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The Mystechs, Tripsonic
Valentine’s, Thursday

The Mystechs were scheduled to swing through Albany last week, but were mysteriously stricken from the bill—much to our dismay. Fortunately, it proved only to be a delay, and “Chicago’s favorite electro-rock band” will make it up to us by playing Valentine’s tonight. We’re not entirely certain what to expect, but the promise of a cabaret combo of “metal, dancehall reggae, folk and garage rock”—not to mention the live photos we’ve seen, which make Mystechs performances look like a cross between a Flock of Seagulls video and an SCTV sketch—has us all atwitter. Also on the bill, Tripsonic. (Nov. 7, 9 PM, $5, 432-6572)

Masterplan, Blackcat Elliot, the Lawn Sausages
Artie’s Lansingburgh Station, Saturday

Masterplan, a New York City supergroup who combine a bit of the Dictators, a dash of the Fleshtones and a smidge of the Waxing Poetics, are veering back into our area, at Artie’s, and if you missed ’em last time, and you have even a passing interest in any or all of these bands, there aren’t many excuses that we’ll buy if you turn up absent this Saturday. Masterplan are just that, having been devised by Dictator Andy Shernoff and Fleshtone Keith Streng. Waxing Poetics guitarist Paul Johnson and Fleshtones drummer Bill Milhizer joined, and the garage-rock revelrists took to the road. Troy garage-rock monsters the Lawn Sausages, and Blackcat Elliot (with former North Again members), will open. (Nov. 9, 9 PM, $5, 238-2788)

Suzanne Vega
MASS MoCA, North Adams, Mass., Saturday

Suzanne Vega, of the deceptively detached-sounding vocals and coolly observational lyrics, will bring only a bassist (Mike Visceglia) with her for what promises to be an intimate performance at MASS MoCA this Saturday night. From her early success as a New York folkie through the heady multiplatinum days of “Luka,” Vega kept a distinct point of view: “I write songs about romance and mental health.” Vega spent the mid-’90s collaborating with producer and then-husband Mitchell Froom on a pair of harder-rocking, mildly electronic albums, the irresistible 99.9 Fº and Nine Objects of Desire. Her most recent release, 2001’s Songs in Red and Grey, found Vega back in more folk-oriented territory. Recent songs like the confessional “Widow’s Walk” and the dry, sardonic “(I’ll Never Be) Your Maggie May”—an answer to Rod Stewart’s ode to an older lover, this time from the woman’s point of view—are as fine as any she’s written. (Nov. 9, 8 PM, $30, $26, 413-662-2111)

Frank Black & the Catholics, David Lovering, Reid Paley, the Bennies
Pearl Street, Northampton, Mass., Friday Saratoga Winners, Saturday

Frank Black & the Catholics

The return to the area of the artist formerly known as Black Francis will generate more than ample buzz, no doubt. The legacy of Black’s first band, the Pixies, still carries clout enough to spark the interest of the indie-music in-crowd, and Black’s post-Pixies work—as a solo artist and with his current backing outfit, the Catholics—has won him new generations of fans. But add to that a performance by Black’s old bandmate, former Pixies drummer David Lovering (who now bills himself as a “scientific phenomalist” and wields not a snare drum but something called a Vortex Cannon in a “bizarre take on Bill Nye Science Guy gone semi-Cheech n’ Chong gone P.O.’ed punk rocker as mad scientist”), and you’ve got something to write home about. Tack on Reid Paley, who sounds just like Tom Waits would’ve if he’d been working a shitty day job for the last 15 years, and the Bennies, and you’ve got something to write a Noteworthy blurb about. So we did. (Pearl Street: Nov. 8, 8:30 PM, $13, 800-THE-TICK; Winners: Nov. 9, 8 PM, $14, 783-1010)

Her Flyaway Manner, Bicycle Mary, Sean Morris
Valentine’s, Saturday

It turns out Albany isn’t the only midsized state capital that produces great bands. Want proof? Lincoln, Neb., ensemble Her Flyaway Manner will be offering it up at Valentine’s this Saturday night. These almost-emo, indie-rocking Midwesterners are on an East Coast tour to support their new EP on Caulfield Records, A Rotation of Thoughts and Themes. They’re also working on a full-length disc, which is due out on Caulfield in the spring. Joining Her Flyaway Manner will be Bicycle Mary and Sean Morris. (Nov. 9, 9 PM, $5, 432-6572)

Graham Colton, Coal Palace Kings
Valentine’s, Tuesday

Graham Colton is a man, but also the man’s band—and they’ll be stopping by Valentine’s on Tuesday as part of a national tour in support of their self-titled debut. The band, whose origins trace to Dallas club and coffeehouse gigs during Colton’s years at Southern Methodist University, have been likened to the Wallflowers and Duncan Sheik; and the Oklahoma-bred Colton, 20, also claims the Kinks, the Byrds and Tom Petty as early influences. For his debut album, Colton enlisted the rhythm section of Sean Hurley (Vertical Horizon) and Mitch Marine (Smash Mouth, Tripping Daisy). The current lineup includes co-songwriter Turtle, guitarist Drew Nichols, bassist Ryan Tallent and Jordan Elder on drums. Coal Palace Kings will open the show. (Nov. 12, 8 PM, $6, 432-6572)

 also noted
Chris Thomas King
Violence (of the musical sort) arrives at Saratoga Winners tonight (Thursday) in the persons of gore-metal giants Gwar; also on the bill are Bloodlet, Six and Wasteform (7:30 PM, $18, $16 advance, 783-1010). . . . Tomorrow (Friday), legendary oddball Jonathan Richman brings the (modern) love to Valentine’s, with Tommy Larkins on drums (8 PM, $10, 432-6572). . . . Also Friday, road-lovin’ jam band ekoostick hookah will do their improvisational thang at Northern Lights, with the E:ffect opening (10:30 PM, $10, $8 advance, 371-0012). . . . Telecaster master Jim Weider, who served 15 years as the Band’s lead guitarist, brings his own band to Great Barrington’s Club Helsinki on Friday (9 PM, $15, $12 advance, 413-528-3394). . . . The WAMC Performing Arts Studio presents the venerable American roots-folk of Robin and Linda Williams and Their Fine Group on Friday (8 PM, $15, 453-5233). . . . Also Friday, the Eighth Step presents the world fusion of multi-instrumentalist Randy Armstrong and his trio, rounded out by Volker Nahrmann and Marty Quinn, at Steamer No. 10 Theatre (8 PM, $15, 434-1703). . . . And Pitch Control Music presents a double CD release party at Casablanca Friday, featuring JB!! and Nittie Jux, along with DJ Chris Cool and DJ C-Nice (10 PM, $3, 432-4585). . . . On Saturday, Grammy Award-winning blues troubador Chris Thomas King, whose career took off after his turn as legendary bluesman Tommy Johnson in O Brother, Where Art Thou?, will bring his hiphop-infused blues to Club Helsinki (9 PM, $25, 413-528-3394). . . . A Sunday show at the Larkin offers up the folk-blues duo of Rachel McCartney and Anne Heaton (8 PM, 463-5225). . . . Also Sunday, singer-songwriters Stacey Earle and Steve Forbert will take the stage at the Iron Horse Music Hall (7 PM, $20, $17.50 advance, 413-584-0610).

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