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Acumen Nation, Arrow Down
V
alentine’s, Thursday

With the release of The Fifth Column in May 2002, industrial metal-mavens Acumen Nation justified the comparisons to Prodigy and Static-X that have been made throughout the quartet’s eight years of existence together. After an initial legal battle over the “Acumen” moniker, More Human Heart became the first album released by the newly-dubbed Acumen Nation (under the Conscience label in 1997), and the band continued to inject their cyber-heavy sound in each of the albums that followed. The band are touring in support of this year’s Lord of the Cynics, released in September, and will be joined on stage by Arrow Down. The 18-and-over show will begin at 8 PM. (Dec. 18, 8 PM, $10, 432-6572)

Great Day For Up CD-Release Party
Valentine’s, Friday

From Norway to Germany to Italy, fans of heavy music are singing the praises of Great Day for Up. Well, we’re certain about the first two; honestly, we couldn’t translate the Italian review, but the clear references to Mr. Bungle, Helmet, Primus and Frank Zappa can’t be bad, can they? GDFU, as they’re known to those in the know, received this far-flung praise for their first release, Ready Rock, a thick and propulsive combination of technical skill, raw aggression and an unlikely blend of street smarts and artistic ambition. (How many other bands of this ilk could get away with a Talking Heads cover, as GDFU have been known to do?) Tomorrow (Friday), the band will celebrate the release of their latest, God Loves a Sinner, their first for the Boston label Curve of the Earth Records. Lending some additional volume will be Small Axe, the Hidden and Shift. (Dec. 19, 8 PM, 432-6572)

Beer Drinkin’ Holiday Hoopla
King’s Tavern, Saratoga Springs, Saturday

This festive freebee treat at King’s Tavern—one of Saratoga’s most enjoyable venues—boasts a sonic smorgasbord with a little something for everyone. The Sixfifteens will bring their angular, quirky rock, while 1000 Year Plan (formerly Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death) will import their jagged, instrumental math-rock from NYC; End of a Year rock like an early Dischord band while Sugar Eater are on the pop end of the punk spectrum, and Grand Habit are shoegazers with style to burn. The Sixfifteens also promise to join forces with Hans from End of a Year for a few songs, but you’ll have to show up to hear which rock powerhouse they’re going to dust off for the occasion. (Dec. 20, 8 PM, Free, 584-9643)

eN~DoR~PHiN, the Sofa Kingz, Divest, Imprint
Valentine’s, saturday

Local metal-rockers eN-DoR-PHiN will release their long-awaited new EP, 3 Greater Than 4, at Valentine’s this Saturday, and a host of bands from around the region will lend their sound to the evening’s festivities. A talent for blending haunting keyboards, pleading vocals and a barrage of guitar, bass and drums have earned the trio a comparison to rockers such as Tool and Type O Negative, while several years of relentless touring throughout the Northeast have earned the band a dedicated following. Joining eN-DoR-PHiN for this 18-and-over show will be the Sofa Kingz, Divest and Imprint. Copies of 3 Greater Than 4 will accompany the $10 admission charge. (Dec. 20, 8 PM, $10, 432-6572)

Gloria Deluxe
Club Helsinki, Sunday

Cynthia Hopkins, a veteran of composing and performing music for movies and theater, formed her band Gloria Deluxe in 1999 with Kristin Mueller, Josh Stark, Chris Bonner and Philppa Thompson. The band were designed to highlight Hopkins’ accordion playing and songwriting, and they employ less-than-everyday instruments such as saws, washboards and spoons. Their theatrical live performances have given them a unique presence on the alt-country scene. David Cote, from Time Out New York, has an interesting way to describe Hopkins’ stage personality: “Imagine Lotte Lenya’s kid sister shacking up in a cheap Atlanta hotel with Tom Waits and spending her time slumming with visionaries, addicts and murderers.” Check them out when they stop by Club Helsinki on Sunday. (Dec. 21, 8 PM, $10, 413-528-3394)


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