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Mark Eitzel

Reel Big Fish, the English Beat

Northern Lights, Thursday

At first this co-headline bill looked like a head-scratcher, but it actually makes a lot of sense: ’80s two-tone revivalists the English Beat begat much of the ’90s ska-punk revival, which begat Reel Big Fish (which in turn begat the recent, unlikely ska-punk revival, which begat opening band Supervillains). And it turns out the Beat and the Fish have a bit of a mutual admiration society. According to Pollstar, Aaron Barrett of RBF called the Beat “one of our favorite bands of all time and one of the biggest influences on our music!” Beat frontman Dave Wakeling returned the compliment, saying “I was thrilled many years ago to be invited to play at Reel Big Fish’s first album release party, and we are thrilled again to be touring with them now that they are bona fide Skadfathers!” Ska bands, always working the word “ska” into everything. Hmph. (July 16, 7 PM, $22, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)


Camp Bisco 8

Indian Lookout Country Club, Thursday-Saturday

The Biscuits are back. Disco Biscuits, that is. These Philly trance-fusion travelers built Bisco around their name long before every band and its brother had a festival; eight years later it’s still chugging along, because they’ve kept it manageable—they’re not trying to be Bonnaroo North after all. But that doesn’t mean the bill is without its share of big names: In addition to three nights of Biscuits and two nights of fellow electro-jammers STS9, this year’s lineup includes the frat-rap of Asher Roth, the illmatic Nas with reggae royalty Damian Marley, Montreal synth-funk sexhounds Chromeo, LCD Soundsystem offshoot Special Disco Version, plus Dr. Dog, Kid Cudi, Bonobo, and dozens more (including the Capital Region’s own Phantogram!). Air out the pup tent and make some brownies; it’s gonna be a long weekend. (July 16-18, times and prices vary, 1142 Batter St., Mariaville,

Dave Alvin and the Guilty Women

Revolution Hall, Friday

People grieve in different ways. Some turn to the comforting arms of a friend or loved one. Some delve into acts of degradation and self-destruction. And some join with an all-female roots band, to record a tribute record and tour the country. Former Blaster Dave Alvin is apparently the latter type. In 2008, longtime friend and member of Alvin’s the Guilty Men, Chris Gaffney, passed away. Soon after, Alvin joined a group of all-female musicians on the stage of a bluegrass festival for a one-off Gaffney tribute that stuck. The band are touring in support of their eponymous release and a new compilation tribute to Gaffney that sports bands like Los Lobos and Calexico. While Dave Alvin and the Guilty Women may give off that sick-sweet smell of “gimmick,” the band sure can play; sometimes guilt is just part of the process. (July 17, 8 PM, $22, 425 River St., Troy, 274-0553)

Mike and Ruthy

Caffe Lena, Sunday

Mike and Ruthy fell in love in New York City, got married, and, instead of honeymooning in St. Croix, recorded their debut album The Honeymoon Agenda, in West Hurley, N.Y. Dutch magazine Moors called it “gorgeous acoustic music which exceeds a genre such as folk or singer/songwriter. Two perfectly connected musicians who belong to the absolute top.” After touring around the world for seven years, and recently welcoming the birth of a son, they said they have “a new appreciation for the power of good music.” Which leads us to their recently released second album, Waltz of the Chickadee, which has been called “haunting, delicate and organic.” Good songwriting and solid, original arrangements are the backbone to this duo’s success, but their undeniable connection to each other pulls it all together. (July 19, 7 PM, $14, 47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs, 583-0022)

Mark Eitzel

The Linda, Wednesday

Sweet, glorious misery may never know another vessel like Mark Eitzel. Over a nearly-30-year career, Eitzel has put to tape some truly, brilliantly depressing prose in the form of, mostly, love songs. But his lyrics, which bring his internal struggles—not just as a gay man but as a human being—to cathartic light, are tempered with a unique brand of gallows humor. If you’re unfamiliar with Eitzel’s work, this week’s performance would be an excellent primer, as he’ll be drawing exclusively from the repertoire of American Music Club, the great San Francisco band he fronted from 1982 to 1994, and again for much of this decade. Which means, hopefully, such stone-cold classic tunes as “Johnny Mathis’ Feet” and “What Godzilla Said to God When His Name Wasn’t Found in the Book of Life.” We told you he was a funny guy. (July 22, 8 PM, $20, 339 Central Ave., Albany, 465-5233 ext. 4)

Also Noted
John Legend

Tomorrow’s (Friday) Garage Bands in the Garage show at Albany Public Library looks more like a chillout tent, thanks to folk-pop duo We Are Jeneric and downbeat electro project Space Lounge (6 PM, free, 427-4300). . . . Emack & Bolio’s celebrates the grand opening of their second area location (in Guilderland) on Saturday with a full day of music including Emerald Dawn, Courtney Rice, and more (free, noon, 250-4196). . . . You have earned the new puppy that is coming with us to the White House: Get your pop-culture remix fix when Eclectic Method come to Red Square Saturday; the performance is preceded by a screening of RiP: A Remix Manifesto (8 PM, $9, 465-0444). . . . You’ll probably never see as many amplifiers on a club stage as you will when the mighty Jucifer take over Valentine’s on Saturday night (8 PM, $10, 432-6572). . . . We think we remember seeing New York indie trio Babe the Blue Ox open for Fugazi way back in 1991, but memory’s a funny thing; in any case, they’re at MASS MoCA on Saturday (8 PM, $18, 413-662-2111). . . . If you like your pop music to sound like one long casino advertisement, you might be a fan of John Legend; he’s playing the Palace on Saturday (8 PM, $39.50-$54.50, 465-4663). . . . Sunday at the Linda, it’s a folk and bluegrass bill to benefit WAMC; Kate Taylor and Jim Gaudet are among the performers (6 PM, $25, 465-5233 ext. 4). . . . Three things: Tony Bennett, Tanglewood, Tuesday (8 PM, $24-$85, 888-266-1200). . . . In addition to being a distinguished graduate of John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Mick Taylor was, for a spell, the heart of the Rolling Stones—he played on their best albums (Exile, Fingers, etc.) and was arguably their best guitarist. See if he’s still got it (word is, yes, he does) when he plays the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock on Wednesday (8 PM, $35-$40, 845-679-4406).

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