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CL previews upcoming concerts (Nov. 25-Dec. 1)

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WEDNESDAY, NOV. 25

Crowntown Showdown We can't say it any more plainly. If you're looking to get a good sample of local and regional music, all in one night and all for a low price, then this is your best bet. For $5, you get to see five bands – all of which go through a screening process of sorts to ensure there's quality and diversity in the music – and it's usually over before midnight. Among those playing this month's edition are Heart of a Ghost, The Wiggle Wagons, Jazz Is Led and Alisa Tuner. No excuses. The Evening Muse (Jeff Hahne)

Chooglin' First off, you have to like a band name derived from the majesty that is Creedence Clearwater Revival (it was John Fogerty's term for partying or his description of the band's music, depending on who you believe). Secondly, know that they're on Fat Possum/Big Legal Mess, who are a perfect fit for the band's infectiously greasy, Delta-derived rambles. Know that they have a horn section, and it doesn't suck, even though they don't always hit all the right notes. Then, remember the late great The Cherry Valence, and how awesome they were, and know that these guys are about as close as it gets these days to such raving rifftaculars. And then mix all that with an aw-shucks good-time shtick reminiscent of the Gourds, and you have a show that'll leave you dripping – beer or sweat, one. With The Lesser Pauls. Snug Harbor (Timothy C. Davis)

FRIDAY, NOV. 27

The Von Ehrics You've got hard drinking and loose women, add threads of old-time country and gospel, and douse it in punk and hard rock. That's the general idea around Texas trio The Von Ehrics and its songs. Its newest recording, Loaded, is hard-driven country punk that's no less rocking than its previous outings where the guitars are always cocked and, well, loaded. With The Wiggle Wagons and The Mangles. The Milestone (Samir Shukla)

gogoPilot The long-running Charlotte outfit has another set of thinking man's power pop to let loose on the world at this CD release party. Judging by the early mixes, The Further It Goes, The Farther It Is finds chief Pilot Jeff Williams still channeling the cynicism of early Elvis Costello with the bar(re-chord) rock of Teenage Fanclub and the twang-pop of mid-era Old 97s, but leavening the snark with a wizened hopefulness that, presumably, results from all those hours spent at sunny skate-parks. (Williams has played recent gigs with various casts on broken body parts – here's hoping he's in one piece for this one.) With Reeve Coobs at the early show. The Evening Muse (John Schacht)

SATURDAY, NOV. 28

Lamb Handler Spewing riffs while rocking dozens of stages up and down the coast throughout this past year, the N.C. rockers are wrapping up the year with no less vigor. Lamb Handler's sliced and diced rockabilly, stoner rock, punk and Southern boogie keep rumps shaking well into the wee hours. The gents are still supporting their fine disc, Jingle Jangle, released a few months back. Opening for Unknown Hinson. Visulite Theatre (Shukla)

Tater Family Traveling Circus This Southern rock jam band is more likely to sport Larry The Cable Guy trademark shirts than face paint and oversized bowties. While their get-up isn't exactly circus attire, prepare yourself for quite the show. You will be floored by the band's original Americana sound as well as its instrumental mix of powerhouse guitar solos as well as banjo and harp incorporations. Puckett's Farm Equipment (Nicole Pietrantonio)

Natalie Royal Royal's angelic vocals fit nicely over the music – whether she's playing acoustic guitar or the ukelele. She's on a holiday break from college, so it's great to see she's going to fit in a show while she's in town. Catch her while you can; there's no telling how much longer you'll be able to see her in such a small setting. With Charlotte Parrott. Early show at The Evening Muse (Hahne)

The Queers Legendary pop-punk progeny (make that "post-punk pop-punk progeny") The Queers never were the kind of band (nor had the kind of band name) to cash in on its well-known notoriety and influence. Lead Queer Joe King – the lone original member, although there have been dozens of sidemen throughout the years – still has what it takes to put fannies in the seats (cha ching!) and then exhort those white-belted asses to get the fuck back up. His stock in trade? Tightly-wound sing-along songs with choruses a mile long, powered by more axe racket than Andre Agassi on a meth bender at Guitar Center. With The Leftovers, 25 Minutes To Go, Emotron. The Milestone (Davis)

SUNDAY, NOV. 29

Mayday Parade Sure, the quintet's notebook of brightly lit melodies and happy rhythms wound around pop-punk is widely available in radio land, but the hefty lyrics and harmonies give em a boost. It's about writing and playing that peeks its head above the mass of similar combos and their samey music. Their third record, Anywhere But Here, shows a band that's blooming, and, more importantly, maturing. With There for Tomorrow, the Dangerous Summer and Vega Under Fire. Tremont Music Hall (Shukla)

TUESDAY, DEC. 1

Meat Puppets In the '80s, I worshipped at the altar of the Kirkwood brothers, unable to resist their surrealist, peyote-baked take on punk and twang (there's still nothing remotely like Up On the Sun in the audio universe). Kurt Cobain yanked the band into the mainstream with an MTV Unplugged collaboration in the '90s, but major label money and the spotlight weren't conducive to the band's health. The material went downhill, as did bassist Cris Kirkwood, whose addictions were so bad it was just assumed they'd kill him like they did the band. But Cris has re-emerged after years in the wilderness and reunited with brother Kurt, and after releasing the tentative Rise to Your Knees in 2007, the Meat Puppets miraculously returned to form this year with Sewn Together. With the Dexateens. Visulite Theatre (Schacht)

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