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Lee Greenwood, Yakov Smirnoff, David Rodriguez

Times Union Center, Friday

If you really want to get pumped for Independence Day, we recommend this red, white and true-blue concert featuring a country legend, a Russian-born jester and a singing cop. Lee Greenwood’s best known for the anthemic “Proud to Be an American,” which climbs the charts whenever we go to war, but he’s had his share of mainstream country hits. (He’s also on the National Council on the Arts through 2014, thanks to George W. Bush—who knew?) Reagan-era fave Yakov “What a country!” Smirnoff has built a ridiculously successful career on his culture-clash comedy, selling CDs, videos and books from the Branson, Mo., lair where’s he’s reigned since the mid-’90s. New York City policeman-turned-operatic tenor David Rodriguez received national attention for his moving performances at 9/11 memorials of “God Bless America” and has since developed quite a career. In short: Don’t forget your flag pin. (July 3, 5 PM, 51 S. Pearl St., Albany, $27-$97, 487-2000)


Diana Krall

Diana Krall

Tanglewood, Saturday

Here’s a fine way to spend a quiet night under quiet stars—at least until the fireworks kick in. Quiet Nights is the latest release from jazz chanteuse Diana Krall; if you were to jump to the conclusion that it’s a collection of standards, you wouldn’t be entirely wrong. The album finds the Canadian-American singer-pianist tackling an array of classic tunes, including the Bacharach-David evergreen “Walk on By,” “The Boy From Ipanema” (clever!), and the Bee Gees’ “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” (though the Al Green version of that tune is the one that really gets us in the gut). Arranger Claus Ogerman is on board for the album—he’s the guy who helped to fashion so many great Verve-label recordings, including those of Antonio Carlos Jobim, and hence the inclusion of the title track. Krall performs Saturday with the Boston Symphony, which should make it a very special night. (July 4, 7 PM, $25-$76, West Street, Lenox, Mass., 888-266-1200)

 

 

Frank Turner

Valentine’s, Monday

British folk-rocker Frank Turner is coming to Albany to show us how our cousins across the Atlantic get down. Turner brings fun, foot-stomping anthems with a smattering of plaintive melodies. UK review site allgigs.co.uk called his second album, Love, Ire, and Song, “smart, witty, catchy, impassioned, with enough depth to withstand hundreds of listens.” Turner’s not afraid to bring the noise with a chorus of gang vocals or an angry Dropkick Murphys-esque yell. He recently shot a video in which he played 24 house parties in and around London in 24 hours. Turner is currently on Offspring’s summer tour before returning to merry England to support the release of his third album, Poetry of the Deed, in September. (July 6, 7 PM. $7, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

The Wallflowers

Northern Lights, Tuesday

We’ve opined at length on the resurgence of ’90s alt-rock bands, but we might have neglected to mention that—in some instances, at least—we welcome this trend. Case in point: the Wallflowers, Jakob Dylan’s rootsy rock outfit that scored a few big chart hits circa ’97 before taking the long slide into relative obscurity. Really, now—our nation’s musical hive mind banished honest-to-God songcraft in favor of dogshit like Limp Bizkit and the White Stripes? What were we thinking? Make it up to Jakob and the boys by screaming “One Headlight” at the top of your effing lungs when the Wallflowers return this Tuesday. With any luck you might even hear a few tracks off Dylan’s underrated solo record, Seeing Things. (July 7, 7:30 PM, $20, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)

Plaza Food Festival with the Cowsills

Empire State Plaza, Wednesday

This is the least intense of the Empire State Plaza festivals. There’s no big build-up to fireworks and such; it’s just a laid-back day of noshing on spring rolls and bratwurst, while enjoying music in the Albany sun. This year’s headliners are the Cowsills, the 1960s band who inspired The Partridge Family. There are three original Cowsills still touring, Bob, Paul and Susan; if you check out the YouTube video of “The Rain, the Park and Other Things,” which is the hippie-ish ditty about “the flower girl,” Susan’s the little kid with the tambourine. (Hello Tracy Partridge!) Other happy- harmony Cowsills hits included “Indian Lake” and the title song from the musical Hair. Also performing during the all-day affair will be Soul Session, singer-songwriter Kyle Vincent, Stray Dogs and DJ Shawn Gillie. (July 8, 11 AM-9 PM, Empire State Plaza, Albany, free, 474-0549)


Also Noted
Al Jarreau

Young man, there’s no need to be down: The Village People headline this (Thursday) evening’s Alive at Five (5 PM, free, 434-2032). . . . The “Great American Songbook” gets another look courtesy of the American Jazz Repertory Orchestra tonight at the First United Methodist Church in Pittsfield, Mass. (7:30 PM, $25, 413-442-7718). . . . New music abounds tomorrow (Friday) at Valentine’s: Gay Tastee and the Destroying Angel celebrate a CD release; Complicated Shirt drop a new EP; and the Parkinsons, in their debut performance, release a demo . . . cassette? You betcha (9 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . Vocalist Julia Gottlieb returns to sing with the Blue Ribbon Boys at Club Helsinki in Great Barrington, Mass. on Friday (9 PM, $12, 413-528-3394). . . . The Fabulous Fourth festivities at Empire State Plaza feature music from the inimitable Al Jarreau (6 PM, free, 473-0559). . . . Dan Zanes and friends will bring one for the children to the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington on Sunday (3 PM, $25, 413-528-0100). . . . There’s still no release date for their new album, but that won’t stop Fountains of Wayne from bringing the power pop to Bearsville Theatre in Woodstock Sunday evening; they’re joined by the exceptional Mike Viola (9 PM, $25, 845-679-4406). . . . If “Shikari” means “the dragon,” we’re so there: British heavies Enter Shikari are at Valentine’s Monday with Enigmatic Heart, Dressed in Red and Between Now and Forever (6:30 PM, $12, 432-6572). . . . The Ashley Pond Band keep gobbling up the awesome opening gigs: On Wednesday, they support guitar hero Kenny Wayne Shepherd at Northern Lights (7:30 PM, $23, 371-0012).


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