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Sponge, Phillips Head

Jillian’s, Saturday

Even among the ragged crop of moderately successful mid-’90s post-grunge bands currently making the touring rounds Sponge are an oddball. Their sole crossover rock hit, “Molly (16 Candles Down the Drain)” pushed their 1994 album Rotting Piñata to gold sales, but only after an endless radio campaign that saw the single peak more than a year after the album’s release. That kind of dogged persistence defines the band’s, or at least singer Vinnie Dombroski’s, career: Despite vastly diminishing returns, Dombroski has continued to front “Sponge” despite having being the band’s only original member since 1995. Speaking of 1994, Glens Falls rockers Phillips Head will reunite to open Saturday’s show, their first performance in three years. (July 24, 9 PM, $15, 59 N. Pearl St., Albany, 432-1997)

Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker

Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saturday

On the surface Brad Paisley appears to be just just another dude singing funny songs in a big white hat, but in concert he displays some truly massive guitar chops, almost massive enough to make up for the goofy songs. He’s also one of the biggest stars in country music, with multiple Best Male Vocalist wins from both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music. Paisley’s joined at SPAC on Saturday by former Hootie frontman Darius Rucker, whose country career has enjoyed the same quick success as his old band once did. As if to allay any doubt that he’s fully committed to this country thing, we caught Rucker singing “Proud to Be an American” on a television special a few weeks back. Justin Moore opens. (July 24, 4 PM, $48.50-$58.50, Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs, 587-3330)

The Flaming Lips

The Flaming Lips

Mountain Park, Saturday

Here’s a fun fact about the Flaming Lips: They became eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this past year, making them one of few bands to have a shot at being inducted while they’re actually relevant. If these psych-rock showmen get picked for the class of ’11 it’ll be excellent timing: They’re fresh off what some believe to be their best studio album yet (Embryonic) and currently headlining festivals with a front-to-back rendition of the Pink Floyd classic Dark Side of the Moon, a collaboration with fellow Oklahomans Stardeath and White Dwarfs. Wayne Coyne reportedly still does the giant- gerbil-ball schtick, so there’s also that. (July 24, 7 PM, $37.50, Route 5, Holyoke, Mass., 413-586-8686)

Nona Hendryx

Agnes McDonald Music Haven, Sunday

There’s a lot more to Nona Hen dryx than “Lady Marmalade.” The 1974 hit she recorded with girl group Labelle brought the alto fame for its proto-disco glam rock, but it’s the 1983 track “Transformation” that really sums up her career. Over a half-century of work, Hendryx has written, recorded and performed with everyone from the Talking Heads to Dusty Springfield, Laurie Anderson to Keith Richards; she’s also acted on TV, written a children’s book, and is working on a sci-fi musical called Skindiver. Expect a nice cross-section of all this when she performs for free in Central Park. Local soul singer Bryan Thomas opens. (July 25, 7 PM, free, Central Park, Schenectady, 382-5152)

36 Crazyfists

Bogie’s, Wednesday

The Wu-Tang Clan made kung fu flicks and hip-hop music strange bedfellows, but taking their name from the title of a Jackie Chan movie, 36 Crazyfists have long made the case that metal too can deal out the fury. The 16-year-old band is touring on Collisions and Castaways, arguably their heaviest album yet, and one they hope will prove they’ve got more going on than simply “metalcore.” The stage is the proving ground though, and Wednesday night’s bill is going to be something of a battle royale. Straight Line Stitch, Dirge Within, Gunther Weezul, and the Power open. (July 28, 7 PM, $15, 297 Ontario St., Albany, 482-4393)


Also Noted

One Republic

There’s a big, free show at Skid more this (Thursday) evening, with a little bit of something for everyone; performers include Daniel Bernard Roumain, the Frank Vignola Trio, Fredericks Brown, and several more (8 PM, free, 473-1845). . . . Schenectady’s Jerry Burrell Park is the site for Friday’s free GospelFest, hosted by the Hamilton Hill Arts Center; numerous performers are scheduled, and a barbecue fundraiser will benefit programs at the center (7 PM, free, 346-1262). . . . Staying on the free tip, the Riverlink Jamboree—featuring the Lost Radio Rounders, No Outlet, Whoa Nelly, and Horseshoe Lounge Playboys—is at Amsterdam’s Riverlink Park on Saturday (2 PM, free, 527-5132). . . . One Republic headlines Sunday’s WFLY SummerJam concert; Boys Like Girls and Tone “Funky Cole Medina” Loc are on the undercard (1 PM, $30-$45, 587-3330). . . . Saratoga boys Slackjaw are back from a U.S. tour supporting their upcoming Rock City Falls LP; they’ll celebrate their triumphant return with a Tuesday show at Valentine’s that also features A Billion Ernies, Stuck Lucky, and the Slaughterhouse Chorus (7 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . Tuesday also brings another noise-tastic Albany Sonic Arts Collective show to Upstate Artists Guild—this one features Wolf Eyes member John Olson performing as Spykes, plus Rambutan, Family Battle Snake, and Fossils from the Sun (8 PM, $5, 426-3501).


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