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Sufjan Stevens

Bard College, Friday

Sufjan (that’s Soof-yan) Stevens is one of the bright lights of the emerging neo-folk scene. Over the course of four albums, including the recent Seven Swans and last year’s Michigan (a stirring song cycle about his home state), Stevens has established himself as a composer and performer of the highest order, one who knows both the art of understatement and the power of melody. But more intriguing are his other skills: According to his bio, Stevens’ interests include “professional graphic arts, short-story writing and teaching, painting, running, darning, knitting, crocheting, quilting, weaving, cleaning, photography, haircutting, and drywall installation,” not to mention his basketball and culinary-arts prowess. Prepared to be hypnotized by the music—if not the “legendary” omelets—when Sufjan Stevens performs at Bard College’s Manor Lounge tomorrow night. Swedish troubadour (and former soccer pro!) Nikolai Dunger will open. (Nov. 12, 9 PM, free, Annandale-on-Hudson, 845-758-6822)

Brian Bassett CD release party

Valentine’s, Friday

Brian Bassett is set to release
his second full-length album, Nothing to Lose, with a celebratory show tomorrow night at Valentine’s. His first CD, Rock and Roll, came out in August 2003 to positive reviews. The follow-up, like the first, was produced by Ryan Barnum (of the Wait fame) and mixed by Dave Cook. The new CD features some songs that have been around a while—you’ll probably recognize them from Bassett’s live shows past—along with a few new ones. Check out Bassett’s Web site for a bonus track (which actually happens to be the title track) that will not be included on the CD. The admission gets you a copy of the album as well—the CDs have not been pressed, so currently they take the form of a limited-edition burned copy. Niki Lee and Mass Chaos and Eric Halder will open. (Nov. 12, 9 PM, $7, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572).

jimmy eat world

Jimmy Eat World, Razor Light, Gratitude

Northern Lights, Friday

Though Jimmy Eat World cite influences such as Rocket From the Crypt and Fugazi, this Arizona quartet’s blend of angsty emo rock and darkly melodic pop have earned them slightly higher-profile rewards than those earned by those cultish forebears: stints on MTV’s TRL, tours with Weezer and Tenancious D and, oh yeah, a platinum record, for example. Which isn’t to say that the success just fell into their laps. The band have secured a loyal fan base (if not a loyal record label) not only with the ambitious recorded presentation of their songs, but also by touring relentlessly. Also on the bill, Razor Light and Gratitude. (Nov. 12, 7:30 PM, $20, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)

Spider Saloff

Chapel + Cultural Center, Saturday

You may know Spider Saloff’s name, since she is one of the costars and co-creators of the internationally syndicated weekly Public Radio series Words and Music on PBS. According to the Chapel and Cultural Center’s Web site, Saloff is one of the “rare officially sanctioned acts of the Gershwin Centennial, and her concert, ‘Spider Saloff Sings Gershwin,’ has been touring the U.S. since 1996 and headlined the St. Petersburg Gershwin Festival in Russia (the birthplace of the Gershwin’s ancestors).” Press from all over the world seems to be impressed with the jazz singer. The Chicago Tribune touts Saloff as “one of the finest jazz vocalists working in this or any other city.” This concert is being held in honor and memory of longtime C+CC friend and supporter Betty Wiberley. (Nov. 13, 8 PM, $15, 2125 Burdett Ave., Troy, 274-7793)

Michael Glabicki

The Van Dyck, Wednesday

Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root will perform solo at the Van Dyck, singing a combination of new material as well as Rusted Root favorites. This tour is Glabicki’s first without the band. Rusted Root’s self-produced first album, Cruel Sun, was released in 1990; the Pittsburgh-based band will release their fifth full album, Rusted Root Live, this week. Taking a break from the band’s popular style, Glabicki sees this tour as a merging of the band’s lyrics and a more “in-your-face rock & roll.”, Glabicki’s tour Web site, states, “Glabicki hopes this tour, which will fulfill a dream, will also expose his music to people who are unfamiliar with him and also let him perform in interesting places he would not otherwise get a chance to see.” (Nov. 17, 7:30 PM, $10, 237 Union Ave., Schenectady, 381-1111).

Dolly Parton

Pepsi Arena, Wednesday

For folks of a certain genera-tion, the name Dolly Parton immediately conjures up visions of Dabney Coleman in bondage gear. Parton’s crossover success of the middle ’80s, her movie appearances (if you missed the reference, rent 9 to 5), propelled her out of (what was then) the country-music ghetto and made her a genre-transcending super-celeb. And, honestly, it probably couldn’t have happened to a nicer person. Parton’s got a lot of personality and grace for a multimillion-dollar corporation. But her pop-culture prominence has served to obscure something important: Parton’s one hot-shit country musician. Just top-notch as a singer and a writer, both. Consider the White Stripes cover of Parton’s classic “Jolene,” and note that Jack and Meg have left “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” very much alone. You know, we’re just sayin’. (Nov. 17, 7:30 PM, $55, $45, 51 S. Pearl St., 487-2000)

Also Noted
lamb of god

Feelin’ kinda emo? Then head over to Saratoga Winners this evening (Thursday) and get yourself a heaping helping of the genre’s best: Hot Water Music, Alexisonfire, Planes Mistaken for Stars, Moments in Grace, and Endicott (7:30 PM, $12, 783-1010). . . . Also tonight, DC-based jammies Virginia Coalition play Northern Lights; Acoustic Trauma, Paynes Hollow and Pomeroy open (7:30 PM, $8, 371-0012). . . . Area
reggae-funk practitioners I.M.I. have returned from an extended hiatus; they’ll play the Lark Tavern tomorrow (Friday, 10 PM, $3, 463-9779). . . . Collider frontman and Albany expatriate Jed Davis will perform a solo set at Schenectady’s new Moon and River Café on Saturday (7:30 PM, free, 382-1938). . . . Zox, a “violin-laced rock reggae punk” band from Providence, will perform at the College of Saint Rose on Saturday (7:30 PM, $5, 800-637-8556). . . . Break out your crash helmets: Lamb of God, Fear Factory, Children of Bodom, and Throwdown are at Saratoga Winners on Saturday (8 PM, $20, 783-1010). . . . If you’re in the mood for something a little pop-punkier on Saturday night, there’s another multi-band bill at Northern Lights; this one features Midtown, Matchbook Romance, Hidden in Plain View, Name Taken, and Dropping Daylight (7:30 PM, $12, 371-0012). . . . Three of our region’s heaviest—JBA (John Brown’s Army), Fucked Up, and Police Line—will bring the noise and the pain to Valentine’s on Monday (7:30 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . Also on Monday, San Francisco-based grrrl band Boyskout will return to the Fuze Box; this time, they’ll be joined by Mini Band (“tiny instruments, spastic rock,” we’re told), and K. Sonin and the Ladykillers (8 PM, $5, 432-4472).

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