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The Wasted , CD release party
Valentine’s, Friday

We could go on and on about the musical catharsis provided by former Beef frontman Stephen Gaylord and his current band, the Wasted. We could also get into what a blast the CD-release party for their new album, We Are Already in Hell, should be (word has it they’re having a killer deal on shots of Stolichnaya vodka). Instead, we’ve decided to simply weed out the haters with this sample lyric from their song “Bedwetter”: “Some folks don’t see the light, they’re here to see the sights, they’re here to soak it in, they love their fucked up lives/Could have done better if I wasn’t born a bedwetter, was richer, better looking, if I got some pussy/You can pound me to pieces, doesn’t matter long as you’re not hurt, because man is the most evil creature ever put on the earth.” Amen, brother. To Hell And Back, Small Axe, and the Dirty Bombs open. (Sept. 24, 8 PM, $5, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

Blue Öyster Cult, Seven Stories Falling, Thick
Northern Lights, Friday

Rock veterans Blue Öyster Cult are hard to describe. Metal? Rock? Laser show? Even their name is hard to describe (what the hell does that mean, anyway?). They’re original, to say the least. Interestingly, this will be one of the last shows with drummer Bobby Rondinelli, who has chosen to leave the Cult to play full-time with the Lizards. They might always be on tour, but tomorrow (Friday) night will be the night to see them in the Capital Region when they play Northern Lights. Don’t fear the reaper, baby. Locals Seven Stories Falling and Thick will open. (Sept. 24, 7:30 PM, $15, 16+)

Ben Owen and the NY Phonographers Ensemble
The Gasholder building, Saturday

As you may have gathered by now, we generally advise you to check out the shows presented by Impulse Response; as you likely also have gathered, we expect you to take it on faith that it’ll be worth the time—because, god bless their pointy little heads—the press releases from those cats don’t always give one a lot to go on. What we do know is that Ben Owen and the NY Phonographers Ensemble appears to include a handful of the more interesting electronic and experimental musicians and artists of this area (Seth Cluett, Stephan Moore, Scott Smallwood) as well as a number of other performers or groups who are new to us (Michelle Nagai, Omnid, the Beige Channel), and they’ll be presenting live mixing of field recordings, in solo and group performances. And we know that it’ll all take place in the Gasholder Building, one of our favorite quasi-creepy Troy landmarks. Other than that we’re keeping our fingers crossed and our ears open. (Sept. 23, 8 PM, $5, 1115 Fifth Ave., Troy, 273-0552)

Frank Bango & The Magic Fingers
Lark Tavern, Saturday

It’s time to put on your scuba gear and dive into a sea of emotion. According to Frank Bango, on his last album he and songwriting partner Richy Vesecy were—emotionally speaking—“just getting our feet wet.” The new album The Unstudied Sea is awash with singer-songwriter emotion, which flows out of Bango’s ’60s-girl-group, pop inspiration. Floating along with Bango in his sea of emotion will be his back up band, “esoteric pop adventurers” the Magic Fingers. According to Bango, if you are aware of any of his influences—which include David Lynch, the Beatles, the Beach Boys, Elvis Costello and Bjork—you “owe it not only to yourself but to them to know who Frank is.” If this proves to be true, Lark Tavern may need to invest in more parking. (Sept. 25, 10 PM, $3, 453 Madison Ave., Albany, 463-9779)

The Decemberists, Lou Barlow
Pearl Street, Tuesday

Portland, Ore.-based collective the Decemberists have been enjoying quite the positive buzz lately, and it’s a tough one to argue. In their relatively short lifespan, they’ve released two full-length albums (last year’s Her Majesty and 2002’s Castaways and Cutouts), plus the EPs 5 Songs (which features the positively sublime “Oceanside”) and The Tain, an 18-minute, five-part concept piece based on the Irish myth. Their music gathers together elements of back-porch folk, progressive rock, and heavenly (not heavenly like Christian rock, but rather like “The Ballad of El Goodo” by Big Star) pop, while their lyrics tend to draw less from matters of the heart and more from the history books (although we’re fairly confident that those books are works of fiction). Joining them on Tuesday night’s show is Folk Implosion/Sebadoh guy Lou Barlow, who has enjoyed a recent resurgence in popularity, following a springtime reunion tour with his old Sebadoh bandmate Jason Loewenstein. (Sept. 28, 8:30 PM, $15, 10 Pearl St., Northampton, Mass., 413-584-7771)

Also Noted

Talib Kweli will bring his socially conscious hiphop to Pearl Street tonight (Thursday); Kweli is touring in support of his new CD, The Beautiful Struggle, which hits stores next week (8:30 PM, $23, 413-584-7771). . . . Hailing from somewhere on the other side of the spectrum, the David Grisman Quartet bring their bluegrass-conscious folk and jazz to the Egg this evening (7:30 PM, $26, 473-1845). . . . Tomorrow (Friday), legendary songwriter and producer Nick Lowe plays the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, Mass.; Geraint Watkins opens (7 PM, $28, 413-584-0610). . . . And back at home tomorrow, the Nick Mancini Trio plays Justin’s; Mancini is a Capital Region-born vibraphonist and composer who currently resides in Brooklyn (9 PM, $5, 436-7008). . . . On Saturday, blue-collar rock & rollers Tesla return for another go-round at Northern Lights, with former Buckcherry vocalist Josh Todd opening (7:30 PM, $27, 371-0012). . . . There’s more of that there bluegrass coming your way: The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band will play the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall on Sunday (7 PM, $25-28, 273-0038). . . . It’s another big night of hiphop at Pearl Street on Sunday, featuring Gift of Gab (of Blackalicious), plus Mike Relm (of Invisibl Skratch Piklz) and Rhythm Ruckus (8:30 PM, $17, 413-584-7771). . . . On Monday, quirky, scrappy singer- songwriter Michelle Shocked will play the Iron Horse; the Resophonics and Rachel McCartney will also perform
(7 PM, $25, 413-584-0610). . . . Heavy metal mainstays Anthrax are about to begin a tour with the one and only Dio, but first, they’ll play a warm-up show at Northern Lights on Tuesday night; Last Call and Brick By Brick will warm up for the warm-up (7:30 PM, $15, 371-0012).

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