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CL previews upcoming concerts (April 22-25)

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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22

Heypenny Yet another spoke in the burgeoning indie-pop wheel that's spinning out of control in the so-called Music City, Nashville's Heypenny doesn't have a lot of what you'd call rough edges (Kings of Leon seem like Slayer compared to these fellers), but fans of mid-'60s Beatles, Electric Light Orchestra, DEVO or Fountains of Wayne should eat this stuff up like cut-rate cotton candy. It's tight, terse, staccato stuff, but there's enough of a melancholic undertone here (much like an Ezra Furman and The Harpoons) where you don't have to worry about overdosing on all the sugar and showiness. Snug Harbor (Timothy C. Davis)

Steve Kimock Crazy Engine Best known to many as a hotshit guitarist for a lot of Grateful Dead offshoots (Heart of Gold Band, Kingfish, Phil Lesh and Friends, The Other Ones, Ratdog, et. al.) Steve Kimock is finally hitting the road with his first full-band lead project. The music will be the usual musical stew most of those other bands supped on (rock, blues, gospel, soul, bluegrass), shot through with his own trademark, Mister Clean guitar tone. A master (as opposed to masturbatory) improviser, Kimock's got more than enough check marks on the ol' listenability ledger to make this a show worth recommending even to those whose heads don't come with a "Dead" prefix. Visulite Theatre (Davis)

THURSDAY, APRIL 23

Jonathan Scales Fourchestra Channeling jazz drummers via steel pan drums, Scales fuses multi genres – jazz fusion, funk, blues, reggae, and even traditional rhythms of India – into his tropical mélange. Call it island jazz if you will but with drummer Scales' inventive rhythmic patterns, the lowly steel pan drums enter a whole new realm of possibilities. With Andrew Hoover. Double Door Inn (Samir Shukla)

Incognito Mosquito Hailing from the one-and-only Queen City, this foursome has been changing the local music scene since 2003 after the group played its first unrehearsed show. Ansley Wynn, William Stone, Ryan Persaud and Chad Thompson had never played together, but shocked crowds, and themselves, with their instant chemistry. Since then, the band has been known to "bring the party" everywhere they go, so lace up your shoes and get ready for a night of playful, original tunes. Neighborhood Theatre (Jill Jacobs)

FRIDAY, APRIL 24

Dave Matthews Band/The Avett Brothers It's time, once again, for the annual tour by Dave Matthews Band. Last time around, they were touring right after the accident/shortly before the death of saxophonist LeRoi Moore. Looks like Jeff Coffin is still taking his place and you can only imagine how much he's tightened things up since last year. No doubt you'll get some samples from the band's upcoming album, Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King, due on June 2. The big news here though is the opening act – Concord's The Avett Brothers. Since landing on the American Records label and working with Rick Rubin wasn't enough of a success for the local guys, a spot on tour with DMB for a number of nights is another feather in a cap that's going to look like Big Bird in no time. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (Jeff Hahne)

Fall Out Boy/50 Cent Mr. Ashlee Simpson and crew will hit the town for a night of that wonderful emo-pop crap that so many people eat up with a spoon. Yeah, I'm not a fan. Though I do have to wonder – what in the world is 50 Cent doing with them? Could make for an interesting on-stage mash-up. But I doubt it. The Bo-Round, aka Bojangles' Coliseum (Hahne)

Lefty Williams Band Born without a right arm, Jason "Lefty" Williams plays blues guitar better than many fully-limbed axemen. His most recent disc, Snake Oil (produced by John Keane and featuring Tinsley Ellis on a couple tracks), smokes with a blues-rock foundation topped with Williams' whisky vocals and taught songwriting. The Atlanta-based Williams coaxes riffs, ala fellow Georgia guitarists Dickey Betts and Robert Cray, with his muscular fretwork. Salvador Deli (Shukla)

SATURDAY, APRIL 25

Old School Freight Train Birthed in Virginia as a "new grass" combo, OSFT has evolved into a somber and jazzy Americana and roots unit. Creating gentle rock mingled with antique bluegrass, country and roots flourishes, OSFT is touring in support of the new disc Six Years. The recording includes a damn intriguing, slo-mo Americana version of Blondie's "Heart of Glass," creating a mellow, shuffling vibe throughout that won't leave from your ears so easily. The Evening Muse (Shukla)

Fleetwood Mac In 1987, Santa Cruz weirdo rockers Camper Van Beethoven holed up in a mountain cabin, ingested titanic doses of painkillers, and recorded their own front-to-back take on Fleetwood Mac's 1979, double-disc mega-flop Tusk. I mention this because CVB's stoned-out-of-our-skulls-version (only released in 2002) turned out to be way more interesting, though like most things Mac-related, it's the back story – like the two cocaine-fueled relationship wars played out among Mac members on their 1977 chart-topping staple, Rumours – that's more compelling than the actual music. Bobcats – that's right, "Bobcats" – Arena (John Schacht)

Duothon Great things that come in pairs: Salt & pepper shakers, dice, lovebirds, chopsticks, headphones, kidneys, lips, breasts, handcuffs – and these acts highlighting the first Duothon. All have their own twists on the form, from the slow-burn pop crescendos of the brothers Faircloth (a.k.a., The Houstons) to the thundering-herds/fever-delirium-sampling of 2013 Wolves and their new one, Sinners Get Ready. Another pair-ful reason your presence is requested: A rare (these days, anyway) David Childers sighting, with guitar wizard Randy Saxon providing color. Also duo-ing on the bill: The Have and the Have Nots, Battle Beasts, and The Holy Smokes. Milestone (Schacht)

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