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Small Axe CD-Release, the Sixfifteens
Valentine’s, Friday

They’re from Round Lake. They’re riff heavy. They’re heavy metal—the sort that was made in those long-ago days before hair-bands ruled that genre. They’re Small Axe. And they’ve got a message for you. Well, we don’t really know that they’ve got a message, but they’ve got a new CD out, and they’ll celebrate the release of it tomorrow (Friday) at Valentine’s. We love A Shot to the Body and A Blow to the Head—two of their prior releases—and we’re beginning to wonder if their newest, Ride to the Bottom, isn’t part of some Foucault-meets-Sartre trilogy type thing. Even if it’s not, we’re sure it rocks steadfastly, as all of their releases have. Head on over to Valentine’s and rock en masse. The Sixfifteens open. (May 16, 9 PM, $5, 432-6572)

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Queens of the Stone Age, the Mars Volta
Pepsi Arena, Saturday

The Red Hot Chili Peppers have been around so damned long that Anthony Kiedis is threatening to write his memoirs. While this might make a salaciously enjoyable read, one can’t help but wonder if the world really needs another rock star ruminating about his life. (Besides, all this was covered on VH1—or was it E!?) Better Kiedis stick to what he knows—going ape-shit all over the stage with the rest of the Chili Peppers, the band that put the white-boy-funk into punk and got rich. The market is flooded with Chili Peppers products now, from their most recent album (By The Way) to Capitol’s recent rereleases of their back catalog. Why resist? Also on the bill are the hotter-than-hot Queens of the Stone Age—coming off their most successful year ever—and Mars Volta. Featuring Cedric Bixler and Omar Rodriguez (ex-At The Drive-In), Mars Volta have a “near-mythic” reputation as a live act. Will they give the Peppers and the Queens a run for the money? (May 17, 8 PM, $38.50, 487-2000)

A Global Threat, Clit 45, the Epidemic, Mr. Wednesday, Honor Among Thieves
Valentine’s, Saturday

Despite a few considerable changes in lineup over the years, Boston-based A Global Threat are still going strong since forming in 1997. They played the Boston scene for a while, during which they released a couple of EPs: The Kids Will Revolt and What the Fuck Will Change. After a short Northeastern tour, the punk-rockers recorded their first full-length album on Atlanta’s GMM Records, 1999’s Until We Die. During that time Step-One Records out of England offered to combine their first two EPs to make a full-length album, resulting in the LP version of What the Fuck Will Change. Also on the band’s résumé are releases with labels like Punkcore, Anarchist and Rodent Popsicle. Lately, A Global Threat have been on tour with fellow Mohawk-sporting punksters Clit 45; they stop in Albany this weekend to shake things up on New Scotland Avenue. A Global Threat and Clit 45 will be joined by the Epidemic, Mr. Wednesday and Honor Among Thieves. (May 17, 8 PM, $10, 432-6572)

The Hackensaw Boys
Club Helsinki, Great Barrington, Mass., Sunday

We really like the idea of a bluegrass band touring the country in a 1964 GMC touring coach spreading the love of real, acoustic hill music. Add to that vision the fact it’s taking place right now (not in 1964), and that, even so, the eight have names like Pee Paw, Shiner, the Kooky-eyed Fox, Skeeter, Salvage, Charley Blue Eyes and Mahlon, and we’re delirious with joy and expectation. That expectation can be tested when the aforementioned outfit, the Hackensaw Boys, touch down at Great Barrington’s Club Helsinki on Sunday. Advance word—and the evidence of their latest live release Give It Back—suggests that these young ’uns will make you holler “yee-haw” without irony for the first time in your life. (May 18, 8 PM, $12, 413-528-3394)

O.A.R., the Lost Trailers
Northern Lights, Monday

Back when we went to college, every time we crashed a frat party there was some wah-heavy hack band playing a way-too-long version of “Fire on the Mountain.” How times have changed: Since the explosion of Hootie & the Blowfish, the college circuit has been throwing up arena-packing wonders with great regularity. O.A.R.—who have been likened to the God of All College Parties, Dave Matthews—came out of Ohio State University, and their roots-and-reggae bounce has made them faves in quads nationwide. Though they have yet to reach the status of megastars, they’ve left the frat house behind and moved way up on the marquis. Down below them on the marquis at this gig will be the Lost Trailers. (May 19, 7:30 PM, $17.50, 371-0012)


Cobra Verde with J Mascis, the Amazing Plaid
Valentine’s, Tuesday

Cobra Verde probably became best-known for being Bob Pollard’s backing band as Guided By Voices, and their presence on GBV’s 1997 release, Mag Earwhig!, gave the critics something to rave about (everyone wanted them to repeat the impact of Bee Thousand, and Cobra Verde gave ’em the skills to get close). In fact, one of that album’s great singles, “I Am a Tree,” was actually written by then-CV guitarist Doug Gillard. Gillard’s no longer in the band, and we’ve been digressing for like a month, but when Cobra Verde play Valentine’s on Tuesday, be prepared to be saturated with rock (we’re not exactly sure how to prepare, there must be a Web site on the subject). The purveyors of trashy-glam-retro-pop—the Stooges, David Bowie, Mott the Hoople, T. Rex, and even early Urge Overkill have been mentioned in the same breath with the Cleveland lads—are touring behind their recently released Easy Listening, produced by former MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer, a fan of the band. Dinosaur Jr. guitar-freak J Mascis shows up on the disc, and he’ll show up on the Valentine’s stage, too, as part of Cobra Verde. The Amazing Plaid open. (May 20, 8 PM, $10, 432-6572)

 also noted
It should come as no surprise by now that there will be an interesting and unusual show across the river this weekend, and Friday’s show with free-improv duo Vic Rawlings and Mike Bullock fits the bill. The two are members of Boston’s happening improvisation scene—Rawlings plays an amplified cello and “cracked electronics,” and Bullock’s on the amped-up contrabass and oscillator—and they’re coming to play a show at Troy art space 51 3rd Street (8 PM, $5, $3 students and seniors, 281-3206). . . . Guitar legend Kim Simmonds and blues-rock pioneers Savoy Brown will play the Van Dyck Friday, touring behind their latest, Strange Dreams—Albany’s own guitar god David Malachowski is also in the band (7 and 9:30 PM, $20, 381-1111). . . . Valentine’s is the place to be Friday if alt-metal is your thing, as Austin, Texas-based rap-metal group Unloco will be performing behind their January release, Healing; Factory 81, Memento, the Sofa Kings and our own Great Day for Up will open (8 PM, $10, $8 advance, 432-6572). . . . The Ironweed Collective—“a group committed to social justice through the creation of autonomous/self-sufficient communities of resistance and through the destruction of hierarchies”—will hold a benefit on Saturday at Albany’s Free School, with music and poetry galore. Enoch (of indie-rockin’ Rockets and Bluelights), 187 Crew and Friendship Is Terrible (those of you who memorized their song from the back page of Screed last month can sing along) are among the performers (6 PM doors, $4 suggested donation, 436-0929). . . . One of Albie Von Shaaf’s ensembles, Lowthief, will play the Larkin on Saturday, as will Mitch Elrod’s newest band, CountrySoulHouse (“zen roadhouse rock”), with singer-songwriter Sean Rowe (8 PM, $5, 463-5225).

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