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Melanie, Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion

Colonial Theatre, Friday

This past weekend was the 40th anniversary of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Did you forget? We’re not sure how you could, amid the barrage of media coverage and tribute/reunion concerts. The Colonial Theatre sure didn’t forget: They’re presenting a series of commemorative anniversary events with surviving performers from said mudfest. Mountain passed through this week; Richie Havens and Peter Yarrow are scheduled in the coming months. (Yeah, we know Peter, Paul & Mary weren’t at Woodstock, but they may as well have been.) This Friday it’s the one and only Melanie, who reportedly still brings the flower power in concert. Openers Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion will keep the spirit alive, tangentially, as Guthrie’s famous dad was among the festival performers. (Aug. 21, 8 PM, $25-$65, 111 South St., Pittsfield, Mass., 413-997-4444)

Mushroomhead, Hed(PE)

Northern Lights, Friday

Though we don’t generally blindly reproduce promo copy, we think you need to read this, from the Mushroomhead Web site: “YOU HAVEN’T BEEN TO A SHOW UNTIL YOU’VE SEEN MUSHROOMHEAD LIVE!!!” We don’t even know where to begin with that, so we’ll start here: The Cleveland-based alt-metal act were, by virtue of their masked stage personas, a precursor to Slipknot. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is up to you. Joining them on Friday are Hed(PE), the California band who describe their sound as “G-Punk.” What brings these bands together is a mutual love and respect for spicy German booze—it’s the Jägermeister Music Tour—and an unfailing dedication to craft, obscurity be damned. (We thought both bands had broken up.) Straight Line Stitch, Supe, and Contempt are also on the bill. (Aug. 21, 6:30 PM, $14, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)

Chris Barron

The Van Dyck , Saturday

One can only sing “Two Princes” so many times before they’re forced to go out on their own. Granted that’s not exactly the case for Chris Barron; the Spin Doctors frontman seems to have no qualms about revisiting his multi-platinum heyday for his fans. But Barron’s got much more in the works: He just released a solo record, Pancho and the Kid, which is enjoying positive reception at satellite and Internet radio—nothing to sneeze at considering the sorry state of terrestrial radio. And his current band, the Time Bandits, just returned from a two-week tour playing for our brave men and women serving in Iraq. So while he’s likely to kick out “Jimmy Olsen’s Blues” as part of his acoustic-duo show this Saturday, he’ll also come equipped with new tunes and some great road stories. Just keep the “Cleopatra’s Cat” requests to yourself. (Aug. 22, 7 PM, $15, 237 Union St., Schenectady, 348-7999)

Al Stewart

Caffe Lena, Sunday

Basque separatists; the crisis in Rhodesia; Nazi war criminals hiding in South America; the scandals of the Harding administration: There are few chapters of world history that British folk singer Al Stewart hasn’t plumbed for material since his start in the mid ’60s. Throughout his career, he’s rubbed elbows with Jimmy Page, Andy Summers, Paul Simon, and Yoko Ono, digging up plenty of stories of his own, but he’s still best-known for his 1976 single “Year of the Cat.” With nearly 20 albums worth of material, he’s liable to play more than just the hits. Maybe if we’re lucky he’ll do the 18-minute “Love Chronicles,” credited as the first mainstream record to include the word “fucking.” (Aug. 23, 7 PM, $35, 47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs, 583-0022)

The Moody Blues

The Moody Blues

Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Wednesday

Another great band that gets no respect from the rock establishment, the Moody Blues return to SPAC this week with their boatload of hits and army of Mellotrons. OK, the last is not true, but how cool is it that some pimply geek had to program a modern synthesizer to sound just like the unwieldy electronic beast that gave “Tuesday Afternoon” its sense of majesty? They’re a seven-piece band these days, built around three longtime Moodies: John Lodge, Graeme Edge and (still) golden-voiced Justin Hayward. Reviews of the current tour are uniformly positive—though younger (ahem) reviewers have laced their praise with the requisite snark. Yes, the Moody Blues will play “Nights in White Satin” and “Question” and “I’m Just a Singer in a Rock and Roll Band.” Yes, Edge will read some of his Goddamned poetry. That’s what we want. (Aug. 26, 8 PM, $40-$50, Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs, 587-3330)



Also Noted
Bruce Springsteen

Rock and read at the Albany Public Library on Friday: This month’s installment of Garage Bands in the Garage features Tern Rounders and the Black Fuel (6 PM, free, 427-4300). . . . We did a spit-take when we heard there were indeed two nationally touring Sublime tribute acts; while we mop up, you can check out 40 Oz. To Freedom at Revolution Hall on Friday, with guests Skadee and Odus Budd (7 PM, $10, 274-0553). . . . The Queers are back at Valentine’s Friday night, along with Plastic Jesus, After the Fall, and the Dirty Stayouts (8 PM, $10, 432-6572). . . . Vaudeville revivalist Oded Ben-Ami performs at Professor Java’s Coffee Sanctuary on Friday (7 PM, free, 435-0843). . . . Also Friday, club vets Ten Year Vamp release their long-awaited debut album at Vapor Nightclub in Saratoga (9 PM, 584-2110). . . . Get your praise on with a double-bill of good gospel music at the West Kortright Centre in East Meredith this Saturday: the Mount Olive Male Chorus and the Legendary Soul Stirrers featuring Willie Rogers, are scheduled to perform (7 PM, $11-$24, 607-278-5454). . . . The Landis Arboretum in Esperance needs some help with the bills; you can pitch in on Sunday, when they host the Hot Tunes for Hard Times benefit concert, featuring music from Wild Mountain, Organized Chaos, and many more (2 PM, $10, 875-6935). . . . We know you know, but in case you’ve forgotten where you stashed your tickets, now’s a good time to look for them: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band play a sold-out show at Saratoga Performing Arts Center Tuesday night (7:30 PM, 587-3330).

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