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CL previews upcoming concerts (Sept. 2-8)

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WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 2

Tosco house party open mic Usually, at an open mic event, musicians get up on stage and take turns "doing their thing." This monthly event is a bit different – everyone gathers in a big circle and participates at the same time. Doesn't matter what your talent level is – strum along, take a solo, sing along if you'd like. It's a great way to learn some new stuff or just witness a big jam. The Evening Muse (Jeff Hahne)

FRIDAY, SEPT. 4

Howlies The debut from this Atlanta quartet, Trippin' With Howlies is billed, at least by legendary outsider producer Kim Fowley (Gene Vincent, Modern Lovers, The Runaways), as a "vinyl-inspired analogue raid on the ProTools present." If you're under 25 and not sure what the hell that might mean, think of it like this – your folks' VU, Hollies, Ventures and Ramones records have been gettin' busy and birthed a liquored-up hybrid where every song takes aim at the heart of that night's special lady. You know, good old-fashioned, pre- post-this-and-that rock done with solidly sloppy fundamentals and an entertaining wise-guy bent. We endorse the gig; just don't leave your girlfriends alone with 'em. With Bruce Hazel and Some Volunteers. Milestone (John Schacht)

Ozric Tentacles For a quarter century these U.K. psychedelic wizards have lurked in indieland, playing umpteen shows and gathering a devoted following. The Ozrics' swirly mass of sound, psychedelic, trancey, noisy, jazzy even, is utterly original and will expand even the slackest musical minds. Led by founder and guitarist Ed Wynne, the Ozric Tentacles' freeform jams evoke myriad descriptors – ambient, ethereal, acidic and dubby – that are all justifiably earned. Visulite Theatre (Samir Shukla)

Sea of Cortez The Baja-baked instrumental ensemble piloted by Rodney Lanier has teased local ears for years with the promise of an official studio recording, and that day is nigh. On the quite-possibly-titled-by-now debut, the septet dips into a broad palette of sonic colors ranging from Speedy West's pedal steel vignettes and epic spaghetti westerns to cathartic build-and-release rock and noir-ish soundtrack interludes. In other words, you get your instrumental-only money's worth with this outfit – and if you can't get your point across with the music, you might not be saying anything worth listening to anyway. Bonus fact: This FREE show is one of the venue's on-going series to support local and regional music, and also features Ari Picker's equally evocative (and even heftier!) Chapel Hill collective, Lost In the Trees. Neighborhood Theatre (Schacht)

SATURDAY, SEPT. 5

The Rogue Nations Long-established Charlotte musician Chris Peigler is recharged and ready to roll on after the Rogue Nations' near demise a few months back. Armed and ready with the recent addition of new guitarist Mike Earl, who replaces guitarist Luke Warm, The Rogue Nations marches on, stirring up politically-spiked punk rock. Put on your dancing shoes for a taste of classic punk of yore with the continuing story of The Rogue Nations. With The Independents and Greasy Kitty. Milestone (Shukla)

Taylor Swift Sometimes it's hard for would-be hipsters of a certain age to warm up to an act like Taylor Swift. The blond-maned moppet was, after all, born after the release of Nirvana's Bleach, and, age-wise, might well have been the baby on the cover of Nevermind, were it not for that troubling, south-facing tinkler. Then again, consider that Cobain was (cough) younger than Swift when Nirvana started (pop has always been a young person's game, Madonna excepting), and that Swift, a person who began her career with a song called "Tim McGraw" and now sublets his house when in L.A., writes almost all of her own songs, is a wizened, engaging performer, and was (no small feat) the largest-selling performer of last year. Feet at least half-dipped in hat country (even with all its restraints, still perhaps the most album-friendly genre in the business), it's easier to see her (worst case) becoming a well-selling Faith Hill-style perennial chart-topper than someone like a LeeAnn Rimes, much less Miley Cyrus. Sure, her songs consist in no small part about young love gone awry. Then again, so did Joni Mitchell's. With Kellie Pickler. Time Warner Cable Arena (Timothy C. Davis)

TUESDAY, SEPT. 8

Paul Burch Like all of his work with the stellar WPA Ballclub, Paul Burch's music is steeped in the glory days of Memphis and Nashville without sounding like some preserved Smithsonian Folkways relic. Meaning that if you've got the narrative goods, which the Nashville native has in spades (think early Joe Henry), the old-school country-blues and soul warhorses are just as fecund songwriting territory as they ever were. Full of colorful down-and-outers and love-struck couples, Burch's new one, Still Your Man, is out on local imprint Ramseur Records and, for my money, trumps everything on it. The Evening Muse (Schacht)

The Cult Lead singer Ian Astbury's blood curdling wail may not quite hit the high notes it did in the Cult's prime time of the '80s. But his voice remains unmistakable and ably keeps up with guitarist Billy Duffy, who still reaches all known and unknown notes and riffs on the six strings. The band's last album, 2007's Born into This, was a worthy effort harking back to the heady days of alterna club and radio faves "Wild Flower" and "Fire Woman." Amos' Southend (Shukla)

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