By Greg Haymes You could call it Best Bets or Top Tips or whatever. We call it The Dozen, whereby we offer a monthly round-up of 12 (or so) of the shows around Nippertown that have got us jazzed the most. One entry per venue. Of course, your results may vary, so please feel free to weigh in on what you think we missed. Here’s The Dozen for the month of January to kick off your 2015 concert-going year: TONIGHT (FRIDAY, JANUARY 2): Popa Chubby @ the Van Dyck, Schenectady. How many reasons do you need to keep the celebrations rolling along this week? The big blues-rockin’ behemoth and his band celebrate his 25th year of touring and a new album, I’m Feelin’ Lucky. And he pays tribute to the music of the Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix. 7 & 9:30pm. $22. Also at 7 & 9:30pm on Saturday. SATURDAY (JANUARY 3): Home Bass II: A Little Help for Our Friends @ Club Helsinki, Hudson. Kick off 2015 with a great party, and do a good deed for a good cause at the same time. Tommy Stinson (the Replacements, Guns ‘N Roses) headlines a benefit bash for Columbia County Habitat for Humanity. Also featuring Happiness (featuring members of Deer Tick), Rhett Miller (the Old 97’s), Jesse Malin (D Generation), the Dust Bowl Faeries, Elvis Perkins, Ruby Stinson, Kiki*D and MC Girlgantua. 8pm. $20, $30 & $50. FRIDAY, JANUARY 9: David Wax Museum @ Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs. With a Mexo-Americana fusion of Latin rhythms, infectious melodies and call-and-response hollering, DWM welcomes the new year with the rattle of a donkey jawbone. 8pm. $22 in advance; $24 at the door. WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 14: Jeff Daniels @ the Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton. I know it’s faint praise to call him one of today’s best actors-turned-musicians, but anybody who can stretch from the ridiculous (“Dumb & Dumber To”) to the sublime (Aaron Sorkin’s smart “The Newsroom”) as Daniels did last year, must have something goin’ on. With the Ben Daniels Band. 7pm. $25 in advance; $30 at the door. SATURDAY, JANUARY 17: Sean Rowe @ the Tavern at the Williams Inn, Williamstown. The Local 518’s booming baritone troubadour is riding high in support of his latest album, Madman. 7:30pm. $12. (Also at Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs at 7pm on Sunday, January 18). WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 21: The Iguanas @ Parish Public House, Albany. The Big Easy’s Americana rockers roll into town in support of their latest album, Juarez. 9pm. $12 in advance; $15 at the door. THURSDAY, JANUARY 22: The Parlor @ the Low Beat, Albany. Torchbearers for B3nson, Eric Krans & Jen O’Connor and the band fire up everything from folk to funk to disco. With the Neighborhood of Make Believe and Slowshine. 8pm. FRIDAY, JANUARY 23: Ani DiFranco @ The Egg, Albany. After all these years, “the little folksinger” remains true to her staunchly independent DIY promise with her latest album, Allergic to Water. With the sublime Anais Mitchell. 8pm. $33.50. WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 28: Dale Watson & His Lonestars @ The Hangar, Troy. Watson and his band kick it old-school country with a seriously rollickin’ honky-tonk party. And if that’s not enough for you, he’s bringing along special guest Rosie Flores. 8pm. $25. FRIDAY, JANUARY 30: Aztec Two-Step @ the Eighth Step at Proctors, Schenectady. Rex Fowler and Neal Shulman have been whipping up folk-rock harmonies together since 1971. They’re promising an evening of Aztec Two-Step classics, as well as gems from the catalogs of Simon & Garfunkel and the Everly Brothers. 7:30pm. $25 in advance; $28 at the door; $35 Gold Circle; $50 Gold Circle with pre-show meet-and-greet. SATURDAY, JANUARY 31: Nomadic Massive @ MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center, North Adams. The sprawling Montréal-based hip-hop collective invades MASS MoCA for a multi-culti dance party. NOTE: January 31 is also Free Admission Day at MASS MoCA. 7pm. $10 in advance; $15 at the door; $5 students.
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