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Lost in the Trees

Lost in the Trees

Eighth Step at Proctor’s, Friday

Nothing makes us giddier than the start of a new music series. The Eighth Step, the venerable institution familiar to Capital Region music fans for 40-odd years, will venture into new territory with this Friday’s launch of Indie 8th Step, a series designed to spotlight younger acts on the fringe of contemporary folk and acoustic music. And we couldn’t imagine a better opener than Lost in the Trees. This North Carolina group, led by composer Ari Picker, mix a somber folk vibe (Nick Drake, Iron and Wine) with some deep classical chops on their latest album, All Alone in an Empty House, which was rereleased by indie giant Anti- last month. The strings here aren’t just sonic window dressing: As NPR’s Bob Boilen put it, their music is “orchestral folk where the ‘orchestral’ part isn’t an afterthought.” (Sept. 24, 7:30 PM, $15, Proctors, 432 State St., Schenectady, 434-1703)

Mike Moreno Quintet

A Place for Jazz, Friday

Capital Region jazz fans may recognize NYC guitarist Mike Moreno for the work he did on hometown saxophonist Brian Patneaude’s 2009 album Riverview. International hip-hop fans may recognize him for the work he did on Q-Tip’s celebrated The Renaissance. Moreno’s list of collaborations is long and diverse (Joshua Redman, Wynton Marsalis, John Ellis, etc.), but it’s with his self-titled quintet that he best proves why he was the deserving recipient of the largest scholarship the New School ever gave a guitar player. The group will bring a mixture of standards and Moreno’s original work. (Sept. 24, 8 PM, $15, Whisperdome, 1221 Wendell Ave., Schenectady, 393-4011)

Jess Klein, Natalia Zukerman, Antje Duvekot

Caffe Lena, Friday

If you want to find out what’s going on in the field of modern female folk, this Friday’s show, which features three of that scene’s brightest, should serve as an excellent primer. Rochester-born Jess Klein is currently supporting a fine new album, Bound to Love, which takes inspiration from her adopted home of Austin, Texas. Manhattanite Natalia Zukerman brings an urban background to her music; there are snatches of jazz and blues in her genre-bending sound. And Philly-based Antje Duvekot is a former John Lennon Songwriting Contest winner whose latest record, The Near Demise of the Highwire Dancer, was produced by folk great Richard Shindell. (Sept. 24, 8 PM, $18, 47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs, 583-0022)

Dark Star Orchestra

Palace Theatre, Saturday

Jerry Garcia is a very difficult act to follow. Just ask the Grateful Dead, who, rather than attempt to replace him following his death in 1995, simply opted to break up. Thankfully, Dead reenactors Dark Star Orchestra weren’t forced to resort to such finality when their last singer-guitarist departed the band; they simply hired on Jeff Mattson of veteran Dead band the Zen Tricksters (as well as a former band member of both Phil Lesh and ’70s-era singer Donna Godchaux). Coupled with the fact that the band has started occasionally playing their own song orders, rather than their usual practice of performing an entire Dead set list at each show, would suggest they’re relishing their own flexibility—and that’s exactly how Jerry would have wanted it. (Sept. 25, 7:30 PM, $31, 19 Clinton Ave., Albany, 465-4663)

The Nightlife

Valentine’s, Saturday

“Puddles of blood, ach- ing bodies or lasting brain damage” are some of the possible outcomes of a Nightlife show—as the Schenectady hardcore act have been nice enough to warn you. This may also be why the Warped Tour vets were tapped to play Mötley Crüe’s Crüefest last year; Vince Neil can’t afford another manslaughter charge and young, big-talking three-guitar opening bands are great legal cover when things turn lethal. The Nightlife will have an upstate posse in tow when they come to Valentine’s, supported by Tradewinds, Our Longest Hours, Par 6 and Life Like This. Wear a helmet. (Sept. 25, 7 PM, $8, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

Also Noted
Ryan Montbleau Band

Two acts celebrating the great tradition of playing hollow wooden boxes with strings stretched across them are here to kick off the fall folk season: Tonight (Thursday), stripped-down British legends Acoustic Strawbs open the doors of the Eighth Step at Proctors ($26, 434-1703), and tomorrow (Friday), the worldly group known as Acoustic Eidolon bring new sounds to Old Songs (8 PM, $20, 765-2815). . . . After a year that found them playing alongside Martin Sexton and supporting the Dave Matthews Band, Friday sees the return of the ever-hard-working Ryan Montbleau Band at Jillian’s (9 PM, $17, 432-1997). . . . The Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary hosts an acoustic benefit concert this Saturday featuring pop star Moby, his co-conspirator and solo artist Kelli Scarr, and the Mercury Rev Clear Light Ensemble (5:30 PM, $35, 845-679-5955). . . . Another famously bald performer, the one-woman neo-soul army known as Meshell Ndegeocello, will curate a night of music at Club Helsinki Hudson Saturday evening, part of a benefit for WXGC community radio (9PM, $18, 828-4800). . . . The nifty double bill of Ani DiFranco and Erin McKeown will play a sold-out show at Skidmore’s Arthur Zankel Music Center on Sunday (7 PM, 583-0022). . . . He was the 2009 Instrumentalist of the Year winner at the Americana Music Awards, but on Monday longtime sideman Gurf Morlix puts his own songs on display for a show at Valentine’s (8 PM, $10, 432-6572).

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