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Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Times Union Center, Thursday

It’s always good to see a young, up-and-comer buck the system and find success on his or her own terms, totally DIY. Also good: Bruce Springsteen. The Boss may be the voice of the working class, but he’s also been working for the Sony corporation for two decades, so, grain of salt. Still, even as he nears Social Security age, he puts on one hell of a live show—dude’s holding up remarkably well, as those lucky enough to get general admission “pit” tickets to tonight’s show will surely attest. So leave your indie cred in the glove box and get your arena-rock workout with Max, Stevie, the Big Man, and the rest of the E Street gang. Don’t have tickets? We hear the secondary ticketing market is booming. (May 14, 7:30 PM, $67-$97, 51 S. Pearl St., Albany, 800-30-EVENT)

The Bruise Brothers

Northern Lights, Friday

We joke and we kid about the cyclical nature of nostalgia, but it truly, really exists. A swarm of grunge revivalists passed through the area last year; Third Eye Blind just headlined Tulip Festival; No Doubt was on this week’s Gossip Girl; Limp Bizkit are threatening to tour. All that’s left is for the short-lived ’90s swing movement to make its slight return, and . . . well, this isn’t quite that. But Albany’s own “swingcore” band the Bruise Brothers did have a pretty successful run around the turn of the aughts with their mix of heavy rock and swing-inspired grooves. They’re reuniting for their first show in five years this week, and they’ll be joined by an array of acts that all represent bits of their unique sound: hard-rockers Karma’s Army, rapper Shyste, rap-metal band Dead-Lift, and roots-rockabilly boys Slick Fitty. (May 15, 7 PM, $12, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)

Natalie MacMaster

The Egg, Saturday

We’re willing to bet that the most popular video game in Halifax these days is Cape Breton Fiddle Hero. It’s not that Nova Scotia kids don’t love the six-string, but with a cultural export like fiddler/step-dancer Natalie MacMaster on their hands, there’s got to be a craze going. The preeminent name in Cape Breton fiddle music, MacMaster has won a number of Canadian music awards, played with the likes of Allison Kraus, Carlos Santana and Yo-Yo Ma, and has been inducted into the Order of Canada, Canada’s highest civilian honor. This one’s going to deliver all the jigs, reels, waltzs, and elusive strathspeys you can handle. (May 16, 7:30 PM, $28, Empire Plaza, Albany, 473-1845)

Joe Jencks

The Eighth Step At Proctors, Saturday

It’s a good time to be a folk sin ger in the upstate. Pete Seeger just turned 90, the Hudson’s about to get its dredge on, and Eighth Step keeps hosting the good stuff. After a rousing performance at last year’s Old Songs Festival, Seattle-based performer Joe Jencks brings his warm, inviting voice and a suitcase of story-songs to Proctors. The Candle and the Flame is his latest release and critics are calling it his strongest yet. Jencks claims to specialize in “ministering to the human spirit”; see if you can feel your soul being touched Saturday night. (May 16, 7:30 PM, 432 State St., Schenectady, 346-6204)


Fireworks, Last Minute Letter, We Are the Union

Jan’s Roadhouse, Saturday

It’s always good to see a young, up-and-comer buck the system and find success on his or her own terms, totally DIY. And looky here: A quintet with a combined age of one of Springsteen’s band members! Of course the term DIY is a bit misleading when applied to Fireworks—technically, the Detroit band have had some help, namely from emo heroes New Found Glory, who recently invited them out on tour, and whose Chad Gilbert produced band’s debut full-length, All I Have to Offer is My Own Confusion. But Fireworks’ music has all the youthful energy that made the punk-rock scene of the pre-Green Day era so exciting and unpredictable. And they’re playing in Burnt Hills, which could be the next Berkeley, Calif. You never know! (May 16, 5:30 PM, $5, 658 Saratoga Road, Burnt Hills, 399-4261)

Also Noted

Dash Rip Rock are celebrating a quarter-century in the rock & roll business; catch the New Orleans legends—at least, to us, they are—at Valentine’s tonight (Thursday) for a Springsteen after-party with guests the Tern Rounders (9 PM, $8, 432-6572). . . . A man whose legend is well- documented, David Bromberg, returns to the area with his eight-piece band tomorrow (Friday) for a show at the Egg (8 PM, $29.50, 473-1845). . . . Also Friday, NYC-based singer-songwriter Lisa Bianco plays Bread and Jam Café in Cohoes, in support of her recently released Post Data disc (8 PM, free, 326-2275). . . . Kick out the jams with Timbre Coup and Mirk and the New Familiars at Tess’ Lark Tavern on Saturday (10 PM, $5, 463-9779). . . . It’s all about the charitable causes this Sunday afternoon: Area folk-rock quartet the Vicious Cycle will reunite for the first time in more than 30 years at the Blue Jay Tavern in Schenectady, in a benefit for the American Diabetes Association (1 PM, no cover, 382-9469); and at the Parting Glass, the Wildwood School will get the all-star-benefit treatment from acts like Sirsy, 28N, Blackcat Elliot, and more (1 PM, $10, 583-1916). . . . Ellis Paul will play two shows—one for the kids, one for the grownups—Sunday at Caffe Lena (3 PM, $10, $5 children; 7 PM, $20, 583-0022). . . . At Valentine’s on Punk Rock Monday, it’s the debut performance from ex-Public Access guys the Slaughterhouse Chorus (8 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . The Delta Spirit will make up for their cancelled February date at Valentine’s on Tuesday (8 PM, $10, 432-6572). . . . Wednesday, make the drive to Northampton, Mass. for an earful of that one-of-a-kind guitar tone in a “classical” setting with Bill Frisell’s 858 Quartet (7 PM, $28, 413-586-8686).

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