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The New Pornographers

Bearsville Theater, Thursday

The new New Pornographers album Together was released this week. We see fit to mention this because it stands the chance of being suffocated amid all the Broken Social Scene and Hold Steady hubbub, and it would be a shame if that happened because it’s packed with hooks and full of great performances—pretty much what you’d expect from the New Pornographers at this point. The indie-pop superband—which, in case you’ve forgotten, features A.C. Newman, Neko Case, and Destroyer’s Dan Bejar—warms up for their upcoming U.S. tour with a show tonight in Woodstock. Will Sheff of Okkervil River opens: True Love Cast Out All Evil, his band’s new collaboration with the legendary Roky Erickson, hit the streets last week, and we’re not being at all hyperbolic in saying it’s effing great. (May 6, 8 PM, $30, 291 Tinker St., Woodstock, 845-679-4406)


Northern Lights, Thursday and Wednesday

If you were to ask us about Korn in, say, 1996, we would have said, “There’s no way they’ll be around in two years.” Fifteen years later, the band has won two Grammy awards and sold more than 16 million albums. Who would have thought they’d be nü-metal’s Pearl Jam? Of course they’ve also seen two members leave the band to seek Jesus, and watched their creative stock go practically bankrupt—but that all happened a long time ago. Currently the band is warming up for a new album, Korn III: Remember Who You Are, with a “Ballroom Blitz” tour that finds them playing smaller venues than they have in years. It’s working: Thursday’s show sold out, prompting the addition of a second, on Wednesday. (May 6 and 12, 7 PM, $45, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)

Austin Lounge Lizards

Caffe Lena, Friday

“Life is hard, but life is hardest when you’re dumb,” sings banjoist Tom Pittman of the Austin Lounge Lizards. Fortunately, the 25-year-old spoof band has to worry about neither. The overeducated Texas string band sings clever comic tunes with political relevance and observational wit in a way that makes life seem easy, even if the lyrics are about longing to become “too big to fail.” Listing Frank Zappa, George Jones, and Flatt and Scruggs among their influences, the band lampoons a variety of genres, all with hot picking and lovely five-part harmonies. (May 7, 8 PM, $24, 47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs, 583-0022)

Cowboy Junkies

Revolution Hall, Friday

Hey, ever wonder what the Velvet Underground would have sounded like if they’d been a female-fronted country band from Canada? Of course, this is an overly simple way to look at the Cowboy Junkies, but both the narcotic tempo at which the band often moves, and the sudden success the band found with their low-budget 1988 album The Trinity Session has long begged the comparison. These past couple decades have found the Timmons family nestling further into the country side of their sound, rehashing their early material with Trinity Revisited in 2007, and releasing the first volume of a project they’re calling the Nomad Series, called Renmin Park, this year. They’ll be joined by Ontario folk rockers Lee Harvey Osmond. (May 7, 7 PM, $30, 425 River St., Troy, 274-0553)

Colin Hay

Colin Hay

The Egg, Saturday

We’re recommending you plunk down your live-music dollars here on the grounds that Colin Hay has had a pretty rough 2010 so far. Not like holy-shit-Nashville-is-underwater rough, but still: In February, Hay and “Down Under” co-writer Ron Strykert (the guy who played the song’s immediately recognizable flute riff ) were on the losing end of a copyright-infringement lawsuit over their international Men at Work hit. Thanks to some too-litigious (we think) music publishers, the writers stand to lose half their earnings from the song—most of which are long gone, understandably as the song is nearly 30 years old. Granted, Hay has had a number of other hits; he’ll be OK. But still, we’re sure he’d be happy to see you. (May 8, 8 PM, $24, Empire State Plaza, Albany, 473-1845)

Mark Knopfler

Palace Theatre, Sunday

The legendary guitarist, singer and composer brings his rich songbook, a crack band and a new album to promote (Get Lucky) to the Palace this weekend. Mark Knopfler has been a rock star since Dire Straits’ “Sultans of Swing” hit the airwaves in the late ’70s, and has remained one through an engaging series of solo albums. (Not to mention all of the fine film scores he’s composed.) According to early, positive tour reviews, he’s performing songs from every phase of his career. According to the Toronto Globe and Mail, “the presentation of his material was impeccable, [and] his own playing often sublime.” (May 9, 7:30 PM, $51.50-$81.50, 19 Clinton Ave., Albany, 465-4663)

Also Noted

Blues great Taj Mahal is chipping away at his fifth decade in show business; chip in when he plays the Egg tonight (Thursday), with opening act Fredericks Brown, featuring vocalist Deva Mahal—Taj’s daughter (7:30 PM, $29.50, 473-1845). . . . The “King of Romance,” Englebert Humper-dinck, brings the love to Proctors Theatre Friday night (8 PM, $20-$48, 346-6204). . . . Cold Day Memory is the eighth studio record from Atlanta’s Sevendust, whose current tour hits Northern Lights on Friday; Saving Abel and Day of Fire open (7 PM, $25, 371-0012). . . . The Dear Hunter headline the WGFR SuperJam at Northern Lights on Sunday; also on the bill are the Sleeping, Black Mountain Symphony, Pillowhead, and Curse the Mariner (6 PM, $12, 371-0012). . . . Two chances to catch Austin’s Jess Klein in the area this week: She opens for Blues and Lasers at Bearsville Theater in Woodstock on Friday (9 PM, $12, 845-679-4406); and Wednesday, she’s at the Napa Wine Bar in Great Barrington, Mass. (8 PM, $10, 413-528-4311). . . . Rhode Island’s Deer Tick returns Monday night for a show at Valentine’s; Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned and El Duke are also on the bill (8 PM, $12, 432-6572).

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