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Randy Houser

Vapor Nightclub, Thursday

Ladies and gents, say hello to the man who wrote “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk.” That uncomfortably titled single, a 2005 hit for Trace Adkins, was among Houser’s first works as a professional songwriter (a cowrite, actually, but the bank don’t care as long as the check’s made out to him). And he didn’t stop there with the awkward appropriations of rap culture: Houser’s song “Back That Thing Up” was a hit for country singer Justin Moore in 2008. (It’s actually about a truck. Clever.) But it’s Houser’s own music that brings him to Saratoga Springs. The multiple Country Music Association award nominee will perform songs from his two solo releases at Vapor this evening. Five bucks to the guy who yells “Baby Got Back.” (March 11, 8 PM, $15, 342 Jefferson St., Saratoga Springs, 584-2110)

Alicia Keys

Turning Stone Resort and Casino, Thursday

Ve-ro-naaa/Concrete jungle where dreams are made of . . . or something about slot machines? In any case, the fair city to our west is where you’ll want to be tonight to see the best-selling R&B artist of the last decade do her thing live. Alicia Keys’ fourth and latest album of original material, The Element of Freedom, has already taken her to the top of the pop charts, across the big-time television circuit, and all over the world. Not to mention, her voice provided the chorus for one of the most popular songs in recent memory, her collaboration with Jay-Z, “Empire State of Mind.” So what’s she doing in upstate New York? Find out for yourself when she plays Turning Stone this evening. (March 11, 8 PM, $75-$100, 5218 Patrick Road, Verona, 877-833-SHOW)

Marcia Ball, Bettye Lavette, Maria Muldaur

Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Sunday

Think of this show, billed as Sisters in Soul, as like the Three Tenors—but instead of fat guys in tuxedos singing in languages you don’t understand, it’s fiery women in denim singing the language everyone understands: soul music. Marcia Bell’s version hails from the Texas-Louisiana border, where her recent album Peace, Love & BBQ debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard blues charts. Maria Muldaur’s is a touch folkier, as she got her start in the Greenwich Village coffeeshop scene. And Bettye Lavette, well, she’s probably the sort of legend who requires no introduction. (March 14, 7 PM, $29-$42, 30 2nd St., Troy, 273-0038)

Cold, Nonpoint

Northern Lights, Sunday

Call ’em Cold 2.0. After a tumultuous few years at the turn of the century that were marked by original band members leaving the group, the Florida post-grunge act, who were famously discovered by Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst, decided to call it quits in 2006. Barely two years later, though, the group decided to make another go of it. 2010 looks to be a banner year, as Cold are back on the road touring for their upcoming album Epic. Kindred Floridians Nonpoint will join them Sunday night, as well as Day of Fire, Bullet Proof Messenger and Effects of Eden. (March 14, 6 PM, $15, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)


The Brother Kite

The Brother Kite

Valentine’s, Sunday

Everybody knows that the big money is in concert promotion. Particularly, Sunday-night concerts at small rock venues in Albany. Who wouldn’t want to get in on that racket? But seriously, folks, kudos to former Wait guitarist Scott Livingston for choosing this show as his inaugural BUNKRE Presents venture, as it brings to town the Brother Kite. The Providence, R.I., band are touring in support of their third full-length LP, Isolation, and a companion EP, Eye to Eye. Their music is classic-style guitar-pop, a la Material Issue, with some twee indie-electro touches, a la the Postal Service. They’ll be joined by a pair of complementary locals: the Charlie Watts Riots on the power-pop side, and Matthew Carefully on the indie-electro side. (March 14, 8 PM, $7, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)



Also Noted

Third time’s the charm? Billy Joel and Elton John play their oft-rescheduled Times Union Center date this (Thursday) evening, in what may be their last ever Face 2 Face concert; tickets from the December date (and by extension, we assume, the original summer 2009 date) are valid for tonight’s show (7:30 PM, $53.50-$179, 800-30-EVENT). . . . The Lee Shaw Trio will bring the swing to the College of Saint Rose’s Picotte Recital Hall tonight (7:30 PM, $10, $5 students, 337-4871). . . . The Parting Glass welcomes Celtic sister act Searson tomorrow (Friday, 9 PM, $5, 583-1916). . . . Popular Irish traditional band Altan are at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall on Friday (8 PM, $15-$29, 273-0038). . . . This sounds like a joke because it probably is: “Lives change upon witnessing [the] grand spectacle” of Probing Digit, who play Putnam Den Saturday night with guests Vesper (9 PM, $5, 584-8066). . . . Melodrome welcome their new album Flood into the world with a show at the Dream Away Lodge in Becket, Mass., on Saturday (9 PM, call for prices, 413-623-8725). . . . The Swingtime Jazz Society presents a concert at the Stockade Inn Sunday afternoon with the Teri Roiger Quartet (4 PM, $15, $5 students, 346-3400). . . . Improvisational performers Chris Cogburn, Bryan Eubanks and Vic Rawlings team up for a concert as Lucre at Upstate Artists Guild on Sunday; Jonathan Chen opens (8 PM, $5 donation, 426-3501). . . . Singer-songwriters Mat Kearney and Ingrid Michaelson team up for a co-headline show at Northern Lights on Tuesday, with Angel Taylor opening (7 PM, $20, 371-0012).

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