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James Carter
The Egg, Friday

Saxophonist James Carter earned his stripes touring with the likes of Wynton Marsalis and Lester Bowie (who, not just incidentally, called Carter the best sax man since ’Trane). So, it was no surprise when his own album Conversin’ With the Elders ended up on a bunch of Best Of lists in 1996. On his newest one, Carter is still conversin’ with the elders: Chasin’ the Gypsy features Carter taking on the tradition of legendary gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli, whose recordings together as part of the Hot Club of France are touchstones in the history of jazz. In the hands of a lesser man, this would be suicide; but odds are good that Carter’s got the chops. (Jan. 17, 8 PM, $24, 473-1845)

Jefferson Starship with Paul Kantner and Marty Balin
The Van Dyck, Saturday

With Jack Casady and Jorma Kaukonen having been through town recently, could their former Jefferson Airplane cohorts be far behind? Certainly not. Paul Kantner and Marty Balin, stalwarts of the various editions of these bands, bring the Jefferson Starship to the Van Dyck this Saturday night for two shows. From ’60s San Fransisco hippie rallying cries (“Volunteers”) through ’70s love balladry (“Miracles”) to ’80s rock anthems (“We Built This City”), the various aggregations of this extended musical family have traveled many musical roads—and the explorations continue. According to the band’s Web site, a five-piece lineup will be deployed for this weekend’s shows; presumably, this will include vocalist Diana Mangano and ex-Tubes drummer Prairie Prince. (Jan. 18, 7 and 9:30 PM, $25, 381-1111)


Damone, Third to None, Rory Breaker, Lawnchair Romeo
Valentine’s, Saturday

The Waltham, Mass.-based Damone stand apart from their pop-punk peers by adopting a Phil Spectorish system of administration. Damone play the compostions of guitarist-vocalist Dave Pino, but the personality of the band is centered in 16-year-old frontwoman Noelle. According to Noelle, Pino’s songs—despite being written from his own POV—are a perfect fit for her because “Dave was basically a 16-year-old girl when he was 18 years old.” So, the pronouns were switched, and, voilà, a Crystals for the Weezer generation was born—all the joy and heartbreak of high school in tasty three-minute packages. Also on the bill, Third to None, Rory Breaker and Lawnchair Romeo. (Jan. 18, 8 PM, $10, 432-6572)

Les Yeux Noirs
Troy Savings Bank Music hall, Saturday

In recent years, klezmer—the traditional music of Eastern European Jews—has experienced a kind of mainstreaming. Klezmer bands, from purists to punk-rock reinterpreters, have found audiences raised on world-music-infused pop styles more receptive than ever. And it turns out, it’s not just an American trend: Les Yeux Noir are billed as France’s “finest ‘gypsy’ ensemble,” and their emotive arrangements of traditional gypsy and Yiddish melodies have won plaudits on both sides of the pond. On these shores, for example, the San Francisco Examiner has praised Les Yeux Noirs as “electrifying.” (Jan. 18, 8 PM, $24, $21, 273-0038)

Kate and Anna McGarrigle
WAMC Performing Arts Studio, Saturday
Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton, Mass., Monday

If you were Canadian, we wouldn’t have to explain Kate and Anna McGarrigle to you. We wouldn’t have to tell you that they were born in Montreal to mixed English/French-Canadian parents and spent lots of family time singing songs around the piano. You’d already know that the sisters, while attending college in Montreal, began playing that city’s folk circuit, and that their original songs already had made it into the repertoires of such stars as Maria Muldaur before they landed their own deal with Warner Bros. in 1976. We wouldn’t have to list all the notables they’ve worked with, like Daniel Lanois, Emmylou Harris, Nick Cave, Richard and Linda Thompson, and Gilles Vigneault (and you wouldn’t be scratching your head over that last reference). We wouldn’t have to explain to those of you who adore Rufus Wainwright that much of his talent was inherited from his father, Loudon Wainwright III, and his mother, Kate McGarrigle. If you were Canadian, you’d also smoke cigarettes out of a square box—but you’re not and you don’t, so . . . . The McGarrigles will perform Saturday at the WAMC Performing Arts Studio and Monday at the Iron Horse Music Hall. Kate’s daughter (and Loudon’s daughter and Rufus’ sister) Martha Wainwright will open both shows. (WAMC: Jan. 18, 7:30 PM, $22, 800-323-9262 ext. 4; Iron Horse: Jan. 20, 7 PM, $20 advance, $23 door, 800-THE-TICK)

Joe Whyte
The Larkin Lounge, Sunday

What catches one’s eye in a particular musician’s press release (one that’s piled atop a mountain of many others)? Well, “Solid pop that shoots for the far-out funkiness of Curtis Mayfield, the rootsy cool of early ’70s Rolling Stones and the intelligent, ’80s new-wave charm of Squeeze” works for us. That’s what the CourierNews claims of the music of Joe Whyte, performing at the Larkin Lounge on Sunday. The New York City-based singer-songwriter recently finished a four-song EP, the aptly titled Four and No More, to follow up his 1999 release, Heavyweight—both discs receiving rave reviews from critics here and abroad. (Whyte began his original songwriting career fronting a Dublin—as in Ireland—band, and between club gigs, Whyte interned at the infamous Factory recording studio.) Whyte comes to us prior to a February tour of the Emerald Isle (again, Ireland, not to be mistaken with our own Green Island). (Jan. 19, 7 PM, $5, 463-5225)

 also noted
Saratoga Springs venue Bailey’s Café will host an original-music showcase every Thursday, and tonight’s features New York City-based artist Nicole McKenna, and Capital Region musicians Forrest Jenkins, Rogin O’Herin and Trevor English (8 PM, 583-6060). . . . The hard-rocking Bruise Bros. play Valentine’s tomorrow (Friday), with Black Inc (featuring former members of Clay People—Dinsmore, Guzzardi and Slater to be exact) and Raja special guesting the all-ages show (8 PM, $10, 432-6572). . . . The retro-rocking Super 400 will headline at the Van Dyck Friday, their first time at the Schenectady venue—which also happens to be bassist Lori Friday’s birthday, so buy her a bevvie and give ’er a spank (9:30 PM, $5, 381-1111). . . . New Jersey singer-songwriter Lanky has been though our area before, but on Friday he’ll make his first appearance at a Capital Region gym: He’ll play Voorheesville’s Stretch in celebration of his recent release, Inner Onwriter (8 PM, $10—includes CD and refreshments, 765-5717). . . . Canadian country-boogie quartet Luther Wright & the Wrongs, touring behind Rebuild the Wall, their song-by-song interpretation of Pink Floyd’s The Wall, will play Club Helsinki in Great Barrington, Mass., Friday (9 PM, $10, 413-528-3394). . . . And at the Berkshire Museum, Patty Larkin kicks off the museum’s winter Originals in Song series with a show Friday. The Massachusetts-based singer- songwriter/alterna-popstress recently meandered into the digital age, releasing Regrooving the Dream, replete with sampling and digital-recording tricks (8 PM, $21, $18 advance, 413-443-7171 ext. 10). . . . The Originals in Song series at the Berkshire Museum continues on Saturday with a performance by Grammy-nominated folksinger Greg Brown, whose 2002 release, Covenant, won the him Best Contemporary Folk Album citation from the Association for Independent Music, and his most recent, Milk of the Moon, is Brown’s 16th album on Red House Records (8 PM, $27, $25 advance, 413-443-7171 ext. 10). . . . Caffe Lena presents its second annual Local-Thon on Sunday, with area musicians serving up 12 hours of music, including performances by Mikki Bakken, Danny Garcia and Katy Farone, Paddy Kilrain, Charlie Morris, Jupiter Circle, Jeff and Becky Walton, Willie the Moak and Gary Moon, among a slew of others (noon, $10, 583-0022). . . . It’ll be punk-rock mayhem at Valentine’s on Sunday, with Nogoodnix, Plastic Jesus, Two Dollars Short, Mr. Wednesday and a band whose name we believe to be 19th Swindle Epi performing (7 PM, $10, 432-6572). . . . And on Wednesday, head to Savannah’s for a swing dance party with tuneage provided by a new Graham Tichy vehicle, Graham Tichy & the Crackerjacks (9:30 PM, $5, 426-9647).

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