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Blues Traveler

Alive at Five, Thursday

It seems the hook does, indeed, bring you back. How else to comprehend the idea that Blues Traveler still are a consistent draw 20 years down the line? The band broke out of the great New York Wetlands scene of the early 1990s alongside fellow jam-poppers Spin Doctors; and, despite some disparity in their levels of success (the Docs sold 10 million copies of their first album while Blues Traveler’s career took a longer arc), we’d argue that John Popper and company provided the more lasting contributions to the pop canon. That is to say, we’re a little slower to turn off “Hook” than “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong.” Whether you agree or not, the dude can play the hell out of a harmonica. The band will open the Alive At Five season tonight, with guests Jim Weider’s Project Percolator (June 4, 5 PM, free, Albany Riverfront Park, Corning Preserve, Albany, 434-2032)

The Stolen Minks

The Stolen Minks

51 3rd Street, Thursday

“Halifax’s answer to the Gossip and the Detroit Cobras” (according to The Montreal Mirror) make a window-rattling appearance in downtown Troy this evening. The Stolen Minks are a three-piece, all-girl garage-rock band—if that description excites you in the least, you’ll be more than pleased by what they have to offer. They channel the raw electricity of the early Kill Rock Stars bands, paired with the pop sensibilities of Nova Scotians like Jale and Thrush Hermit. The band will share tonight’s bill with Baltimore act Hollywood, Portland, Ore.’s the Mean Jeans, and Troy garage-pop upstarts the Cave Weddings. (June 4, 9 PM, $5, 51 3rd St., Troy, 573-7947)


Bjorn Again

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Friday

The sound of their smashing hammers and the look of their fearsome bloody swords has been replaced in the Scandinavian—nay, the world’s—imagination by pretty melodies and neon-bright spandex. In anguish, the Vikings look down from Valhalla and cry, “Will no one stop this ABBA madness?” The answer, in a word, is “no.” ABBA are the new Scandinavian immortals. Consider this: Bjorn Again, who bill themselves as the “world’s greatest ABBA tribute band,” and in fact consist of five separate touring bands, have now been around longer than the original group. With the perfect combination of musical fidelity and good-natured self-parody, Bjorn Again have charmed audiences with faithful versions of “SOS,” “Does Your Mother Know,” “Fernando,” and, of course, “Dancing Queen.” A modest proposal: You know, Thor, the hammer of the gods would have more flair with a sparkly handle. (June 5, 8 PM, $30-$45, 14 Castle St., Great Barrington, Mass., 413-528-0100)

Grand Opening Party with the Erotics

Bogie’s, Friday

OK, we’ll get our hopes up now: After a dozen years out of the live-music business (save for a few one-offs and special events), onetime Ontario Street mainstay Bogie’s is back in action thanks to a few local promoters, and a hardcore and punk scene seeking a new place to put down roots. The venue has operated, on and off, as a dance club since closing at the end of ’97; Bogie’s figurehead Howard Glassman went on to practically re-create the old haunt’s live space in the downstairs room at Valentine’s. So we don’t really know what to promise, besides a fun night of rock & roll with local rockers the Erotics (who, coincidentally, formed the year Bogie’s closed), Horror Business, Hijinx, and Pistol Shot Gypsy. (June 5, 8 PM, $10, 297 Ontario St., Albany, 482-4393)


Red Square, Wednesday

“A clamorous and vigorous at tempt to win customers or advance any cause.” That’s what has to say about this Maryland band’s name, but, you know, that’s what everyone in the entertainment business is practicing anyway, so let’s give these guys a couple points for bringing the straight talk. More importantly, the band bring a Long Beach surf-punk sound that all you Sublimers will skank nicely on. Be ye warned, though: The exclamation point suggests they’re liable to skank at a number of velocities, clamorous and vigorous included. SoCal surf rockers B Foundation and local ska act Smittix open. (June 10, 8 PM, $8, 388 Broadway, Albany, 465-0444)

Also Noted

Hey Schenectady, you out of bed yet? Good: Jazz on Jay kicks off today (Thursday) at the Circle on State Street, with music from vocalist Colleen Pratt (noon, free, 382-3884). . . . Isis plays tonight at Pearl Street in Northampton, Mass.; for the uninitiated, they’re like a listenable Tool. They’re joined by Pelican and the Tombs (8:30 PM, $18, 413-586-8686). . . . Jason’s Upstairs Bar in Hudson hosts an evening of “apocalyptic indie rock” tomorrow (Friday) night with Dead Unicorn, Disposable Rocket Band, Ben Carlin and the Rockbottoms, plus a few DJs—sounds like a pretty good way to see the planet off (8 PM, $, ). . . . Charlton’s Brookside Museum will hold their 15th anniversary benefit concert on Friday, with music from Celtic-rock stalwarts Hair of the Dog (7 PM, $18, 885-4000). . . . Your call: You could wait a year and half and see Michael Jackson in London, or you could go to Revolution Hall on Friday and see Jacko tribute Who’s Bad? Plane fare to Troy is pretty cheap! (8 PM, $18, 274-0553). . . . The eighth annual Sick Shit Fest returns to Valentine’s on Saturday with more than 150 bands including the “legendary” Anal Cunt; we may be exaggerating on the number, but it’s no exaggeration to say that the shit will indeed be sick (1 PM, $20, 432-6572). . . . Also Saturday, MotherJudge and Mitch Elrod do their duo thang at the Lark Tavern, along with Hot Lead (10 PM, $5, 463-9779).

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