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Skeletonwitch, Iron Age

Valentine’s, Thursday

Time to hit the MySpaces! In researching Ohio’s Skeletonwitch, we happened upon the phrase “thrash revival.” This got us excited, because Exodus was always, kind of secretly, our favorite metal band. Well these guys aren’t that, exactly. The machine-gun double kick and rapid-fire guitar licks are there, but the vocals are of the imitative variety—there are no righteous howls, nor a vocal melody to speak of, but rather a dude who sounds like he needs to clear his throat. Texas band Iron Age, of the impressive Tee Pee Records roster, get off to a similarly strong start, sporting chunky guitar riffage that practically grows your neckbeard for you. But the vocals—oy! We’re sure none of that will matter when the pit gets going tonight at Valentine’s, where the metal minions will take in the aforementioned acts along with Planet Eater and Howl. (Feb. 18, 8 PM, $10, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

New York Funk Exchange, MiniBoone, the Rozatones

Red Square, Saturday

You know the deal: Show up to the club, hand over the cash, have a couple drinks, get funked upside the head. That’s the New York Funk Exchange, and this year it’s been a bull market. The eight-piece horn-laden Brooklyn band have been touring this winter in support of their debut Funkonomic Stimulus Plan, which saw guest support from bassist Christian McBride. Supporting them Saturday night will be NY post-punk rockers MiniBoone and another female-fronted funk group (this time from Ithaca), the Rozatones. (Feb. 20, 8 PM, 388 Broadway, Albany, 465-0444)

Steve Smith’s Vital Legacy

The Van Dyck, Sunday

The fact that Steve Smith recorded “Don’t Stop Believin’” with Journey could have been enough to earn him his listing in Modern Drummer’s Top 25 Drummers of All Time—if not a supporting role on the Sopranos—but the Berklee grad went on to become one of the most accomplished session musicians in history, working with the likes of Mike Stern, Bill Evans, Victor Wooten, Andrea Bocelli, Mariah Carey, and about a billion others. As a band leader, he’s long split his time between his straight-ahead gig Jazz Legacy and his jazz-rock outfit Vital Information. For this tour he’s gone with the best of both worlds, compressing his bands into the versatile Vital Legacy. (Feb. 21, 6 and 8:30 PM, $22, 237 Union St., Schenectady, 348-7999)


McCoy Tyner

McCoy Tyner Trio

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Sunday

Do we really need to sit here and tell you who McCoy Tyner is? Surely, even the most casual of jazz listeners is familiar with John Coltrane’s great early-’60s quartet: the group that recorded that famous take on “My Favorite Things,” as well as one of the all-time great albums, A Love Supreme. Well, that was Mr. Tyner on piano. Dig a little deeper in your crates and you might find his great string of records as bandleader, from the 1967 masterwork The Real McCoy to more expansive releases like Sahara and Fly With the Wind. Though he’s never quite had the same fire as his early heyday, he’s still one of the greats. He’ll perform in a trio setting (with Gerald Cannon and Eric Kamau Gravatt) at the Mahaiwe on Sunday. You’re welcome. (Feb. 21, 7 PM, $42-$67, 14 Castle St., Great Barrington, Mass., 413-528-0100)


Northern Lights, Tuesday

It’s tempting to call Florida hip-hop duo Twiztid “ICP-lite.” Because they wear face paint and practice in that execrable niche genre known as “horrorcore”? Yes, that’s part of it. But also because they were able to ride Insane Clown Posse’s coattails into a deal with Island Records back in the late 1990s. Let us just repeat that for clarity: ICP not only have coattails, but said coattails were strong enough to get another, almost identical, act signed to a major label. And you wonder why the music industry is falling apart at the seams. Twiztid released their seventh (sigh) album, W.I.C.K.E.D. (Wish I Could Kill Every Day), last spring, and they’ll play in Clifton Park this week. Would the real Slim Shady please stand up? (Feb. 23, 8 PM, $20, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)

Also Noted
The Energy

Brooklyn band the Energy will return to the Bread and Jam Cafe tomorrow (Friday), with local boys Of the Wild and Tame sharing the bill (8 PM, $5, 326-2275). . . . It ain’t too late for Valentine’s Day, and it’s never too late for Elvis: Mike Albert, Scot Bruce and the Big “E” Band present Love Me Tender: The Ultimate Elvis Valentine Bash at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Mass., on Friday (8 PM, $25-$45, 413-997-4444). . . . The basement at RPI’s Nugent Hall heats up on Friday when Restys, Scientific Maps and New Pioneer Society play Ground Zero (8 PM, $3, gzbase . . . The 51st anniversary of the fabled “Day the Music Died” rolled around on Feb. 3; this Saturday, folks like John and Graham Tichy and Johnny Rabb will pay tribute to the music of the late Ritchie Valens, Big Bopper, and Buddy Holly in a Winter Dance Party concert at the Linda (8 PM, $20, 465-5233 ext. 4). . . . At the Guilderland location of Emack and Bolio’s on Saturday, it’s a triple bill of solo sets from area frontmen with Davey Blister of the Blisterz, Mike Grosshandler from the Velmas and Gus from Blackcat Elliot (7 PM, 250-4196). . . . The Haiti relief benefit concerts aren’t over yet (nor should they be anytime soon): Woodstock’s Bearsville Theatre plays host to one on Saturday with the Jack DeJohnette/David Sancious Duo, Don Byron, Happy Traum, and many more (8 PM, $20, 845-679-4406). . . . Sunday at the Linda, it’s singer-songwriter Melissa Ferrick and special guest Mal Blum (8 PM, $23, 465-5233 ext. 4).

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