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CL previews upcoming concerts (June 1-5)

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WEDNESDAY, JUNE 1

500 MILES TO MEMPHIS Feeling at home in a honky-tonk, punk fest or an acoustic cubby hole, Ohio's 500 Miles to Memphis twirls a mighty mix of country, punk and rockabilly. Vocalist/guitarist Ryan Malott's leads the combo down rollicking byways, into gritty rock pubs, as well as easing into fiddle-caressed balladry. They're a top-notch live outfit, to boot. RIYL: Jason and the Scorchers, Rev. Horton Heat. Also on the bill are Evelynn Rose and Leadville Social Club. $6. Snug Harbor. www.snugrock.com. (Samir Shukla)

PRIMUS The original lineup of Primus has gotten back together, not only for a tour run, but a new album, too. Les Claypool and Larry LaLonde are joined by original drummer Jay Lane in a show that I would imagine might feature some new songs from the band's upcoming album, Green Naugahyde. I'd also expect some classics from "Tommy the Cat" to, perhaps, a Fisherman's Chronicle. With The Dead Kenny G's. $46.70. The Fillmore Charlotte. www.livenation.com. (Jeff Hahne)

THURSDAY, JUNE 2

WILL DOWNING If you ever wanted a record deal, going to the same Brooklyn high school as music industry heavy hitters Clive Davis and Motown's Kedar Massenburg never hurts. But WIll Downing made his own name in the business from working with the likes of Anita Baker, Billy Ocean and Kool & The Gang before seeing solo success. Since then, he's overcome a couple of major hurdles to continue to crank out the kind of music his fans have come to expect from him. $45-$65. Knight Theater. www.blumenthalarts.org. (Mike McCray)

ZZ TOP So what the hell do you need to know about ZZ Top? The trio's Texas blues-rock-boogie has fed a couple of generations of rockers, the band released its debut in 1970, and even though its greatest hits record came out 20 years ago, contemporary digitized kids can sing along with the old cats with nary a care about outmoded tunes. Grab the aforementioned youngsters, plop down on the grass underneath the skyscraper lights and by all means get up and dance to the "Tube Snake Boogie." $25-$110. Time Warner Cable Uptown Amphitheatre. www.livenation.com. (Shukla)

JOE KROWN TRIO The veteran trio of New Orleans music, Krown (Hammond B-3), Walter "Wolfman" Washington (guitar & vocals) and Russell Batiste (drums and background vocals), lay down bayou-bred jazz, funk and blues with utmost ease. Individually, their resumes are expansive, while they've been grooving together for about five years where their seasoned chops converge into bopping interplay. $12-$15. Double Door Inn. www.doubledoorinn.com. (Shukla)

FRIDAY, JUNE 3

S.O. STEREO The Charlotte quartet was recently spotlighted on an episode of The Vampire Diaries — its music and the band themselves — while also having a song included on the TV show 10 Things I Hate About You. With a national spotlight headed its way, the band still finds time to play plenty of hometown gigs. They once opened up for a reunited Blind Melon, but it's a headlining spot like this one that offers the band the opportunity to truly shine. With Lucky Five and Swift Robinson. $8-$10. Visulite Theatre. www.visulite.com. (Hahne)

25 MINUTES TO GO Charlotte quartet 25 Minutes to Go is ready to release its third album, This Time's For Serious. Recorded independently in the band's home studio, the "beat laboratory," the group feels like it's finally been able to capture its live energy and intensity. There are hints of punk behind the rock — a heavier Social Distortion, perhaps, thought they've also been known for acoustic offerings. With Hectagons, Calormen and 2013 Wolves. $6-$9. The Milestone. www.themilestoneclub.com. (Hahne)

SATURDAY, JUNE 4

NASHVILLE PUSSY The name alone tells you there's not a lot of mystery to what this Atlanta-born band's decade-plus career has been about. If that didn't cinch it for ya, then surely LP titles like Get Some! or its most recent effort, 2009's From Hell to Texas, should do the trick. Proud purveyors of Southern sleaze, NP is RIYL for fans of every kind of raunchy riff rock from AC/DC and Alice Cooper to Reverend Horton Heat or the New York Dolls. In other words, when Blaine Cartwright sings a line like "I was born to die in a rock & roll band," I'd probably take him at his word. With Koffin Kats. $10-$14. Visulite Theatre. www.visulite.com. (John Schacht)

RAEKWON It's amazing what a little time off can do to get the juices flowing, and after taking a couple of years, this Wu-Tang legend came back with a bang in 2009 with Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Pt. 2. Now Rae is keeping the steam going with the release of Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang earlier this year. He's proof that the Wu brand, and more importantly, their music, is untouchable even after all these years. Charlotte MC's Royal-Tee & Charles Herron join. $22-$25. Amos' Southend. www.amossouthend.com. (McCray)

SUNDAY, JUNE 5

OCTOPUS JONES Never mind the ludicrous band moniker or the Myrtle Beach zip code, this band's eight-song debut EP Treat Yourself sounds nothing like any preconceptions either of those names might conjure. (Note to band: there's a rapper called Octopus Jones — good excuse to jettison that name!) Instead, the lush textures of some tracks echo (sorry) Echo & the Bunnymen, while others tilt toward a more laid-back experimental folk feel. Singer Danny Martin may be trying a bit too hard to channel Ian McCullough, but the music's blend sounds real promising. With Kenni Falls and Veda Woolf. $6-$9. The Milestone. www.themilestoneclub.com. (Schacht)

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