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The Mitchells, The SixFifteens, Gobhi, Grand Habit
Valentine’s, Friday

The Mitchells have taken the slow-burn approach to their career. They’ve been kicking around the western-Massachusetts club scene for 10 years now and, as luck would have it, they’ve shown no signs of packing it in anytime soon. Their unique brand of indie-pop juxtaposes Caleb Wetmore’s droll vocal delivery with lively, melodic guitar leads, bridging the gap between the Wedding Present and Soul Coughing—a fairly wide expanse, indeed. For 2003’s Hear Where You Are, their first release for Portland-based Pigeon Records, the band enlisted the help of Thom Monahan and Peyton Pinkerton of the Pernice Brothers. The Saratoga Springs-based SixFifteens are gearing up for the release of their first EP, Let’s Not Think About It, which is due sometime this spring. Friday night’s show will be one of their first with bassist Matt Bombard, whose supposedly-defunct ex-band Gobhi are also on the bill. Grand Habit will open. (Jan. 9, 9 PM, $5, 432-6572)

Wide Awake CD-release party
Barnaby’s, Friday

As a live-music venue, Barnaby’s seems to be coming into its own. The State Street eatery—previously best-known for its power lunches and French dips—has been hosting a slew of local music makers of late, and on Friday it’ll welcome folk-groove trio Wide Awake for a CD release party. Guitarist-singer Andrew Gregory and hand percussionist Jeff Sanders have been at it for seven years now, but with addition of Tony Califano on bass, banjo and other assorted instruments, they feel they’ve brought their game to the next level. Accordingly, they’ve rerecorded some material (originally released as Operation B.O.F.A.), added some new originals and packaged it all as Follow Your Feet—which you should feel free to do to (and at) Barnaby’s. The band’s own Califano will open with a solo set. (Jan. 9, 9 PM, free, 463-5140)

Karla Bonoff
The Van Dyck, Friday

While it’s conceivable that you’ve never heard of Karla Bonoff, it’s very unlikely you’ve never heard her songs. She came out of the same late-1960s, California-based folk, rock and crypto-country scene that produced Linda Ronstadt, Wendy Waldman and the Eagles. From Rondstadt in the ’70s (“Lose Again,” “Someone to Lay Down Beside Me”) to Wynonna in the ’90s (“Tell Me Why”), Bonoff has written deeply personal songs that have found their way into the pop mainstream. She’s had her share of hits, too, including “I Can’t Hold On” and “Personally.” With her longtime collaborator Kenny Edwards (who was a member of Ronstadt’s Stone Poneys), Bonoff will bring her prodigious songbook to the Van Dyck tomorrow night (Friday, Jan. 9). We know you’ve heard this line before, but, as Bonoff admitted in 2000, she considers herself semi-retired: This is indeed a rare performance. (Jan. 9, 7 and 9:30 PM, $28, 466-1234)

Matt Garrity’s Actual Trio
One Caroline Street, Friday
The Larkin Lounge, Sunday

Ithaca-born drummer Matt Garrity moved to New York City in 1994, and he’s never looked back. He attended the jazz program at William Paterson College and studied with some of the best in the business, including Bill Goodwin, John Riley and Ed Shaughnessy, who manned the traps for The Tonight Show during the Carson administration. Since forming the Actual Trio six years ago, along with bassist Dave Ambrosio and guitarist Pete Smith, Garrity has established quite a name for himself on the city’s ever-fruitful jazz circuit. The trio have released two albums—Above the Circle and Unfiltered—and are currently preparing for a live recording that will be released this spring. Their extensive repertoire consists of Garrity’s original compositions, along with a variety of standards and not-so-standards. The Actual Trio will be doing a brief Northway tour this weekend, with a Friday night performance at One Caroline Street in Saratoga (which will be prefaced by a solo guitar set at 6 PM), followed by a stop at the Larkin on Sunday. (Jan. 9, 8 PM, free,587-2026; Jan. 11, 8 PM, $5, 463-5225)

The Violence Sequence, Shat, Trailer Park Moonlight
King’s Tavern, Saturday

The Violence Sequence report-edly have been together for three years now, but the members’ hectic schedules have thus far prevented them from playing any shows. The “supergroup”—we won’t call them a side project; that would probably make them mad—features Drew Janik of the late Section 8, Sherwood Webber of Skinless (on drums, no less!) and part-time Dillinger Escape Plan soundman Mike Watkajtys. Saturday night’s show at King’s Tavern will be only their second public performance, following last week’s sold-out debut at Valentine’s. New Jersey-native Jeff Wood and his band, Shat, will also be on hand. Fans of the popular SoCal prank-punk site Buddyhead.com will recognize Shat as childish, extremely vulgar, and utterly hilarious, like a cross between Mr. Bungle and a fifth-grader who just learned his first cuss word. Wood once received a cease-and-desist notice from Britney Spears’ lawyers for using her image—along with a lollipop showing a woman’s genitalia—on the cover for his Cunt Flavored Lollipops CD. Bring the whole damn family! (Jan. 10, 8 PM, $5, www.kingstavern.net)

Natalie MacMaster
Calvin Theater, Northampton, Mass., Saturday

Grammy-nominated fiddler Natalie MacMaster enlisted some of the world’s top bluegrass pickers—including Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush and Edgar Meyer—for her latest album, Blueprint. MacMaster, a native of fiddling hotbed Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, is the niece of another great fiddler, Buddy MacMaster. And 30-year-old Natalie (who’s been fiddlin’ since she was 9, by the way) has become quite the fiddle star herself, winning awards left and right, including a Juno (the Canadian equivalent of a Grammy). She has collaborated with some other serious musical heavyweights, including Alison Krauss, who got her to start listening to bluegrass music in the first place. On tour now in support of the new album, MacMaster will make a stop in Northampton, Mass., on Saturday for a show at the Calvin. (Jan. 10, 8 PM, $32.50, $25, $20, 413-584-1444)


Also Noted

Get your groove on tomorrow (Friday) night at Northern Lights with a dance party featuring former Silverfish howler Ruby, featuring AK 1200, Madame Buddafly and more (9 PM, $17, 371-0012). . . . Also on Friday, the alt-country dream team of knotworking and The Sifters will hold court at the Larkin Lounge (8 PM, $5, 463-5225). . . . Saturday night’s alright for fighting, and it’ll be a battle to decide where to spend your live music dollar: Sean Rowe hosts a funk-and-blues jam at the new River Street Beat Shop in Troy (8 PM, free, 272-0433); the unnervingly convincing Ozzy tribute band Believer return to Northern Lights (7:30 PM, $10, 371-0012); and Valentine’s hosts a modern-rock bonanza, with the Joe Nacco Band and Crookshank upstairs, Martly and Blackcat Elliot downstairs (9 PM, $7 up, $5 down, 432-6572). . . . Woodstock is a lot closer than you might think, and we’d make the trip on Sunday when Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett of legendary band Little Feat perform as an acoustic duo at the Colony Café (8 PM, $25, 845-679-7600). . . . Finally, celebrate 63 days ’til St. Patty’s Day on Wednesday with the McKrells’ patriarch, Kevin McKrell, at the Old Dublin Inn in Clifton Park (7 PM, free, 877-0100).


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