Punk-rocker turned alt-country cult hero Alejandro Escovedo
has weathered much on his way to producing his 10th and arguably
best album, from a major health predicament (he survived a
bout with Hepatitis-C some years back) to Ryan Adams (Escovedo
lent backing vocals to a Whiskeytown record). The Tony Visconti-produced
Street Songs of Love, the singer’s first for the Fantasy
Records label, features songwriting contributions from Chuck
Prophet (who also collaborated on 2008’s Real Animal),
plus appearances from Ian Hunter and some punk named Springsteen.
While you won’t see the Boss onstage at the Egg tonight, Escovedo
will be backed by his fine band the Sensitive Boys. (Sept.
30, 7:30 PM, $28, Empire State Plaza, Albany, 473-1845)
What, with the Internet and all, it takes a mighty big musical
statement for an artist’s debut record to get recognized.
This year, there’s been none mightier than The ArchAndroid
(Suites II and III), Janelle Monae’s cross-genre, afrofuturistic
concept album built around the messianic android in Fritz
Lang’s 1927 film Metropolis. If you caught Proctors’
screening of that film’s extended cut last week, this show
comes at the perfect time. Since the album’s release, Monae
has been all over late-night TV, toured with Erykah Badu and
Of Montreal, got Pitchfork to say she sounds like “Michael
Jackson and Prince in their prime,” and is already headlining
the big college bills. She’ll be joined by Eli “Paperboy”
Reed, fresh off his set at Larkfest. (Oct. 1, 8 PM, $20,
Sports and Recreation Center, 815 N. Broadway, Saratoga Springs,
For My Valentine, Escape the Fate, Black Tide, Drive A
Avenue Armory, Saturday
On the hunt to create something different with their third
album Fever, Welsh rockers Bullet for My Valentine,
named by metal magazine Kerrang! as Best British Band
in 2008 and 2009, produced what they call “a hard rock, dark
album with metal flashes.” The group will flash Albany this
weekend as part of their second major U.S. tour for Fever,
following a sold-out run earlier this year. They’ll be joined
by Las Vegas post- hardcore group Escape the Fate, who are
touring in preparation for their self-titled third album.
Miami-based metal group Black Tide and L.A. rock & rollers
Drive A round out the bill. (Oct. 2, 7 PM, $25, 1208 Route
146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)
And so begins the week of John Lennon’s 70th birthday, which
will bring celebration after celebration in tribute to the
late Beatle. No complaints here: We’re just happy to see people
marking the occasion of his birth (Oct. 9) rather than his
death (Dec. 8). For Wednesday’s birthday celebration, a few
of Lennon’s schoolmates will pay a visit to the Egg. The Quarrymen
are that very “old skiffle group” you always hear about whenever
the early Beatles are discussed; indeed, the three men in
the current band (Rod Davis, Len Garry, and Colin Hanton)
were part of the original group that united John with Paul
and George. The show is preceded by a screening of the new
early-years Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy. (Oct. 6,
7 PM, $18, Empire State Plaza, Albany, 473-1845)
Occasionally, even a basic-cable network has a good idea.
Considering the long, rich tradition of duets in country music,
CMT’s reality competition show Can You Duet is a no-brainer.
Now, the second season winners, Steel Magnolia, are coming
to Clifton Park this week to win your red, white and blue
country hearts, and inspire you to pick up their debut album
when it’s released in January 2011. Real-life couple Meghan
Linsey and Joshua John Scott are the duo, and their voices
blend beautifully. And, oddly, they remind us of Donny &
Marie, because she’s a little bit country—more than a little
bit, actually—and he’s a little bit rock & roll. (Oct.
6, 8:30 PM, $17, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)
(Thursday) at Jillian’s, it’s a electro-funk-rock
dancetacular with UK-based band the Egg;
Sonic Spank will open (8 PM, $16, 432-1997).
. . . Speaking of the Egg—the venue, not the band—that’s
where Irish troubadour Luka Bloom will
be tomorrow (Friday) night (8 PM, $28, 473-1845).
. . . If you’re able to see just one show this
year—and you haven’t already spent your token—we
say you’d be well-spent to head to the Iron Horse
Music Hall in Northampton, Mass., on Friday, where
legendary composer and songsmith Van Dyke Parks
will perform music from his amazing catalog
(including the still-stunning Song Cycle),
both on his own and alongside opening act Clare
and the Reasons (7 PM, $, 413-586-8686). .
. . The folks over at the recently rejiggered
Bogie’s have fast built a reputation for booking
both the baddest of the bad and the hardest of
the hard; this Friday brings a band who meet both
criteria, the legendary Agnostic Front
(8 PM, $10, 482-4393). . . . Saturday at Valentine’s,
two of our favorite area pop acts party for the
release of a new split record: Kitty Little
and Scientific Maps are the bands of the
hour; Complicated Shirt and Man Scouts
also will perform (8 PM, $8, 432-6572). .
. . Regional pub-rock heroes the Ray Mason
Band keep Mason’s 60th birthday celebration
rolling with a show at the Ale House Saturday
night (9 PM, $5, 272-9740). . . . John Lennon’s
70th celebration actually kicks off Saturday,
when Fab Four tribute Beatlemania Again
return to the Linda (8 PM, $18, 465-5233). . .
. Celtic-folk act the Outside Track bring
their blend of Canadian, Scottish and Irish music
to Spencertown Academy on Saturday (8 PM, $15,
$13 members, 392-3693). . . . Reggae stars Capleton
and Munga headline the Caribbean Culture
Festival at Washington Avenue Armory on Sunday
(4 PM, $30, 512-5203). . . . Keeping the string-band
spirit alive: The young men of the Farewell
Drifters return to Caffe Lena Sunday evening
(7 PM, $17, 583-0022).