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Stephan Moore, Evidence, Troy Pohl
Arts Center of the Capital Region, Thursday

Sound artiste Stephan Moore is one busy dude. For one, he’s one of the main people behind the improvisational/experimental/avant-garde (and a host of other nonmainstream genres) music series Impulse/Response. He’s also been hard at work creating a 16-channel spherical speaker, through which he plays specifically created multichannel sound installations. Tonight (Thursday), he’ll perform just such a piece, “Low Ceiling,” for his show at the Arts Center of the Capital Region—an Impulse/Response dealy and Moore’s MFA thesis performance. The show features a roomful of these spherical speakers, spaced about the room at head level. The result of the many channels should create a three-dimensional quality that’ll make your typical surround-sound system quiver like a scared puppy. Moore also will perform an improvised set with co-I/R founder Scott Smallwood—as Evidence—and he’ll likewise jam with Kamikaze Heart Troy Pohl. (March 6, 8 PM, $4, $3 students, 273-0552)

Link Wray & Jet City Fix
The Glenville Spot, Thursday

If your list of rock & roll guitar heroes does not include Link Wray, your education is incomplete. And if you just think of him as the guy who cranked out the instrumental “Rumble” and leave it at that, you’re giving him short shrift. Pete Townshend himself has said, “He is the king. If it wasn’t for Link Wray and ‘Rumble,’ I would never have picked up a guitar.” The North Carolina-born Wray was the very personification of rock & roll greaser, and his sneering guitar tone was a banner for Juvenile Delinquent Nation. (“Rumble” was, in fact, given its title by Wray’s label head’s daughter, who said it made her think of the fight scenes in West Side Story; and the song actually came under attack for “promoting teenage gang warfare.”) Later hits, such as “Rawhide” and “Jack the Ripper,” and a reputation as an unflagging and demonic live performer solidified Wray’s place in the pantheon—if not the charts. Wray checks in tonight (Thursday) at the Glenville Spot. (March 6, 7:30 PM, $17, 399-1299)


JOHN GORKA

John Gorka
Eighth Step at St. Joseph Hall, Friday

If you’ve ever been driving around in your car trying to reset the preset buttons that someone’s monkeyed with, half-listening to a college- or public-radio hardcore-folk show, muttering to yourself about the boring “she was a girl who loved horses” drivel, and then nearly driven off the road because a rich baritone voice and a sharp, insightful, melodically sure tune forcefully grabbed your ear, you’ve heard John Gorka. He’s won a batch of industry awards—including the prestigious New Folk Award at the Kerrville Folk Festival—and Rolling Stone has tagged him “the pre-eminent male singer-songwriter of the New Folk Movement,” but the real proof is in the pudding. When Gorka plays tomorrow (Friday) at the College of Saint Rose’s St. Joseph Hall (courtesy of the peripatetic Eighth Step) you can check out for yourself what the fuss is about, and all from the safety of a stationary, nonvehicular vantage point. (March 7, 7 PM, $17, 434-1703)

Grupo Fantasma
Club Helsinki, Friday

This 10-piece, self-described DIY “Latin collective” are, by numerous accounts, on the verge. They’ve been recording with Grammy-winning producer Toy Hernandez. They’ve been showcased on NPR. They will be featured in John Sayles’ next flick, La Casa de los Babys. They’ve worked with venerable figures like Los Lobos and KRS-One. To top it all off, Grupo Fantasma even served as Ralph Nader’s house band for a post- election rally in Texas. So, what’s the fuss about? A simmering blend of styles, including corrido, cumbia de la frontera, salsa, Afro-funk, and Jamaican dancehall. Grupo Fantasma promise to make you move. “This freight train of a Latin band could easily hold its own in a sweaty bandbox in the Bronx, their double rhythm section and horn line laying down the beefy cumbia and meringue,” enthused the Village Voice. It should make for a cozy little scene in Club Helsinki. (March 7, 9 PM, $12, 413-528-6308)

Mary Black
The Egg, Sunday

It’s that time of the year when Irish music blossoms on local stages like the flowers in spring. The countdown to St. Pat’s Day begins Sunday night with one of the Emerald Isle’s biggest faves, Mary Black. When the Boston Globe says that “Black is the finest singer in Irish pop music,” attention must be paid. After all, there are probably almost as many Irish in Boston as there are in Ireland, and a critic from Boston would not say this if it weren’t so. Black has now been on the scene for 20 years, incorporating everything from traditional songs to Sandy Denny/Richard Thompson classics to contemporary Irish music in her repertoire. She has enough awards to pack a wall full of shelves, and has performed with such luminaries as Van Morrison, Emmylou Harris and Joan Baez. Critics love her warm, intimate performing style, and consistently praise the high-quality musicians in her band. (March 9, 7 PM, $24, 473-1845)

CKY, Atreyu, Memento
Northern Lights, Wednesday

On tour in support of their new album, Infiltrate.Destroy.Rebuild, CKY are garnering tons of attention from various metal media sources. According to All Music Guide, the band have “found straight-ahead heavy metal underneath all the hype, showing an excellent talent for menacing melodies, grim lyrics and heavy riffs.” Grim seems accurate—track titles like “Escape From Hellview,” “Shock and Terror” and “Inhuman Creation Station” are featured on the album. The group’s guitarist, Chad I. Ginsburg, produced and mixed the album, which the band is proud to claim is devoid of all outside influences due to the fact there was no record- company involvement. Their current single, “Flesh Into Gear,” is featured in the big-screen film Jackass, and is getting play on radio and MTV2. Atreyu and Memento open for CKY at Northern Lights on Wednesday. (March 12, 7:30 PM, $12, $10 advance, 371-0012)

 also noted
California hard-metal group Trapt will play Northern Lights tonight (Thursday), with guests the Exies and Stage (8 PM, $12, 371-0012). . . . Celtic bigwigs the Chieftans will throw down the Irish fairy dust at Proctor’s tonight, touring behind their recent release Down the Old Plank Road: The Nashville Sessions (8 PM, $29-$39, 346-6204). . . . Tomorrow (Friday), Geoff Muldaur, of whom guitar god Richard Thompson has said, “There are only three white blues singers, and Geoff Muldaur is at least two of them,” will perform at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Mass. (8 PM, $20, $18 advance, 413-443-7171). . . . Texas-based Blind Pig recording artists Omar and the Howlers will provide a bit of roadhouse rock and R&B for the audience at the Van Dyck on Friday in celebration of their latest, Big Delta (7 and 9:30 PM, $15, 381-1111). . . . It’s a triple bill at the Larkin Friday, with NYC-based Julia Brown, third-based Bryan Thomas and carbon-based John Brodeur performing (8 PM, $5, 463-5225). . . . Celtic-music legends Altan will play Friday at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall (8 PM, $24, 273-0038). . . . Alternative-electronic jam band Lake Trout will play Valentine’s on Friday, with Dysrythmia and the Effect opening (8 PM, $12, 432-6572). . . . On the downstairs Valentine’s stage Friday, the regrouped Small Axe (New Mexico transplant Orien MacDonald is the band’s new bassist) will play a show with the Let Downs and Pop-a-Wheelie (9 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . Rap-metal fattys 2 Skinnee J’s will play Northern Lights on Friday, with our own Funkshop Loomis opening (doors 7:30 PM, $10, 371-0012). . . . Hiphop collective Pitch Control Music is putting on a show at Troy’s B.R. Finley’s (the old Positively 4th St.) on Saturday, with the Fundthementals, Family Ties, Soundwave, E-Saga, Viper and Noyze Mob DJs performing (10 PM, 271-9190). . . . Afro-pop artist Alpha YaYA Diallo will perform at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass., on Saturday (8 PM, $19, 413-458-2303). . . . DJ Panzah Zandahz and Soulfood will play as part of this week’s Goodship Tuesdays at B.R. Finley’s (that’s on Tuesday for the slower folk among you); Captain Entropy will provide the video (10:30 PM, free, 271-9190).

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