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Valentine’s New Year’s Eve Party
Valentine’s, Wednesday (Dec. 31)

If you want to ring in 2004 with some danceable live rock music, then tonight’s multiband shootout at Valentine’s is a pretty safe bet to get your party started. Upstairs, the jams will be plentiful, with local faves Jerkwater Ruckus and School Bus Yellow providing the groovage. The lineup on the downstairs stage cranks up the eclectic meter with the acoustic-based party rock of North Allen and area prog vets Acoustic Trauma and the NYC-based quintet Mike Sandwich. Citing the Red Hot Chili Peppers, U2 and the Stone Roses as influences, Mike Sandwich have been gigging around Manhattan for the last two years, and they recently released a five-song debut CD, Blue Plate Spectacular, which was quickly gobbled up by fans of their energetic and fun-filled live performances. One cover charge grants admission to both floors, plus free draft beer from 8-9 PM, a champagne toast at midnight and free food throughout the night (have a hot dog on us!). (Dec. 31, 8 PM, $10, 432-6572)

Larry Coryell Electric Trio
The Van Dyck, Wednesday (Dec. 31)

Perhaps you’d rather welcome the New Year with some fiery jazz-rock fusion? In that case, you might want to head over to the Van Dyck for a very special appearance by the Larry Coryell Electric Trio. Coryell, considered by many to be one of the founding fathers of fusion, has been putting out records practically nonstop since 1966 and celebrated his 60th birthday in 2003. He’ll be joined by equally legendary bassist Tony Levin, plus Kenwood Dennard on drums. This year alone, Levin graced new releases from Peter Gabriel, Sarah McLachlan and David Bowie with his presence, and Dennard has sat in with pretty much everyone. Coryell and Levin haven’t played together in nearly 30 years, so you can bet there will be some serious fireworks. The Van Dyck is staging three performances today (Wednesday, Dec. 31)—a noontime performance billed as “Lunch with Larry,” plus two evening shows, both of which include dinner. (Dec. 31, $15 for noon show; $70 for 7 PM show; $90 for 10 PM show, 381-1111)

Antigone Rising, Lynch
Revolution Hall, Wednesday (Dec. 31)

Though Antigone Rising are based out of New York City and are now holed up in Los Angeles recording their major-label debut, Capital Region fans will be forgiven for feeling a particular attachment to the band. Evidence seems to suggest the feeling is mutual: From early on, the classic-rock-inspired band exhibited a fondness for our patch of dirt and the loyal Antigonites who trod it (on their Web site they mention a couple of area gigs as all-time favorites). So, it’s good news—though no great surprise—for devotees that the band have chosen Troy’s Revolution Hall as the venue for their big New Year’s Eve bash. They’re even bringing along copies of their new live album, which was recorded in that very venue; since you’ve got to wait a bit longer on the studio production, this’ll help tide you over. Also on the bill, Lynch. (Dec. 31, 9:30 PM, $15 adv., $17, 273-2337)

The Wailers, deSol, School Bus Yellow
Northern Lights, Saturday

Nitpickers are, no doubt, going to point out that only one of the founding members of the Wailers is even alive—and he’s not participating in this touring incarnation. That being said, the trio on the road under that moniker have more than earned their right to the designation, as each did in fact play under the tutelage of the Wailers’ guiding force, Bob Marley. Bassist “Family Man” Barret, the leader of the new Wailers, was originally a member of Scratch Perry’s house band, and when Marley and the Wailers teamed up with the legendary producer they swiped his rhythm section, scoring both Family Man and his drummer brother, Carlton (who was later murdered). Organist Wya Lindo was recruited back in 1972, and guitarist Al Anderson hitched his wagon to Wailers for the 1978 tour memorialized on the influential “Babylon by Bus.” These are no Wailers-come-lately; so, nitpickers, don’t be no drag. Also playing, deSol and School Bus Yellow. (Jan. 3, 7:30 PM, $15 adv., $17, 371-0012)

Gay Tastee, Brent Gorton, the Amazing Plaid
The Larkin Lounge, Saturday

On Saturday, the Larkin is giving you an immediate opportunity to get cracking on your New Year’s resolution to support local music—you know you’re never gonna stick to that diet, so make sure not to blow this one too. The Amazing Plaid will return to the live stage after a drummerless hiatus (we don’t know whether they’ve got a new drummer, if they’ll recruit volunteers from the audience, or what, but either way it should be fun); Brent Gorton will be joined by Gaven Richard and Troy Pohl on a batch of songs from his very fine new record; and Gay Tastee will be on hand to scour all the holiday contentedness from your lazy lobes. And, remember, locally produced albums make great gifts—shop early this year and next Christmas your family won’t have suffer through the disappointment of unwrapping a series of trial-sized shampoos. (Jan. 3, 8 PM, $5, 463-5225)

Sevendust, Ill Niño
Northern Lights, Tuesday

Over the course of a seven-year career, Atlanta’s Sevendust have established themselves as contenders among their peers by showing an equal commitment to power and melody, pairing arena-rock-sized choruses with gut-churning drop-C guitar riffs. Lajon Witherspoon’s soulful howl is one of the most recognizable voices in heavy music; few other singers in the genre are as expressive while maintaining such a menacing facade. For their latest album, the Butch Walker-produced Seasons, the band have streamlined their sound, sidelining studio trickery in favor of emphasizing their strengths as a live unit. When they last came through town in September, it was part of an acoustic tour—try that, P.O.D.—but for Tuesday’s show at Northern Lights, you can expect everything to be back to normal: loud, hard and unusually hummable. Latin-tinged metallurgists Ill Niño and Texas-based up-and-comers Element Eighty open. (Jan. 6, 7:30 PM, $23, 371-0012)


Also Noted

The folks from the Ironweed Collective are feeling rather celebratory this year: They’re putting on a year-end concert tonight (Wednesday, Dec. 31) in their space at 98 Grand St., Albany, featuring Broadcast Live and Rockets and Bluelights (10 PM, 436-0929). . . . Hubbard Hall will say goodbye to 2003 with a concert tonight by Dafé Brudäjo, a five-piece band featuring two lead vocalists (one male, one female) and lots of three- and four-part harmonies; the proceeds of the concert will benefit Hubbard Hall’s programs (for times and prices, call 677-2495). . . . Erin Hobson will open for local fave Paddy Kilrain at the Larkin on Sunday (Jan. 4); Hobson, who has recently moved back to New York after a long stint in L.A., will perform her touching original songs with her pal and music partner William Huyett (7 PM, $5, 463-5225). . . . Matto is at it again (does this guy ever stop?): He has organized another Miss Mary’s Art Space benefit—to help the art collaborative finally find a place to call home—at Valentine’s on Wednesday (Jan. 7); the players are End of a Year, Dragnet, Second Saturday, Forward to Death, Karmella’s Game, Kitty Little and the High Socks (8 PM, $6, 432-6572).


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