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Kung Fu

Jillian’s, Friday

Prog-rock has enjoyed a nice little renaissance these past couple years, so it’s only fair that its geeky cousin jazz-fusion be afforded the same momentary vogue. The guys from Kung Fu know a thing or two about the Mahavishnu Orchestra and Return to Forever and they’re not afraid to flaunt it—in all its time-shifting, obscure-key-signature- having glory. Comprised of members of the Breakfast, RAQ and John Scofield projects, Kung Fu might also answer to the title “supergroup.” Joining them will be local progtronic martial artists Timbre Coup. (Jan. 28, 10 PM, $10, 59 N. Pearl St., Albany, 432-1997)

Circa Survive, Anberlin, Foxy Shazam

Northern Lights, Saturday

Philadelphia band Circa Survive self-identify with the “progressive rock” tag, though our indie-to-English dictionary tells us that translates to “recovering emo band.” Still, rehab is better than denial, and Circa Survive’s latest batch of tracks, the 2010 EP Appendage, suggests that the band are well on their way to full recovery. They’re joined on tour by vaguely Christian rockers Anberlin, whose latest album Dark is the Way, Light is a Place, borrows a title from Dylan Thomas and a producer (Brendan O’Brien) from Pearl Jam. Also on the bill: Cincinnati glam-core act Foxy Shazam. (Jan. 29, 8 PM, $20, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)

Steve Forbert

Caffe Lena, Sunday

The phrase “new Bob Dylan” has been used to describe myriad singer- songwriters over the last 40 years, but perhaps never so aptly as when it was first appended to the name Steve Forbert. The Mississippi-born Forbert came to the fore with the just-shy-of-Top-10 hit “Romeo’s Tune” back in 1980, his songs conveying a palpable maturity that belied his comparatively young age (at the time). Like a good performer should, then, he grew into the material, and as his mainstream popularity waned his skill as a craftsman grew; and despite having been rejected by the major-label machine, he’s found a home, alongside folks like Robbie Robertson and Joan Armatrading, with prestige label 429 Records. The road is Forbert’s true home, though—see for yourself when he plays Caffe Lena on Sunday. (Jan. 30, 7 PM, $27, 47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs, 583-0022)

Joe Lovano/John Scofield Quartet

The Egg, Sunday

It’s mighty democratic of saxophonist Joe Lovano and guitarist John Scofield to have arrived at joint ownership of this fine jazz ensemble. The two are such legends on their respective instruments that it would have been unjust to leave either name off the top of the bill. By now the two are such veterans too that getting together with bassist Matt Penman and drummer Bill Stewart to burn through some charts must be as much good-time fun as it is hard-work gigging. They’ll keep it casual Sunday night by making their 5 PM sound check free and open to the public, after which they’ll be taking questions from the audience. (Jan. 30, 7:30 PM, $29.50, Empire State Plaza, Albany, 473-1845)

 

Neko Case

Neko Case, Lost in the Trees

Bearsville Theater, Tuesday

Here’s why we like living in the Capital Region: two opportunities within reasonable driving distance to catch this terrific double-bill. Next weekend they’ll play Northampton; this Tuesday, Anti-Records (and Sean Rowe’s) labelmates Neko Case and Lost in the Trees team up at Woodstock’s intimate Bearsville Theater. Case’s latest stunner was Middle Cyclone, released all the way back in March 2009, which suggests her show will bring a welcome mix of old favorites and in-the-works material for her next studio collection. Lost in the Trees have been on the road almost constantly for the last year; they’ll play Bearsville the very same day that Trekky Records reissues their 2007 release Time Taunts Me. (Feb. 1, 8 PM, $40, 291 Tinker St., Woodstock, 845-679-4406)


Also Noted
Saving Abel

Here’s something we can all get behind: The Van Dyck All-Stars pay tribute to the late, great Nick Brignola this Saturday at, yes, the Van Dyck; and the all-star part is no bull, with Lee Shaw, Chuck D’Aloia, David Calarco, Brian Patneaude, and Otto Gardner all on the roster (7:30 PM, $15, 348-7999). . . . Red Square has a four “string rock” bands on Friday night—and you know how we love a theme show: Darlingside, Acoustic Trauma, Black Mountain Symphony, and Lunic are all scheduled to perform (8 PM, $8, 465-0444). . . . Folking by the river: Country-folk legend Iris DeMent plays that same Club Helsinki Sunday night (8 PM, $38, 828-4800). . . . Tuesday brings the rockingest rock bill of the rocking week: Heartland heroes Hinder heave their heavy-hitting hard rock at the Clifton Park crowd; they’re joined by Mississippi dudes Saving Abel, who are hot off their deadpan 2010 single “The Sex is Good,” plus My Darkest Days and Kopek (7:30 PM, $25, 371-0012).


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