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Rachael Sage, Bora Yoon, Alycia Ercums
The Larkin, Friday

It’s a night of female singer-songwriters at the Larkin tomorrow (Friday) with jazzy, folky Bora Yoon, Lilith Fair performer Rachael Sage and local budding rose Alycia Ercums. Twenty-three-year-old Yoon has quite the list of accomplishments already under her belt. She’s a winner of the 2002 International John Lennon Songwriting Contest, and she’s played festivals and venues all over the world. Yoon has just released her new award-winning CD, Proscenium, which she produced herself on her independent label SwirL Records. Rachael Sage is on tour in support of her album Public Record. (March 26, 8 PM, $5, 463-5225)

The Van Dyck, Friday

With more than three decades of recording and touring behind them, NRBQ—formally the New Rhythm and Blues Quartet, but just the “Q” to friends and fans—are still going strong, with old fans attesting that they’re at an all-time peak. After recently holding their 35th anniversary reunion show in Northampton, Mass., featuring all members past and present since they formed back in 1967, they’re back in the Northeast for some more characteristically genre-bursting performances. Their albums’ blend of rock, pop, jazz, blues, R&B, polka and rockabilly, along with their in-concert impulsiveness (sometimes centering their performances around whatever audience members request) have helped them collect a devoted following, including a steady fan base among music-world icons like Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello and Bonnie Raitt. (March 26, 7 and 9:30 PM, $20, 381-1111)

Proctor’s Spring Spectacular
Proctor’s Theatre, Saturday

What a town without Pitney can do is get out to Saturday night’s Spring Spectacular at Proctor’s. Lou Christie should be expected to rehash “Lightning Strikes” and “The Gypsy Cried” for the millionth time, while what may or may not be a Shangri-Las lineup featuring none of the original members will perform “Remember (Walking in the Sand)” and “Leader of the Pack” (will they bring the motorcycles?). Headliner Gene Pitney had quite a string of singles back in the ’60s, including “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” and “Only Love Can Break a Heart,” and had the only post-1970 hit of the bunch with the 1990 Marc Almond duet “Something’s Gotten Hold of My Heart.” While this show is essentially an opportunity for the casino circuit to trot out 35-to-40-year-old hits, for an audience that has likely grayed just as much as the performers, it should be a blast. (March 27, 7:30 PM, $27.50-42.50, 346-6204)

The Early November, Limbeck
Valentine’s, Saturday

New Jersey-based the Early November are currently on tour in support of their recently released full-length album The Room’s Too Cold on Drive-Thru Records. The record was written during a very turbulent time in the life of lead singer Ace Enders; he had just ended a long-term relationship, which as we all know, is an ideal catalyst for great songwriting, art, and general creative processes. The band’s Web site assures us that “the trauma is well reflected in the album’s songs.” The Early November will take the stage at Valentine’s Saturday night to perform their raw, no-frills music. Other bands on the bill are Limbeck, Endicott, Park and the Progress. (March 27, 8 PM, 16+, $10, 432-6572)

The Dears
Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton, Mass., Tuesday

Montreal crooner Murray Lightburn began the Dears in 1995. There has been something of a revolving- door policy within the band (the current lineup features former Thrush Hermit guitarist Rob Benvie, and Lightburn is the only original Dear), but they seem to finally have begun to whittle away toward stardom with their current incarnation. The group recently were nominated for a Juno (the Canadian equivalent of a Grammy) for Best New Band, and for Favourite Group at the Canadian Independent Music Awards (the Indies). Their new album No Cities Left is an ambitious collection of lush, romantic pop noir, full of the bleary-eyed drama of contemporaries like Tindersticks and the Divine Comedy, with the Brit-pop edge of Pulp and the Smiths thrown in for good measure. Western Mass locals Pictures of Animals and Spanish for Hitchhiking open Tuesday night’s show. (March 30, 8:30 PM, $10, 413-584-0610)

Also Noted

Revolutionary hiphop act- ivists Movement in Motion will perform with a full band at the Social Justice Center in Albany tonight (Thursday)—rumor has it these guys always incorporate and open mic into their performance, so the audience will be able to join in (8 PM, $3-5, 434-4037). . . . It’s a birthday extravaganza when Matto celebrates at Valentine’s tonight. The acts include Kitty Little, Evixxtion, the Kiss Ups, Complicated Shirt and Air Raid Barcelona, and there also will be some indie films shown between bands’ sets, so it’s a multimedia event (8 PM, $6, $4 with a wrapped gift, 432-6572). . . . The Blind Boys of Alabama, who have been spreading gospel music far and wide for more than 60 years, will perform at the First United Methodist Church of Pittsfield (Mass.) on Friday; Ollabelle will open (8 PM, $32-42, 413-528-3394). . . . On Saturday, head on over to Troy catch the debut of the Good Earth Band, along with Jackinany and Chicago-based the Delafields at the Ale House (9 PM, 272-9740). . . . Also, Saratoga Winners will be the place to see local guitar virtuoso Mike Campese headline on Saturday night (by the way, his new CD Vibe is now available); Still Remains and Northern Jams open (8 PM, $5-10, 783-1010). . . . Db Leonard, who was supposed to perform at the Larkin a couple months ago but had to cancel because of rotten weather, has rescheduled for Saturday night (8 PM, $5, 463-5225). . . . On Tuesday, catch the guitar stylings of Eddie Angel and Johnny Rabb when they play with Rochester’s the Hi Risers at Savannah’s in Albany. For those of you who didn’t know, locally grown Angel was just up for a Grammy with his band Los Straightjackets (9 PM, $5, 426-9647).

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