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The Fixx
Revolution Hall, Friday

You may best remember the London-based Fixx as the quirky, synth-heavy new-wave band responsible for the early-’80s songs “Red Skies at Night” and “Stand or Fall”—though neither of those were hits stateside, the 1982 album that contained them (Shuttered Room) stayed on the charts for almost a year. Graced with frontman Cy Curnin’s unmistakable voice and Jamie West-Oram’s sharp, textural guitar work, the Fixx distinguished themselves among the slew of like-sounding synth bands, scoring platinum with 1983’s follow-up album, Reach the Beach. The band’s popularity waned in the following decade, however, and it was not until 1999 that an album of rerecorded greatest hits sparked new interest—and new inspiration. The band’s most recent studio album, Want That Life, has been hailed by one critic as the band’s masterwork and likened to Roxy Music’s touchstone album Avalon. (Nov. 7, 8 PM, $15, 273-2337)

Cookies Downtown
The New Age Cabaret, Friday

If there’s one phrase that’s repeated over and over when it comes to New York City’s Cookies Downtown, it’s “high-energy rock & roll.” The all-girl quintet must really put on a show, ’cause their name can’t be mentioned, it seems, without this phrase. Cookies Downtown will make tracks to Albany’s downtown to play a punk-rock-palooza at the New Age Cabaret tomorrow (Friday). The band formed in early 2002—they met each other at parties, through classifieds and at the family dinner table (Anoush Hovhannessian learned bass specifically to be in CD with her lead-guitarist sister, Anna)—with the intention of rocking it Runaways-style. NYC mags write their shows up all the time, always alluding to their tough-girl sensibilities and rocker-chick style. Joining CD will be Plastic Jesus, the Wasted, Swindle Epi, Infected Minds and No Excuse. (Nov. 7, 8 PM, $6, 436-3465)

Lake Trout, Secret Machines, the Effect, Rezi
Valentine’s, Saturday

Following the release of their fourth album, Another One Lost, Lake Trout bring their tight, hypnotic repeating loops to Valentine’s on Saturday—and though they may sound like samples, Lake Trout play these loops on live instruments. Drawing inspiration from Miles Davis, the White Stripes and Wes Montgomery, their latest work has been likened to Radiohead, just not so British. The five members all hail from the early ’90’s jazz-fusion scene in Baltimore, but by ’97 they became fascinated with the jam-band craze. Although none of the band members actually cared for jam-band veterans such as the Grateful Dead and Phish, they appreciated the experience that playing hippie fests and the Jammy Awards gave them. With their recent release, Lake Trout are out to set the record straight: The band build their live sets around their winding improvisations, but that doesn’t necessarily categorize them as a jam band. Another One Lost expresses the more solemn side to life, as Lake Trout shine their own dark light into their corner of intelligent art rock. (Nov. 8, 8 PM, $12, $10 advance, 432-6572)

Gillian Welch and David Rawlings
Pearl Street, Northampton, Mass., Monday
The Egg, Tuesday

Gillian Welch has arguably the best female voice in contemporary roots music. She turned heads when she opened for (and some say outshined) Norah Jones over the summer, and has been highly decorated for her contributions to the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack as well as her own work. Welch has made four of her own records, but has lent her talent to records by Ryan Adams, Mark Knopfler and Ralph Stanley, to name a few. Her voice is stirring and unadorned, and though her songs feel like they’re from a bygone era, her lyrics never feel remote. Welch self-releases her albums with partner David Rawlings on their own label, Acony. Her newest record, Soul Journey, finds Welch as a soloist for the first time on a few songs, while other tracks have been compared to the freewheeling style of Bob Dylan’s The Basement Tapes. Rawlings, though not the big name on the marquis, is a stellar multi-instrumentalist whose sweet harmonies tightly shadow Welch’s vocals—and the pair are quite a duet. They will grace Pearl Street Nightclub in Northampton on Monday and the Egg in Albany on Tuesday. (Pearl Street: Nov. 10, 8:30 PM, $23, $20 advance, 800-THE-TICK; The Egg: Nov. 11, 8 PM, $20, 432-6572)

Suicide Machines
Saratoga Winners, Monday

Regulars on the Vans circuit, the Suicide Machines are headlining this leg of the Vans off the Wall tour and will be hitting Saratoga Winners on Monday. Since 1991, the Suicide Machines have made five albums full of energetic and frequently political yet fun punk. Their newest record, A Match and Some Gasoline (SideOneDummy), is no exception. Coproduced with Bill Stevenson (Descendents, Black Flag), the new record balances serious issues like nuclear weapons with reminders of the band’s 2-Tone influences. Boston’s beloved street punks the Unseen are on the tour as well, bringing their fast and aggressive punk along for the ride. Adding a metal edge to the tour, dark rockers Avenged Sevenfold deliver a sound that’s more hardcore, and the Agony Scene hail from Oklahoma with a sound that’s fanged, ferocious and accented by black eyeliner. (Nov. 10, 7 PM, $15, $13 advance, 783-1010)

Belle and Sebastian, Rasputina
Calvin Theatre, Northampton, Mass., Wednesday

It’s tough to resist the temptation to compare Belle and Sebastian to their country of origin, Scotland. Equally pretty and bleak, the seven-piece chamber-pop outfit radiate a lush loneliness that seems perfectly suited to remote highlands. That said, there’s much about the band that counters that comparison: Their prettiness is more delicate—almost fragile—than one would immediately associate with the setting (we Yanks have been addled by the truculence of Braveheart, perhaps), and the band’s legendary press-shy antisociability seems at odds with the rough-and-rugged bonhomie of a Robert Burns. Over the years (the band were founded in 1995), they have become slightly more outgoing—actually appearing the photographs that claim to depict the band, for example. But even their higher-profile projects maintain that curious blend of whimsy, preciousness and dissipation: It’s no coincidence that they were picked by controversial director Todd Solondz (Welcome to the Dollhouse, Happiness) to provide the soundtrack for his film Storytelling. Belle and Sebastian will play the Calvin Theatre in Northampton, Mass., on Wednesday; also on the bill, “pseudo- classical, hardcore, ‘positive goth’ cello band” Rasputina. (Nov. 12, 8 PM, $28.50, 800-THE-TICK)

 also noted
You can begin and end your week (a Metroland week, that is—Thursday through Wednesday) with acclaimed bluegrass acts at the Egg. Tonight (Thursday), Leftover Salmon will provide a rootsy fusion of bluegrass, Cajun, boogie and jazz, and the Del McCoury Band, the legendary bluegrass ensemble led by seething tenor McCoury, share the bill (8 PM, $25, $22 advance, 473-1845). . . . Senegalese drumming sensation DouDou N’Diaye Rose and his Drummers of West Africa, all 35 members of them, will fill the stage at Proctor’s Theatre tonight (8 PM, $19.50-$29,50, 346-6204) . . . . Claimed by many to be “one of the most accomplished interpreters of the Great American Songbook,” master jazz guitarist John Pizzarelli brings his trio, featuring Ray Kennedy and Martin Pizzarelli, to WAMC Performing Arts Studio tonight (7:30 PM, $25, 800-323-9262 ext. 145). . . . Speaking of WAMC, they’ll celebrate their 45th anniversary on Saturday with a performance by Arlo Guthrie at the Egg (8 PM, $25-$100, 800-323-9262 ext. 145). . . . Blueswoman extraordinaire Rory Block will play at the Van Dyck on Saturday, and she’ll no doubt perform some tunes from her critically acclaimed recent release, Last Fair Deal—All Music Guide calls it “a record stripped of artifice or niceties. It is raw, feral, tender, sacred, sinful, lusty, and enlightening.” (7 and 9:30 PM, $20, 381-1111). . . . There are more garage-revival bands playing this week than we’ll ever see again—sunspots perhaps?—a slew of are playing the Rock Out [see Night & Day, page 57], and we’d be remiss if we failed to mention this last one: Detroit garage-pop ensemble Saturday Looks Good to Me will hit the Valentine’s stage on Sunday, with Lincoln Money Shot and Recycled Records—we believe this is a band, not a concept—opening (7:30 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . Canadian pop superstars Barenaked Ladies will play an “intimate and interactive performance” at the Palace Theatre on Tuesday (8 PM, $35, 465-4663). . . . And (in case you were still wondering about that “begin and end” thing) Colorado-based bluegrass quartet Yonder Mountain String Band will close out the Metroland week at the Egg on Wednesday as part of a tour behind their newest release, Old Hands (8 PM, $20, $18 student, 473-1845).

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