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David Lindley

The Van Dyck, Thursday

If we suggest you check out David Lindley tonight because there would be “bouzouki” or “baglama,” don’t expect delicious and exotic dishes from around the world—we made this mistake at first, too. Instead, Lindley’s got something better: a hodge-podge of instruments ranging from the standard “guitar” to the stranger but also quite intriguing “Weissenborn,” a rare brand of lap slide guitar (made popular in recent years by Ben Harper). Lindley’s collection of acoustic guitars—some rare, some bought at Sears—combined with his vast knowledge of playing styles translates into what he describes as “cross-pollination”; we’d describe him as a band unto himself. What better reason to check out the newly refurbed Van Dyck? (July 23, 6:30 and 9 PM, $20, 237 Union St., Schenectady, 348-7999)

Dr. John and the Lower 911, Al Kooper and the Funky Faculty

The Egg, Saturday

Lil Wayne isn’t the only one repping for New Orleans. Mac Rebennack, colloquially known as the funky good-time piano-playin’ Dr. John, put his dog in the post-Katrina fight with 2008’s City That Care Forgot. And lawdy, is it ever angry—the Doctor is not happy about what’s happened to his hometown, and the grooves take on an added fire that no amount of A-list special guests (Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson, etc.) can put a damper on. Also on the bill is the legendary Al Kooper who, with the help of his Funky Faculty band, will play that organ lick from “Like a Rolling Stone” over and over for about 75 minutes. Or not. Either way, we can promise you that, at under $30, this is the best ticket value we’ve seen in years. (July 25, 8 PM, $29.50, Empire State Plaza, Albany, 473-1845)

Green Day

Green Day

Times Union Center, Saturday

Remember a few years ago, when Green Day and U2 were unofficially battling to be “the world’s biggest band”? And then it turned out to be Daughtry? Oh, how we laughed! Well as major-band album-cycle timing would have it, both Green Day and U2 are back with new records this year (as are Daughtry—spooky!), but only one of those bands has a stage small enough to fit inside the Times Union Center. 21st Century Breakdown is the kind of big-statement album that was expected from Green Day after the clear-cutting success of American Idiot—they try so hard to hit the mark that they sometimes forget the easy hooks that are their greatest asset. But in concert this won’t matter because they are one of the best live rock acts you could want to see. (July 25, 7:30 PM, $25-$49.50, 51 S. Pearl St., Albany, 800-30-EVENT)

Bang on a Can plays Steve Reich

Mass Moca, Saturday

Play, layer, repeat. The contemporary compositions of Steve Reich can sometimes be boiled down to this very simple formula, but in his hands even this very basic direction is a complex equation. Reich took influence from his fellow minimalist Terry Riley for his early works, writing primarily for small instrument combinations. But with Music for 18 Musicians, which debuted in 1976, he expanded his vision to a larger ensemble, while maintaining the structural limitations of his small-combo work: NPR has said “the piece unfolds like a slowly shifting dream, with sections of repeated material ebbing and flowing around a cycle of 11 chords.” Bang on a Can will perform that piece this Saturday, as well as Reich’s Eight Lines and percussionist David Cossin’s Video Phase, a multimedia arrangement of Reich’s Piano Phase. (July 25, 8 PM, $24, 87 Marshall St., North Adams, Mass., 413-662-2111)

Salsa Celtica

Music Haven Concert Series, Sunday

The fact that Scotland is more than 4,000 miles from Cuba makes no difference to genre-busters Salsa Celtica. What started in Edinburgh and Glasgow has toured to Havana and back with a unique blend of traditional Scottish-Irish and Afro-Cuban musical styles. “It may sound outlandish, but it works incredibly well,” says the Boston Globe. Their album El Agua de la Vida, released in 2003, reached the Top 10 on the Billboard Salsa charts, and their live shows fuse Latin energy with more kilts than the movie Braveheart. Just as we love rum and whiskey equally, a Scottish brogue over some timbales sounds like a damn good time. Who wants to party? (July 26, 7 PM, free, Agnes MacDonald Music Haven, Central Park, Schenectady, 382-5152)

Also Noted

Tonight (Thursday) at Alive at Five, hear the hits that move units—the hits of the Eagles, specifically—with Hotel California; opening are girl/guy-led Boston rockers Aloud (5 PM, free, 434-2032). . . . Jackson Browne brings a second wave of California to Saratoga Performing Arts Center tomorrow (Friday, 8 PM, $45-$65, 587-3330). . . . Arena metal on the suburban strip: Queensryche rock Northern Lights Friday night (8 PM, $30, 371-0012). . . . If local rock is more your taste, you have a few flavors to choose from on Friday: Endswell and the Sense Offenders are at Tess’ Lark Tavern (10 PM, $5, 463-9779), and Savannah’s has Blackcat Elliot, Statues of Liberty, the Blisterz and the Velmas (8 PM, $5, 426-9647). . . . Vermont-born saxophone whiz Jonathan Lorentz leads his quartet at the Round Lake Auditorium on Saturday (8 PM, $10, 889-7141). . . . Feel the noise at Upstate Artists Guild on Saturday as Albany Sonic Arts Collective presents the Synapse Brothers, Matt Weston, and Matt Davignon (8 PM, $5, 426-3501). . . . The Old Crow Medicine Show will spread the Americana at the Egg on Sunday (473-1845). . . .Amid a superstar week, one bill boasts two: Billy Joel and Elton John play alone and together at Times Union Center on Monday (7 PM, $53.50-$179, 800-30-EVENT). . . . SPAC’s very busy week includes the rescheduled date for Coldplay on Monday; British rockers Elbow and teen sibling act Kitty, Daisy & Lewis open (7 PM, $41-$103.50, 587-3330). . . . In case you were unaware that 2009 is the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, SPAC has a walking reminder for you on Tuesday: Crosby Stills and Nash (7:30 PM, $26-$66, 587-3330). . . . Tuesday’s show at Northern Lights is a multiband, multipurpose slamfest: Massachusetts-based deathcore guys the Acacia Strain bring their tourmates Evergreen Terrace, Cruel Hand and Unholy to town; plus it’s a double CD-release show for local acts the Viking and Ashes of Atrocity (6:30 PM, $14, 371-0012).

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