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Queens of the Stone Age, Turbonegro
Northern Lights, Thursday

When early-’90s stoner-rock band Kyuss called it quits in ’95 after years of hard work and less-than-satisfying public reception, singer-guitarist Josh Homme was so disappointed, he didn’t pick up his guitar for an entire year. Then, after being recruited for a few stints on tour with Screaming Trees, Homme reunited with another former Kyuss bandmember, bassist Nick Oliveri. Together they formed Queens of the Stone Age, and have since been joined by a revolving cast of musicians filling in the different roles that make up the hard-rock band, including Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl and Screaming Trees’ Mark Lanegan. The Queens signed with Stone Gossard’s Loose Groove label in 1998 and released their self-titled debut, followed by Rated R in 2000. Tonight (Thursday), they take the stage at Northern Lights; Turbonegro will open. (March 27, doors 7:30 PM, $20, 371-0012)

John Cowan Band
Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Friday

Note to the uninitiated: “New grass” is not always a horticultural term. When used in a sentence that contains phrases such as “blazing bluegrass hybrid,” it refers to a singular style of music that took flight in the mid-’70s, thanks to a band called New Grass Revival. Blending bluegrass, jazz, folk and pop—while still showcasing traditional bluegrass instruments such as banjo and mandolin—the band rocked a once-staid genre to its core. John Cowan was a founding member of New Grass Revival, driving the band’s sound with his soaring tenor and multi-instrumental prowess (mandolin, fiddle and electric guitar, for starters). Cowan brings his band to the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall tomorrow (Friday). Revered bluegrass icon Peter Rowan and Leftover Salmon mandolin hotshot Drew Emmitt come along for the ride. (March 28, 8 PM, $22 and $25, 273-0038 or www.troymusichall.org)

Marwood, the Suggestions, Kitty Little, Rockets and Blue Lights
Valentine’s, Sunday

The last time New York City-based Marwood came through our little town, they were known as the Ben Rogers Band. They’ve since gained a bassist and a drummer, pumped up the volume a bit, and recorded their second self-released longplayer, Regular Fips. London-born Rogers, who first worked in the field as a roadie for the likes of Def Leppard and Genesis, fronts the band, who have caught the ears of NYC’s live-music fans and radio DJs alike. They play in the city to packed crowds, recently selling out a new East Village venue, and one radio personality chose Marwood as one of his 10 favorite bands. Lead guitarist Rob Overbey, who’s been with Rogers since the days of BRB, claims, “This is what we love to do and we don’t really have a choice; we’re not good at anything else.” Kitty Little, the Suggestions and Rockets and Blue Lights share the bill. (March 30, 8 PM, $5, 432-6572)

Cyrus Chestnut Trio
The Van Dyck, Saturday

Cyrus Chestnut has been an influential jazz pianist and bandleader for almost a decade. After apprenticeships with such legends as Betty Carter and Jon Hendricks, and a stint with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Chestnut launched his career with Revelation. This disc topped both the jazz charts and the critics’ polls. Since then, he has recorded with an ever-changing trio lineup—of late, Chestnut’s combo has featured drummer Al Vistar Garnet and bassist Steve Kirby—and has done fascinating collaborations with opera diva Kathleen Battle, and albums of classically inspired music, jazz, originals, and gospel tunes. (He still found time to play in the hard-swinging all-star band featured in Robert Altman’s Kansas City.) His most recent disc, Soul Food, mixes (as the title implies) soul with jazz, on both originals and covers—including, again, a hymn. It’s worth pointing out that Chestnut made his first connection to music in the church: “I heard my father playing piano and I heard the congregation singing. . . . My whole spirit of joy started right there.” (March 29, 7 and 9:30 PM, $22, 381-1111)


MARSHALL CRENSHAW

Marshall Crenshaw
Linda Norris Auditorium, Saturday

Marshall Crenshaw is the anti-fad: For nearly 20 years, the Detroit native has been producing pop gems in the tradition of the masters—the Beach Boys, the Beatles, Motown—all the while remaining current and accessible. If he’s never quite blown up (he’s never been called upon to perform the halftime show at the Super Bowl backed by half-shirted hotties, for example), it’s only because his work is so solid and enduring that it would seem insulting to present it as the next big thing: Crenshaw writes new songs that sound as if they’ve always been here. The last couple of times the Brooklyn resident has made the trip upstate, he’s banged out those tunes solo-acoustic style; this time, he’s got an electric guitarist and a stand-up bassist in tow to help him fill the space at WAMC’s Linda Norris Auditorium with all his pop-music goodness. (March 29, 7:30 PM, $22, 800-323-9262)

 also noted
THE FIGGS
We can’t pronounce their name, but we’re print, so we don’t have to: SNMNMNM will roll down the Thruway from Rochester, tuba and accordion in tow, for a show at Valentine’s tonight (Thursday). Also on the bill are North Carolina girl-rock trio the Pinkslips, and Tasteless Groove (9 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . NYC modern lounge group Dave’s True Story will make a return trip to Great Barrington’s Club Helsinki tonight (9 PM, $10, 413-528-3394). . . . Tomorrow (Friday), local multi-instrumentalist and jack-of-all-genres Kevin Maul will share his broad musical knowledge in a workshop at Mother’s in the RPI Student Union. Maul will gear the workshop to the audience; preregistration is encouraged (8 PM; RPI and Sage students free, other students, seniors, RPI faculty, staff and alums $1, general public $2; 276-8585). . . . Also Friday, Maria Muldaur will pay tribute to Peggy Lee in two shows at the Van Dyck (7 and 9:30 PM, $20, 381-1111). . . . At the Larkin Lounge Friday, the Knothouse Trio—featuring local-music mainstays Mitch Elrod, Albie and knotworking’s Mike Hotter—will display the fruits of their on-the-side jam sessions, with another knotworker, Ed Gorch, opening the show (10 PM, $5, 463-5225). . . . NYC’s the Master Plan (featuring members of the Fleshtones and the Dictators) will play Artie’s Lansingburgh Station on Friday, with our very own Lawn Sausages opening (9 PM, $5, 238-2788). . . . Spa City boys-made-good the Figgs will return to the source Saturday for a show at Falstaff’s on the Skidmore College campus; fellow Saratogians the 1234’s will open (8 PM, $5, 580-5787). . . . It’s a songwriter showcase at the Larkin Saturday, featuring Karen Kosowski, Andrea Florian, Brian Bassett and Laura Boggs (8 PM, $5, 463-5225). . . . Also Saturday, EMI recording artist Sev Statik comes to Valentine’s; sharing the bill for the 18-and-up event are Funkshop Loomis and the Bufftones (9 PM, $7, 432-6572). . . . The Kennedys (as in couple Pete and Maura), whose musical palette ranges from roots rock to ambient etheria, will perform at Caffe Lena Saturday (9 PM, $14, 583-0022). . . . On Sunday, the String Trio of New York (that would be a violin, a guitar and a bass) will bring jazz improvisation and other string things to the WAMC Performing Arts Studio (2 PM, $15, 465-5233 ext. 4). . . . Monday, Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors will bring their mainstream country to the faithful at the Pepsi Arena (7:30 PM, $60-$40, 476-1000). . . . Finally, Project/Object will aim to re- create the Frank Zappa experience—complete with three Zappa/Mothers of Invention alums—at Valentine’s on Wednesday (8 PM, $10, 432-6572).

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