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Audio Explorations The name is apt as this Florida duo cranks out subtle, moody pop. Whispered and mellow vocals mix with guitar, percussion and programming to create intensity through gentle waves, not mammoth squalls of sound. Syd Barrett and early Pink Floyd sentiments abound while the sound rolls along at a jazzy pace. These nouveau hippies take cues from the classic duos (Simon & Garfunkel, Suicide...) but are decidedly more ethereal. Try not to chat too loud over the brewskies. With Charlene. Highly recommended. Sunday, Fat City. ­ SS

Baleen / X-periment If memory serves me correctly, patrons wearing cool costumes get some free brew. If that's not enough to draw you out, check out some trippy commune-style jazz/funk/electronic/hip hop courtesy of the Liquilab collective, featuring Baleen, The X-periment, Ism, and more. Recommended. Wednesday, October 31, The Evening Muse. ­ TD

Big Ass Truck I can envision this truck rolling down the highway and picking up just about any musical riff raff hitching along the way. Rock, hip hop, funky r&b, hippie jammers and Dixieland jazz are all game and woven together for a sonic rendering and general nuttiness. The latest record, The Rug (Terminus Records), has the usual plethora of sounds which may be a bit disorienting, but hey, it's party music that works. Friday, Visulite. ­ SS

Bomb Threat CD Release Party A concert in support of Chris Peigler's new Bomb Threat compilation on Suicide Watch records, this boasts of a grouping of some of the best indie punk the Carolinas have to offer. This lineup features Peigler's own My So-Called Band, a constant in the local punk scene, the rather invigorating Atari Teenage Riot-style dissonance of Choke Their Rivers With Our Dead, and Hairball, a sort of foul-mouthed experiment of what would happen if Eminem took speed and jammed with the Dickies. Saturday, Tremont Music Hall. ­ TD

Cast Iron Filter Davidson's popular rootsy rockers have a new CD out, titled This Ugly Town. 'Tis polished stuff, to be sure, but the playing is more than sound here, without going unnecessarily overboard on the fretboard histrionics. Speaking of sound, the Mark Williams-produced CD sounds almost major-label ready, a heady mix of fiddle and pedal steel and mandolin that would sound just perfect at a boozy backyard BBQ. Pedal steel player Jim Ashton almost makes it worth picking up the disc on his own. CD Release Party, Saturday, Visulite. ­ TD

Fishbone Stardom has eluded them, flaky alterna-rock radio ignores them, but the funked up Fishbone still blasts out one of the most furious live shows around. The party is non-stop when the Bone pulls out all the stops with plenty of healthy wit and stacks of funk, punk and ska-laced rock. Party at Ground Zero. Indeed. Also on the bill are various Fishbone side projects: Dr. Madd Vibe and the old school funk of trumpeter Dirty Walt (phat new solo out now). Tuesday, Amos' Southend. ­ SS

Pat Haney This Kentucky crooner and wordsmith has the maturing sound of a torn and twisted passage through backwaters of Americana with guitar playing that's clean and spare. Haney's second record, Ghost of Things to Come (Freefalls), takes cues from Springsteen and Dylan while tackling his own wordplay with ease and warmth. The Waybacks will provide the backup. Tuesday, Double Door Inn. ­ SS

Hardcore Halloween Ball A local holiday tradition, Fat City continues to bring the noise on All Hallows Eve with yet another gut-punch of a lineup, including the Gwar-related Dave Brockie Experience, the sandlapper stomp of Throttlerod, Jennifer Strip, Babyshaker, Clout, Gonzales, and young upstarts Sckapegoat. One of the best local metal-centric lineups of the year, to be sure. Wednesday, October 31, Fat City. ­ TD

Danielle Howle Appearing here without her band the Tantrums, SC's Howle does just that ­ howl ­ with an originality and verve not seen very often with acoustic singer-songwriter types. Able to rise from a mannered croon to an aching wail at the drop of a G-chord. Saturday, The Evening Muse. ­ TD

Jean-Luc Ponty French violinist returns after almost eight years with a new album titled Life Enigma (JLP Productions). The fusion meanderings of his 70s heyday are updated here digitally with more synthetic band-aids and disconnected rhythms. The virtuosity of his violin is second to none, at least as used in the Euro-jazz traditions, but he seems to have lost his own voice along the way. The music is joyous, but it's like putting on a new sweater on a cold day and missing the warmth of the old. Monday, Neighborhood Theatre. ­ SS

Skatfish As fish go, these guys are like a coelacanth. Active since 1988, the longtime Charlotte rhythm and blues (accent on the blues) act is back playing a few shows, and still led by the powerful vocals of Donna Duncan and the guitar work of axeman Steve Cudic. Friday, Double Door. ­ TD *