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Ulu, Schoolbus Yellow
Valentine’s, Friday

Yes, Ulu are a jam band. But now that we’ve said it, we’ll let the friendly folks at the Chicago Reader correct any misconceptions sparked by that first sentence: This outfit, they say, “revitalizes the idea of a modern jam band—a term so frequently misapplied that it has become an insult—by actually knowing how to jam and better yet how to say something . . .” So, don’t think of this quartet—keyboardist, drummer, bassist and tenor saxophonist-flutist—as a jam band so much as a funk-and-jazz influenced live monster touted by the likes of MTV and The Village Voice every bit as enthusiastically as by Relix. There’s a reason, after all, that two of the band’s three albums are live. Schoolbus Yellow will open. (Dec. 20, 9 PM, $10, 432-6572)

Janie Superstar, Mabel, Crabapple
the Fuze Box, Friday

If nothing else, Janie Superstar are ambitious and eager to please: The New York City-based band say they aim to provide the “most energy-filled power pop rock on the planet.” You’ve gotta like a band with lofty goals. In their attempt to wow the kids and to provide a “crowd-interactive experience” at their live gigs, the boys spruce up the set with clever introductory music excerpted from some of your favorite TV programs of yore—like Fraggle Rock and The Love Boat—and include song clips between their originals, which are guitar-based pop à la Sponge. Albany’s own Mabel and Crabapple will share the bill. (Dec. 20, 10 PM, 432-4472)

Mountain Snow and Mistletoe
Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Saturday-Sunday

Christopher Shaw and Bridget Ball, a married singer-songwriter team, are folk artists known for their Adirondack Mountain-inspired music. Back in 1991, the pair recorded a Christmas album motivated by a living-room Christmas-carol jam session; they named it Mountain Snow and Mistletoe, and each year around the holidays the two present a tour of the same name. The album was so popular that, as Shaw and Ball awaited the birth of their first child, they recorded a sequel, Mountain Snow and MistleTWO, in 1994. Special guests will join Shaw and Ball to celebrate the season at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall on Saturday and Sunday. (Dec. 21, 8 PM; Dec. 22, 2 PM; $17; 273-0038)


JANE SIBERRY

Jane Siberry, Dawn Landes
Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton, Mass., Sunday

The weather outside may in - deed be frightful, but Jane Siberry promises to make things delightful with her current Wild Tropical Nights Tour. The quirky Canuck claimed her niche in mid-1980s, conquering first Canada and then the States with her wry sense of humor and idiosyncratic songs. The best-known of these were collected on the 2-CD set Love Is Everything:Anthology, released by Rhino last April. While she hasn’t released an album of new material in a couple of years—though a new disc is promised for 2003, the muse willing—Siberry keeps up her quirky rep on the Web site www.janesiberry.com. Among the various bits of info and assorted photos, there’s a section called “Fridge notes,” where she not only solicits advice from fans, but dishes out her own. Jane on cleaning: “Clockwise circles activate masculine energy. Window-wise feminine. Depends what you need to do.” You go, girl. Dawn Landes, a solo artist described by the All-Music Guide as “bridging the worlds of indie rock, alt-country and folk,” opens. (Dec. 22, 7 PM, $19.50, 1-800-THE-TICK)

 also noted
Great Day for Up will play their CD-release party at Valentine’s tonight (Thursday), with Black Inc., Catch Fire and Indiana opening (8 PM, $10, 432-6572). . . . Jazz singer-pianist Rick DellaRatta, a onetime Capital Region resident now based in New York City, will play tonight at the Van Dyck with his quartet, featuring percussionist Ray Mantilla, drummer Victor Jones and bassist Harvie S. (7 and 9:30 PM, $24, 381-1111). . . . Murphy’s Law and Blood for Blood coheadline at Saratoga Winners tomorrow (Friday), with the Virus, Murderer’s Row and Two Dollars Short opening (8 PM, $14, $12 advance, 783-1010). . . . Nancy Timpanaro-Hogan and Jeffrey Halstead will perform their holiday show, A Cabaret Christmas, at the Saratoga Music Hall on Friday (8:15 PM, $22, 664-5244). . . . This week’s show to benefit Miss Mary’s Art Space is billed as the Anti-War Holiday Party, and if you can only catch one antiwar holiday party this season, make it this one, which will be held at 752 Myrtle Ave., Albany. Providing the music for this blowout will be Kitty Little, 1991, the Kiss Ups and E.C.F.U. Bring a wrapped gift for the grab bag and you’ll leave with a different one (sounds kinda like one of them key parties of the ’70s . . . 7 PM, $5). . . . Levon Helm, who drummed and sang with the Band, will play Great Barrington’s Club Helsinki on Saturday (9 PM, $25, 413-528-3394). . . . SpineCar and Attic of Love will play new Glenville club the G-Spot on Saturday (9 PM, 399-1299). . . . Ellis Paul, a 12-time Boston Music Award winner who has had songs in the last two Farrelly Brothers movies (Me, Myself & Irene, Shallow Hal), will play Caffe Lena on Saturday; he’s touring behind his most recent release, The Speed of Trees, which features a song, set to music by Paul, that was penned by one of his musical heroes, Woody Guthrie (6 and 9 PM, $15, $12 advance, 583-0022). . . . The Eighth Step presents a solstice celebration show on Saturday at the College of Saint Rose’s St. Jo seph’s Hall with folk quartet Kim & Reggie Harris and Magpie, Abenaki storyteller Joe Bruchac and African drummer Ade Knowles (8 PM, $17, 434-1703).

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