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Dropkick Murphys
Saratoga Winners, Thursday

Saratoga Winners will host a huge street-punk show tonight (Thursday), headlined by the Dropkick Murphys. Known for their ass-kicking live shows, the Murphys come to us in their prime of year: St. Patrick’s Day is their holiday. They hail from South Boston, you see, and their sound is infused with a bit o’ the Irish to create a mad Irish toast to punk. They titled their most recent release Live on St. Patrick’s Day From Boston, MA, for crying out peat. The CD was recorded in Boston’s Avalon Ballroom during a three-night span of sold-out shows—and, according to a slew of reviews of both the show and the disc, the Murphys rocked the freaking place. It’s an all-out lovefest between these guys and their fans. Their Winners show is a warm-up of sorts before they head back to Beantown for four sold-out shows. The Murphys were added to an already kickin’ punk-rock bill featuring Roger Miret and the Disasters, Discipline, Lower Class Brats and NY Rel-X (March 13, 7 PM, $18, $16 advance, 783-1010)

Tonic, Chris Emerson
Northern Lights, Thursday

Fresh from an appearance on the Caroline Rhea Show, Tonic head for Northern Lights tonight (Thursday) for a 16-plus show. According to a statement of purpose on their Web site, Tonic “have always been committed to supplying relief through their music.” And they spell relief r-o-c-k, as on “Take Me as I Am,” the Grammy-nominated hit single Billboard described as “granite-edged.” Formed in 1993 by vocalist and guitarist Emerson Hart, the roots-tinged modern-rock outfit cranked out two albums, and contributed songs to a couple of eminently forgettable soundtracks. (Anyone remember Clay Pigeons?) Big-time success finally arrived with last fall’s release of Head on Straight. This hard-rocking album—which contained the aforementioned Grammy- nominated tune—has sold a pile of copies. For their current tour, they’ve put the electric noisemakers away—this is an acoustic gig. Chris Emerson will open. (March 13, 7:30 PM, $12, $10 advance, 371-0012)

Mike Smith’s Rock Engine
The Van Dyck, Saturday

Before the Rolling Stones established themselves as the bad-boy alternative to the Beatles, the Dave Clark Five were regarded as the most serious threat to the Fab Four’s early dominance on this side of the pond. And the Brit quintet made a fine run of it, scoring a bunch of enduring hits out of the gate: “Glad All Over,” “Bits and Pieces,” “Can’t You See That She’s Mine” and others won over American audiences with their sure melodies, tight harmonies and exuberant rhythm section; but the real selling point was very arguably Mike Smith’s lead vocals. Smith—whom Tom Petty has called “one of the best singers of the ’60s”—has been living out his retirement in southern Spain (youngsters take note: Dave Clark was not only the bandleader but also the group’s producer and manager, and wrangled his group far more generous royalties than was the norm). Recently, however, Smith has put together a group interested in playing “for fun above everything else,” and hit the road to perform the songs that bought him the good life—which brings him to the Van Dyck on Saturday. (March 15, 7 and 9:30 PM, 381-1111)

Donnybrook Fair
The Parting Glass, Friday and Monday
The Egg, Saturday

Back in 1980, Celtic music was about as common in the Capital Region as bowling was in Ireland (you’ll just have to trust us on that one). But that year, along came Donnybrook Fair in the persons of David McDonnell, Kevin McKrell and Jeff Strange to bring authentic Celtic music, both traditional and contemporary, to such venues as the Chateau, the Grinch and the then-newly-opened Parting Glass. Over the next several years, Donnybrook developed a loyal local following and also toured extensively in the States and in Ireland; their success is said to have spawned both today’s thriving local Celtic-music scene and the mysterious appearance of East Greenbush native McKrell’s Irish accent. The original trio will reunite for three shows this week: at the Parting Glass tomorrow (Friday) and again on St. Pat’s Day (Monday), and at the Egg on Saturday. Kevin’s current band, the McKrells, will open the Egg show. (The Parting Glass: March 14: 9:30 PM, $10; March 17: 6 PM, free; 583-1916. The Egg: March 15; 8 PM; $18, $15 seniors, $12 children; 473-1845)

Marlow, Dana Monteith
The Larkin, Saturday

Onetime Ominous Seapod Todd Pasternack, aka Marlow, left our area for a spell, or strongly intended to leave (we’re not really sure about this fact), but he just couldn’t move (or stay) away. (His open letter to his near-and-dear Albany can be found on thehiddencity.com, and it’ll explain everything.) Pasternack was a seminal member of the aforementioned Seapods as well as the popular Lo Faber Band. Last year, he released his debut solo disc, White Out, a personal work detailing love, loss and renewal. Allmusic.com claims the CD “may very well be the most melancholy roots rock effort of 2002.” Opera-trained vocalist Angela Ford provided backing vocals on the disc, and she’ll be joining him for his show Saturday at the Larkin. Ford, who also plays bass, and Pasternak are touring the East coast as an acoustic duo behind the release, providing stripped-down versions of the disc’s songs that, according to Pasternack, sound “the way they sounded when I wrote them in my bedroom.” Fellow ex-Seapod Dana Montieth is also on the bill. (March 15, 9 PM, $5, 463-5225)


THE GIBSON BROTHERS

The Gibson Brothers
Saratoga Music Hall, Sunday

You can’t underestimate the power of family connection when it comes to making music; there’s just something about sibling harmony. From the Carter family to the Louvin Brothers to the Everly Brothers, there’s something undefinable and right on about that sound. And in that tradition—and right in our backyard—there are the Gibson Brothers. The Gibsons grew up on a dairy farm in upstate New York where, they say, there were only two choices for recreation: baseball and music. Baseball’s loss is bluegrass’ gain. Inspired by the legendary Flatt & Scruggs, Eric picked up a banjo, teamed with guitar-playing brother Leigh and “backed into professional playing.” The brothers may have backed in, but they’ve managed to build impressive momentum nonetheless, winning IBMA’s Emerging Artist of the Year Award and signing with Ricky Skaggs’ Ceili Records in 1998. The brothers have since switched to the prestigious Sugar Hill label, and their latest, Bona Fide, presents a rich selection of country and bluegrass originals and covers—including a run through the inspirational Scruggs’ classic “Shuckin’ the Corn.” (March 16, 7 PM, 581-1604)

 also noted
Banjo legend Tony Trischka will bring his band to Club Helsinki in Great Barrington, Mass., tonight (Thursday) in celebration of his new release, New Deal (8:30 PM, $15, $12 advance, 413-528-3394). . . . Local death-metal band Wasteform will play an all-ages show at Valentine’s tomorrow (Friday) in association with Stillborn Records; Full Blown Chaos, the Takeover, Dead Wrong and Clitorture are also on the bill (8 PM, $10, 432-6572). . . . Downstairs at Valentine’s on Friday, Albie’s Low Thief will play, as will the Frank Moscowitz and Martha Kronholm vehicle Mabel and roots-rock radicals the Sifters (9 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . Local porch crooners the Kamikaze Hearts will bring their bad selves to the Van Dyck on Friday for two shows (7 and 9:30 PM, $6, 381-1111). . . . On Saturday, Greg Brown, gruff-voiced singer-songwriter and founder of the Red House record label, will play an Eighth Step concert at Chancellors Hall in Albany (Washington and Hawk streets to be exact), with Pieta Brown (his daughter) and Bo Ramsey opening (8 PM, $20, 434-1703). . . . Tom Burre’s informal ensemble Ghost Names are up to their ninth incarnation, and on Saturday, his Ghost Names 9 will include himself (obviously), Albie, Mike Hotter, Mike Lopez and Mitch Elrod; also on the bill that night are Stephen Gaylord’s the Wasted and noise-rockers Amazing Plaid (10 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . We now begin the onslaught of Irish. Tin-whistle master Paddy Keenan, who’s also considered the world’s finest uilleann piper, returns to Caffe Lena this Saturday after selling out the place a few years back; area singer-guitarist Susan Hamlin will join him (6 and 9 PM, $22, 583-0022). . . . Seven-piece traditional Irish band Danú, featuring famed Irish vocalist Ciarán Ó Gealbháin, will cross the big pond for an Old Songs concert Saturday at Altamont’s Masonic Hall (8 PM, $21, $5 kids, 765-2815). . . . A pub-punk party will take place at Valentine’s on Saturday, with Nogoodnix and Slick Fitty (8 PM, $7, 432-6572). . . . Derek Warfield, founder of the legendary Irish balladeers the Wolfe Tones, will stop in to the new Revolution Hall (next to the Troy Pub and Brewery) for a special St. Patty’s Day show on Sunday (4 PM, 20, 273-2337). . . . On the big day itself, Monday, Irish rockers the Saw Doctors, sporting a new lineup, will play the Calvin Theatre in Northampton, Mass., behind their new compilation CD Play It Again, Sham! (8 PM, $27.50, 800-THE-TICK). . . . And now for something completely different: This week’s Goodship Tuesday features Troy musician/multimedia artist Seth Cluett, DJ Flip One, 518 hiphop artist Atypical, and Shift; Nobody Creative will provide your video enjoyment (10:30 PM, free, 271-9190).

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