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The Woes

Valentine’s, Thursday

All is quiet on New Year’s Day—usually. But 2009 kicks off with some fine noise when the 2009 Underground Film vs. Underground Music tour, presented by, begins right here in Albany. The tour is headlined by New York City band the Woes, a quintet that would have fit nicely under the original banner at CBGB; that is, they mix country, bluegrass, and blues, with added flavors of New Orleans and the city they call home, all brought to life by the haunting voice of head Woe Osei Essed. Pseudo-Slang, a hip-hop group originally from Buffalo, co-headline the festivities, and as the title suggests, the night also will feature the work of some fine, up-and-coming filmmakers. Giving Thursday a local ring will be Albany’s own Bryan Thomas. (Jan. 1, 8 PM, $6, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

Ashley Pond Band, knotworking, Katie Haverly and Vox Celeste

Tess’ Lark Tavern, Friday

Celebrate the turning of a new year while celebrating all things local (sort of) as Albany’s 1st Friday afterparty at the Lark features two of our area’s finest acts, plus one that would have earned such a distinction a few years back, before the members migrated elsewhere. Ashley Pond recruited a fine rhythm section to flesh out the songs from her Dala disc, and their live shows have become brilliantly emotive affairs. The same could be said for Katie Haverly, whose Around the Bend was one of 2008’s best local releases; her new band members are right at home driving those songs home or just sitting back and letting Haverly sing the fuck out of them. As for knotworking . . . what else is there to say about one of the Capital Region’s best-loved Americana acts? Order a beer and a shot and ask someone to dance, won’t ya? (Jan. 2, 9 PM, $5, 453 Madison Ave., Albany, 463-9779)


Valentine’s, Saturday

It’s all about comings and goings this Saturday at Valentine’s. Two members of Coma—Thomas Wilk and Mike Keegan—will be joining the recent mass exodus this month, as Wilk sets off for NYC and Keegan for San Francisco. Before they go, they’ll unveil a new installment of their Pony series: Mega Pony reportedly is a “harder hitting, Nick Cave-ier release than its sister full-length, Mini-Pony, but the two ponies are equally matched knights on a sonic chessboard unable to overcome the other.” We assume that will make more sense when you hear the record. On a quirky note, the group also will release Mono Pony, which features monophonic remixes of Mega Pony songs, as well as new tracks. So you can play it on your Victrola. Dr. Kilgore, Small Axe, and Complicated Shirt will help to usher in—and out—the Coma goodness. (Dec. 3, 8 PM, $5, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

Elvis Birthday Bash with the Lustre Kings

The Linda, Saturday; the Ale House, Sunday

At about this time every year, we gather to give thanks for the coming of the king—that is, the jump-suited, hip-swiveling, karate-chopping viceroy of rock: Elvis Presley. Had he not fallen off his porcelain throne that fateful day and lived to see 2009, he’d be 74 years young and, no doubt, still making the girlies swoon. Whether or not he’d be rocking the rhinestones, however, is another matter entirely. The Lustre Kings, the closest thing we’ve got to the man himself, will be sure not to overlook them. This weekend, you’ll have two chances to catch their tribute act—just don’t step on their, um, galoshes. And in case you’re booked, the festivities continue next Saturday at Daisy Baker’s. (Jan. 3, 8 PM, $20, 339 Central Ave., 465-5233; Jan. 4, 8 PM, $10, 680 River St., Troy, 272-9740)

The Holmes Brothers

The Holmes Brothers

Club Helsinki, Saturday

Despite its tumultuous history—or, indeed, because of it—Harlem has taken its place alongside Memphis, Chicago, Philadelphia and New Orleans as one of the most soulful musical hubs in the fifty nifty United States. But, without the revivalist nostalgia that time has bestowed upon many of these places, Harlem is still busy defining itself. Living legends the Holmes Brothers are apt representatives. With one foot in tradition and one firmly planted in the present tense, the trio have been known to cover Blind Willie Johnson, Tom Waits and Cheap Trick, all in the same set. (Jan. 3, 9 PM, $25, 284 Main St., Great Barrington, Mass., 413-528-3394)


Also Noted


Here we are. It’s New Year’s Eve, a good time to stay at home and enjoy the company of family. What? “To hell with that,” you say? Well then, here are some of your entertainment options for this evening, Wednesday, Dec. 31, the final night of the calendar year 2008: Local jamboys Timbre Coup double up on the festive by releasing a new CD at Red Square (8 PM, $10, 465-0444). . . . It’s songs and strings for the New Year at Revolution Hall with Sirsy: The duo will be augmented by a string quartet for a unique acoustic set, then they’ll ring in 2009 with their regular rocking; DJ Eric G will open the evening (9 PM, $25, 274-0553). . . . At Valentine’s, the confetti will fly with Beware! The Other Head of Science and Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned; as a bonus, the Deadbeats will perform their regularly scheduled Wednesday set on the downstairs stage (8:30 PM, $10, 432-6572). . . . And at Michael’s Banquet House in Cohoes, it’s a Motown New Year’s Eve Party with Solid Smoke, who will be joined by Earl Thorpe and Roslyn Mosby of soul group the Fidelities (9:30 PM, $20, 785-8524). . . . Looking ahead to the first weekend of 2009, the Parting Glass will be home to the first Hair-a-Thon this Friday and Saturday, with music from Hair of the Dog; they’ll be there every weekend in January playing stump the band, but make sure to call ahead for reservations (8 PM, $13, 583-1916).

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