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Backyard Tire Fire

Red Square, Friday

Certain “A” cities of the South thrive on their art and music scenes: Austin, Texas, and Asheville, N.C., spring immediately to mind. The latter spawned Americana trio Backyard Tire Fire about nine years ago; shortly after, they relocated to the third city in that weird triumverate, Athens, Ga. The band’s well-crafted, sometimes rowdy rock & roll is of a piece with Son Volt, but with a fire-breathing guitar-freakout element that Cracker guitar man Johnny Hickman once compared to the Flaming Lips. Heady company indeed. The band will come to Albany in support of their fifth studio release, Good to Be, with the Basement Band opening. (April 23, 9 PM, $10, 388 Broadway, Albany, 465-0444)

Scientific Maps CD release

Valentines, Friday

We’ve been following Albany popmeister Aaron Smith since his earliest days as part of Schenectady’s Stars of Rock, and we’re always stoked when he turns out another batch of quirky, melodically rich tunes. Hence, our excitement for tomorrow (Friday) night, when Smith’s long-running Scientific Maps release Food for Witches. The new seven-song EP has been in the works for two years now, and in celebration of its emancipation the Maps have lined up an interesting night: The band will be joined by an all-star band called Man Scouts, that features members of several local acts (including Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned); New York City comedian Bill Chambers will also appear. The last time we saw a comedian warm up for a band, it was at the legendary Starlite Theater. Classic move. (April 23, 9 PM, $5, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

The Postelles

JFK of MSTRKRFT, the Walkmen, the Postelles

Skidmore College, Friday

Those Skiddies sure know how to blow an activities budget. Friday’s big show features an impressive swatch of hipster-approved indie-rock. JFK (Jesse F. Keeler) is billed here as a member of Canadian electro heavyweights MSTRKRFT, but you’d also know him as bassist for sadly now-defunct duo Death From Above 1979. The Walkmen are the toast of the music press anytime they release new music; even their oddly conceived but brilliantly executed cover-to-cover remake of Harry Nilsson’s Pussy Cats was cause for scribes to lose they collective shit. Next up: the Postelles, a young New York quartet whose old-school rockin’ sound is made of the same stuff that brought the Strokes to prominence. No coincidence, as Strokes man Albert Hammond Jr. produced their lead single. (April 23, 7 PM, $20, Sports and Recreation Center, 815 N. Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 580-5775)The Sweetback Sisters

Caffe Lena, Sunday

Zara Bode and Emily Miller aren’t really sisters, but their close- harmony singing is so good they sound like they’re related. Add these two heavenly voices to a quartet of excellent musicians, and you have the Sweetback Sisters. These up-and-coming purveyors of a folk music-meets-Western swing sound tickled Garrison Keillor’s fancy; their first EP earned them a place in A Prairie Home Companion’s talent contest for young’uns, er, 20-somethings. Their first full-length album, 2009’s Chicken Ain’t Chicken, yielded songs that range from serious (the rueful “They Say Virginia Is for Lovers”) to sunny (“I Want to Be a Real Country Girl”) to silly (“My Uncle Used to Love Me But She Died”). They’re as sweet as their name. (April 25, 7 PM, $16, 47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs, 583-0022)

Brand New, P.O.S., Robbers

Northern Lights, Wednesday

Despite his band’s name, Jesse Lacey of Brand New was once quoted as saying “We’re not trying to break new ground in music. We’re just trying to make good music.” And it’s true: There’s nothing new about guitar-driven alt-rock focused on lost love and messy breakups, but there’s something about the way Brand New does it that works. Since their 2001 debut, the band have climbed the ladder of late-night TV spots and glossy magazine mentions, and last year’s Daisy peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard album charts. Most importantly, fans can’t seem to get enough. Wednesday’s show, with rapper P.O.S. and Robbers, is sold out, so we hope you got your tickets early. (April 28, 6:30 PM, $25, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)


Also Noted

Elvis Perkins and Dearland

It’s a big, big, big Friday in the Capital Region, y’all: The Egg brings another killer double bill with Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks and John Hammond (8 PM, $28, 473-1845); the estimable Livingston Taylor sings at Revolution Hall (7 PM, $35, 274-0553); Styx frontman Dennis DeYoung sings the songs of his former band, as well as some of his own, at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall (8 PM, $35-$55, 273-0038); Black 47 leader Larry Kirwan returns to the area to play solo and read from his new book Rockin’ the Bronx at the Van Dyck (7 PM, $17, 348-7999); the College of Saint Rose Jazz Ensemble will be joined by trombonist Michael Davis for a big-band concert at the college’s Picotte Recital Hall (7:30 PM, free, 454-5195); and Russell Sage College will host Sage-A-Palooza, with music from the Garden Variety, Travis Gray, Frankie Lessard, and Young and Divine (7:30 PM, $5, free for students, 244-2407). . . . There’s more action on Saturday, as singer-songwriter Mark Baptiste celebrates the release of his new CD It’s Not the First Time at Schenectady nightspot Yours (8 PM, $5, 370-9865). . . . Welcome to the working week: Black Flag founder Greg Ginn and the Taylor Texas Corrugators make a return appearance for Punk Rock Monday at Valentine’s (8 PM, $8, 432-6572). . . . And worth a short drive on Tuesday night, it’s Elvis Perkins and Dearland at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock (7 PM, $12, 845-679-4406).


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