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Nelly, the St. Lunatics, Big Tymers, Lil’ Wayne, Fabolous and Amerie
Pepsi Arena, Thursday

OK everybody, sing along with Mitch: “It’s gettin’ hot in here/So take off all your clothes.” Gotcha! The most diabolically catchy song of the summer, “Hot in Herre,” will now be stuck in your head for hours. So, while you’re under this spell, it’s a good time to remind you that Nelly, the Midwestern mastermind behind that hiphop nugget, is at the Pepsi tonight (Thursday). It’s been quite a year for Nelly and his St. Lunatics. Their disc, Nellyville, has sold the proverbial millions of copies, and the hits just keep on coming. Along with “Hot in Herre”—which still hasn’t dropped out of the Billboard Top 40—Nelly enlisted the longtime Destiny’s Child not named Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland, to sing on his current hit, the sweet-sounding ballad “Dilemma.” Last time around at the Pepsi—on the TRL tour with Destiny’s Child and Eve—Nelly’s stage antics were almost as prominent as the hiphop. Tonight, as he headlines a really big show, it will be interesting to see what happens. (Oct. 24, 7:30 PM, $45.75, $40.75, 487-2000)

iEAR Space, Thursday

Let us introduce to you BopAnts, the Boston-based free-jazz ensemble coming to RPI’s iEAR Space tonight (Thursday): Mitchel Ahern plays a self-invented, electro-acoustic instrument called the lid. He fashioned it out of a vintage 1930s wringer washing machine lid mounted on a cello-like body with Velcro-attached electronic effects boxes; Marc Bisson plays the guitar, with kitchen utensils, among other things; Walter Wright plays the video shredder, a performance video system of his own design. Sure, they’ve got a drummer, a violinist, and a bass player too, but you can bet they apply some atypical playing techniques to these conventional instruments. (Oct. 24, 8 PM, $5, $3 students).

James Carney Trio
The Van Dyck, Friday

Notable among the notables is the local debut of Los Angeles-based jazz pianist and composer James Carney, with his trio, including drummer Dan Morris and Dan Lutz on bass. Carney has been releasing albums and winning fans since the mid-’90s, weaving together a variety of influences—delta blues, Latin jazz, Indian ragas—without seeming esoteric or pointlessly eclectic. As Carney told Downbeat back in 1998, “I’m not into that young lions thing where there’s nothing new going on. Instead of reciting licks, I make a conscious effort to write new material that’s a reflection of who I am and what I’ve been listening to over the years.” Translation: Carney doesn’t rewrite Ellington or recycle Horace Silver. This philosophy paid off the very next year, when Carney won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Composers Award. He has continued to earn plaudits; LA Weekly says his latest disc, Thread, again proves that Carney is “one of the most imaginative composers and players around.” (Oct. 25, 7 and 9:30 PM, $15, 381-1111)

James McMurtry, Chris Blackwell, Michael Eck
Valentine’s, Saturday

James McMurty

“I’m more interested in the going,” says singer-songwriter James McMurtry. “I look during the journey. Every once in a while, we get off the interstate and go through America, where we see weird things, things people don’t notice because they don’t look.” And those weird things populate and enliven McMurtry’s compositions. His tales of everyday dramas experienced by everyday folks—“oil field workers, speed cookers, bikers, children, the up-and-coming, the down-and-out”—have earned praise for their literary value; but McMurtry (son of Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Larry McMurtry) insists that his concern is, first and foremost, musical: “I grew up listening to music, not reading poetry. That’s what shaped my mind.” Local hillbilly troubadour Chris Blackwell and maximum-solo-acoustic gent Michael Eck open. (Oct. 26, 9 PM, $5, 432-6572)

Del the Funky Homosapien, People Under The Stairs, Skhoolyard, Lifesavas
Pearl Street Nightclub, Northampton, Mass., Tuesday

Born Teren Delvon Jones, Del the Funky Homosapien got his start in the hiphop world when he joined his cousin Ice Cube’s backing band, da Lench Mob. After contributing to various hiphop artists’ albums, Del decided he wanted to make his own records. He created his debut album, I Wish My Brother George Was Here, in 1991, and although it was coproduced by Ice Cube, it was more a dance-party soundtrack than a gangsta-rap installment. Eventually, though, Del became known for combining humorous, lighthearted hiphop style with elements of gangsta. A founding member of the powerful Bay Area Hieroglyphics crew—a group of artists who created the Hieroglyphics Imperium label in 1996, which includes Casual and Souls of Mischief—Del has recently been busy collaborating with Gorillaz and Deltron 3030, among others, and he’s now touring the states as a part of the Cali Comm 2002 Tour. Del and company will perform at Pearl Street Nightclub Tuesday, with People Under the Stairs, Skhoolyard and Lifesavas opening. (Oct. 29, 8:30 PM, $20, $17.50 advance, 413-584-7771)

The undr quartet
West Hall Auditorium, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Wednesday

If to you, the mention of improvisational music conjures free-jazz nightmares of squawking and braying horn lines over cluttery unrestrained percussion; if you’ve ever witnessed such a performance and groused, “It sounds like a Salvation Army Band falling down the stairs,” then Boston’s undr quartet may just the thing to change your mind—and broaden your horizons. Since 1997, the quartet have been “exploring the quieter side of improvised music.” Influenced by the minimalist works of such composers as Morton Feldman and John Cage, and Japanese concepts of Wabi (rustic simplicity) and Sabi (loneliness, weathered surfaces), the undr quartet have developed a style they’re calling “lowercase sound,” a style as sensitive and responsive to the performance space as to the specific qualities of their instruments—theremin, trumpet, voice, amplified cello and electronics, now that you ask. (Oct. 30, 8 PM, $5, $3 RPI students/seniors, 276-4829)

 also noted
Albie (formerly of Secretguy and presently with Wood) has been recording a solo CD in his bedroom, Bedroom, while amassing “an ad hoc, revolving-door gaggle of freaks/backup band,” aka Low Thief. Albie & Low Thief will play Valentine’s tonight (Thursday), opening for singer-songwriter Ben Arnold, and this time out Low Thief comprise drummer Pete Sheehan, lead guitarist Sten Isachsen and bassist Shawn McCann (9 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . Former Plimsouls frontman Peter Case will stop into Club Helsinki tonight, touring behind his new release, Beeline; local singer-guitarist Hal Lefferts opens (8:30 PM, $12, 413-528-3394). . . . Some members of Thin Lizzy will play Northern Lights tonight, with local acts China White and Dave Smith and Bad Karma opening (7:30 PM doors, 371-0012). . . . Mudvayne, Mushroomhead and Depswa play the club tomorrow (Friday) night (Thursday: $15, $13 advance; Friday: $22, $20.50 advance; 8 PM, 371-0012). . . . Also Friday, Johnny Rabb and the Jailhouse Rockers will perform at the Garden Grill (6 PM, $2, 462-0571). . . . Local composer Seth Cluett will perform a new work, Moraine Shoal, during a 16-hour-long overnight concert at the Deep Listening Space (75 Broadway, Kingston). The work is created by a number of oscillators tuned to the room, while other oscillators control the pitch and volume changes according to data obtained from glacial sites. Dream talk and coffee follow the show, which begins Friday at 8 PM and ends Saturday at noon ($25 includes breakfast; 845-338-5984 to reserve a space). . . . Also Friday, Ben Taylor, son of James Taylor and Carly Simon, will bring his band to the upstairs stage at Valentine’s; punk-rock, filmmaking and performance-art ensemble Suran Song in Stag return to the venue’s downstairs stage, with Complicated Shirt and the Happy Hollisters sharing the bill (up: 8 PM; down: 9 PM, $5; 432-6572). . . . Hungry Jack, Phillips Head and Tweak host an all-ages Halloween Horrorshow on Saturday at the Courthouse Theatre in Hudson Falls (6:30 PM, $7, 792-2711). . . . Rockabilly heartthrobs Rocky Velvet will play Artie’s Lansingburgh Station on Saturday (9 PM, $2, 238-2788). . . . Iron Lung Corp will host a show at Northern Lights on Saturday [see Listen Here, page 35]. . . . Finger-picking maestro Doc Watson plays the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall on Saturday (8 PM, $20-$29, 273-0038). . . . Folk-blues duo Ben Murray & Siobhan Quinn will perform for a live recording at Caffe Lena on Saturday (6 and 9 PM, $14, 583-0022). . . . It’s a battle royale at the weekly video-music experience that is Goodship Tuesdays, happening at B.R. Finley’s (formerly Positively 4th Street), with contenders including Flip One, thejessestiles3000 and Jason Martin (free, 11 PM, 271-9190).

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