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Cradle of Filth, Moonspell, Held Under
Saratoga Winners, thursday

Their band bio reads like a particularly brutal Lovecraft tale, full of darkness, death and demon resurrection. They claim to be “spawned from the loins of Lords of Darkness,” and their most recent album, Damnation and a Day (their first under the Red Ink/Epic Records label and fifth overall), claims to be a description of the impending end to humanity, as related to the five-person Cradle of Filth cadre by Hell’s own head-honcho, Lucifer. In order to tell the tale properly, the band enlisted the aid of a 40-piece orchestra and a 32-person choir, as well as some major-label funding (all of whom, according to their bio, were summarily slaughtered after recording was complete). Cradle of Filth’s live performances have a reputation for being similarly excessive, with gruesome theatrics in the vein of Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson. Death-metal cohorts Moonspell and Held Under will open the gates of the musical netherworld for this all-ages show. (Nov. 13, 7 PM, $22.50 advance, $25 door, 783-1010)

Blackloud, Hot Cousin
Valentine’s, Thursday

The man known casually as Jimbo Axe, the former four-string slinger for the justly lauded headcrushers Small Axe, has since formally ventured out on his own under the moniker Blackloud, and on Thursday he’ll be offering a sampling of what he’s up to. It’s been a while since Jimbo’s touched down on a local stage (this’ll be the first gig since last January), and he promises to come packing a whole set list full of new, unrecorded material. He will, however, have both his sixth and seventh releases available for sale at the gig, and based on our own spins of those discs, Thursday is going to be an evening of high weirdness: The Blackloud sound mashes dark Zappaesque musical wit, half-frightening Meat Puppety desert poetry and evil Sabbath riffs with worried skittering digital rhythms for a combination that’d have Marilyn Manson twitching with DT nerves. Blackloud will be joined by Hot Cousin. (Nov. 13, 9 PM, $5, 432-6572)

Talib Kweli
Skidmore College Sports Center, Friday

Talib Kweli emerged in the ’90s dispensing socially conscious, cerebral rhymes, and got a lot of attention for his collaboration with Mos Def under the name Black Star. His latest album, Quality, came out in 2002 and found his work in strong form, and—unlike so many of his more commercial contemporaries—contemplative and honest. He comes from the De La Soul and Tribe Called Quest school of hiphop that’s not so bling bling, but is smart and positive. He uses his notoriety to propheteer instead of profiteer, and puts the money he does have where his mouth is: He and Mos Def bought Brooklyn’s oldest African-American bookstore when it was in financial trouble and turned it into a nonprofit literacy and multicultural awareness group. (Nov. 14, 8pm, $18, 476-1000)

The New Deal
Revolution Hall, Friday

Eventually, we’re just going to have to abandon all our stock jam-band punchlines; and at the rate the genre’s changing, it’ll be sooner rather than later. The post-Phish scene is so eclectic, so inclusive, that we’re . . . well, we’re starting to like it. Any musical form that will accommodate a version of the disco staple “I Feel Love” informed equally by jazz, New Order and Ms. Pac-Man is all right by us. And if it’s all right by you, you can get a sample when the New Deal play Revolution Hall on Friday. The three members of the New Deal hail from Toronto’s jazz scene originally, but they really built their following in the hotspots of the Northeastern jam circuit. In venues like NYC’s hippie-friendly Wetlands, the New Deal kicked out their free-ranging improv jams to the pleasure of steadily growing crowds, who greedily soak up the band’s house rhythms, the thick dancey pulses and the looney synth melodies. (Nov. 14, 9 PM, $12, 273-2337)

Club Helsinki, Great Barrington, Mass., Saturday

Hiromi, a young piano phenom, has had quite the year: Her debut album, Another Mind, was released in late April, then just a few short weeks later she graduated from the Berklee School of Music. Hiromi is now out hitting the road with her band and her own brand of jazz-rock with a classical twist. She’s come a long way from writing catchy advertising jingles for Nissan. Now she’s bringing her fiery fingers to the area along with bassist Mitch Cohn and drummer Dave DiCenso. Hiromi has turned some heads already in our region with performances at the Tanglewood Jazz Festival in Lenox and the Freihofer’s Jazz Festival at SPAC. (Nov. 15, 9 PM, $18 advance, $22 door, 413 528-3394)

 also noted
If you miss, or just plain missed, the heyday of the slow dance, DJ Jay Williams is trying to rekindle that closeness with his Thursday sets at Yours Nightclub in Schenectady. Using mellower music than many DJs—think easy jazz, R&B and easy listening—Williams spins the tunes that make you want get grooving, slowly (7 PM, $3, 370-9865). . . . Melissa Ferrick, “the energetic lesbian pop star,” is making one of her semi-regular visits to the area tonight (Thursday), this time at Revolution Hall along with local vocal powerhouse Erin Harkes (8 PM, $14, 273-2337). . . . Tomorrow (Friday), you can revisit the early days of rap when founding father KRS-One kicks it at Nick’s Sneaky Pete’s, along with local macks Sev Static and DJ Money Mike (10 PM, 489-0000). . . . There’s a local-polooza at Valentine’s on Friday, featuring Lifted in their last show of the year, the Humbugs, Seed and the only representatives of the Albany-Iceland exchange program, 5 Alpha Beatdown (8PM, 432-6572). . . . The Van Dyck hosts singer-songwriter team Lowen & Novarro on Friday (7 PM and 9:30 PM, $15, 381-1111). . . . The Capital Pride Singers break in their new musical director, Dr. Joseph Eppink, with two performances of Show Tunes: From Broadway to Hollywood, first on Friday at the Emmanuel Friedens Church in Schenectady and again on Saturday at Page Hall (7:30 PM, $12, 435-4636). . . . You’ll also have two chances to catch the heavy melodies of Nikilee & Mass Chaos this weekend: On Friday at Valentine’s with Catch Fire and the Highsocks; then on Saturday at All Sports in Troy, with the blues demonology of Lowthief (Fri: 9 PM, 432-6572; Sat: 9:30 PM, 687-0064). . . . On Saturday, you can get your fill of big aggro-rock when Trapt, along with the Bruise Bros. and District 21, play Northern Lights (7:30 PM, $12, 371-0012). . . . Saturday brings edgy chanteuse Phoebe Legere to the Van Dyck (7 PM and 9:30 PM, $15, 381-1111). . . . You can wrap up your week by spending a rootsy Sunday with the troubadour rasp of Steve Forbert at Caffe Lena (7 PM, $15, 583-0022).

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