Eric Lovell Band / Avett Brothers -- Nice double bill here, featuring the psychedelic Americana of David Childers Band multi-instrumentalist Eric Lovell and the front porch country and creekwater-clear harmonies of Concord's Avett Bros. Both take the music different places than most local roots acts, yet both still contain a certain inherent honesty that lets you know they're playing what they feel versus what they feel they should do to fit in. Double Door Inn (Davis)

Melvin Seals & JGB -- Once known as the Jerry Garcia Band, Melvin Seals and company are attempting to continue the long, strange trip by creatively evolving into more than just a Grateful Dead/Jerry Garcia cover band. In addition to Seals, who's played with the likes of Chuck Berry and Charlie Daniels, as well as spending nearly 15 years performing with Garcia in the JGB, the band features (acoustic and electric) slide guitarist Scott Law, mandolin player Chris Haugen, bassist Martin Holland and drummer Dean Johnson. Collectively, the crew has recorded or performed with Jefferson Starship, Taj Mahal, JJ Cale, Steve Kimock and Robin Trower (to name just a few) during their long-standing careers. Amos' Southend (Lynn Farris)THURSDAY 4.18
The Brooklyn Cowboys -- The Cowboys are celebrating the release of their latest CD, The Other Man in Black, which features live tracks from a past tour of the US as well as a tribute track to the late Dale Earnhardt. The band's most current touring roster includes: Walter Egan, who penned "Magnet and Steel"; steel player Buddy Cage (of New Riders Of the Purple Sage fame); bassist Jeff "Stick" Davis, an original member of The Amazing Rhythm Aces; keyboardist Michael Webb; guitarist/vocalist Brian Waldschlager; and drummer Fredro Perry. Should make for a rowdy and rockin' night in Derita! Puckett's Farm Equipment (Lynn Farris)Jimmy Buffet & The Coral Reefer Band -- Neil Diamond for frat boys and golfers, minus the sequins and plus loafers and a Hawaiian shirt. The guy's also a novelist. This particular story should have been wrapped up by now. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (Davis)FRIDAY 4.19
Bob Mould -- The sonic boom of the genre-bending Husker Du still sounds so agonizingly fresh as to put 95 percent of today's alt rockers to shame. Bob Mould was the guitar third of the oft-missed band that imploded in the late 80s, and he's been producing solo records as well as fronting Sugar during most of the 90s. Mould has always played sonic rock & roll, floating between demure acoustic pieces to a bombastic crunch of hard sound cemented by scorching wordplay. Well, hold on to your fenders, cuz old Bob has thrown a curve ball with his latest record, Modulate. Mould has been experimenting with electronic sounds of late and the new record wears that hat quite well, mixing guitars with swirling electronica. Modulate is one of three Mould projects flying out the door at about same time on his label Granary Music. A live recording made in 1998 and Loudbomb, a strictly ambient dance piece, round out the trio of releases. Pick up Husker Du's Zen Arcade, Sugar's Copper Blue and the solo Black Sheets of Rain for starters. Samir's Gig of the Week. Visulite Theatre (Shukla)

Mad Dog Trio -- The week's best indie jazz offering features a trio playing an adventurous blend with keyboards and a variety of basses and drums. This gig is the release party for the worthy debut disc, Ex Nihilo (incidentally, the band will also open for John Scofield later this weekend). The instrumental record has a spacey, Sun Ra feel with the odd didgeridoo swirl providing airiness. It's hard bop jazz for the new generation. Who knew such succulent sounds lurked in the jungles of Greensboro? Green Light will open. Mojo Restaurant & Spirits (Shukla)

Townhall -- Townhall's a quintet out of Philadelphia boasting firm musicianship and playing a mix of rock, funk and soul. It's a touch of Earth Wind and Fire with the funk and theatrics toned down and minstrel rock (ala Grateful Dead) turned up. The combo puts forth soothing jam sessions on its double live CD, Live at the Point. They deliver the goods for the most part, keeping jams at a tolerable length and adding diverse turns, yet in the end smaller bites may be tastier than big chunks. Fat City (Shukla)SATURDAY 4.20
Marti Jones -- Jones broke out in the 80s as one of that decade's most independent and original singers, bringing a DIY sensibility to her pop, rock, folkie-jazz-uncategorizable music. She teamed up with Don Dixon as a writing-, recording- and soul-mate (they've been married now for mmphmmph years) and produced some dazzling, influential albums that won the hearts of critics and flirted with commercial success but never quite lit that national fire. Her legions of fans have chomped at the bit while she's taken care of parenting duties, but now she's back out of the gate with a new CD (My Tidy Doily Dream). It's rare to find a singer who can rock while rooted in a wry, sophisticated POV, but here she is, complete with the help of percussionist Jim Brock and a string trio. She'll perform two shows. The Evening Muse (John Grooms)

Pixies Tribute -- Super lineup for a tribute to a truly super band. Last time around, the Ramones got feted by Mark Lynch and Co. The Pixies, God bless 'em, have been only slightly less influential. Look for sets by the Aqualads, Babyshaker, Les Dirt Clods, The Goldenrods, Flyweb, The Pixie Chicks and Vulvacanoes, and more. Somewhere, Frank Black is smiling (somewhere else, Kim Deal's bitching to a sound man). Tremont Music Hall (Davis)

Tinsley Ellis -- Tinsley must have caps on all his front teeth after chewing on guitar strings while creating steely blues music over the years. The voice is suitably deepening and the playing is characteristically effortless, as Ellis adds rolling shuffles and gospel-flavored soul to well-honed electric blues on his newest set of tunes, Hell or Highwater (Telarc). As usual, it all sounds mighty good. Double Door Inn (Shukla)

Weekend Excursion -- It's a CD Release Party for the Raleigh-based Weekenders, who are celebrating the release of Take Me Home, an album of many "firsts." For starters, the new record is the band's first full-length recording, although their fourth release overall. Take Me Home is also the debut release for the band on their new record label, the recently established Redeye Label (a new venture launched by Redeye Distribution, Inc.), as well as the label's first release, too. The new material is also the first to feature the songwriting contribution of lead vocalist Sam Fisher, who joined the band in 2000 while they were in the midst of recording their third EP, and it's the first without the violin work of former member Mike Ferry. To fill any possible void left by Ferry, the album features guest performances from members of Squirrel Nut Zippers and Jump Little Children, and it was produced by John Plymale (Athenaeum) and Rick Beato (Flickerstick). Overall, the record is a good, solid effort from a band who continues to successfully evolve into one of the region's more promising acts. In addition to their performance at Amos' tonight, the band will perform at Manifest Discs & Tapes at 5pm today. Amos' Southend (Lynn Farris)SUNDAY 4.21
John Scofield -- There's no need to tell jazz fans about John Scofield. They know he's played with some of the best musicians and made a lot of really good recordings. No need to tell jam-band fans, either. They've heard him play with Medeski Martin and Wood and they've seen him at festivals, so they know how funky and fun his shows are. Guitar-heads know him, too, because he's one of the baddest players around. Still, they all might have been a little surprised by his show in Charlotte last year. His latest band, especially rhythm-guitar master Avi Bortnick, blends jazz and funk, which Scofield has done so well before, and adds a strong dose of soul, reminiscent of the 1960s or 70s. Bortnick even samples at times and creates electronic rhythms. A truly interesting rhythm guitarist, his playing is a great complement to Scofield's long, searching solos. Visulite Theatre (Brian Falk)MONDAY 4.22
MTV2 Tour -- What the hell happened to MTV2 anyway? Since when is Jay-Z alternative? The way it's going, it'll be time for an MTV3 soon. Anyway, this little package tour's got its moments, mostly thanks to appearances by melodic metallurgists lostprophets and the wet-and-wild bubblegum-core of arena rocker Andrew WK, a sort of mix of Britney Spears and Glenn Danzig. Apex Theory are sort of interesting musically with lots of organic guitar and electronic bleeps and blaps, but the lyrics are a mishmash of pseudo-abstract hogwash, sort of like hearing Anthony Keidis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers reading the instruction manual to a DVD player. Tremont Music Hall (Davis)WEDNESDAY 4.24
Independence Project -- A sort of artist cooperative of New York City singer-songwriters, the Indy Project features Rebecca Martin, who started the whole thing, Eric Metzgar, and Goats In Trees, a sort of Calexico-like blend of atmospheric country and folk. For more info, check out The Evening Muse (Davis)

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