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Simon and Garfunkel, the Everly Brothers
The Pepsi Arena, Thursday

Oh, man. If you don’t respond to those harmonies, put a mirror up under your nose and check for breath—’cause you may just be dead. In the nostalgia-thick climate of the summer arena-tour season, it’s pleasing and relieving beyond description to hear actual legends billed as such. And these guys have more than earned their reputations: Their influence on popular music is vast, yet even so, we wish it were greater: The airwaves today could use a healthy infusion of Phil and Don, the Everly Brothers. Beyond the seamless blend of their voices (there’s something magical about sibling harmonies, isn’t there?), their comfortable incorporation of country and pop into early rock & roll went a long way in defining the template followed by the likes of the Beatles, the Byrds, the Hollies—all the way down the decades to bands like Rockpile, R.E.M. and so on. Oh, yeah, and Simon and Garfunkel—who learned a thing or two from the Everlys—are pretty good, too. (June 10, 8 PM, $51-$186, 476-1000)

Derek Trucks Band
Alive at Five, Thursday

At age 25, blues guitar prodigy Derek Trucks, nephew of longtime Allman Brothers Band drummer Butch Trucks, has an impressive list of credentials. Having played with Bob Dylan, Stephen Stills and Joe Walsh, and currently moonlighting as the second guitar player for the Allman Brothers, Trucks is considered one of the top slide guitarists in the country. And he doesn’t limit himself stylistically; his band’s latest album, 2003’s Soul Serenade, is a mix of Southern boogie and jazz fusion. Trucks and his eponymous jam band are constantly on tour, crossing the country two to three times a year to bring their Southern-flavored blues rock to the masses; the current tour brings them tonight (Thursday) to Albany’s Riverfront Park. (June 10, 5 PM, 434-2032)

Rosie Ledet
Club Helsinki, Friday

Rosie Ledet wasn’t always a fan of zydeco music. As a teenager, she listened only to the rock hits on the radio, but once she attended a Boozoo Chavis concert, she was unable to resist the soulful Cajun music. Today, the 33-year-old is one of only a few female voices in today’s zydeco music scene, performing her own songs in Creole French. Known as the sweetheart of the Louisiana-based zydeco circuit, Ledet combines her sensual vocals and self-taught accordion skills to produce an infectiously danceable brand of zydeco infused with soul and R&B. Her most recent CD, 2003’s Now’s the Time, is said by critics to be a solid zydeco dance album, and proof that she is continuing to grow and mature in her music. Rosie Ledet and the Zydeco Playboys are currently on a national tour that will make a stop tomorrow (Friday) at Club Helsinki in Great Barrington, Mass. (June 11, 9 PM, $18, 413-528-3394)

Marlow CD Release Party
Valentine’s, Friday

Todd Pasternack’s post-Ominous Seapods project, Marlow, are considerably more song-driven than his previous group; a genre reassignment of sorts for a guy who spent the better part of a decade noodling around on lead guitar. The first Marlow release, White Out, was a dark chronicle of a doomed relationship—the “most melancholic roots-rock effort of 2002,” according to All Music Guide. Along the way, Pasternack found his counterpart in classically trained vocalist Angela Ford (she also happened to be a quick study on the bass), and on Friday night, he will unveil his latest release, The World Before It Ever Was. It’s a much looser and happier-sounding effort, tackling topics like love, youth, and vinyl lust. The Marlow Web site claims that World “sounds like Tom Petty and Elvis Costello made love to Aimee Mann and sired an album together, never to know who the real father is.” Sounds messy. The Brian Kaplan Band and Bryan Thomas will open the big show. (June 11, 8 PM, $7, 432-6572)

Iced Earth, Beyond Embrace
Saratoga Winners, Tuesday

Tim “Ripper” Owens is leading a life that might just lend some credence to the notion of karma. The Ohio-bred vocalist landed what seemed to be a dream gig for a heavy-metal mouth when he was tagged to fill the spot at mic for Judas Priest, performing as they were sans Rob Halford. Sadly for Owens, he was himself bumped—by none other than Halford—when they original lineup reconciled. To keep himself busy, Owens loaned his pipes to classic metal stalwarts Iced Earth, just as a favor to friends. The result—Iced Earth’s tenth album, Glorious Burden—so pleased everyone involved, though, that Owens was invited to become a permanent member, an offer that he readily accepted. In interviews, Owens claims that his work with Iced Earth—giving voice to guitarist-songwriter-history-obsessed nut Jon Schaeffer compositions such as “Valley Forge,” “Attila,” and “The Reckoning (Don’t Tread On Me)”—is the best of his career. Opening for Iced Earth will be Beyond the Embrace. (June 15, 7:30 PM, $20, 783-1010)


Also Noted

You break him, you bought him: Breaking Benjamin will play Northern Lights tonight (Thursday), with special guests Idols Never Die, Chloroform Dream, and Horse in a Box (7:30 PM, $10, 371-0012). . . . Solo instrumentalist Kaki King performs tonight at Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, Mass.; Christian Hine opens (7 PM, $13, 413-584-0610). . . . Jonathan Richman returns to the area on Friday night with a show at the Pearl Street clubroom, also in Northampton—with Tommy Larkins on drums, per usual (8:30 PM, $13, 413-584-7771). . . . The songwriters series at Justin’s returns tomorrow (Friday) night with Brian Bassett and Mother Judge providing the songs, hosted by Steve Candlen (9 PM, $5, 436-7008). . . . The Day Jobs come out of hiding on Saturday for a show at Lark Tavern with Boston-based retro-poppers Army of Jasons (10 PM, $3, 463-9779). . . . Blasé Debris bring their self-described “vaudevillian punk/gothic metal” to Valentine’s on Saturday; Bomb and Triple Deuce open (9 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . Smile Empty Soul do it for the drugs at Northern Lights on Saturday, with Moments in Grace and Steriogram opening (7:30 PM, $12, 371-0012). . . . Hard-touring troubadour Fred Eaglesmith brings his blue- collar country-rock to Caffe Lena on Wednesday night (7 PM, $20, 583-0022). . . . Also Wednesday, My Chemical Romance, Boys Night Out, Nightmare of You, and This Time Tomorrow bring the rock to Saratoga Winners (8 PM, $7, 783-1010). . . . Finally, two nostalgia acts of sorts will hit the area on Wednesday night: Hootie and the Blowfish hits the Palace Theater, just in time for the 10th anniversary of their gazillion-selling Cracked Rear View LP (7:30 PM, $39.50-49.50, 465-4663); Ray Dorset, a.k.a. Mungo Jerry of “In the Summertime” fame, plays Club Helsinki, conveniently just in time for, well, summertime. Duh. (8:30 PM, $15, 413-528-3394).


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