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Freya, The World We Knew, Ghost Ship, Hands Up!, Castle

Bogie’s, Sunday

Metalcore bands don’t wear Santa hats. Metalcore bands don’t record Christmas compilations. Metalcore bands book big, multiband gigs for the day after Christmas to give you a break from all the yuletide BS and give you an outlet for all your consumer rage. In fact, this is the sort of thing that Karl Buechner does best. The Earth Crisis frontman has always been one of hardcore’s most outspoken soothsayers, and he’s kept himself busy with new band Freya. The World We Knew, Ghost Ship, Hands Up! and Castle will help burn down the tenenbaum. Consider this one ground zero for Fox News’ “war on Christmas.” (Dec. 26, call for times and prices, 297 Ontario St., Albany, 482-4393)

Wu-Tang Clan

Northern Lights, Monday

The holiday season brings all sorts of unexpected riches, but nothing Christmas 2010 can throw at you will top this performance by Staten Island’s stalwart rap ensemble. Ol’ Dirty Bastard may be with Big Baby Jesus now, but his son, Boy Jones, is still here on planet Earth to bring the pain alongside the RZA, the GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God, Cappadonna, and Masta Killa. When the group, named by as the No. 1 rap group of all time, come to Clifton Park for a post-Xmas bash, we suggest they perform a variation of one of their classic hits: “Christmas rules everything around me/Cream!/Get the presents/Santa, Santa Claus, y’all.” Not bad, right? (Dec. 27, 9 PM, $40, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)

Lauren Ambrose and the Leisure Class

Club Helsinki, Wednesday

We’re always a might suspicious when a talented and attractive actor makes the crossover to music—probably due a childhood pocked by Bruce Willis, Don Johnson and Eddie Murphy records. But Lauren Ambrose, best known for playing Claire Fisher on Six Feet Under, actually has a musical pedigree, having studied voice and opera at Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute. So when she joins members of the Two Man Gentleman Band and the Hunger Mountain Boys to perform as the Leisure Class, you can expect tunefulness and style. The band travel in New Orleans-style jazz and swing, with elements of Americana and country—and, they promise, even opera. That is to say, this ain’t no Return of Bruno. (Dec. 29, 8 PM, $18, 405 Columbia St., Hudson, 828-4800)


Badfish, Scotty Don’t

Northern Lights, Wednesday

It can be fun to play that game: I wonder what the world would be like if dead musician A were still alive. . . . Badfish have made it their life’s work to answer that question for those wondering about what Sublime might sound like if lead singer Bradley Nowell were still alive. In fact, Badfish have grown to become at least as large a group as the one they model themselves on, now routinely touring their non-tribute act Scotty Don’t right alongside. This always-popular show is offering plenty of local love this time too, with openers Mirk and Uncle Joel’s Comb. (Dec. 29, 7:30 PM, $20, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)



Also Noted
Racquette River Rounders

With the holiday and its eve falling on prime weekend nights this year, clubland is conspicuously quiet. But that just means Sunday is all the richer for live music. Sunday at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, Mass., musician Jordan Loder returns home to raise money for a number of regional charities, with help from friends Meg Hutchinson, One Straw Revolution, and Higher Organix (7 PM, $25 413-528-0100). . . . Celebrate the spirit of America—unbridled excess—when Trans-Siberian Orchestra bring their massive wall of lights and guitars (and Christmas cheer!) to the Times Union Center for two shows on Sunday (2:30 and 7:30 PM, $25-$60, 800-30-EVENT). . . . John Kribs and the Racquette River Rounders bring tradition—the string-band kind—to Caffe Lena on Sunday (7 PM, $17, 583-0022). . . . Head out to Northampton, Mass., where past and present members of NRBQ will congregate to play the hits of yesteryear and today, as Big Al Anderson and the Spampinato Brothers, on Sunday and Monday (7 PM, $40, 413-586-8686). . . . Finally, get started on your New Year’s hangover Wednesday at Savannah’s with the party-down sound of Sly Fox and the Hustlers, rock troubadour Rob Skane, and perennial troublemakers Cornbred (8 PM, free, 426-9647).

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