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Arlo Guthrie
New York State Museum, Thursday

As part of the summerlong exhibition called Spirit of the Woodstock Generation: the Photographs of Elliott Landy, the New York State Museum is hosting a concert series made up of artists who played at the original Woodstock back in 1969. One of those artists was, and is, renowned folk singer Arlo Guthrie, son of “This Land is Your Land” author Woody. Arlo and friends just wrapped their Australian tour and are back in the area. We think he’ll soon be back in the saddle at the Guthrie Center, an interfaith church that Guthrie started back in 1991 in what was known as Trinity Church in Great Barrington, Mass. You may recognize the name of a former inhabitant of the church—a certain song was written about a certain woman named Alice—as the song says, “Alice didn’t live in a restaurant. She lived in the church nearby the restaurant.” See the old folkie tonight when he plays the NYS Museum. (July 1, 7:30 PM, $45, $38 members, 408-1033)

Rocket vs. Robot
New Age Cabaret, Friday

The kids really are alright. Latham-based Rocket vs. Robot recently unveiled their debut album, Rocket vs. Robot is Punching You in the Face, and man, if it’s not a welcome break from the über-serious hard rock and rap-metal that we were worried was going to permanently brain-damage our nation’s youth. RvR are a wildly fun guitar/synth duo (their programmed drumbeats are killer, too) that evoke the playful, if not slightly childish, air of bygone-era party bands like the Dead Milkmen and the Violent Femmes. It’s by turns goofy (“Johnny & Tina,” “Lazor Eyeballs”) and vulgar (“Last Tuesday’s Tomorrow”), and it’s always a rockin’ good time. All the party people are urged to be in the house tomorrow (Friday) night as Rocket vs. Robot share a buck-a-band all-ages bill with North, Importante, the Outcome, As Seasons Fall, Showcase and the Kiss Ups. (July 2, 5:30 PM, $7, 436-3465)

Sting, Annie Lennox
Saratoga performing arts center, Sunday

Making the transition from band member to solo artist can often be tricky. Take, for instance, the short-lived solo career of Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger. But what better day to host two of the more prominent success stories than Independence Day, the anniversary of America’s decision to go it alone? Sting and Annie Lennox, formerly of British pop-rockers the Police and Eurythmics, respectively, will take the stage this Sunday at SPAC. Over the last decade, both artists have carved out a formidable niche in the contemporary-rock scene and earned numerous Grammy nods along the way. Luckily for them, the majority of their audience is gainfully employed, as space on the lawn will cost $34 and inside seating will run upwards of $76. (July 4, 7:30 PM, $34-$96, 476-1000)

The Lonesome Brothers
Club Helsinki, Great Barrington, Mass., Sunday

If you had to guess just from the band name, you might assume that the Lonesome Brothers were working the neo/alt-country vein, and you’d not be far off. But working only with the band name, you’d probably miss that this longstanding side project includes both Jim Armenti (whose song “Down by the Water” was covered by ex-Blood Orange Cheri Knight on her killer solo album The Knitter), and Ray Mason, whose eponymous outfit arguably are the finest bar band to call New England home. Since 1986, the brothers have been hitting the high points of classic country & western, rock and rockabilly in regional taverns, and buffing up the sets with their own estimable compositions. Though their original drummer has since headed to sunnier climes, the newest brother, Tom Shea, has got serious cred as well: He served in the legendary Scud Mountain Boys and currently works the six-string for Mason in Mason’s own band. (July 3, 9 PM, $15, 413-528-3394)

Livingston Taylor, Stephen Clair
Central Park, Wednesday

Since launching his recording career in 1970, Livingston Taylor (Liv, for short) has been living in the shadow of his considerably more famous older brother, James (perhaps you’ve heard of him?), but he really doesn’t seem to mind. In fact, Liv has a reputation for being unfailingly chipper on his albums, of which he’s made quite a few for a number of different labels. His writing is so bright and sunny that he’s often been asked if he plans to make a children’s record (to date, the answer is “no”). Taylor is, however, planning to release his first collection in seven years of new songs this fall. In the meantime, he’ll return to the Electric City for a free concert this Wednesday night. On hand to open the show will be Albany expatriate Stephen Clair, who’s found favor in his adopted home of Brooklyn (and a few other boroughs as well) with his more-than-a-little-Tayloresque collection of quirky slice-of-life tunes, Little Radio. (July 7, 7 PM, free, 866-333-8191)


Also Noted

While the Independence Day weekend is a great time for cracking open a cold one, hanging out by the lake, and firing off some (highly illegal) bottle rockets that your buddy picked up at South of the Border, the live-music scene tends to sag a little bit in favor of all the outdoorsing that’s going on. However, there are a few truly marquee-value live events going on this week that you might want to consider blowing off your friends’ barbecue for; for starters, legendary jazz bassist Ron Carter will perform two shows tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday with his quartet at the Duffin Theater in Lenox, Mass. (8 PM, $39, 800-594-TIXX). . . . Super 400 will supply a liberal dose of their incendiary rock and roll at the Lark Tavern on Saturday (10 PM, $5, 463-9779). . . . The City of Albany has promised a performance by Jefferson Starship in conjunction with the holiday celebration at the Empire State Plaza on Sunday night; for those keeping tabs on the band’s many incarnations, original members Paul Kantner and Marty Balin are in, but Grace Slick is out, which means we probably will not be treated to a rendition of “We Built This City (On Rock and Roll).” Rats. (6 PM, free, 473-0559). . . . Finally, no need for silly July-4th-related euphem-isms here: Burning Spear will play Club Helsinki in Great Barrington on Tuesday (9 PM, $38, 413-528-3394). Now be careful out there, kids. And don’t play with fire.


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