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Charlie Mars

Gypsy Joint, Thursday

Missisippi singer-songwriter Charlie Mars recently made headlines for being the new beau of Weeds star Mary Louise Parker, who’s (gasp!) 10 years his senior. But Mars doesn’t need paparazzi to grab attention; his music does that just fine, thank you very much. Like a Bird, Like a Plane is the long-awaited follow-up to Mars’ 2004 debut, which landed him on a series of high-profile tours and created some serious momentum—until his label folded. Now, the self-financed and -released Bird is again creating a buzz for an artist whose sound the Jackson Free Press summed up as “what the lead singers for Coldplay or the Verve might sound like if they grew up in the South listening to R.E.M. and Nick Drake.” (Aug. 19, 8 PM, $15, 389 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, Mass., 413-644-8811)

Slavic Soul Party

Agnes MacDonald Music Haven Stage, Sunday

Ain’t no party like an East Adriatic party, ’cause an East Adriatic party don’t dobredojdovte. It’s unlikely that James Brown would have ever entertained the idea of being backed by a Balkan brass band, but that’s only because he never heard Slavic Soul Party. Purveyers of “neighborhood music,” the group are one big identity crisis, blending gypsy music with New Orleans second-line funk, jazz, hip-hop, klezmer, Japanese drumming, techno and Indian music—that is, the folk music of many folks. It may speak many languages, but it’ll make you do one thing: tanc. (Aug. 22, 7 PM, free, Central Park, Schenectady, 382-5152)

Adam Lambert

Palace Theatre, Monday

Reinforcing the theory that the American Idol runners-up have the better careers, we bring you Adam Lambert. Though Kris Allen eventually won, you were pulling for Lambert to win the last season of Idol because he was flamboyant and fascinating, a real performer. The wicked vocal range and theatrical delivery that kept fans tuning in week after week was parlayed into a gold album (For Your Entertainment) and a bona fide worldwide hit in “Whataya Want From Me?” (Meanwhile, we’re positive you can’t name Allen’s CD.) Fittingly, Lambert’s Palace date is sure to be a Very Big Show: It was moved from Northern Lights because the production was too large for the club’s stage. Lambert’s fellow season-eight runner-up Allison Iraheta opens. (Aug. 23, 8 PM, $32.50, 19 Clinton Ave., Albany, 465-5233)

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber

Times Union Center, Wednesday

Capital Region pop fans are looking for ways to stretch their concertgoing dollars right now because, seriously, when the hell else are you going to get to see Adam Lambert and Justin Bieber in the same week? Bieber’s rise to superstardom has been, indeed, meteoric: from a few YouTube uploads to a pair of smash hit LPs, a tsunami of hit singles, and a headlining concert tour in less than three years. Despite all the record-breaking success, we find it a bit dubious that Bieber has signed to both write a memoir and star in a 3D film about his own life. Dude is 16 years old—is he going to play himself as an infant? It’s Justin Bieber’s world, we just live in it. Sean Kingston and Jessica Jarrell support on Wednesday’s show. (Aug. 25, 7 PM, $31.50-$51.50, 51 S. Pearl St., Albany, 800-30-EVENT)

My Morning Jacket

Mountain Park, Wednesday

Yim Yames (the artist formerly known as Jim James) is rapidly giving Prince a run for his royalty in the areas of guitar shredding and falsetto crooning. My Morning Jacket are no New Power Generation, though. The Kentucky group are a Southern guitar-rock band through and through, even though 2008’s fantastic Evil Urges featured a couple of “Highly Suspicious” electro grooves. Yames has been busy lately asserting his prowess as a solo performer with the Monsters of Folk, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and an EP of George Harrison covers, but with his original act and a Gibson Flying V he’s nothing short of a force of nature. Opener Grace Potter will get things started with the Nocturnals (and her own Flying V). (Aug. 25, 7 PM, $36, Route 5, Holyoke, Mass., 413-586-8686)


Also Noted

Dance-punkers Deluka return to Jillian’s on Saturday for a free show, in advance of their forthcoming album, You Are the Night (8 PM, free, 432-1997). . . . The Greyhounds bring their old-school roots rock & roll sound to Powers Park in Troy on Saturday (6 PM, free, 270-4493). . . . Why not hang in Troy for a while? The Red Lions bring their chamber-rock to the Arts Center of the Capital Region Saturday night (8 PM, $12, $10 members, 273-0552). . . . Since we’re talking old-school, howsabout some a cappella doo-wop? The Flipsydz are at Caffe Lena on Sunday (7 PM, $16, 587-0022). . . . Seattle art-metal vets Queensryche return to town this week—and it’s an “adult-themed cabaret” show! Our minds boggle at the possibilities. Could it be . . . Operation: Porncrime? Find out Sunday at Northern Lights (8 PM, $28, 371-0012). . . . More for you roots-rock fans: Celebrated guitarist Deke Dickerson comes to Valentine’s Monday night (8 PM, $8, 432-6572); and the mighty Lustre Kings play the Brunswick Summer Concert Series on Tuesday (6:30 PM, free, 279-3461 ext. 100). . . . If we weren’t strapped to our desks like packhorses on Wednesdays, you can bet we’d be on our way to Verona this humpday, where the one and only Stevie Nicks will lay it down gypsy-style at Turning Stone (8 PM, $80-$100, 877-833-SHOW). . . . Scotia’s Freedom Park closes its summer concert series Wednesday evening with a polka bash courtesy of the Rymanowski Brothers Orchestra (7 PM, free, 372-5656). . . . Oh, and one other thing: Creed are playing SPAC on Wednesday. Yes, they really are. One redeeming factor: It’s super cheap! (7:30 PM, $16-$26, 587-3330).


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