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Pamela Means, Paddy Kilrain
The Larkin Lounge, Friday

Boston-based Pamela Means has a lot to talk about. She relays her experience as a biracial feminist indie-folk rocker through her narrative songwriting and strong stage presence, and she also employs her chosen form of art to fight for social justice and inform her audiences of her political viewpoints. Means regularly plays a plethora of politically charged events, like Take Back the Night rallies, gay-pride celebrations and black-history festivities, and she has shared the stage with some very notable folks, like Ani DiFranco, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez and Neil Young. Some of Means’ honors include Falcon Ridge Folk Festival’s No. 1 Most Wanted New Artist, and both Wisconsin’s Folk Artist of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year. She’s has also been a Boston Music Award Nominee for Outstanding Contemporary Folk Artist. Check out what her buzz is all about when she stops by the Larkin tomorrow night for a set. Local folkie darling Paddy Kilrain will open the show. (Feb. 20, 8 PM, $10, 463-5225)

AC/DC Tribute
Valentine’s, Friday

One of the lesser-known facts about original AC/DC vocalist Bon Scott: He wasn’t actually the original vocalist. He didn’t begin his career as a frontman until one night in 1973 when singer-at-the-time Dave Evans failed to show up for a gig. In fact, Scott started out as the band’s chauffeur, and first took the stage with them as a drummer, before even singing a note. Thank heaven he found his calling, or we may have never heard the classic double-entendrefication of songs like “Big Balls,” “Beating Around the Bush” or “The Jack.” Unfortunately, Scott’s excesses caught up with him on Feb. 19, 1980, when, like so many before him, he choked on his own vomit after a night of heavy drinking. Twenty-four years and one day later, Albany’s glam-metal kings, the Erotics, are staging a tribute to the beloved Aussies, along with costume rockers Hungry Jack (featuring Metroland’s very own Bill Ketzer on drums!), the Karinations and Hypnotica. They promise a full night of Bon Scott-era AC/DC tunes, although we wouldn’t be surprised to hear a little bit of Back in Black in there, too. (Feb. 20, 8 PM, $7, 432-6572)

Pennywise, Stretch Arm Strong, Guttermouth
Saratoga Winners, Friday

Sixteen years into their career, the politipunks of Pennywise have outlasted many of their peers, probably because they keep finding new issues to write about. The latest Pennywise LP, From the Ashes, finds singer Jim Lindberg tackling the issue of Sept. 11 and dropping lyrical bombs on the White House, while guitarist Fletcher Dragge continues to spew out the razor-sharp licks that have made his band a punk-rock institution. They’re about halfway through an East Coast tour, and they’ll hit town tomorrow (Friday) to play Saratoga Winners along with South Carolina thrashers Stretch Arm Strong and fellow Orange County residents Guttermouth. Bleed the Dream will open. (Feb. 20, 8 PM, $17, 783-1010)

Reid Genauer and the Assembly of Dust
Revolution Hall, Saturday

Ried Genauer, cofounder and lead singer of Burlington, Vt.-based jam band Strangefolk, formed a new band called the Assembly of Dust, featuring some very carefully selected bandmates, including Percy Hill’s Nate Wilson on keyboards, John Leccese on bass, Groovechild’s Adam Terrell on guitar, and Moon Boot Lover’s Andy Herrick on drums. The band describe their sound as “fresh . . . bursting at the seams with elements of pop, rock, jazz, country and folk, woven together in cohesive themes.” The crowds the group usually bring together tend to consist of more than a few die-hard fans who know all the words and sing along to all the songs. To add to the camaraderie, the concerts the performers play have been dubbed “assemblies.” If you go to this particular one, be sure to scream loudly; the show will be taped for a live release. My Friend’s Band opens. (Feb. 21, 9 PM, 18+, $10, 273-2337)

Stacey Earle and Mark Stuart
Caffe Lena, Sunday

Though Stacey Earle began playing the guitar when she was just 15 years old (teaching herself on a six-string left behind by her older brother, the famous and critically adored alt-country outlaw Steve Earle), it’d take some time before she began her own musical career in earnest. She married young and it seemed that she was locked into a more domestic fate. That union fell apart, however, and Stacey split Texas to find some consolation while crashing at her big brother’s place in Nashville—and her big brother found himself a backup singer for his album The Hard Way, an apt description for the way Stacey backed into her current gig. Things have been a bit sunnier since then, fortunately: Stacey has gone on to carve out a solid reputation for herself as a songwriter of considerable talent, and she’s remarried to the singer- songwriter/member of her brother’s band, Mark Stuart. On Sunday, the on- and off-stage duo will appear at Caffe Lena. (Feb. 22, 7 PM, $12, 583-0022)

The Unseen, the Virus
Valentine’s, Sunday

The Unseen have won over scores of fans since their debut more than 10 years ago. While they have the credibility that comes with their reputation as pillars of Bostonian street punk, it might just be that kids are suckers for the Unseen’s aggressive and tense boot-to-the-teeth punk sound. They’ll be swinging through town with their pals from Philadelphia, the Virus, who rock like it’s 1977. Albany’s own That’s Life, former members of Burning Bridges, and Mr. Wednesday will join the fun by opening. (Feb. 22, 7 PM, 16+, $10, 432-6572)


Also Noted

Canadian singer-songwriter Ferron will headline a show opened by Pamela Means tonight (Thursday) at the Iron Horse Music Hall (7 PM, $20, 413-584-0610). . . . Also tonight, Boston rockers Guster will take the stage at the Calvin Theatre in Northampton, Mass.; Graham Colten will open (8 PM, $25, 800-THE-TICK). . . . Odetta, who had to cancel her scheduled show last month due to unexpected circumstances, will perform at the Van Dyck tomorrow (Friday) night (7 PM, $20, 381-1111). . . . Idette & the Sunrunners will record their performance at the Black Cat Ale House on Friday for a live CD (9 PM, 235-3199). . . . Saturday night, head on over to help the crew at Sneaky Pete’s celebrate their 20th-anniversary revival, a party which they’ve dubbed Out of the Ashes; Grammy Award-winning Trammps will play their hits, including “Disco Inferno” (9 PM, $10, 489-9000). . . . Raise your spirit higher and go see Grammy-winning world-music crooners Ladysmith Black Mambazo play the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall stage with special guest Samite of Uganda on Sunday night (7 PM, $20-28, 273-0038). . . . On Tuesday at the Lark Tavern, Family Tree will play improvised funk jams featuring Steve Candlen and Matt Hatfield; this week, special additions to the lineup are Kenny Hohman and Lori Friday from Super 400 (10 PM, $5, 463-9779). . . . On Wednesday, God Forbid (whose new CD comes out on Tuesday) will play Valentine’s along with Blood Has Been Shed, Walls of Jericho and Full Blown Chaos (7 PM, $10, 432-6572).


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