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CL previews upcoming concerts (Aug.5-11)

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The Lo and Beholds It's usually a good sign when you can't easily peg a young band. The Lo and Beholds is a group of melodic rockers to be sure, but along with the harmonizing there's lulling guitars, jazzy piano and shadowy percussion. There's obvious songwriting craft here, albeit a bit rough around the edges, but then again the moody aura lingers and the result is a pretty solid groove. With Junior Astronomers, Through Porchlight and Twilight Armada. Tremont Music Hall (Samir Shukla)


Franz Nicolay You may recognize Nicolay for his Rollie Fingers-meets-Boris Badenov handlebar moustache or, more to the point, as the fist-pumping keyboardist in The Hold Steady. Flying solo here behind his highly regarded and wildly eclectic debut, Major General, the hyper-literate Nicolay takes Craig Finn's Beautiful Losers on Barstools and places them in historical context with various elements of Tin Pan Alley, cabaret, sea chanty and bossa nova. The bar-punk is still there too, but the emphasis here is on Nicolay's dramatic flair. With The Houstons and Andy The Doorbum. Milestone (John Schacht)

Jimmie's Chicken Shack Vocalist/guitarist Jimi HaHa and crew still crank danceable funky rock with a healthy infusion of ska and reggae. Well, yeah, it's pretty much what the quartet's been steadily playing and recording since the mid-'90s. What gives the Shack the added musicality, the head swaying factor, along with the booty shaking, is the ever-present acoustic element. The Stellas will open. Amos' Southend (Shukla)


Grids Grinding out shards of noise on their 7-inch vinyl releases, the Charlotte quartet Grids are akin to a train, make that multi-train wreck. Prep for a sonic massage as the noise punk outfit delivers slabs of amps-screeching bombast with abandon and nary a care for trends or genres. The band's sound deconstruction is part of the regional music zine Shuffle's showcase also featuring Thank God and Coma League. Snug Harbor (Shukla)

The Avett Brothers The local boys are back for a "Welcome Home" party in advance of the new American Recordings release. They were just here for a video shoot a couple weeks ago, but only a couple hundred were there. This much is true – the new stuff sounds fantastic. Who knows what influence Rick Rubin had on the boys but from the short glimpses seen at the Neighborhood Theatre in July, fans will be happy with everything they've done. With Brett Dennan. Bojangles' Coliseum (Jeff Hahne)

Def Leppard There might not be a better lens with which to view the bipolar post-1980 pop-rock music scene than that provided by Def Lep's career. The band's formative years were spent as a nominative member of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM). They then released two ploughman platters of straightahead hard rock rock (On Through The Night and High 'N' Dry), the MTV megahit Pyromania, still one of the best hard rock/pop hybrids there ever was, and then... well, producer Mutt Lange's ego went apeshit (oh, and their drummer lost an arm). They released Hysteria, a hyper-glossy collection of spit-polished hit-itude, went into rehab, released Adrenalize, which Nirvana shat all over, tried to go grunge, did the schtick-shlepping shed song-n-dance as a "legends" act, went acoustic, did a covers album and now collaborate with the likes of Nashville nymphet Taylor Swift. Pour some sugar on them, indeed. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (Timothy C. Davis)


Public Radio Charlotte's own electro-indie band is ready to add some cheer to the gloom that is alt-rock band Ours. The band claims to inspire for social and personal change, but with plenty of synth and electro-charged beats, Public Radio may also inspire you to get up and do your best New Wave moves. Perhaps that social and personal change they speak of will be a new dance partner? With Ours. Visulite Theatre (Sam Webster)


Snagglepuss For any other Charlotte band to have opened for a revived B-52s in the Q.C. would amount to musical treason. Not only is the 'Puss' ribald brand of dance rock simpatico with the Athens' legends' camp pop, there is bona fide history here: front woman Hope Nicholls' Fetchin Bones outfit was signed to the same label and shared at least one N.Y.C. bill with the B-52s in the '80s. Both bands were on a PETA compilation as well, and Nicholls even appeared in a video for the project with Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson. Mostly, though, it just makes sonic sense. The Fillmore (Schacht)

Fastball You know those moments when a certain song pops in your head from way back when, and you beat yourself up all day trying to remember who sang it? Yeah, happens all the time, but not with Fastball. Even if you classify these guys as one-hit wonders, no one forgets "The Way." Now let's be reasonable, these guys have been making music since then, but we all know that we'll be waiting for that intro so we can begin the classic crowd sing-along. With Sugar Ray and Aimee Allen. Amos' Southend (Webster)


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