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Alejandro Escovedo

Alejandro Escovedo

The Egg, Thursday

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)

Janelle Monae

Skidmore College, Friday

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, 917-837-9580)

Bullet For My Valentine, Escape the Fate, Black Tide, Drive A

Washington 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)

The Quarrymen

The Egg, Wednesday

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)

Steel Magnolia

Northern Lights, Wednesday

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)

Also Noted
Van Dyke Parks

Tonight (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).

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