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CL previews upcoming concerts (Sept. 22-28)



JOHN ALEXANDER The jazz scene in Charlotte continues to flourish thanks in part to musicians like John Alexander. The Gastonia native has played all over the world, been featured at the North Carolina Jazz Showcase and Jazz Charlotte, and has jammed out with musical greats such as The Four Tops, K.C. and the Sunshine Band and Ira Sullivan. Fortunately for us, Alexander shares his smooth and mellow grooves this week right here in town. Free, Providence Cafe, (Debra Renee Seth)


MET LIVE Who said Alive After Five was the only option to enjoy some wine and the Uptown skyline after a hard day's work? This concert series on the lawn of the Little Sugar Creek Greenway has one major difference from its counterparts — these are original, local bands. Tropic Culture is providing tunes this week; bring chairs or a blanket to enjoy their Latin, jazz, reggae and soul-influenced music. Free, Metropolitan Center, (Mike McCray)


ESPERANZA SPALDING It used to be that only jazz heads were into bassist/singer Esperanza Spalding. But since debuting as a solo artist in 2005, she's steadily blown up — selling audiences on her genre-blending style of musicianship and vocal ability. See what the fuss is all about when she pops into Charlotte for an ultra-rare concert (where she'll be playing tunes from her latest CD, Chamber Music Society, among other stuff). $29.50-$64.50. Knight Theater, (Carlton Hargro)

SHOOTER JENNINGS & HIEROPHANT The Southern rocker used to take a good cue from his father Waylon's music, but his new band, Hierophant, has gone in more of a psychedelic direction. Those afraid of his country stylings might find interest in these more artistic tunes, while long-time fans may find it hard to get a grasp on. $18-$20, Visulite Theatre, (Jeff Hahne)


SCYTHIAN This band of gypsies doesn't need to goad people into shaking their booties. As soon as the members jump into their rousing blend of Celtic, Klezmer, zydeco, bluegrass and global sounds, the crowd is already shuffling its feet. The reels, fiddle-blasted toe tappers, and chant-a-longs prove that a classically trained crew can bring on the party. With Delta Rae. $10-$12, Neighborhood Theatre, (Samir Shukla)

BUZZO*EN Like a re-awakened pack of zombies marching down dark alleys, guitars blasting sludge, punk and metal, Charlotte-spawned Buzzov*en has lost no steam since its debut two decades ago. Off and on over the years, lead growler and guitarist Kirk Fisher has remained constant, still hellbent on shattering eardrums and igniting tussles. This five-show tour features the line-up from the At a Loss album. With Nachtmystium, Black Tusk, Zoroaster, and other twisted noisemakers. $16-$18, Tremont Music Hall, (Samir Shukla)


STRAPPING FIELDHANDS Philly band locked its musical instruments with homespun lo-fi minimalism and jagged playfulness back in 1991. What may sound rickety and obtuse to the uninitiated can be actually quite wondrous to open-minded ears. Their folky rock, at moments evoking early Velvets, rambles off into its own musical tangles and byways. With Brain Flannel. $7-$9, The Milestone, (Shukla)

CHARLES HAIRSTON FOUNDATION BENEFIT When singer Charles Hairston needed help for medical bills, the community banded together. His Memorial Foundation will hold a fundraiser to help out Robin Rogers, who is battling her own medical issues. The event features the Carey Sims Trio, Monday Night All Stars, Part Time Blues Band and House on Fire. $5, 8 p.m. Double Door Inn, (Jeff Hahne)


2AM CLUB This L.A.-based sextet has partying in the first line of its bio, and it's for a reason. That's what they do. Opening up for Mike Posner during his nationwide tour, they are unashamed of being pop. But when you take backgrounds in slam poetry and hip-hop, with touches of soul, it's bound to see something interesting. $33, The Fillmore Charlotte, (McCray)

ED KOWALCZYK The former front man for the band Live hasn't changed his tune much now that he's flying solo. His voice is distinctive enough to set the tone for the evening, whether it's performing new songs from his solo debut or old songs that Live fans will sing along with. He even rocked out the kids' stage at Lollapalooza in Chicago this year. $25-$28, Amos' Southend, (Hahne)

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