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Music Menu



Jojo & C. Dawg & Luther & Cody -- In case you're not exactly on a first name basis with some of these folks, let me explain who all's involved with this project. Widespread Panic keyboardist John "Jojo" Hermann released an album last year titled Smiling Assassin (Fat Possum). The group he recorded the record with consists mostly of his old buddies from Mississippi: Luther and Cody Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars and Paul "Crumpy" Edwards of Bloodkin. Now the group is taking it on the road for a couple of weeks and Charlotte was fortunate enough to make it on their list of stops. Expect a slight departure from the psychedelic Panic jams and add a bit more blues and country to the mix. Hermann also plays guitar alongside slide-master Luther Dickinson for most of the tunes. A "don't miss" show fer sure, and plan on arriving early as it's likely to be a sellout. With Paul "Wine" Jones. Visulite Theatre (Lynn Farris)


Brandtson / Liars Academy -- Brandtson hang with the upper crust of that elusive genre, emo core. Their upcoming new record, Dial In Sounds (Deep Elm), almost makes you cradle your neck in anticipation of the next whiplash. It's got a heady layer of guitars and lyrics/vocals that match and make sense. Liars Academy released a similar thumbs up record last fall, No News Is Good News (Equal Vision Records), and plies the politically forward thinking roads nicely. It's not hardcore, but rather emotive vocals digging into swaying guitars. Also on the bill are Beloved and One Amazing Kid. Tremont Music Hall (Shukla)

Deepsky -- Electronic dance outfits have to constantly fight the "it all sounds the same" tag. Singles come out flying through the door, but when full albums hit the streets, that tag applies more often than not. Deepsky avoids being pegged repetitive by bringing in shades of other genres and, on the new album In Silico (BMG), guest vocalists to keep things interesting. The results are searing dance numbers and a rep for putting on intriguing live shows. Mythos (Shukla)

Houston Brothers / Black Eyed Dog -- Nice double bill here, featuring the PBR noir of The Houston Brothers, Matt and Justin Faircloth, and the Son Volt-flavored guitar country of Asheville's Black Eyed Dog. The Houstons are music for music's sake, as anyone who's ever seen the faces of boys whilst playing, barefoot and idea-pregnant. Really good stuff, sort of like Charlotte's version of Calexico. The Evening Muse (Davis)

Janah / Barefoot Manner -- Janah mix an abundance of global rhythms layered over U2-esque groove-rock and come up, for the most part, winners. The combination resonates in your head for quite a while after the music has finished, but on occasion you do wish they'd go one way or the other a bit more, as the song can dissipate into a messy puddle. Barefoot Manner is an intriguing acoustic quartet from the Triangle who plays mellow bluegrass and traditional tunes with stand up bass, guitar, percussion and mandolin. Admittedly, at first listen, they bored me, but subsequent spins of the disc elaborated upon a talented bond that plays off each other's instruments like veteran musicians. There's a genuine backwoods groove in the combo. Fat City (Shukla)


Guitar Shorty -- David Kearny, aka Guitar Shorty, a one time daredevil guitarist (balancing himself on his head or doing flips while playing) fell on hard times after some success in the 60s. The 90s treated him better, and he's made a fiery comeback with solid records and touring. This blues meister was an influence on one known as Jimi Hendrix. Jimi (Shorty was married to his stepsister or something of that nature) regularly caught Shorty's act while taking time off the touring circuit. The bottom line is that Shorty plays some mean blues with a bluster disavowing his nimble fingers. Double Door Inn (Shukla)

Major Nelson -- Henry Pharr and crew have dismantled World Class Fad and are reuniting under the long lost Major Nelson umbrella. Power-pop was Major Nelson's credo and thank your lucky stars they've decided to regroup with a fresh outlook. Their return debut will toast the feel of early spring and, to top it off, a new disc is in the works for a summer release. So pull out the strawberry lollipops and head for the juke joint for some nice hooks-laden music. With Encaustic. Mojo Restaurant & Spirits (Shukla)

Neil Diamond -- By now, you're likely in Neil overload if you've been watching the Winter Olympics on television. Neil's refrain of "they comin' to America" is about as omnipresent as Bob Costas over-intellectualizing and comparing the halfpipe competition to Kierkegaard. Notice, however, that you're probably humming the thing 24-7. Musically, the man had chops, it's usually acknowledged. The only debate is whether or not he still does. I'd likely vote no, but one thing's sure -- it'll be a sellout or close, and the audience will likely have a great time, whether ironic hipsters or housewives. See our cover story. Charlotte Coliseum (Davis)

Peralta -- Our hometown Latin rockers are moving up the ladder slowly but surely. Their mainstream rock is laced with plenty of Santana styling, yet has a defined party sound all its own. The word: Summer festival routings and Disney resort gigs are pointing toward a burgeoning label interest, while a Rolling Stone feature is in the works. As one of their song titles echoes, they can almost "Feel It." Midtown 51 (Shukla)


Randall Bramlett -- An original member of the 70s Southern rock-jazz fusion band Sea Level, Randall Bramlett has also plugged in (and played sax and keyboards and sang) with Levon Helm, Gregg Allman, Traffic, Widespread Panic, Gov't Mule and loads of other bands one might deem marijuana-friendly. No More Mr. Lucky is described as a sort of musical travelogue, channeling Kerouac even as he drives such familiar highways as Americana music, for which tonight's regular gig at the Double Door is named. Good stuff. Double Door Inn (Davis)


Hardcore Lounge -- Formed by the always eclectic ex-Cyclone Mack duo of Chris Johnson (guitar) and Leon Daniel (bass), along with former It Could Be Nothing drummer Tim Benson and Johnson's brother Wes (vocals), Hardcore Lounge was named when a local club owner described the then-unnamed act's music thusly. Inspiration was theirs, the clouds opened up, and God shined upon them. Gotta love it when a band makes your job easy. With the always entertaining Black Lagoon, one of the best new bands of the year. Double Door Inn (Davis)

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