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Bill Kirchen, the Lustre Kings
Tricentennial Park, Thursday

The “titan of the Telecaster,” as Guitar Player magazine calls Bill Kirchen, is coming to Albany’s Tricentennial Park tonight (Thursday) as part of the Alive at Five series, to show any and all aspiring roots rockers how it’s done and to entertain the pants off of what should be an adoring crowd (wear clean skivvies). Kirchen is perhaps best known for his singing and lead-guitar duties with the rebel country-rockers Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen (it’s that titanesque tele heard on the classic “Hot Rod Lincoln,” you know), but aside from all that this guy is the guitarist everyone wants to perform with: He’s played live and on Memorex with Gene Vincent, Link Wray, Hoyt Axton, Nick Lowe and Doug Sahm, among others, and Kirchen recently performed a nationwide tour with honky-tonk supergroup Highttone Records Presents the TwangBangers, with Merle Haggard guitarist Redd Volkaert, steel guitarist Joe Goldmark and singer-songwriter Dallas Wayne. The Lustre Kings open the show. (June 27, 5 PM, free, 434-2032)

Hawaiian Rawkfest
Valentine’s, Friday-Saturday

In the mood for a randomly themed, multiact rock & roll blowout? Good news then, as Valentine’s has that kicking off on Friday. It’s the return of the Hawaiian Rawkfest, which will feature more than half a dozen of the (extended) area’s finest slack-key and ukulele (no, not really) players over two nights: On Friday, you’ll be treated to the island sounds of the Kamikaze Hearts, Kitty Little, George Muscatello, Connie Acher and Blind Drunk John and To Hell and Back (a new supergroup of sorts, boasting ex-members of Devoid of Faith, Monster X, John Brown’s Army and others); on Saturday it’s the Kiss Ups, Bone Oil, Police Line and Lincoln Money Shot. Your hosts, Jason Martin and Matto, promise free food, fruity drinks and a rambling, joyous, ambiguously punctuated good time for all: “prizes kisses fun love! fucking Hawaiian style!” So, smiles, everyone, smiles. (June 28-29, 8:30 PM, $6, 432-6572)

Old Songs Festival
Altamont Fairgrounds, Friday-Sunday

Traditional music and dance are celebrated in grand style at a three-day festival beginning on Friday. The 22nd annual Old Songs Festival in Altamont presents more than 40 acoustic-music performers of diverse stripes, from Appalachian gospel to Celtic harp to West Senegalese drum music. Friday’s highlights include Italian guitarist Beppe Gambetta, storytelling outfit Tales & Scales, and John Kirk & Trish Miller with Quickstep; on Saturday, it’s Highland piper Jennifer Armstrong, Tom Paxton & Anne Hills and Acadian traditionalists Barachois; and Sunday features tramp musicians the Rose Tattoo, the self-explanatory Mandolin Madness and fiddling prodigy Andrew Van Norstrand, among others. There will be a similarly diverse selection of food and crafts, and hands-on types can take advantage of nine stages of workshops with festival acts. Performances begin on Friday and Saturday at 7 PM, Sunday at 3:30 PM. Tickets are available at the festival gate. (June 28-30, $20-$40, 765-2815)

Stephanie Nakasian and Hod O’Brien
Van Dyck, Saturday

Jazz singer Stephanie Nakasian, performing at the Van Dyck on Saturday with her life and performing partner, eminent bebop pianist Hod O’Brien, sings songs of the scat and swing variety, and has earned major props in the industry: Many liken her to a young Ella Fitzgerald, and the New Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz has her listed as “one of the important jazz singers in the world today”—for crying out loud (which she probably does well, also). The celebrated singer has performed many a jazz festival, and was highlighted on NPR’s Jazz Set, hosted by Branford Marsalis. Connecticut-born O’Brien romped around these parts back in the ’60s, but then, as many do, he migrated to New York City, where he was part of the house rhythm section at a Staten Island club, backing such luminaries as Phil Woods, Freddie Hubbard and Stan Getz. (June 29, 7 and 9:30 PM, $35, 381-1111)

Pretty Boy Floyd, The Erotics, Nogoodnix, Indiana
Valentine’s, Tuesday

Of all the hair-metal bands who were popular in the ’80s, who would’ve guessed that Pretty Boy Floyd, who broke up shortly after their first album, 1989’s Leather Boyz with Electric Toyz, failed to make Billboard’s top 100 albums of the year, would be the one still performing in the 21st century? The Los Angeles-based glam band, who should please anyone nostalgic for the vocal stylings of Twisted Sister and the like, reunited in the late ’90s to record new albums—releasing both an EP, A Tale of Sex, Designer Drugs, and Death of Rock n’ Roll, and a full length, Porn Stars, in 1999—and to play live shows (which they’ll do at Valentine’s on Tuesday). The band’s lineup now consists of original members Steven Summer (vocals), drummer Karl Kane and guitarist Kristy Majors, and newcomer guitarist Keri Kelly (bassist Vinnie Chas is no longer with the band). Word has it that the they have retained their old sound, albeit a bit less polished and slick. Also on the bill are our very own glam pin-ups, the Erotics, as well as pub-punketeers Nogoodnix and Indiana. (July 2, 8 PM, $8, 432-6572)

also noted

Mitch Elrod will be seen at a couple of venues this weekend, beginning tonight (Thursday), when he and his Hick Engine Ears play Savannah’s; Michael Eck will open the show (9 PM, 426-9647). . . . Tomorrow (Friday), Elrod and his band will join a full cast of local crooners, namely knotworking, Chris Blackwell and LeepFrog (Frank Moscowitz and Martha Kronholm), at the Fuze Box; it’s also a birthday bash for knothead Mike Hotter—he’s sweet 16—so don’t forget to wish him a happy one (9 PM, 432-4472). . . . Also Friday, the New York City swing/avant garde/Latin/Middle Eastern jazz outfit St. Marta Trio will play the Larkin (9 PM, $5, 463-5225). . . . Also tomorrow, an odd show of sorts will take place when New York hiphop artists Smash Mechanics, DJ Dread, IV Corners, Sound Medics and Dirty Crackers play the Thatcher St. Pub (11 PM, $5 gals—free before 10 PM, $7 guys—$5 before 10 PM, 463-9214). . . . There’s one of them SongWriters Forum dealys going on this weekend, with John Brodeur, Rob Skane and Stephen Clair, along with their gracious and song-stocked host, Michael Eck, performing at the Saratoga Springs Border’s Books & Music on Friday and again at the Albany Border’s on Saturday (both nights: 8 PM, free; Saratoga: 583-1200, Albany: 482-5800). . . . After Friday’s Borders show, Skane, Clair and Eck will head to Artie’s Lansingburgh Station for more musical mayhem (10:30 PM, 238-2788). . . . E-Town Concrete, Wasteform, Serene and Dissent play an all-ages show at Valentine’s on Saturday (8 PM, $10, 432-6572). . . . Also Saturday, cowpunk cats Coal Palace Kings bring their Utica friends (that they met in a Utica club—get it?) Plans for Paul with them to play the Ale House (10 PM, $3, 272-9740).


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