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James McMurtry, Ray Mason

Club Helsinki, Thursday

Music industry rant-meister Bob Lefsetz is notoriously hard to please—to wit, his catch phrase is “What kind of crazy fucked-up world do we live in?” So it was no small accolade when he singled out James McMurtry’s “We Can’t Make It Here” as the “Song of the Decade” a few years back. But Lefsetz was just broadcasting what fans have been saying for years: McMurtry is the realest of the real, an old-school Texas troubadour that can score knockouts with both his lyrics and his licks (on the guitar, that is). McMurtry’s latest release is Live in Europe, a self-explanatory CD-DVD set featuring the singer-songwriter in rock-trio mode; tonight, he performs solo at Club Helsinki. (Dec. 2, 8 PM, $25, 405 Columbia St., Hudson, 828-4800)

CD From the Future Release

Red Square, Thursday

*Beep, whir, crackle, crackle* This just in: Humankind has just received a transmission from future denizens of our planet *crackle* and it sounds a whole lot like *crackle* booty-shaking, electronic jam rock. CD From the Future is a compilation of up-and-coming acts on the intergalactic festival circuit, including Timbre Coup, EOTO, Wobblesauce, Higher Organix, Mondo Gecko and Jeff Bujak, distributed on a word-of-mouth basis. This official release party will feature regional heavyweights Dirty Paris, Dopapod and Auto Orbit, as well as plenty of fire dancers, live art, games, prizes, extraterrestrial costumes, and free copies of the alien recording. (Dec. 2, 7:30 PM, $10, 388 Broadway, Albany, 465-0444)

The Roches

The Egg, Saturday

The family that sings together stays together—for more than 50 years, in the case of the Roche sisters. The trio who went from backing Paul Simon to being produced by Robert Fripp in the 1970s, helped keep folk music alive through the ’80s. And after taking a decade off to pursue other projects, they’ve been back at it strong for the latter end of the ’00s. We take special note of this Saturday’s performance as it is a holiday-themed affair; surely their sweet harmonies will sound ever more sweet attached to the songs of the season. (Dec. 4, 8 PM, $29.50, Empire State Plaza, Albany, 473-1845)


Washington Avenue Armory, Saturday

Speaking of holidays, it’s never too late for Halloween! This Saturday’s moe. concert is actually a make-up date for their Oct. 30 show, canceled at the last minute due to a family illness. But they’re not letting the calendar’s bitter truth spoil the party—in fact they claim the night’s theme, The Electric Lemoe.nade Acid Test, will pick up where the All Hallow’s Eve Eve show never quite left off. Still, as a nod to the season at hand, they’ll also be collecting toy donations for needy kids, as well as running a raffle to benefit a local drama club. As the music, expect the same old moe. who have kept fans coming back for 20-something years. Tickets from the bagged October show will be honored at the door. (Dec. 4, 7 PM, $27, 195 Washington Ave., Albany, 512-5203)


Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot

Jillian’s, Monday

Syracuse’s great indie export Ra Ra Riot have never been strangers to Albany, but for the recording of their sophomore album they got downright cozy. The Orchard, hardly a month old now, was recorded at Black Dog Recording Studio in Stillwater. The new stuff is further proof that the violin-and-cello-laced baroque pop group belong in the good company of Vampire Weekend and Death Cab for Cutie (from whom they borrowed mixing help). On the front end of a full North American tour, this show should be something of a homecoming. Montreal’s the Luyas and locals Alta Mira will open. (Dec. 6, 8 PM, $5, 59 N. Pearl St., Albany, 432-1997)




Also Noted
Jenny Dee and the Deelinquents

After tomorrow’s 1st Friday festivities, Taina Asili and Gaetano Vaccaro will bring their Latin American folk and flamenco sounds to the eba Center for Dance; fittingly, there will also be live dancing to go with the music (8 PM, $10, 465-9916). . . . They call themselves “The New Kings of Pop” and we’re pretty sure Kanye isn’t around to call them on it, so: Probing Digit, formerly known as Bipolar, celebrate the release of their first CD this Saturday at Putnam Den (9 PM, $5, 584-8066). . . . Boston has been the site of a R&B revolution as of late; this Saturday, get a load of the girl-group harmonies of Beantown’s own Jenny Dee and the Deelinquents at Valentine’s, along with a one-off gig from Albany rock legends the Staziaks (9 PM, $10, 432-6572). . . . The Felice Brothers show at Mass MoCA originally scheduled for this Saturday has been bumped to Jan. 15 (413-662-2111). . . . It’s “Christmas in Cape Breton” on Sunday as fiddler Natalie MacMaster brings her holiday show to the Egg (7 PM, $34.50, 473-1845). . . . Sax-and-drum duo Big Gigantic bring layers of electronic sound to Jillian’s on Sunday night (9 PM, $13, 432-1997). . . . Tuesday brings the ever-entertaining Chris Isaak to Northampton, Mass., for a show at the Calvin Theatre; Australian singer Mia Dyson opens (8 PM, $49.50-$59.50, 413-586-8686). . . . Wednesday at Taylor’s Restaurant in North Adams, Mass., the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts presents the on-point honky-tonk harmonies of the Sweetback Sisters (7:30 PM, $12, 413-662-5204).

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