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Sonny Rollins

Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Friday

Honestly, you don’t need a
reason to go see Sonny Rollins; ask anyone who’s seen his previous appearances at the Troy Music Hall over the years. The fact that it’s Sonny Rollins is enough. It’s not that he’s a jazz legend (though he is), it’s because he is widely considered to be one of the most consistently compelling and inventive live artists in any genre. Or, as New York City-based jazz critic Gary Giddens—who, by his own count, hasn’t missed more than a couple of Rollins’ NYC performances in the last 30 years—told an interviewer, “You can’t miss the fact that something magical happens when he is on stage.” Rollins’ current lineup includes bassist Bob Cranshaw, drummer Steve Jordan and percussionist Kimati Dinizulu; the Philadelphia Inquirer described his playing and presence with this band as variously “friendly and inscrutable,” “playful and light,” and “stately and resolute.” Sounds like classic Rollins to us. (Nov. 5, 8 PM, $30, $27, Second and State streets, Troy, 273-0038)

Chris Cagle

Northern Lights, Friday

Chris Cagle’s biography posits him as “an anomaly—a blue collar, working class country singer who’s not afraid to sweat or get loud.” We’re not entirely sure why that makes him an anomaly—seems to us like country music is all about loud, sweaty, working-class folks. Of course, our entire concept of country music is a scene in Roadhouse where an Alabama song plays in the background, so what do we know? The Baytown, Texas, native is also described as “unadorned,” “solidly built” and “hard-charging,” yet “romantic without being wimpy.” Sounds like our kind of guy. Cagle will perform songs from his self-titled second LP—which, by the way, debuted at the top of the Billboard Top Country Albums chart—when he comes to Northern Lights this weekend. Blue Creek and Shelly Fairchild will open. (Nov. 5, 7 PM, $27, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)

Clinic, Sons and Daughters, Midnight Movies

Pearl Street Nightclub, Saturday

They’re a quartet from Liverpool, England, and in at least one press photo the four are wearing brightly colored marching-band uniforms. But Clinic want you to know that any similarity to that other Liverpudlian band stops right there (though the press has made mention of lead singer Ade Blackburn’s Lennonesque vocals). The critically acclaimed Brits, in fact, cite more austere points of reference: the Velvet Underground and Suicide, specifically. Also on the bill, Sons and Daughters, whose lineup includes former members of both Arab Strap and March of Dimes, and Midnight Movies, whose “cozy bleakness” should fit nicely with the chilly Clinic. (Nov. 6, 8:30 PM, 10 Pearl St., Northampton, Mass., $15, 413-584-7771)


Hurricane Relief Concert

Saratoga Music Hall, Sunday

For those of us who like to rock for a feel-good cause, this Sunday’s Hurricane Relief concert—sponsored by the American Red Cross, and benefiting victims of the Florida disasters—promises to send your good karma spinning into overdrive. (And, if your karma is good enough, you might even win the new guitar that’s being raffled off.) Local musicians, including Rich Ortiz, Big Medicine, and Roseanne Raneri, will perform acoustic sets. Kids under 12 are free, so bring the whole family for a nine-hour lesson on not only the goodness of helping others, but the school of rock as well. Now, if only we could get a Band Aid reunion going . . . (Nov. 7, noon-9 PM, $8-$10, children under 12 free, 474 Broadway, 3rd Floor, City Hall, Saratoga Springs, 792-4041).

Amazones: Women Drummers

Rroctor’s Theatre, Sunday

Amazones Women Master Drummers of West Africa will share the stage with Les Percussions de Guinee during the first-ever tour for the Women Master Drummers. According to various Web sites, the legend of the female group (the Guinee master drummers are usually male), began in 1995 with the death of a revered master djembe player Noumody Keita, who was the founder of the Ensemble National de Percussions de Guinee. He appeared in a dream to his wife Bintou Kourama and asked her to gather strong, young women together to play the djembe, because he was afraid the tradition of the instrument was in danger of disappearing. Catch these amazing women when they perform at Proctor’s on Sunday evening. (Nov. 7, 7 PM, $19.50-$29.50, 432 State St., Schenectady, 382-1083).

Acoustic Alchemy

The Egg, Wednesday

Alchemy of the acoustic variety is not an easy thing. First you’ve got to write some satanic symbols on the floor. Then you stand on your head, in the southeast corner of the room. Recite incantations from the book of the dead (or of smooth jazz), mix in some lead and mercury, and as long as you don’t pass out from the rush of blood to your head or the fumes, you’ve got yourself some smoldering grooves. Rather than go through all of this, you can check out the adult-contemporary jazz rhythms of Acoustic Alchemy, who will show the Egg how to turn the pluck of guitar strings into smooth gold on Wednesday. (Nov. 10, 7:30 PM, $24, Empire State Plaza, Albany, 473-1845.)

Also Noted

Over at the Arts Center of the Capital Region tonight (Thursday), the Impulse Response folks will present another one of those things they do—this one’s called “The Birth of Aural Gong Wash,” and will feature collaged field recordings by the United States of Belt, with live video by skfl. Should be a good time for all the senses (8 PM, $3-5, 281-3206). . . . Though hard-touring roots-rockers Two Cow Garage hail from Columbus, Ohio, they pretty much live in their van these days, playing more than 150 shows a year. See why they prefer life on the road as they perform at Valentine’s this evening (9 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . Former From Good Homes guy Patrick Fitzsimmons will play at—is this right?—the Larkin tomorrow (Friday) night, with Female Songwriters You Wanna Hear opening (8 PM, $7, 463-5225). . . . “Labargefest” will take place at the College of Saint Rose this Saturday; bands include Face for Radio, Insult to Tradition, Parwana, the Tree Wizards, and more (6 PM, free, 485-3323). . . . They’re young, goofy, Canadian, and coming to Northampton: The Unicorns play Pearl Street this Sunday night (7 PM, $13, 413-584-7771).
. . . On Wednesday, Buddahead will return to Northern Lights; locals North Allen, 5 ’til Midnight, and the Velmas round out the bill (7:30 PM, $10, 371-0012).

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