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Barn Burning, the Kamikaze Hearts
Valentine’s, Thursday

Imported from Rhode Island, Barn Burning will bring their easy-rollin’, roots-influenced stuff our way tonight. They boast a dobro, violin, banjo, mandolin, and lap steel, which does make them twangy, but they’ve got a strong pop streak as well, reminiscent of early R.E.M. Their recent debut record, Weatheredbound (Catamount), is getting this sextet respectable spins on college radio, and was produced by Robert Fisher of Willard Grant Conspiracy, a group to whom Barn Burning have been compared. Barn Burning also seem to be a swell match for our beloved local boot- stompers, the Kamikaze Hearts, who will be playing with them. The Hearts await the arrival of their new EP, Foxhole Prayers, on Matto’s Peterwalkee label, though it won’t be here in time for this weekend. The Hearts will also be at King’s Tavern in Saratoga Springs with Rockets and Blue Lights and Small Axe the following night. (April 22, 8 PM, 18+, $5, 432-6572)

Q and Not U
Falstaff’s, Skidmore College, Thursday
Trinity United Methodist Church, Saturday

John Davis, Harris Klahr and Chris Richards formed Q and Not U in the summer of 1998, quickly perking the ear of Dischord Records head honcho (and punk legend) Ian MacKaye, who recorded and released Q’s first handful of releases, including their excellent 2002 LP, Different Damage. While postpunk—à la Mission of Burma and the Fall—is at the core of their sound, Q and Not U have a deep-seated experimental streak that makes them one of the most challenging and relevant independent bands today. Tonight’s show at Falstaff’s also features Brooklyn-based porch-music revivalists the Boggs, plus locals Madeline Ferguson and Building a Factory. Saturday’s show at the Trinity Church (on Albany’s Lark Street) features Albany’s own Rockets and Blue Lights, End of a Year, and the High Socks. Both of these shows, by the way, are all-ages affairs, so you can bring the little ones along. (April 22, 8 PM, $8, 580-5787; April 24, 7 PM, $8)

Fuel, Breaking Benjamin, Silvertide
Northern Lights, Friday

For those of you who find the current state of modern-rock radio to be a stimulating hotbed of creativity and originality, your best bet for a mind-enhancing evening of live music is Friday night’s crunge-heavy lineup at Northern Lights. Tennessee-via-Harrisburg, Pa., quintet Fuel reportedly formed in 1989, and began inflicting their über-serious gym-rock on the public with the 1997 debut album, Sunburn. Since then, they’ve logged themselves a string of gold records and inescapable hit singles, including “Bittersweet,” “Hemorrhage (In My Hands)” and the current neck-vein-buster, “Falls on Me.” Opening the show will be Breaking Benjamin (whose new single “So Cold” received prominent placement in the recent Hellboy feature film) and the latest signing to Clive Davis’ J Records label, Silvertide. (April 23, 7:30 PM, $22, 371-0012)

Lee Shaw CD release
WAMC Performing Arts Studio, Saturday

She may have been born in Oklahoma and gone to conservatory in Chicago, but we like to think of jazz pianist extraordinaire Lee Shaw as the Capital Region’s own. She’s made Albany her home for three decades, and has become an integral part of the local jazz scene. Of course, she has also appeared on Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz, and performed at the Kennedy Center. Saturday, Shaw celebrates the release of her new CD Little Friend with a show at what Chartock and company like to call “the Linda.” While we’re in the dark about the track list for Little Friend, Shaw’s history may give some clue. Her last album, the live set A Place for Jazz (which was praised by one critic for its “lovely renderings of generally underplayed songs”), featured a smart mix of standards by the likes of Cole Porter and Rodgers and Hart, alongside straight-ahead jazz numbers by Mary Lou Williams and Tommy Flanagan. It’s hard to beat taste like that. (April 24, 8 PM, $15, 465-5233 ext. 4)

Rasputina, Murder by Death
The Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton, Mass., Tuesday

Rasputin, the famed Mad Monk of St. Petersburg, was an unlikely holy man—to say the least. Born into poverty in Siberia, the illiterate visionary became the foremost confidant of the Romanovs, the royal family of pre-Soviet Russia. Along the way, legend has it, he bedded something like a third of the female population of the country, including the czarina and her daughters. His name—actually a nickname—means “debauched one” in Russian. So, what’s this got to do with the cello? Well, Rasputina are an unlikely rock band—to say the least. Founder Melora Creager invented a new nook in the goth-rock niche by heading a cello trio, sawing out melodic gloom suitable for velvet-draped, taper-lit chambers the world over. On their most recent CD, Frustration Plantation, Rasputina have dabbled in an addled Americana by dropping one cello, added one drummer and embracing a Southern gothic, kudzu-and-creepiness vibe. And, face it, you could probably use a bit more debauchery. Murder by Death will open. (April 27, 10 PM, $13, 413-586-8686)

Kenny Loggins
The Palace Theatre, Tuesday

If MOR soft-rock balladry is your bag, here’s a Gucci. Kenny Loggins has been laving listeners in optimistic pop for more than three decades. And, though it’s been a while since he’s released a full-length collection of songs intended for adults (releasing, instead, a slew of songs for soundtracks and a couple of popular children’s albums), his newest one is a doozy. On It’s About Time, Loggins teams with a variety of like-minded songwriters—Michael McDonald, Richard Marx and Clint Black—for an album that delivers in fine tradition. Subtle textural and stylistic changes never head so far afield that you’ll lose sight of the essential Loggins-ishness of it all. He is, to borrow a phrase, still alright. (April 27, 7:30 PM, $35-$45, 465-4663)

Also Noted

Hot on the heels of Tobin Sprout’s recent appearance there, the hard-drinkin’, hard-rockin’ elder statesmen of Guided by Voices will hit Northampton’s Pearl Street tomorrow (Friday), along with Matador labelmates Seachange (8:30 PM, $17, 413-584-7771). . . . Jazz chanteuse Stacey Kent makes her first area appearance at the WAMC Performing Arts Studio on Friday night in support of her new LP, The Boy Next Door (7:30 PM, $15, 800-323-9262 ext. 4). . . . Jonatha Brooke returns to the area for a show at the Egg Friday (8 PM, $22, 473-1845). . . . Jazz Mandolin Project will perform at Revolution Hall on Friday; Jen Chapin, daughter of 1970s folk-pop legend Harry Chapin, will open, although her jazzy, funky style is more “Superstitious” than “Cat’s in the Cradle” (8 PM, $12, 273-2337). . . . Speaking of folk legends, Richie Havens will continue trying to get back to Woodstock with two shows at the Iron Horse Music Hall on Saturday (7 and 9:30 PM, $28, 413-584-0610). . . . The band formerly known as the Bruise Bros. will soon be the band formerly known as Innerfuze; they’ll play their last show ever at Northern Lights on Saturday (7:30 PM, $6, 371-0012). . . . The laptop-happy duo of Tom Burre and Joe Reinsel will come out of hiding for an evening of experimental music at the Chapel + Cultural Center in Troy on Monday (8 PM, free, 274-7793). . . . We never ever do this—ever—but we’ll make an exception this time: The oh-so-soulful Sean Rowe will be doing a live recording next Thursday (April 29) at Barnaby’s on State Street in Albany; come scream real loud and you might just make it onto his next CD (9 PM, free, 463-5140).

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