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Disciples of Berkowitz CD Release
Valentine’s, Friday

If you’re looking to bang your head—for metal health to drive you mad, even—look no further than the punishing lineup that’s been assembled at Valentine’s for this Friday night. The on-again, off-again, back-on-again powerhouse known as Disciples of Berkowitz will hold a release party for a new live CD, recorded last October on the very same stage. Featuring members of Skinless, Wasteform and Straight Jacket, Disciples make music that has been described as raw, no-holds-barred, underground metal. We haven’t been able to locate any actual student-teacher connection between the Disciples and their namesake, famed serial killer David Berkowitz (aka Son of Sam), but you can decide for yourself whether or not the name is apt as they share the stage with fellow bashers Irate, Through the Discipline, Clitorture and My Own Demons on Friday night. Disciples of Berkowitz will have their new CD on sale at the show for only $5, and the latest CD from My Own Demons will be given away to the first 200 paid customers. (Jan. 16, 7 PM, $10, 432-6572)

Alien Folklife CD Release
Caffe Lena, Friday

At just about the opposite end of the musical spectrum are Alien Folklife, who will celebrate the release of their second CD, Down to Earth, with a Friday evening performance at Saratoga’s Caffe Lena. Joan Kosby and Paul Mercer have been performing together for more than 12 years, capturing audiences with their emotional tales of love and loss (see: “In an Instant,” “What If?”) and quirky humor (see: “Termite Farts”). The husband-and-wife duo pride themselves on their intricate vocal arrangements and a style that balances traditional folk sounds with more modern sensibilities. Down to Earth was overseen by award-winning Canadian producer Paul Mills and features performances by Tracy Grammer and multi-instrumentalist Curly Boy Stubbs. (Jan. 16, 8 PM, $12, 583-0022)

Dresden Dolls
Flywheel, Easthampton, Mass., Saturday

Did someone say Brechtian cabaret? Yep, Boston’s Dresden Dolls boast just that. They won the WBCN Rock & Roll Rumble last year, a Boston competition for its best unsigned bands, against fierce competition. And this piano-drum duo did it with a sinfully captivating performance. They set up facing each other, dressed in twisted vaudevillian costumes and whiteface, and deliver manic sets full of seedy, sexy broodings reminiscent of P.J. Harvey and Nick Cave. For this evening of surprises, they’ll be joined by the Red Stars, Captain Shy, and the Chemical Wedding. The show is a benefit for the Flywheel Artists Collective, and if you come with something delectable by 7 PM you can also enjoy the bounty of a potluck dinner! (Jan. 17, 8 PM, $6, 413-527-9800 or

Benefit Ceili for Lt. John Finn
Capital District Irish American Center, Saturday

Ceili is a Gaelic word for party, and the Capital District Irish American Center (375 Ontario St., Albany) will host a party with a purpose Saturday night. The Albany Police Pipes and Drums have organized a benefit for Lt. John Finn and his family. Lt. Finn was shot in the line of duty the night before Christmas Eve; as of this writing, he is still hospitalized and in critical condition. The event will feature performances by the Pipes and Drums, dancers from the Farrell School of Irish Dance, and the Saratoga-based band Skuttlebutt (known for playing both traditional and popular Irish music). There will be a cash bar and food available, and raffles held throughout the evening. All proceeds will go to Lt. Finn, his wife and their two children—they deserve all the support we can give them. (Jan. 17, 8 PM to midnight, $10, 456-0631)

Life of Agony, Flaw, Skrape
Northern Lights, Tuesday

Life of Agony hit the ground running with their River Runs Red LP in 1993, quickly finding a niche somewhere between the bustling hardcore and alternative rock movements of the day, even scoring a minor radio hit in 1995 with their brooding cover of Simple Minds’ “Don’t You (Forget About Me).” LOA threw in the towel in 1999, following a short stint with replacement vocalist Whitfield Crane (formerly of one-hit curiosities Ugly Kid Joe), but as all good things come to an end, in the music world those things tend to stay dormant just long enough to build interest for a reunion tour. Tuesday night’s show at Northern Lights will kick off the band’s first full-fledged tour in five years, with original singer Keith Caputo and drummer Sal Abruscato back in the fold. The band recently released River Runs Again: Live 2003, a double-CD set documenting last January’s two-night reunion stand at New York’s Irving Plaza, so you can expect to hear all your favorite LOA classics, and maybe even a few future hits. Skrape will also be on hand to support their latest, Up The Dose. Kentucky alt-metal heavies Flaw open. (Jan. 20, 7:30 PM, $15, 371-0012)

Also Noted

“Spaced-out” jam band School Bus Yellow will take the stage tonight (Thursday) at Savannah’s with New Blood Revival, who’ll take time out from recording their Atlantic Records debut (due out this year), to play (9:30 PM, $7, 426-9647). . . . Luther Wright & the Wrongs, who just recently reworked Pink Floyd’s album The Wall into a country album called Rebuilding the Wall (who knew?), will perform at Great Barrington’s Club Helsinki tomorrow (Friday, 9 PM, $12, 413-528-3394). . . . Hellemental, formerly known as Mourning Would, regulars on the New York City hardcore scene, will perform at Saratoga Winners with 1000 Yard Stare on Saturday (8 PM, $10, 783-1010). . . . Local high-energy rockers Seven Stories Falling will be joined by Attic of Love on Saturday at Club Caroline (10 PM, 580-0155). . . . Also Saturday, local blues band Mojo Lightning will play the Lark Tavern, a venue that, having recently changed management, we think we’ll be seeing more of in the near future (10 PM, $5, 463-9779). . . . On Wednesday, the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, Mass., is the spot to groove to some roots-blues music provided by Tommy Castro, a hard-playing guitarist who has toured with B.B. King and Carlos Santana (7 PM, $18, 413-584-0610).

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