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Guns N’ Roses, CKY
Pepsi Arena, Wednesday

It’s true: Guns N’ Roses are back with their first complete North American tour since 1993. Even though they seem like a whole new band, the tour will feature old favorite hits from albums like Appetite for Destruction and The Spaghetti Incident?, as well as songs from their still-in-the-works release, Chinese Democracy. The current Guns N’ Roses lineup includes mainstay Axl Rose—who has been known to show up late to his own gigs (if he shows up at all)—and keyboardist Dizzy Reed, but those are the only two that you’ll recognize: The new GNR faces are guitarist Buckethead, former Nine Inch Nails guitarist Robin Finck, guitarist Richard Fortus, former Primus drummer Brian “Brain” Mantia, former Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson, and keyboardist Chris Pitman. Philly punk-metal group CKY open for the new Guns N’ Roses tonight (Wednesday) at the Pepsi Arena. (Nov. 27, 7:30 PM, $46-$56, 487-2000)

Sev Statik
Nick’s Sneaky Pete’s, Friday

Local underground hiphop artist Sev Statik celebrates his first solo album, Speak Life (Uprok Records/EMI), with a show at Nick’s Sneaky Pete’s on Friday. A major force behind hiphop collective Pitch Control Music (www.pitchcontrol, Statik is also a member of the Tunnel Rats and Deepspace 5, and his rhymes are found on releases by both of those bands. Speak Life has been making waves in hiphop circles, and his crafty, at-times-humorous and always-uplifting wordplay has struck a chord with many who want more matter in their music. When not creating lyrics for any number of projects he’s involved with, Statik is tirelessly promoting local hiphop acts and creating showcases for them to play. Friday’s 18-and-over show also features DJ Money Mike. (Nov. 29, 10 PM, $10, 489-0000)

The Movielife

The Movielife, Brand New, Count the Stars, Christianson
Valentine’s, Saturday

Long Island’s the Movielife admit to a certain irony in their name: “Life in the movies is always perfect,” says lead singer Vinnie Caruana. “But in real life you’re usually the loser.” You will, nonetheless, be forgiven for thinking that the pop-punk outfit are leading something of a happy-ever-after cinematic existence themselves. Surprised and encouraged by the turnout for their very first shows back in 1997, the quintet decided that the rock & roll life was for them, quit their day jobs and dove in headlong. A couple of lineup changes—and five years—later, they’re still at it, and more popular than ever. They’ve toured with the likes of Face to Face, New Found Glory and Good Charlotte, and their “catchy chords and singalong choruses” have won them a deal with Drive-Thru Records (home of the aforementioned New Found Glory, and Fenix Tx). Also on the bill: Albany’s hard- touring pop stars Count the Stars, Brand New and Christianson. (Nov. 30, 8 PM, $10, 432-6572)

A Motown Christmas
Proctor’s Theatre, Saturday

Put a little soul in your ho-ho-ho Saturday night with A Motown Christmas. This really big show, which features a nine-piece band and a full complement of dancers, is headlined by Lala Brooks, former lead singer of the Crystals. This isn’t one of those cases in which the artist in question was a member of a classic group long after their heyday. Brooks sang lead on the Crystals’ biggest hits, “And Then He Kissed Me” and “Da Doo Ron Ron.” While the Crystals were not a Motown group—making the connection with the show’s title more than a little puzzling—Lala Brooks sang on what most connoisseurs agree is the greatest rock & roll holiday album ever, Phil Spector’s A Christmas Gift for You. And the Crystals tracks, which include “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” are among the best on the album. As far as we’re concerned, this gives A Motown Christmas as much—or more—street cred than any other holiday spectacular you’re likely to see this season. (Nov. 30, 8 PM, $29, $19, 346-6204)

Ultimate Fakebook, Nerfherder, Fairview, Without Andy
Valentine’s, Monday

Face it: The best best pop music has always been about chicks—the chicks songwriting boys like, the chicks who like songwriting boys, the chicks who don’t like songwriting boys, the chicks who like songwriting boys but not long or well enough. Sometime in the middle ’80s, though, suburban boys decided they no longer wanted to be Rick Nielson and instead wanted to be Ian MacKaye, Bob Mould or—heavens—Henry Rollins, and emo was born. Most of ’em couldn’t do it remotely, and emo at its most tortured and affected started getting the bashing it so richly deserved. Now, we’re asking you not to throw the baby out with the bathwater: Whatever you’ve heard, Ultimate Fakebook aren’t that kind of emo. This Kansas-based band have gotten lumped in with the rest, but—really—they’re just a fine power-pop band. Big hooks, big choruses and big ol’ busted hearts—as it’s meant to be. Nerfherder, Fairview and Without Andy share the bill. (Dec. 2, 7 PM, $10, 432-6572)

 also noted
Joe Bonamassa
Tonight (Wednesday), Rocky Velvet and the Lawn Sausages play the traditional day-before-turkey party at Artie’s Lansingburgh Station (9 PM, free, 238-2788). . . . Also on that night, the Wait, Paranoid Social Club and the Suggestions will play the pre-Thanksgiving bash at Valentine’s (9 PM, $8, 432-6572). . . . Mime Choir and Erin Harkes & the Rebound will rock Artie’s Friday (9 PM, $3, 238-2788). . . . The George Boone Blues Band will play the Van Dyck Friday, and the show may be recorded to send to an interested major label (7 and 9:30 PM, $8, 381-1111). . . . Guitarists Alan Payette, Gary Piambino and Billy “the Fly” McGlone will pay tribute to the mighty Jimi Hendrix Friday at Savannah’s (10 PM, 426-9647). . . . Grammy award-winning Chicago bluesman, Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson will play Caffe Lena Saturday (6 and 9:30 PM, $20, 583-0022). . . . Guitar master Joe Bonamassa will play Northern Lights on Saturday, with local axmaster Mike Campese opening ($12, $10 advance, 371-0012). . . . Sunday at Valentine’s, the Erotics, Coal Palace Kings, Gay Tastee and Scout, Bible Study and the Sixfifteens will take the stage to benefit Mike Testo (6 PM, $10, 432-6572). . . . On Wednesday (12/4), the Joey Thomas Big Band will perform a Christmas concert at WAMC Performing Arts Center (8 PM, $5, 800-323-9262 ext. 4). . . . The Beach Boys—that is, Mike Love and a band of hired guns—will play Proctor’s Theatre on Wednesday (8 PM, $35-$48, 346-6204).

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