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CL previews upcoming concerts (May 13-19)

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WEDNESDAY, MAY 13

Thunderdrums Solo act Thunderdrums, aka. Frank Bloom, mashes electronica, spacey synth and drum-n-bass onto a foundation of percussion. It's a fusion that's more organic than one might imagine. Harking from the hills of Asheville, Thunderdrums' world-beat electronica is as intriguing live as it is on tape with loops upon loops and percussive twists and turns. Bloom's put in time with numerous musicians and projects as well as a drum tech for Mickey Hart's Global Drum Project, adding it all up into a whirl of trance and tribal compositions. Double Door Inn (Samir Shukla)

THURSDAY, MAY 14

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit The 30-year-old Isbell was a member of the Drive-By Truckers for six years before heading out on his own and, later, putting together the 400 Unit. He's based out of the Muscle Shoals, Ala., area, so that should speak volumes about his influences and sound. It may be the group's first album together, but they've been touring for the last year-and-a-half. Visulite Theatre (Jeff Hahne)

Snoop Dogg Tha Doggfather was here last year with 311, but now he's playing a show indoors and if Amos' hadn't changed to a smoke-free club, this paragraph would be talking more about contact highs and how to deal with a case of the munchies. If you caught that show last year, you know that Snoop may be a mellow performer but the crowd eats up every "izzle" for shizzle. Get out there and just bounce to the groove. And I recommend ordering some gin and juice from the bar while you're there. Amos' Southend (Hahne)

FRIDAY, MAY 15

American Aquarium This Raleigh outfit's high-spirited Americana now owes as much to mid-'70s Springsteen as it does to mid-'90s stalwarts like Whiskeytown or Slobberbone. Their brand-new one, Dances for the Lonely, uses horns like cavalry calls and organs like baptismal dunks, and in these sodden narratives of redemption it's liquor, and plenty of it, that's essential to the sacrament. The inspirations still show through like exposed primer now and then, but this is a definite step up from their debut and I'd wager gets better with each drink in a live setting. With The Turnstiles and And The Moneynotes. Snug Harbor (John Schacht)

Corrosion of Conformity A quarter century after its first release, North Carolina-bred COC still ably kick ass. Rotating crew members, off-again on-again touring and recording, and numerous breakups haven't slowed COC, one of the early bands to blend punk and metal. COC's political lyrics are slathered over its own brand of Southern metal, switching between Sabbathesque sludge to a punk-metal onslaught. With Black Ritual and Sunspell. Amos' Southend (Shukla)

Sleepy Horses The Athens, Ga. quartet's slow-motion moody guitars and psychedelic vocals float along with jazzy percussion to concoct roots-tinged shoegazer rock. These sleepy horses take their time building a layered vibe where the momentum builds at a leisurely stroll. Feel free to stare at the floor and set your neck into slow nod motion. With Pink Ponies. The Evening Muse (Shukla)

SATURDAY, MAY 16

Jeffrey Dean Foster Formerly of beloved N.C. band The Pinetops, Foster's always an engaging presence on stage, but his solo stuff has always leaned more toward the liberal side of the alt.country genre (i.e., not all that alt.country). All that said, his Million Star Hotel CD, to these ears, is one of the absolute best solo Southern releases of the past five years, full of heart, honesty, and hell-payin'. Not enough to sway you? Dig this: Foster also played guitar alongside William Shatner in those infernal Priceline.com commercials of a few years back. With The Old Ceremony. Snug Harbor (Timothy C. Davis)

SUNDAY, MAY 17

The Poison Arrows Featuring ex-members of Atombombpocketknife and Don Caballero, these Chicagoans occasionally sound just like you'd imagine a post-everything power trio would: vicious bass and guitar fragments fused together by percussion over a landscape of shape-shifting time sigs. Not unlike their pedigrees, in other words, but tilting more melodic since Atombomb's Justin Sinkovich writes (and sings). But what elevates its debut, First Class, And Forever, are the spacey (as in practically spiritualized spacey) synth interludes that allow the songs to breathe and rest between bouts of 21st-century aggro. Impressive stuff, and nothing like the headliners Anal Blast and Zeus. Milestone (Schacht)

TUESDAY, MAY 19

Exodus Think Kirk Hammett's happy? Since forming Exodus with guitarist Gary Holt, drummer Tom Hunting, singer Paul Baloff and bassist Geoff Andrews (Hammett named the band, too, it is said), he's gone on to worldwide acclaim as the lead guitarist for Metallica, culminating in ridiculously sold-out arena tours and membership in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His stint with Exodus? Only a couple years. His legacy? Huge ... These dudes can play. While only two original members remain (Holt and Hunting), Exodus belong in the Thrash Metal Hall of Fame, were there such a thing. They've never gotten but a taste of radio play, but then again, they never recorded with Bob Rock or hired a band psychiatrist, either. Simply put, they're metal lifers, and still one of the more exhilarating heavy stage acts around. Its last record, The Atrocity Exhibition ... Exhibit A sounds more or less exactly like its first release, 1985's Bonded by Blood. In the world of thrash, that's a good thing. With Warbringer and Final Curse. Amos' Southend (Davis)

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