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Son Volt

The Egg, Friday

There’s an alternate version of history that goes something like, “These days, Jay Farrar spends most days alone in his basement, throwing darts at a tattered old photograph of Jeff Tweedy and wondering ‘Why couldn’t it have been me, dammit?’ ” But thankfully things didn’t pan out that way for Farrar—while former bandmate Tweedy’s Wilco have been built up by some as the Great American Band, Farrar and his band, Son Volt, have quietly amassed a formidable catalog, perhaps just as worthy of such a lofty designation. American Central Dust is the band’s latest, their first for the Rounder label, and continues their move toward the rootsier side of Americana. Seattle artist Sera Cahoone opens for Son Volt when they play the Egg tomorrow (Friday) night. (Sept. 18, 8 PM, $20, Empire State Plaza, Albany, 473-1845)

Dougie MacLean

The Eighth Step at Proctors, Friday

For those unfamiliar with one of Scotland’s most successful singer- songwriters, all Dougie MacLean needs to do to express his authenticity is list his address. It goes something like this: Butterstone, near Dunkeld, in the Tay Valley, Perthshire. That even sounds plaid. He found a hit, “Caledonia,” in 1979, and has been reaching an ever-wider audience since then. If you haven’t heard his name, you’ve certainly heard “The Gael,” which found its way into a Nike ad campaign and into the ’92 film Last of the Mohicans. His latest album is called Muir of Gormack, but don’t ask us what that means. (Sept. 18, 7:30 PM, $26, 432 State St., Schenectady, 434-1703)

Samara Lubelski, Joshua Burkett

Saratoga Arts Center, Saturday

It’s important to stop once and a while and truly appreciate how close Albany is to Northampton, Mass. Sure, Pearl Street and the Iron Horse are great, but Northampton also is home to Thurston Moore’s Ecstatic Peace label, which feeds us enough windswept psychedelia to keep us paisley through the seasons. Samara Lubelski hails from the folkier end of Moore’s catalog, crafting breathy gems of Haight-era whimsy. Her latest, Future Slip, should be filed somewhere in between Vashti Bunyan and labelmates MV & EE. Joshua Burkett opens with fragile picking and acoustic musings that would make the Incredible String Band proud. (Sept. 19, 8 PM, $5, 320 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 584-4132)

Jill Hughes CD Release

The Van Dyck, Saturday

Believe it or not, jazz and blues singer Jill Hughes is just now releasing her first solo CD, after a number of recorded collaborations over the years. Metroland Best Of winner Hughes was a powerful presence on the Saratoga music scene for most of the 1990s, performing with pianist Carl Landa; after a stint in New York City, she returned upstate. For the First Time, recorded over the last year and produced by keyboardist Jon Werking, finds Hughes singing six of her own songs plus two by Werking, and including a couple of tributes to Aretha Franklin and Etta James. Her band at the Van Dyck will include Werking, Cliff Lyons on saxophone, Paul Adamy on bass, and Spyro Gyra’s Jeff Rosenblatt on drums. We suspect it will be a bluesy and swingin’ evening. (Sept. 19, 7:30 and 10 PM, $12, 237 Union St., Schenectady, 348-7999)

The Minus 5

The Minus 5, Steve Wynn IV, the Baseball Project

Valentine’s, Monday

There’s a scene in the new Mike Judge film, Extract, where a grindcore musician explains that he plays in “five bands, but four groups of guys.” An all-star band of rockers will take that formula a few steps beyond on Monday: When the Minus 5, Steve Wynn IV, and the Baseball Project take the Valentine’s stage, it’ll be three bands, one group of guys. Three guys and a girl, actually—Steve Wynn (the Dream Syndicate), Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows), Peter Buck (R.E.M.) and drummer Linda Pitmon (Golden Smog) will team up and play under the guises of three different acts, though the night will likely take the form of one continuously rolling mass of music rather than separate sets. If you don’t know how cool this is, you’ll never know. (Sept. 21, 8 PM, $15, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)


Also Noted

Former Strangefolk man Reid Genauer and his band Assembly of Dust return to Revolution Hall this evening (Thursday) with special guest Nautilus (8 PM, $18, 274-0553). . . . Red Haired Strangers and the Rattling Baddies close out this year’s Garage Bands in the Garage series at Albany Public Library tomorrow (Friday) evening (6 PM, free, 427-4300). . . . New Jersey Americana/jam group Railroad Earth are at the Egg on Friday; Elephant Revival open the show (8 PM, $26, 473-1845). . . . Also Friday, Sam Roberts Band and Around the World And Back play Northern Lights (7 PM, $12, 371-0012). . . . This singing thing seems to have stuck for Juliette Lewis; she and her band are at Pearl Street Nightclub in Northampton, Mass., Friday night (9 PM, $18, 413-586-8686). . . . Rory Block will play a benefit concert for the Columbia-Greene Humane Society/SPCA on Friday at Chatham’s St. James Church (7:30 PM, $22, 828-6044 ext. 101). . . . Revolution Hall hosts Songs for Freedom: A Benefit for the Abolition of Child Sex Slavery this Saturday; proceeds go to the Love146 organization, and music will be provided by Sean Rowe and Basement Band (7 PM, $10, 274-0553). . . . Lake George Jazz Weekend takes over Shepard Park this Saturday and Sunday, with performers including the Steve Turre Quintet and the Bill Mays Inventions Trio; Lake George High School is the rainsite (1 PM, free, 668-2616). . . . Milwaukee’s Peter Mulvey is in the middle of what he’s calling the Long Haul Tour, an 1,100-mile concert tour by bicycle, with fellow singer-songwriter Brianna Lane; Mulvey and Lane make their way to Caffe Lena on Sunday (7 PM, $16, 587-3330).

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