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Yellowman, Dr. Jah and the Love Prophets
Northern Lights, Thursday

In 1959, he was just Winston Foster: An albino kid born in Kingston, Jamaica. He faced a lot of hostility from his peers, who ridiculed him for his pale skin and his sunny-colored afro. But rather than letting his appearance define him, young Foster quickly learned to define his appearance. He took the moniker Yellowman, adopted a rather cocky personal style and engaged in shameless self-promotion. Today, friends and fans call him “King” Yellowman, and he’s probably one of the most celebrated and best-selling reggae artists to come out of Jamaica in the ’80s. He was known as “Mr. Sexy,” and he was one of the hottest dancehall artists of the decade. Yellowman will be here tonight (Thursday) to play a 16-and-older show at Northern Lights. His latest album, Yellow Gold, which may be a little bit mellower than his earliest work, contains both dancehall material and studio tracks, which were produced by legendary Jamaican producer, Jack Scorpio. Joining Yellowman tonight will be Dr. Jah and the Love Prophets. (June 6, 7:30 PM, $13 advance, $15 door, 371-0012)

Medeski Martin and Wood
Palace Theatre, Thursday

After years of spending almost as much time on other artists’ projects as they have on their own, Medeski Martin and Wood recently released their latest album for Blue Note Records, Uninvisible. The group turned the tables and invited other artists, such as DJ P Love and DJ Olive, to make guest appearances on this album. Their sound, which fuses avant-garde jazz and timeless funk, attracts a wide range of fans from such diverse genres as hiphop, dance, jam and lounge. MMW also have had various individual side projects: Keyboardist John Medeski has worked with John Scofield, Gov’t Mule and Susana Baca; drummer Billy Martin started a record label called Amulet Records in order to release percussion albums by himself and other drummers, and he also organized the “Turntable Sessions” concert series at Manhattan’s Exit Art Gallery; and bassist Chris Wood toured and recorded with artists like drummers Stanton Moore and Bob Moses. The trio will perform tonight (Thursday) at the Palace Theatre. (June 6, 8 PM, $22.50, 465-4663)

Robby Krieger
Joe’s Lounge, Hudson, Thursday

Yup. That Robby Krieger. Guitarist for the Doors. Friends with Jim Morrison. Counterculture hero. Played by Frank Whalley in the movie. Wrote the Doors big hits, “Love Me Two Times” and “Light My Fire.” That Robby Krieger. In Hudson. Seems weird, we know, but there it is. Tonight at Joe’s Lounge in that ever-surprising downriver town, Hudson, Robby Krieger of the Doors, famed for wedding his flamenco-inflected guitar style to Ray Manzarek’s carnival keyboard and Morrison’s poetic baritone ramblings, will perform with his very own band. The guitarist’s post-Doors work has tended toward the jazzy and the jammy, so the explorations performed will probably be musical; those of you hoping for whisky-fueled delvings into the dark recesses of the subconscious, and/or patricidal Oedipal freakouts and (alleged) indecent exposure à la Miami, probably should look elsewhere. (June 6, 9:30 PM, $25, 828-9028)

The Asylum Street Spankers
Club Helsinki, Great Barrington, Mass., Thursday
The Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton, Mass., Sunday
Valentine’s, Tuesday

What more could you ask of these guys? They need to book themselves in your breakfast nook? You’ve now got ample opportunity to catch the Austin-based Asylum Street Spankers, a singular band if ever there was one deserving the adjective. In an era of ProTools and canned backing tracks, the Spankers play real acoustic music: no amps, no mikes, no PA—nothing electrified whatsoever. And if you’re thinking, “O Brother, Who Gives a Damn?” think again. The Spankers are no somber, historical preservationists. They’re punk as it gets. They’re also slam poet as it gets. And roots music, and Dixieland, and chain-gang work-song field recording, and blue-to-the-point-of-filthy jukejoint party-song as it gets. This is all the weird, woozy, anarchic, dark, sexy-as-sin American music you can shake a rocks glass at, and now you’ve got no excuse. (Helsinki: June 6, 7 PM, $10, 413-528-3394. Iron Horse: June 9, 7 PM, $12.50, 800-THE-TICK. Valentine’s: June 11, 8 PM, $10, 432-6572)

Sixties Spectacular
Proctor’s Theatre, Saturday

Those of you who miss—or altogether missed—the early days of rock & roll and blue-eyed soul, sing a loud hosanna: The Sixties Spectacular is chock-full o’ what you’ve been pining for. The Box Tops, Felix Cavalieri’s Rascals, the Association, Leslie Gore and the Happenings all will perform at Proctor’s Theatre on Saturday, and even if you don’t recognize the names, you’ll recognize the songs. The Box Tops’ “The Letter,” the Rascals “Good Lovin’, ” the Association’s “Along Comes Mary,” Lesley Gore’s “It’s My Party,” and the Happenings’ “See You in September,” are just a few examples of the many, many singles cranked out by these hitmakers. And, listen up, hipsters: If you didn’t know it, the Box Tops lineup is the original one, which means that the godfather of alternative pop, Alex Chilton (so cool that Paul Westerberg wrote and titled a song for him) will be in the house. Fun for all ages. (June 8, 7:30 PM, $42.50-$27.50, 382-3884)

Joe Lovano Trio
The Van Dyck, Saturday

Joe Lovano was born into a jazz family: His father, respected Cleveland saxophonist Tony “Big T” Lovano, taught Joe how to play alto sax as a child, and by his teens in the late ’60s, the younger Lovano was sitting in at jazz jam sessions in and around Cleveland. His early bebop training expanded when he attended the prestigious Berklee School of Music in Boston, where Lovano was exposed to modal harmony and began charting a musical course that to this day combines free-spirited innovation with the various traditional influences he has absorbed over the years. After playing as a sideman in several high-profile groups, Lovano stepped out as a leader in the ’90s, earning a couple of Grammy nominations and numerous awards from the likes of Down Beat and Musician magazines. He also has earned tremendous respect from his fellow musicians in the jazz community, not only for his accomplished and forward-thinking playing, but also for his extraordinary sonic awareness of how multiple voices work together. Lovano will bring his trio to Schenectady’s Van Dyck Saturday for two shows. (June 8, 7 and 9:30 PM, $26, 381-1111)

also noted

Drummer Jim Payne, who produced the first two Medeski Martin and Wood albums, will play an after party for the aforementioned threesome at Savannah’s tonight (Thursday) with his band House of Payne—“a quirky R&B and jazz-based group playing original instrumental groove music in the tradition of MMW, John Scofield and James Brown.” (9 PM, $5, 426-9647). . . . Quintessence has a new dance night: Every Friday, Real George (of Buzzz magazine fame as well as host of the long-gone local-music video show Real George’s Backroom) will be spinning the tunes—all ’80s, all the time (11 PM, free, 434-8186). . . . X-2 the Experimental Duo, featuring drummer Matt Abts (of Gov’t Mule) and Johnny Neel (onetime keyboardist for the Allman Brothers Band) will play tomorrow (Friday) at the Van Dyck (7 and 9:30 PM, $15, 381-1111). . . . The Brett Rosenberg Problem will play Valentine’s Friday, fresh on the heels of their new release, Destroyer (the best album Mike Gent never made); our own Dayjobs (welcoming bassist Mike Pauley back to the fold) and the undersung Stars of Rock will open the show (10 PM, $5, 432-6572). . . . Art on Lark happens Saturday, and the street will be lined with musicians from noon on. Michael Eck, knotworking, Chip Fasciana, Glenn Weiser, Lani Richards, 2 Broads With Alotta Sound and many others will partake (see pull-out guide, page 33). . . . In our perfect-match-of-the-week category, former Commander Cody lead singer Billy C. Farlow will play the Ale House on Saturday (10 PM, $5, 272-9740). . . . FLY Fling 2002 takes place Sunday at the Pepsi Arena, with Sugar Ray, Naughty By Nature, the Baha Men and many others performing (noon, $18 advance, $25 door, 487-2000). . . . Lincoln Money Shot will play some “drug damaged ‘rock,’ both ‘free’ and ‘standard’ ” at Miss Mary’s Art Space on Tuesday. Joining them is Star of Rock Brent Gorton performing some solo tunes, Karin Maag-Tanchak reading poetry, and Jason Martin showing a new film piece (9 PM, $3, 439-0041). . . . Our Lady Peace will play Northern Lights on Tuesday, performing songs from their upcoming release Gravity; Marc Copely opens the show (7:30 PM doors, $15 advance, $17 door, 371-0012). . . . Incubus and Phantom Planet will play the Pepsi on Wednesday (7:30 PM, $25, 476-1000).

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