melodic adventure. Don’t assume you’ll stay seated for this one. (March 2, 8 PM, $5, Filene Recital Hall, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, 580-5321)

Taste of Chaos 2009

Northern Lights, Tuesday

The multi-band Taste of Chaos tour is for fans of “the post-hardcore, screamo and metal genres.” The post-hardcore band Thursday are touring on the strength of a new album, Common Existence. (Whatever you do, don’t call them emo!) Bring Me the Horizon are a salty group of English lads who play deathcore—and are said to have a nasty way with the ladies. Four Year Strong are a power punk band from gritty, grisly Worcester, Mass.; Cancer Bats are a hardcore punk band from a cheerful, clean Canadian place, Toronto. (Background isn’t everything.) Like Thursday, Pierce the Veil are also a post-hardcore band. (Don’t call them emo, either.) This year’s edition of the Taste of Chaos tour is sponsored by Rockstar Energy Drink, which logically leads to a question: Does Rockstar taste like chaos, too? We found someone in the office who has enjoyed the product, and they said no. “It tastes Sprite-ish, only more sour, like sour apple. But good.” (March 3, 6 PM, $22, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)

Also Noted

Paper and Sand

Tomorrow’s (Friday) Official Unofficial Troy Night Out Afterparty at Revolution Hall will feature a bracing jolt of rock—and, likely, confetti—thanks to Aficionado; pelham123, We Are Architects, and the Jerks are also scheduled (9 PM, $5, 274-0553). . . . The Spencertown Academy does the kids a solid this Saturday, with a teen- appropriate show featuring music from I Composed a Flood, Okosu, Abbey Graves, and Ostia, plus spoken-word performer Dakota Darkhorse; no alcohol or drugs will be allowed on the premises and the show will wrap by 11 PM (4 PM, $8, 392-3693). . . . Also for the children on Saturday is Gustafer Yellowgold’s Show at the Bearsville Theatre in Woodstock; believe you us, it’s an all-ages show that’s truly suitable for all ages (11 AM, $, 845-679-4406). . . . The Sense Offenders bid farewell to bassist Matt McWatters Saturday night at Red Square; helping to see him off are Paper and Sand and Saving Atlantis (9 PM, $7, 465-0444). . . . On Sunday the Bearsville Theatre hosts a benefit for the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild, with a performance by the legendary Jefferson Starship (7:30 PM, $50, 845-679-4066). . . . Also Sunday, at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, Mass., power-poppers Fountains of Wayne play a full-band acoustic show to try out some tunes from their upcoming fifth album; the Everyday Visuals open (7 PM, $25, 413-586-8686). . . .The Ashley Pond Band will come out of hiding (or maybe the recording studio?) Sunday to play a show at Caffe Lena (7 PM, $12, 583-0022).

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