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Patti Smith and Her Band
Pearl Street, Northampton, Mass., Thursday

Patti Smith gives the lie to the old Neil Young dictum that “it’s better to burn out than fade away” by boldly pointing out that there are other options. Thirty some-odd years into her career—long after most acts would have subcontracted out to car manufacturers or sports drinks, or started penning self- referential paens to their own past glories—Smith has released Trampin’, an album as cranky, angular and forward as the artist herself. Fueled equally by politics (“Radio Baghdad”), poetry (“My Blakean Year”), and Smith’s magnificently raw and sure band, Trampin’ burns without any evidence of imminent guttering. (June 3, 8:30 PM, $28, 413-486-8686)

Gandolf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams
Revolution Hall, Saturday

The name might lead you to expect some sort of medieval minstrelsy, tricked up in jerkins and ankle bells, but the traditions drawn upon by Gandolf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams will be a little more recognizable to the listener of classic rock. The Ossining-based band are comfortable acknowledging their debt to the likes of Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, the Beatles and Pink Floyd—they even went so far as to cheekily title their debut album A Good Thief Tips His Hat—but this is not to suggest that Murphy and co. are mere bar-band copycats: Songwriter Joziah Longo has drawn props from the Band’s Garth Hudson for his “awesome” compositional skills, and legions of devoted fans up and down the Hudson Valley and beyond—from Brooklyn to Brattleboro—testify to the Slambovian appeal. (June 5, 8 PM, $10, 273-2337)

Johnny Mathis
Palace Theatre, Saturday

No pop crooner of the last 40 years has ever sounded smoother than Johnny Mathis. He may have lacked the swing quality of Nat “King” Cole or Frank Sinatra, but he didn’t need it. His velvet vocal style, usually put in service of lush ballads, is unique. Yes, unique: It’s worth noting that while Sinatra spawned a host of imitators, no one ever tried to copy Mathis. Thanks to this, Mathis sold a lot of product. He’s had more than 60 charted albums, and Johnny’s Greatest Hits stayed on the Billboard album chart for 10 years. He’s headlining the Palace gala concert on Saturday, and will no doubt mix in Mathis-style arrangements of contemporary love songs with classic hits like “Chances Are” and “It’s Not for Me to Say.” And, while you’re there, marvel at the opulent splendor of the new Palace marquee—it’s something else. (June 5, 8 PM, $75, $55, 465-4663)

Complicated Shirt CD release party
Scarlet East Studios, Saturday

The new CD to hit the masses from Complicated Shirt is called Strigine, which means “of or like an owl.” Their first CD, a self-titled demo, won lots of flattering remarks among local reviewers. The band also won Best Band’s Band in the 2003 Best Of issue of Metroland, where we claimed, “These crabby noise rockers wring respect out of listeners, many of them musicians themselves, by pulling no punches. They’re like a politically incorrect Superchunk performing King Missile songs.”Go ask the band to explain why they chose the title for the CD when you go to help them celebrate the release of their new CD this weekend at Scarlet East, where they recorded the disc. Joining in the celebration are Struction, Lincoln Money Shot and Gay Tastee. (June 5, 8 PM, $3)

Three Days Grace, Thornley
Northern Lights, Sunday

Adam Gontier, lead singer of the Ontario-based band Three Days Grace, claims on his band’s Web site that “People think that because of [their] lyrics, [he is] a ‘dark’ person.” That might have something to do with the sentiment of their first single, “I Hate Everything About You,” which has been a modern-rock-radio staple for the better part of the last six months—it’s not exactly “Shiny Happy People” after all. (The song, by the way, has nothing to do with the “classic” Ugly Kid Joe song of the same name). Gontier goes on to list Jeff Buckley, Ben Harper, and his mother (awww) among his influences, which might give the wrong impression, as Three Days Grace play a ProTooled aggro-thud that fits snugly alongside like-minded bands such as Creed and Trapt. Regardless, they’re making quite a name for themselves, so catch a band on the rise this Sunday night at the only suburban strip-mall venue that matters. (June 6, 7:30 PM, $15, 371-0012)

Todd Rundgren and the Liars
The Egg, Wednesday

Singer, songwriter, producer, software designer and video artist: Todd Rundgren is a man of many talents. This has been apparent from the beginning, first with the Nazz, but more pointedly, as a solo performer. Some daffy (but not altogether wrong) diehards even consider his 1972 epic double-album Something/Anything to be the greatest ever made. How in the world, folks wondered, would he top that? By spending the next three decades making music that ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous, with strange-but-entertaining recorded side trips into faux Beatlemania and multitracked a capella singing. He also produced such musically diverse artists as Meat Loaf and XTC; reviewing Rundgren’s career is the only context in which you will find Meat Loaf and XTC in the same sentence. Rundgren comes to the Egg Wednesday with his giant songbook, and a band, the Liars, who include bassist and longtime collaborator Kasim Sulton. (June 9, 7:30 PM, $24, 473-1845)


Also Noted

The Temptations, or some reasonable facsimile thereof, will play both kinds of music—rhythm and blues—at the Turning Stone Showroom tomorrow (Friday) night (8 PM, $40-$55, 877-833-SHOW). . . . The self-described “roots rock/twang pop” outfit Lucky 57 (featuring Malcolm Travis, former drummer for Sugar and Human Sexual Response) will roll into town for two shows this weekend: They’re at Savannah’s on Friday with cowpunkers Coal Palace Kings (9 PM, $5, 426-9647); on Saturday, they’ll warm up the stage for Jackinany’s CD release party at Valentine’s, where Walt’s New Band also will perform (8 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . Kimberly Locke, one of the castoffs from last year’s crop of American Idol contestants, will perform a free mini-concert at the Empire State Plaza on Saturday for spectators and participants in the Freihofer’s Run for Women (noon, free, 273-5552). . . . The spaz-pop duo known as the Kiss Ups will play two afternoon sets at the River Street Beat Shop on Saturday (2 PM, free, 272-0433). . . . The North Pointe Cultural Arts Center in Kinderhook will host an avant-garde jazz event on Saturday, featuring the Greg Osby and Michele Rosewoman in their first performance as a duo (8 PM, $10, 758-9234). . . . NYC-based rocker Joe Whyte will perform with his band (featuring Albany’s own Brian Bassett) on the upstairs stage at Valentine’s on Saturday; Chris Blackwell and Hogtown and Random Fit open (7:30 PM, $7, 432-6572). . . . Singer-songwriter Melissa Ferrick has two shows scheduled for Sunday night at the Iron Horse Music Hall; she will perform songs from her latest album, The Other Side, and answer audience questions (7 and 9:30 PM, $23, 413-584-0610). . . . Paddy Kilrain is once again hosting an open mic in downtown Albany; now it’s on Wednesday nights at the Fuze Box (8 PM, free, 432-4472).


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