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21notepic_ArndtJocelyn Arndt the band actually consists of vocalist-keyboardist Jocelyn Arndt, her brother and co-writer, guitarist Chris Arndt, and four other musicians including a violinist. But attention for this upstate New York, blues-inspired indie-rock act mostly centers on Jocelyn’s big, bluesy voice (and its very pretty upper register), and also for Chris’ 1970s-style shredding. Though they’re both still attending Harvard University, the siblings managed to put out a well-received EP, Strangers in Fairyland. They also played the Albany Tulip Fest and headlined at the SPAC Rock & Run, and tomorrow night, you can hear them live in the intimacy of a downtown club.

(May 22, 9 PM, $10, 79 N. Pearl St., Albany, 426-8550)

 

Jason Isbell's latest album, Southeastern, is personal and intimate.Jason Isbell was one of three talented songwriters in the band Drive-By Truckers until 2007, when he parted ways with his bandmates and struck out on a solo career that, during the first five years and three albums, was so besotted with alcohol that the artist admits he would often wake up in strange places unaware how he got there. The extended bender finally landed Isbell in rehab in 2012 and ultimately gave rise to his fourth solo studio album, Southeastern, a raw, elegiac confessional that earned him widespread critical acclaim in 2013. Now, preceding the release of his fifth studio album, he’s touring with Craig Finn, frontman for the rambunctiously fun and gritty indie alt-rock band the Hold Steady.

(May 22, 8 PM, $34.50-39.50, Empire State Plaza, 473-1845)

 

Falling-In-Reverse 2Ronnie Radke was the lead singer of post-hardcore band Escape the Fate until years of problems with the law landed him in jail and he was replaced. Angry at being ousted, Radke formed his own post-hardcore/pop-punk band, Falling in Reverse, in 2008, just before his incarceration. After being released in 2010, Radke, now clean and sober—but still flamboyantly stylish—immediately went to work recording, and FIR released their first album on Epitaph in 2011; their third, Just Like You, came out early this year. This weekend you can catch Ronnie Radke’s Three Ring Circus, a show that will feature opening band Ghost Town, followed by FIR covering Escape the Fate’s entire debut album, Dying Is Your Latest Fashion, and then closing the show with an entire original FIR set of their hits.

(May 24, 7:30 PM, $25, 1208 Route 146, Clifton Park, 371-0012)

 

21ndCARLILESinger-songwriter Brandi Carlile has been a constant presence in the pop-country-rock firmament since her breakthrough album The Story in 2007. Now, with her latest album, her music is the most rock & roll-oriented it’s ever been.

It was released in March, and the reviews for The Firewatcher’s Daughter are in. Fresh Air’s Ken Tucker said it was Carlile’s best yet. Blurt agrees: “The supremely talented Brandi Carlile returns with what may well be her best set yet, flush with songs of love and devotion, as well as her usual assortment of rousing rockers and celebratory shout-outs.”

Brandi Carlile will perform Saturday (May 23) at 8 PM at the Palace Theatre (19 Clinton Ave., Albany) Tickets are $29.50 to $59.50. For tickets, call (800) 745-3000. For venue info, call 465-3334.

 

 

21socialactionbox“What if divided neighborhoods were causing public health problems? What if a new approach to planning and design could tackle both the built environment and collective well-being at the same time?”

This is the topic that will be addressed in a talk by Mindy Thompson Fullilove, author of Urban Alchemy: Finding Joy in America’s Sorted Out Cities, today (Thursday) at the Albany Roundtable’s annual meeting.

In her column of Aug. 15, 2003, Miriam Axel-Lute praised Urban Alchemy for the way “it doesn’t locate the problems of distressed neighborhoods in the neighborhoods themselves, but rather in the ways they have been isolated, disinvested from, and cut off from the fabric of the rest of the city and region. Her detailed storytelling is decidedly non-academic, and yet leaves you feeling like you’ve gotten a very detailed understanding of a comprehensive approach to righting the wrongs that have been done to our cities.”

Mindy Thompson Fullilove will speak today (Thursday, May 21) at the Albany Roundtable at the University Club (141 Washington Avenue at Dove Street, Albany). The event will be from 6 to 8 PM, and will include cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, and a book signing. Tickets are $40. Books will be available for $20 (including tax) courtesy of the Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza. For more info and to RSVP, e-mail albanyroundtable@yahoo.com or call 463-1151.

 

 

21theaterboxpicChristopher Durang’s 2013 Tony Award-winning comedy makes its Capital Region debut beginning this weekend at Curtain Call Theatre. Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is both a wacky farce and a gloss on Chekhov, the kind of thing that’s impossible for most to pull off but is Durang’s métier.

This Curtain Call production is directed by Chris Foster, and will feature Kris Anderson, Roseann Cane, Ryan Davis, Mary Darcy, Cari Irwin and Christina Reeves. Pictured are (l-r) Reeves and Irwin.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike opens tomorrow (Friday, May 22) at 8 PM at Curtain Call Theatre (210 Old Loudon Road, Latham). The show runs through June 27. Performances are Thursday at 7:30 PM; Friday and Saturday at 8 PM; and Sunday at 3 PM. Tickets are $24. For more info, call 877-7529.

 

 

21theaterbox_Honk!The Theatre Institute at Sage will wrap up its current season beginning this Wednesday with a children’s theater production of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Ugly Duckling” titled, Honk! The Musical Tale of the Ugly Duckling.

With book and lyrics by Anthony Davis and music by George Stiles, Honk! will “charm young audiences with its message of tolerance and acceptance.”

Honk! The Musical Tale of the Ugly Duckling opens Wednesday (May 27) at 10 AM at the Theatre Institute at Sage (Schacht Fine Arts Center, Russell Sage College, 65 1st St., Troy). The production will run through June 7; visit www.sage.edu/theatre for shows and times. Tickets are $15 adults, $12 students and seniors. For more info, call 244-4505. For tickets, call the box office at 244-2248.

 

 

21concertboxpicLondon-based Steven Wilson may look every inch the ’70s English folkie, but actually, he’s an innovative studio guru and the leader of the greatly admired rock band Porcupine Tree. And since 2008, he’s become widely acknowledged as a master of modern prog rock. His impeccable resume includes engineering, and playing with, prog titans from King Crimson to Marillion to Opeth, and he’s been honored with no less than four Grammy nods, one of them for best solo artist, another for best surround sound album.

The prodigious musician also plays guitar, flute, and keyboards as part of his career as a solo singer-songwriter. Wilson’s four critically acclaimed releases feature refined lyrics and brooding soundscapes with an industrial edge offset by his silken tenor. The Guardian describes his newest immersive dreamscape Hand. Cannot. Erase. as “a rich musical journey with numerous moments of vivid melodic simplicity.”

Steven Wilson will perform at the Egg (Empire State Plaza, Albany) tonight (Thursday, May 21) at 8 PM. Tickets are $31.50 to $36.50; call the box office at 473-1845 for more info.

 

 

20concertboxpicIn ye olden days, the late drummer John Bonham was Led Zeppelin’s own hammer of the gods. These days, son Jason Bonham, who is of course also a drummer, has been touring with a Zep tribute band that he calls a labor of love, and fans and critics have raved about.

The latest edition of Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience will perform the first two Led Zeppelin albums in their entirety, plus “greatest hits” and “deep cuts.” From the notices we’ve gleaned, it’s a solid two hours-plus of heavy, bluesy goodness. Along with Bonham on drums, the current band includes singer James Dylan, guitarist Tony Catania and bassist Michael Devlin.

Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience will perform Tuesday (May 19) at 8 PM at the Palace Theatre (19 Clinton Ave., Albany). Tickets are $29.50 to $69.50. For tickets, call (800) 745-300. For info, call 465-3334.

 

 

20filmboxpicDirector Frédéric Tcheng’s documentary Dior and I, which is being screened this weekend at Saratoga Film Forum and Time & Space Limited, follows Christian Dior’s new creative director Raf Simons from his arrival in 2012 to the debut of his first haute couture collection for the venerable fashion house later that same year.

Variety praised Tcheng’s “well-considered direction,” and his strategy of “privileging the creative process over stereotyped glamour or backstabbing. . . . He repositions haute couture away from something superficial, as ‘serious’ cinephiles might see it, and shows that the art of design, like all art, is more about vision than price tag.”

Dior and I will be screened Thursday, Friday and Sunday (May 14-15 and 17) at 7:30 PM at Saratoga Film Forum (Saratoga Arts, 320 Broadway, Saratoga Springs). For ticket prices and info, call 584-FILM.

Dior and I will be screened Thursday (May 14) through Saturday (May 16) at 8 PM, and Sunday (May 17) at 5:15 PM at Time & Space Limited (434 Columbia St., Hudson). Tickets are $8, $6. For more info, call 822-8448.