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No Hellers CD Release
Valentine’s, Friday

Area quartet the No Hellers have been covertly performing in our area for awhile, and though their live shows have been relatively few, they’re now ready for the masses. The No Hellers have just finished their debut CD, Bent, and will hold their release party at Valentine’s tomorrow (Friday). Thaddeus Smith heads up the mainly alt-country band (you may remember when he manned the Valentine’s open mike a while back), performing lead guitar and providing vocals. Marie Matthews also sings, as well as playing accordion, lap steel and guitar; Garry Polmateer hits the skins; and Shaw Fici is at the bass. The No Hellers sound is hard to pin down, as they pepper their roots rocking with rockabilly, slam poetry, punk and blues. Local producer-songwriter Brent Gorton also will perform, and K-Rock’s DJ Keith will spin between sets. (Dec. 12, 9 PM, 432-6572)

Murali Coryell
Savannah’s, saturday

Despite being the son of noted fusion guitarist Larry Coryell, Murali Coryell has made a name for himself in an altogether different style of music, choosing to focus his talents on blues and soul rather than the jazz-rock standard set by his father. The release of 2120, a collaboration with bassist Bill Foster and drummer Rod Gross, marked the 1999 debut of Czyz Records, a product of Chess Records founders Leonard and Phil Chess’ sons. The younger Coryell then made it a family affair with the 2000 release of Coryells, a collaboration between his father, brother and himself. Over the course of his career, Murali Coryell’s guitar style has earned comparison to that of Otis Rush and Buddy Guy; he is capable of producing a sincere, raw sound while still conveying a level of experience beyond his years. The show takes place at Savannah’s on Saturday. (Dec. 13, 10 PM, $5, 426-9647)

The Early Muses
Chapel + Cultural Center, Saturday

Troy’s Chapel + Cultural Center is calling it a season on Saturday, with a seasonally appropriate performance by sacred-music purveyors the Early Muses. The “early” refers to medieval and early Renaissance times, and the Muses perform these tunes on modern and traditional instruments—such as shawm, bowed psaltery, rebec, hurdy-gurdy, cithern and boram (all in the dictionary for those among you who are not music scholars). The more recognizable violin, bassoon, recorder, tambour and cymbals are also employed by the Berkshire-based ensemble—the area’s “premier practictioners of 11th to 16th century music.” If you have yet to catch the holiday bug, let the Muses instill the spirit. (Dec. 13, 7 PM, free, 274-7793)

Mike Marshall & Chris Thile
The Egg, Sunday

Lovers of acoustic music, prepare for a veritable onslaught of mandolin power on Sunday (Dec. 14) when Mike Marshall & Chris Thile descend on the Egg. All right, we’re not talking about heavy metal here, but these guys are a couple of music heavyweights. Marshall has been on the acoustic music scene for more than 20 years; he started with David Grisman, and has performed with the likes of Mark O’Connor and Edgar Meyer. Thile is, comparatively, a kid. He even started out, when he really was a kid, by winning a mandolin championship in Winfield, Kan., as a 12-year-old. And as a member of Nickel Creek, Thile is also a rock star. The two recently joined forces on the critically well-received album Into the Cauldron, on which they turned their mandolins on everything from Charlie Parker and J.S. Bach to a half-dozen self-penned ditties. They will focus on this material Sunday, but you can expect a few surprises. (Dec. 14, 7 PM, $24, 473-1845)

Clash Tribute
Valentine’s, Saturday
The Ale House, Sunday

’Tis the season for food- pantry benefits! This weekend there’s gonna be a two-day Clash tribute taking place at two different venues in two different cities to help the hungry: $2 of each admission charge will be donated directly to the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York. On Saturday, you can anticipate the likes of Honey Creeper, Dr. Jah, the Highsocks, Mime Choir, Blackcat Elliot, Michael Eck, and the Clash City Rockers, among others, performing the Clash’s louder, rockin’, electric-style songs. Then, on Sunday, head on over to Troy for a night of solo acoustic renditions of the Clash’s London Calling, performed by John Brodeur, Brian Bassett, Rob Skane, Howe Glassman, and Michael Eck. Coincidentally, Sunday is also the day, 24 years ago, that London Calling was released. (Valentine’s: Dec. 13, 9 PM, $5, 432-6572; the Ale House: Dec. 14, 8 PM, $2, 272-9740)

 also noted
Mr. Jonathan Cohen and his spirited trio the Erftones have a new CD to offer, Stand—apparently a guerrilla-recorded effort, since John Delehanty’s Scarlet East studios were locked down due to the Hilton rehearsal-space debacle (he managed to mix it anyhow)—and they’re inviting you to join them in observing the event. It takes place tonight (Thursday) at Center Square’s Changing Spaces, and the band will be on hand, as will plenty of wine and cheese, to meet and greet their audience as their new CD takes a few hours’ worth of spins (7 PM, free, 433-1537). . . . It’s that time of the year, Figgs fans, and this year’s holiday show at Valentine’s with the talented trio takes place tomorrow (Friday). What can we say that hasn’t been said before about this locally bred pop-rock fury? Well, opening are our own rising stars the DelMars and the Little Killers (whom we know nothing about). That’s something (8 PM, $10, 432-6572). . . . The Lawn Sausages are always pushing the boundaries, but the line is so far out of sight on this one: The avant-garage yukksters are holding their own tribute show—at All Sports on Friday—and have invited a slew of bands to play their songs. The show, graced with the promising title Bring Out Your Bunny Suit, includes area talent such as Erin Harkes, Murderers Row, Rob Skane, Mime Choir and the Staynz taking on the Sausage catalog—dressed appropriately, we hope (9 PM, $5, 687-0064). . . . The Capital Region-bred Nick Mancini Collective will return to Schenectady venue Yours on Friday to provide their hometown audience a host of passionately performed jazz tunes—everything from Gershwin and Porter to Davis and Coltrane (6 PM, $5, 370-9865). . . . Acclaimed blues guitarist and onetime Band member Jim Weider brings his band, and his tele, back to Club Helsinki in Great Barrington, Mass., for a show on Friday (9 PM, $15, 413-528-3394). . . . Area heavies Parwana and Insult to Tradition will go head-to-head (or neck-to-neck—to use another guitar reference) at Valentine’s on Sunday, when they perform in celebration of their split-CD release—and if that weren’t enough, fan favorites End of a Year, the Renowned Army and Public Access will also be there to rock (7 PM, $8, 432-6572). . . . Heading our way from Providence, R.I., Zox, whose songs intersect somewhere between pop and reggae, will play the Larkin on Tuesday, and be prepared to dance; as The Providence Journal claims, “Think John Mayer with a stronger rhythm section, or No Doubt with less angst and more grooves.” Indie-popster Mike Grosshandler will open (8 PM, $5, 463-5225).

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