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The Jazz Passengers
MASS MoCA, North Adams, Mass., Saturday

Yes, it’s cool that the Jazz Passengers are playing at MASS MoCA. Yes, you should be excited that these onetime Big Apple Circus pit-band players and former members of John Lurie’s Lounge Lizards are trekking out of their usual downtown Manhattan haunts to the idyllic Berkshires, abandoning the Knitting Factory for a different type of avant-garde setting. But, dude, check this out: This outfit, led by saxophonist Roy Nathanson and trombonist Curtis Fowlkes, will be making the trip to provide both the live soundtrack and the dialogue to a screening of the horror classic The Creature From the Black Lagoon—which will be shown in 3-D. Honestly, where else are you going to get this kind of entertainment? Tanglewood? (Aug. 2, 8:30, $12, $6 kids, 413-662-2111)

Hudson River Theater, Hudson, Saturday

Let’s get the name-dropping over with first. Weak is Antony Widoff. Widoff toured with David Bowie last year, re-creating sounds from Low for the Thin White Duke, and previously with U2 on the ZooTV and POP tours, when the Irish rockers were in their well-meaning art-pop phase. He has recorded with such disparate luminaries as Tomoyasu Hotei, Peck Slip and Memorial Garage. (No, we’re not sure who they are either.) Weak’s first album was released in February, and its shimmering, multilayered pop soundscape is damn near irresistible. The jauntily neurotic lyrics are absurdly clever, and the sweetly strangled vocals suggest that Syd Barrett has been whispering in Widoff’s ear. Now based in Hudson, Weak is, reportedly, already at work on his second disc. See Weak before he decides to set up operations somewhere cooler. (Aug. 2, 8 PM, $15, 822-8189)

Bon Jovi, the Goo Goo Dolls
Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Sunday

It wasn’t too long ago that veteran rocker Jon Bon Jovi chopped his hair and donned a shag (considering Bon Jovi’s been around since 1983), and while we’ll miss his frizzy ’80s ’do when he and his band play SPAC on Sunday, we’re damn excited that he’s coming around again. The group that rocked us through the ’80s and ’90s with their working-class tunes will play our area in support of their most recent LP, Bounce. Bon Jovi have said that although some of the songs on the new album were influenced by Sept. 11, the album is not based solely on that tragedy. The CD will be out in early October, but you can almost certainly hear some of the songs on Sunday. Staying with the moptop theme, the Goo Goo Dolls will open. (Aug. 3, 7:30 PM, $85, $30 lawn, 476-1000)

Adema, Powerman 5000, Spineshank, Fingerfight
Northern Lights, Sunday

Nu-metal rap-rockers Adema sprung out of the same California Central Valley scene from which Korn and Videodrone first burst forth, and their self-titled debut in 2001 on Arista was the result of a frothy feeding frenzy among labels. As a matter of fact, Adema’s lineup (which includes Mark Chavez, younger half-brother of Korn’s Jonathan Davis, and Videodrone drummer Kris Kohls) had been together for a year before ever hitting the stage, but they were hard at work recording demos—hard work that obviously paid off. Adema, which may remind listeners of albums by fellow heavy-rockin’ outfits Staind, Korn, Tool and Limp Bizkit, was one of 2001’s most-anticipated albums in its genre. The band have since honed their live-show experience, with Chavez working the crowd like he was born for it. You can check ’em out at Northern Lights on Sunday, when they’ll co-headline with fellow alt-metalheads Powerman 5000. Spineshank and Fingerfight are also on the bill. (Aug. 3, 8 PM, $15, 371-0012)

Taj Mahal
The Egg, Sunday
Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton, Mass., Monday-Tuesday

In the kingdom of blues, Taj Mahal has been the reigning jack-of-all-trades for more than 35 years. His musical career spans the spectrum of folk and roots styles, combining elements of reggae, zydeco, gospel and jazz with traditional acoustic blues. His 1997 rock- and pop-inspired journey, Señor Blues, earned the artist a Grammy, and helped solidify public appeal for his unique brand of rule-taunting blues. He has more than 20 instruments in his repertoire, and his voice ranges from deep, bitter sentiment to smooth soul. His self-titled debut album, released in 1968, is still regarded as one of the most important milestones in the acoustic-blues revival of that decade. Despite his habit of bending the traditional rules associated with genres (or maybe because of it), Taj Mahal has become an influence for many contemporary musicians, and he continues to be an example of uncommon versatility within the realm of acoustic blues. He’ll perform at the Egg in Albany on Sunday and at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, Mass., on Monday and Tuesday. (Egg: Aug. 3, 7:30 PM, $28, 473-1845; Iron Horse: Aug. 4-5, 7 and 9:30 PM, $35, 800-THE-TICK)


The Subdudes
Washington Park, Albany, Monday

When the Subdudes’ self-titled debut album was released in 1990, the New Orleans-based band were marketed as another of the crop of Americana-influenced college rockers enjoying cultish success at the time (think Big Dipper, the Connells). This proved to be a less-than-brilliant PR ploy: The Subdudes, though quirky—they were forerunners of the pop-act-with-alternative- percussion thing, featuring a tambourine-and-conga player rather than a kit drummer—were never quite at home in that field; nonetheless, when the college-rock scene faded, the band faded along with it. But, now, the Subdudes are back (well, three of the four original members are back), and it’s a fair bet that their blend of soul, R&B, funk and virtuosic tambourine will find a better-informed audience in these days of multiculti world-beat stylings—unless some addled image-conscious manager-type tries to sell them as hardcore rap. (Aug. 7, 7:30 PM, free, 866-333-8191)

 also noted
Cape Breton fiddler Natalie MacMaster will provide her fans Celtic fiddling aplenty when she performs at the final Alive at Five concert in Albany’s Riverfront Park tonight (Thursday), with local Irish group the McKrells opening (5 PM, free, 434-2032). . . . Electro-acoustic cinema artists dyad, who design the software they perform on, will blend their lush synthesized music with saturated moving images when they perform (what else?) an Impulse Response show tonight at 623 River St. in Troy; Latvian-born, Baltimore-based emerging microsound artist loadbang will also perform (8 PM, $5, $3 students/seniors, 281-3206). . . . Also tonight, seven-piece party band the TS Ensemble will play from their extensive repertoire that stretches from swing to current hits at Saratoga Springs venue Hurricane Sam’s. Music won’t be all that’s offered, as CDs and T-shirts will be given away (8 PM, 587-6074). . . . Bluesman Otis Taylor will be in Schenectady’s Central Park on Sunday, performing in support of his fifth CD, Truth Is Not Fiction (4 PM, free, 866-333-8191).

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