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Jonathan “Jazz” Russell and the Doc Scanlon Trio

Caffe Lena, Friday

Well, now, here’s something to make you look up, mid-sip, from your coffee cup: An accomplished, award-winning jazz violinist who’s performed with Wynton Marsalis, Bucky Pizzarelli and Les Paul, toured Europe, recorded two CDs—and happens to be 14 years old. Russell has a number of “youngest ever” titles under his belt, including featured performer at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and musician invited to a Lincoln Center master class. Friday night, he’ll cover the hot swing standards of Gershwin, Porter, Reinhardt, and Goodman with the Capital Region’s Doc Scanlon Trio. (Feb. 12, 8 PM, $17, 47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs, 583-0022)

Tegan and Sara

Tegan and Sara

Calvin Theatre, Friday

We remember a time when it was commonplace to complain about how the good Canadian bands couldn’t catch a break here in the States. Like Nova Scotia band Sloan: One of the biggest acts going in their home country, they barely make gas money when they tour here. Or Toronto’s Hawksley Workman, one of the most creative and talented emmer-effers we have ever seen, and y’all are like “Who dat?” So maybe we make too much of it when a solid pop act like Tegan and Sara are able to create and sustain an audience here—after all, the biggest American band happens to be Canadian. But that band happens to be Nickelback, and Tegan and Sara are like the anti-Nickelback, so for that we say more power to ’em. (Feb. 12, 8 PM, $28.50-$38.50, 19 King St., Northampton, Mass., 413-586-8686)

Valentine’s Soul Jam

Palace Theatre, Friday

Ahh yeah. We can think of no better way to glide into Valentine’s Day than with a quadruple dose of smooth R&B. Four fine harmony groups will bring their classic, soulful sounds to the Palace stage this Friday, to welcome in a long weekend of sweet, sweet lovin’. While the set from Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes will likely turn into a tribute to their best-known former frontman—the late, great Teddy Pendergrass—expect such memorializing to be done in a most celebratory manner. And should that bring a tear to your eye, the Stylistics will be on hand to make you feel brand new. Also featured are Chicago girl group the Emotions, and Philly soul greats Blue Magic. (Feb. 12, 8 PM, $32.50-$42.50, 19 Clinton Ave., Albany, 465-3334)

Restys CD Release

Arts Center of the Capital Region, Saturday

February’s a notoriously busy time around these parts, as plenty of local bands hole up for the RPM Challenge to record an album in a month. Fortunately—and as the growing stack in our office will attest—a number of bands have saved us the wait, releasing a startling number of albums in this year’s opening weeks. Not the least of which are Restys, the Troy-based jangle rockers, who will celebrate the release of their self-titled debut album by filling the Arts Center with fiddles, guitars, banjos, accordions and songs about spilled paint. New York singer-songwriter Newspaper Joe will get in on the fun too before the whole thing bubbles over into a DJ dance party. Buy your tickets in advance and you’ll get a free copy of the new CD. (Feb. 13, 8 PM, $9, 265 River St., Troy, 273-0552)

Dan Deacon with Nuclear Power Pants, Extra Life

EMPAC, Saturday

Let’s try this again. Dan Deacon was scheduled to make his EMPAC debut last fall, but had to cancel at the last minute due to a bout with acute sciatica—dude’s got a bad back from rocking out too hard. Well a few months off the road seem to have cured his ills because the bearded tinkerer is back on the schedule for this Saturday. He’ll be joined for this show by fellow noisemakers Nuclear Power Pants. Also on Saturday’s bill, part of EMPAC’s New Nothing series, are Extra Life, a Brooklyn band whose MySpace page categorizes them as “Experimental /Gothic/Classical Opera And Vocal”—which is actually pretty accurate. (Feb. 13, 8 PM, $5-$15, 110 8th St., Troy, 276-3921)

Also Noted
Jane Monheit

Don’t ask us how or why, but the celebrity impersonators—er, tribute artists—are out in full force this week. At the Holiday Inn Showroom in Saratoga Springs on Friday, it’s a Valentine’s Legends Tribute with performances by faux Englebert Humperdinck, almost Conway Twitty, and not quite Roy Orbison (8 PM, $25-$35, 423-4092). . . . And Saturday at the Charles Wood Theater in Glens Falls, it’s a For Lovers Only Weekend Tribute Spectacular featuring tributes to Tom Jones, Kenny Rogers, and a 10-year-old Elvis (3 and 7 PM, $28, 874-0800). . . . Undoubtedly, this weekend’s most fabulous concert performance is at the Calvin Theatre in Northampton, Mass., on Saturday, where Rufus Wainwright will present songs from his new All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu (8 PM, $25-$45, 413-586-8686). . . . Vying for the fabulousness crown this weekend is the third Local 518 show, presented by WEXT at the Exit Dome in Rensselaer; Blotto celebrates their 30th anniversary, with Alta Mira, Ashley Pond Band, John Scarpulla and Matt Durfee rounding out the bill (7:30 PM, $60 per pair, 800-272-6492). . . . The Upstate Artists Guild gets back into the noise biz on Saturday with Marlo Eggplant, Bone Parade, Grab Ass Cowboys, Century Plants, and Spreaders (8 PM, $5, 426-3501). . . . In what’s becoming a Valentine’s tradition, Jane Monheit returns to the Egg to serenade the lovers on Sunday night (7:30 PM, $28, 473-1845).

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