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Schenectady Pipe Band CD release

Ancient Order of Hibernians Hall, Friday

One of the oldest bagpipe groups in the United States, the Schenectady Pipe Band have a history that goes back almost 100 years. These folks are the real deal, a competitive pipe band dedicated not only to preserving the music of their homeland but the culture as well (they’re the sponsors of the annual Capital District Scottish Games). It’s not just an excuse to dress up and drink Scotch. The group have been seen and heard at events all over the Capital Region, but they’ve never before been properly recorded—until now. Tomorrow (Friday), the Schenectady Pipe Band give us a look behind the kilt with the release of their first CD, which they’ll celebrate with a live bash in their home city. Erin Harkes and the Rebound open the show, and cost of admission includes refreshments and a copy of the new CD. (Feb. 26, 7 PM, $25, 1750 State St., Schenectady, 438-4297)

Brian Dewan

Spotty Dog Books and Ale, Friday

All kinds of mad geniuses reside here in the wilds of upstate New York. Brian Dewan is all kinds of mad geniuses. Dewan is a visual artist, who has turned the classroom culture of his youth into an ongoing series of quasi-satirical installation and projection pieces; he’s also produced a series of wood-and-detritus “shrines,” one of which can be seen on the cover of his longtime pals They Might Be Giants’ second LP, Lincoln. Dewan is an inventor, who, with his cousin Leon and under the name Dewanatron, has developed a series of one-of-a-kind synthesizers. And Dewan is a musician: As Dewanatron, he and Leon Dewan make a modern experimental racket; under his own name, he integrates the sounds of early 20th-century folk music into rock and popular formats for a style that is, naturally, all his own. It is, presumably, this last pursuit that brings him to the Spotty Dog tomorrow (Friday). (Feb. 26, 8 PM, $5, 440 Warren St., Hudson, 671-6006)


The Eighth Step, Saturday

It was in high school music class that Amanda Walther and Sheila Carabine first met, penning their first song together and combining the last syllable of their first names to come up with a title for their band. It could have been the fleeting stuff of Trapper Keeper notes and cafeteria show and tell, but just a few years later the duo have become darlings of the Canadian music scene. There’s nothing earth- shattering about what the two strive for—mostly retreading the folk stylings of Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Bob Dylan—but, wow, the two can sing. Trust us, these are the sort of harmonies that seep into your ears and linger in your hair. (Feb. 27, 7:30 PM, $20, GE Theatre at Proctors, 432 State St., Schenectady, 346-6204)

Sarah McQuaid

Old Songs, Saturday

How’s this for folky cosmopolitanism? Singer-songwriter and accomplished guitarist Sarah McQuaid was born in Madrid; raised in Chicago; and holds duel Irish and American citizenship. Over the years she’s performed Irish traditionals, Appalachian folk, songs in Old French, Old Occitan, Italian, Middle High German and Latin, and stuff that sounds like a pagan goddess channeling the ghost of Jim Morrison. On top of all this, she’s worked as a folk-music columnist and authored an instructional Irish-guitar book. On Saturday she’ll bring plenty of new songs and traditionals to a crowd that wears its preference in its title. (Feb. 27, 8 PM, $20, 37 S. Main St., Voorheesville, 765-2815)


Pierced Arrows

Pierced Arrows

Valentine’s, Tuesday

Valentine’s poobah Howard Glassman showed some genuine excitement in issuing the announcement of this Tuesday’s performance by Oregon band Pierced Arrows. And while we find his instincts to be generally right-on, we had a few moments of head-scratching when we saw the Vice magazine logo on the band’s homepage—it didn’t seem like Howard to go to bat with such fervor over any old mustachoied hipster outfit. Ah, and we were right: Pierced Arrows are the new band (a continuation, really) from Fred and Toody Cole, the husband-and-wife team behind garage greats Dead Moon. This is indeed something to get excited about. This should be a visceral, memorable experience from some true rock & roll soldiers. Mudlark, Nuclear Family, and Secret Service are also on Tuesday’s bill. (March 2, 8 PM, $8, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 432-6572)

Also Noted
Carbon Leaf

Tonight (Thursday), the Celtic influenced roots-rock of Virginia’s Carbon Leaf comes to the Egg; soulful singer- songwriter Susanna Choffel opens (7:30 PM, $24, 473-1845). . . . Also tonight, the Klezmatics play a sold-out show at Skidmore College’s Zankel Music Center (8 PM, 580-5320). . . . Tomorrow (Friday), celebrate the late Johnny Cash’s birthday with a roots-rock bash at the Van Dyck; performers include MotherJudge, Ramblin Jug Stompers, Ashley Pond, Tom McWatters, Jim Gaudet, and 9-year-old Cristo Lewis, whose Cash covers are both rousing and deeply disturbing (8 PM, $10, 348-7999). . . . Sharp-dressed young men Young and Divine are special guests at the Break contest at Northern Lights on Saturday; it’s a multi-city band battle, of which the winner gets to play the Bamboozle emo-fest in New Jersey this spring (noon, $14, 371-0012). . . . At the Linda on Saturday, it’s a benefit concert for Capital District Keys for Kids, a program that provides free music lessons to inner-city children in Albany; performers include the Tern Rounders, 4ever1, and KJ Denhert (7 PM, $20, 465-5233 ext. 4). . . . Self-described “realist pop-punk” band the Wonder Years play Bogie’s on Sunday with Therefore I Am and Man Overboard (5:30 PM, $10, 482-4393). . . . The Winter Olympics will be over, but if you haven’t quite had your fill of Canada, you can catch Vancouver’s Po’ Girl at the Iron Horse in Northampton, Mass., on Monday (7 PM, $13, 413-586-8686).

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