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Papa Roach, Die Trying, Nonpoint, Reach 454
Northern Lights, Friday

“I want to cause every emotion in people,” says Jacoby Shaddix of the rock quartet Papa Roach. “I want them to fight, to fuck; I want to bring out their violence, their sadness, their happiness.” Papa Roach’s songs, which cover topics ranging from ADD to suicide, combine elements of hiphop, punk and funk with a heaping dose of heavy. The band formed in 1993 in the small California town of Vacaville, and (contrary to popular belief) named themselves after Shaddix’s grandfather. Now with six recordings under their belt, Papa Roach have put their name on the music charts and are currently touring in promotion of their latest album, and will stop in to Northern Lights tomorrow (Friday). Die Trying, Nonpoint and Reach 454 will open the show. (March 21, doors 7:30 PM, $15, 371-0012 )

Nnenna Freelon
The Van Dyck, Saturday

Nnenna Freelon thought she had it all—devoted husband, three kids, dog, cat, a house in the suburbs and a career as a health-care administrator. But, as Freelon recalls, she was driving everybody “a little nuts.” So, at the urging of her husband, Freelon ditched the job and set out to do what she had always wanted: become a professional jazz singer. That was almost 20 years ago. Ten years ago she released her first major-label album. Freelon was immediately praised for what the Seattle Times called her “gorgeous, cello-like alto range bringing jazz, gospel, R&B, folk and world ingredients to the table.” Her most recent disc, Tales of Wonder, is a funk-tinged jazz exploration of the music of Stevie Wonder. On her current tour, which brings her to the Van Dyck on Saturday (March 22), Freelon will sing material from Wonder’s songbook, as well as traditional jazz standards. Oh, since you’re probably curious, “Nnenna” is the Ibo (a Nigerian language) word for “first-born daughter.” (March 22, 7 and 9:30 PM, $24, 381-1111)

Struction, Complicated Shirt, the Amazing Plaid, Denim & Diamonds
Scarlet East Studios, Saturday

In the mood for loud, pulsating, fractured, cacophonous fun? Friend, you’re in luck. It’s time for a CD-release extravaganza with local outfits Struction and Complicated Shirt. Both bands have been toiling away in the studio, and offer up the fruit of their labors for a comparative pittance: three bucks for Struction’s album, and two for the Shirt disc. Don’t know what Struction think about the Shirtsters, but this quote comes from the Complicated Shirt Web site: “When I sing into the mirror using a hairbrush as a microphone, nine times out of 10 it is to Struction’s new 6-song EP.” That’s better than a Good Housekeeping seal. While the Amazing Plaid and Denim & Diamonds have no new product to peddle, no doubt they will serve up a bundle of fresh sounds. The all-ages fun happens this Saturday night at an unusual venue—Scarlet East Studios, way downtown in old Albany, not far from dear old Nipper, at 448B N. Pearl St. (March 22, 8 PM, $2, 426-9529)

 

ZAKIR HASSAIN

Zakir Hussain, Shankar and Gingger
The Egg, Sunday

For those of you who shudder when you hear the phrase “world music”—picturing a middle-age white guy with a graying ponytail and a rainstick—Sunday’s show at the Egg could be a revelation. Zakir Hussain is regarded as a forerunner of the world-music movement for lending his virtuosic percussive talents to the works of a number of forward-looking Western musicians: George Harrison, Billy Cobham, Van Morrison, Mickey Hart and both the Hong Kong and New Orleans symphony orchestras—among a great many others—have employed Hussain’s nimble fingers. Perhaps most famously, Hussain collaborated with guitar guru John McLaughlin in a legendary East-West supergroup called Shakti (McLaughlin’s first project after the disbanding of the Mahavishnu Orchestra). Opening for Hussain will be violinists-vocalists Shankar and Gingger, whose abilities on the double violin (which has a range from double bass to violin) have drawn collaborators from Phil Collins to Steve Vai. (March 23, 3 PM, $24, 473-1845)

Wesley Willis
Valentine’s, Wednesday

Rock over Albany! Wesley Willis is coming back! This time through, the Chicago-based cult fave is solo, just the man and his keyboard. The upshot is you’ll really be able to focus on the craftsmanship and subtlety of songs such as “Urge Overkill,” “Swervedriver,” and “Foo Fighters” without any distraction. Willis, a self-described schizophrenic who claims that writing songs helps quiet the voices in his head, is a songwriter of the most exuberant sort, constructing straight-ahead celebrations of the simple pleasures—the performers and trivial cultural phenomena—that rock his world. Pop-music heroes, McDonald’s, and bus rides through Chicago all fuel his muse. Angry Atom will open, and very possibly end up as a Wesley Willis song title in the future. (March 26, 8 PM, $10, 432-6572)


Jazz Mandolin Project
Club Helsinki, Wednesday

Vermont mandolin virtuoso Jamie Masefield is determined to break stereotypes about his instrument of choice, and throughout the 10 or so years that his band the Jazz Mandolin Project have been a going concern, he’s also managed to make many question their firmly held beliefs about jazz. At times a tight power-pop trio, at others a loose improv ensemble, the Project have continued to gain momentum despite a few member changes—the most recent being the addition of a brand-new drummer. The band’s newest release, Jungle Tango, comes out Tuesday. It was put out on their own Lenapee Records, and it’s the Project’s first album in a couple years. Masefield has said of the effort, “We decided the goal of this CD was to highlight the elements that make us unique, that sound like no one else and showcase our own approach to improvising.” He and his band will attempt to fulfill this live as they kick off their tour at Club Helsinki in Great Barrington on Wednesday. (March 26, 8 PM, $15, $12 advance, 413-528-3394)

 also noted
New area indie-pop quartet Under Violet—featuring former Orange drummer Dan Sorensen, Runna Muck bassist Dave Trump, Stevie Wander singer-guitarist Nick Matulis and vocalist Anna Lazarou—will play tonight (Thursday) at Valentine’s (9 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . The former Café Web site is now the home to Altar Records (1040 Madison Ave., Albany), and there have already been a couple live shows there; tonight, Star of Rock, solo performer and in-demand producer Brent Gorton, and the Wasted will perform (7 PM, free). . . . Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Janis Ian, of “At Seventeen” fame, will play the Van Dyck tonight (7 and 9:30 PM, $22, 381-1111). . . . Habana Sax, a Cuban ensemble comprising four sax players and a percussionist, will return to the Egg for a show tomorrow (Friday) night (8 PM, $24, 473-1845). . . . Local punk-rock-meisters Plastic Jesus, who have been hard at work in the studio and are finishing up a release planned for April, will play the upstairs stage at Valentine’s Friday; Public Access, Skarmy of Darkness, 5 Cent Deposit and the Schematics are also on the bill. Downstairs that night, the Day Jobs, themselves done recording their soon-to-be-released debut How I Wanted to Be, will share the stage with other loverly locals Nohellers and Gobhi and NYC popsters the Fad (up: 7 PM, $10; down: 9 PM, $5; 432-6572). . . . The nine-piece Out of Control Rhythm & Blues Band will celebrate their 21st year together at the Van Dyck Friday (7 and 9:30 PM, $8, 381-1111). . . . Leading avant-garde jazz trombonist Roswell Rudd will bring his quartet to Bard College on Saturday; he and his band will offer a free lecture and demonstration prior to the show at 3 PM (8 PM, $20, $25 seniors and students, 845-876-7666). . . . Albany-based goth-rock outfit the Flying Butresses are back in a re-formed manner (their third incarnation), and they’ll play a show at Valentine’s on Saturday, along with Mary Prankster (just the prankster, not the band) and local art-rock band k8e (9 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . Proctor’s Theatre offers a ’60s Rock & Roll Spectacular with the Happenings (“See You in September”), Gary Puckett (“Young Girl”), the Buckinghams (“Kind of a Drag”), the Tokens (“The Lion Sleeps Tonight”) and Barbara Harris and the Toys (7:30 PM, $42.50, 476-1000). . . . Genre-bending banjo-master (and, apparently a huge fan of Albany) Béla Fleck will bring his Flecktones to Albany’s newly refurbished Palace Theatre on Saturday; the show is presented by the Egg, so call the Egg box office for tickets (8 PM, $30, $27.50 advance, 473-1845). . . . Lark Street Bookshop (formerly Bryn Mawr) will hold its second night of acoustified talent (a monthly series booked by Carl Smith) on Tuesday, with area favorites Mabel and Jason Martin performing (7 PM, free, 465-8126). . . . Platinum-selling singer-songwriter Edwin McCain will play the Iron Horse in Northampton, Mass., on Wednesday, touring in support of his recent release, The Austin Sessions (7 PM, $14, 800-THE-TICK).

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