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CL previews upcoming shows

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 9

Alex Radus The Philadelphia singer-songwriter recently released his solo debut, LoveMeLikeYouHateMe, after spending the earlier part of the decade touring with folk duo Duende. The disc covers a variety of genres – blues, folk, country – and Radus performs with a band, The SadBastards, as well as solo. These dates are scheduled to be with the band. He's also working on degrees in philosophy and political science – it's always nice to have something to fall back on. Also on Jan. 10 – both dates at Evening Muse. (Jeff Hahne)

THURSDAY, JAN. 10

The Machine It's not Pink Floyd, but this tribute band is just about as close as you're gonna get unless the band decides to reunite. They've been around for 20 years and bring an impressive light show with them. They're as likely to play obscure tunes as they are the hits. Visulite (Hahne)

FRIDAY, JAN. 11

Kurt Wagner The Lambchop leader appears without the collective, and while the pedal steel and strings will be missed, Wagner's songs in any form – country, rock, soul – stand alone quite handsomely, thank you. "The Hat," as he's known by his many band members, overcame a cancer scare a couple years back and chronicled the journey (in part) on 2006's excellent Damaged. He's a big fan of Deadwood, which was practically all we talked about during an interview two years ago and just goes to show he's a writer's songwriter – as if you couldn't tell from one of America's most interesting and diverse catalogs over the last decade. Opening for Yo La Tengo. Visulite (John Schacht)

Amandla If you had questions about the musical prowess of Ween – and you shouldn't – give a listen to this side-project of drummer Claude Coleman, Jr. Tasty chill is the primary vibe here, but Coleman, responsible for virtually everything on the record and playing guitar in the live incarnation, writes songs that traverse a variety of musical terrain, from soul- and funk-inflected rock to elegant, spacier ambient textures. Four years in the making, 2007's The Full Catastrophe (Amandla's second) chronicles a near-fatal car crash that left him confined to a wheelchair for months and his music career in doubt. It's a harrowing story, but with a happy ending – he's back on the circuit and creating memorable music again. With Souldozer and Audioform. Milestone (Schacht)

SATURDAY, JAN. 12

Mike Garrigan, Mark Kano; Modern Skirts, Trances Arc, Joal Rush Garrigan, brother of local fixture Jay Garrigan, you may know from Collapsis, or perhaps MG4, one of two groups (along with Athenaeum) he shared with Kano. The two also play a duo show from time to time. Athens, Ga. band Modern Skirts mine the same "you can best see the light when standing in the dark" well of emotion and harmony as the first two artists, and almost as well. Trances frontman Eric Toledo is one of those singers that, if you happen to like him, sings like the proverbial angel. If you don't, well, you might think they're overemoting like the devil. Truth is, it's probably a little bit of both in Toledo's case. As for the Arc sum total, they certainly sound signable, if sometimes unremarkable (to that end, they are featured on a Starbucks compilation available nationwide). The Evening Muse (Davis)

Incognito Mosquito The Charlotte-based Mosquito (Ansley Wynn, guitar, sampler, vocals; Chad Thompson, bass, sampler, keys; Ryan Persaud, percussion; William Stone, drums) formed back in '03, but do the party thing like Prince's proverbial 1999. There's tons of reference points here – STS9, LCD Soundsystem, Daft Punk, Phish, instrumental Beasties and Herbie Hancock, for starters – but it's an enjoyably mellow melange nonetheless, and not one you have to check your cranium at the door for. Neighborhood Theatre (Davis)

SUNDAY, JAN. 13

Fantasy's Core There's a method to the madness here. Fantasy's Core is a comical Japanese punk and blues quintet that has a ball on stage with the added shenanigans of surf music. The blokes are touring in support the most recent disc, a salute of sorts to their hometown, called Nagasaki Atom. At the core of their goofy stage antics lies musicianship and craftsmanship that gels the whole thing. Also on the bill are The Not Likelys and Motion Turns it On. Milestone (Samir Shukla)

TUESDAY, JAN. 15

Trail of Tears Of late, this Norwegian goth/symphonic metal band emphasizes guttural vocals over the alternating female and death vocals of their past outings. The band likes to envelope the metal barrage with symphonic flourishes, much like tense orchestrations and interludes lurking in the middle of sci-fi or horror flicks. Yeah, it's a bit pretentious, but it's eerily epic in goth metal proportions. Tremont Music Hall (Shukla)

Evoka This quartet's shoegazing, Brit rock is lilting and atmospheric. Their recent release, Cries from the Castlegate Empire, is quite breathtaking with guitar work reminiscent of U2's The Edge. Soaring mood pop, laced with emotive playing and singing, is the order of the day here. And to think they hail from Winston-Salem, N.C., not Manchester, U.K., is further cause for celebration. With Moses Mayfield. Evening Muse (Shukla)

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