Fozzy -- This band features wrasslin' superstar Chris Jericho, as well as members of the band Stuck Mojo, although all involved go by pseudonyms. Go figure. Expect lots of pomp and circumstance and pretending to be a rock band, minus the ironic wit of Spinal Tap. Were he alive, Muppeteer Jim Henson oughta sue. Amos' Southend (Davis)

Travis Allison Band -- TAB are the classic sorta non-intrusive folk-blues-rock band. The acoustic sounds are pleasant and the lyrical slant hangs right there in the middle somewhere, not eye-opening but interesting enough. Kudos to them for work ethics, doing some couple hundred shows a year, pounding the pavement playing their hearts out and rolling down the road for more. OK, even though I can't put my finger on one, I know there's that all-elusive "hit" somewhere in their repertoire. Double Door Inn (Shukla)


Mike Ireland & Holler -- "They ain't no good if you don't bust out crying" were the words of wisdom from a nice lady who used to buy country music tapes from my old record shop. Mike Ireland flies that flag high with lyrical touches that put a fat lump in the ole throat. The music ain't too shabby either, as Holler nails down the twang and the twist of classic country sound, track after track. They're good, clean honky tonk ballads presented for slow dancing or reminiscent head swaying. With Tommy Womack. Double Door Inn (Shukla)


Clare Fader -- Clare Fader and The Vaudevillains play what might be termed NuCabaret (one can throw "nu" in front of everything these days) -- cello, ukulele, gypsy guitar, upright bass, accordion and percussion, all adding texture to Fader's Edith Piaf/PJ Harvey melding. Look for a mixture of Fader's originals as well as a few obscure covers, including the odd Kinks number. With Black Eyed Dog's Jeffrey Hyde Thompson. The Evening Muse (Davis)

Guitars & Saxes Tour 2002 -- I'm reminded of the old Calvin and Hobbes cartoon strip where the duo wake up one morning and embark on their favorite breakfast: strawberry sugar bombs with chocolate milk. The quartet making up the Guitars (Marc Antoine & Jeff Golub) and Saxes (Richard Elliot & Warren Hill) are veterans of smooth jazz and create music approaching the glucose levels of our heroes' breakfast bowl. In all fairness, the playing is sparkly clean, the covers are properly picked to please palates, and the air filled with polished, non-intrusive contemporary jazz. If that's your cup of tea, it doesn't get any better than this; moi, I prefer it slathered with jalapenos. All four are pumping recent records that are eye catching, pretty pictures hanging on the walls. Grab the gal for the ideal date show of upward mobility, and don't forget to pick up a dozen donuts -- glazed, that is. Blumenthal Performing Arts Center (Shukla)

Jim Lauderdale/Gigi Dover -- Jim Lauderdale doesn't grandstand but rather has a grand elasticity in his lyrical agenda while getting deeper into hill country roots. He released two remarkable records recently, Hummingbirds and Lost in the Lonesome Pines (his second record with Ralph Stanley), and deserves a bigger chunk of the current wave of Americana he's been plugging for more than a decade. Gigi Dover has kept our collective toes tapping with various regional outfits and music legends, all the time becoming a cornerstone of Queen City music herself. A nice double bill. Visulite Theatre (Shukla)


ANTiSEEN -- Fresh off doing a slew of shows in Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Youngstown, Chapel Hill, Charleston, Philadelphia and Providence, RI, the band is back in their (sorta) hometown of Charlotte, where all the lowbrow, high energy, glass-shattering fun began in the first place. The band will then head into Jamie Hoover's Hooverama studios to record some tracks in mid-August. They're playing this show with pals Stepsister and the GC5. Tremont Music Hall (Davis)

Duane Jarvis/Mike Garrigan -- I always write the hell out of a Duane Jarvis show, and then no one shows up. Alright then, he sucks! He's nothing but muscle shirt-wearing, formula Nashville country! He's a cool, tall drink of water! Along with Duane, who in truth is none of those things, is Mike Garrigan, brother of Poprocket's Jay, who does the acoustic thing rather nicely, though his sound is a bit more "city-slicker" than DJ's. The Evening Muse (Davis)

Lou Ford -- Just back from a whirlwind tour of the West Coast, The Lous return to Charlotte for a homecoming gig, along with opening act Glory Fountain, who just released the nice new LP The Beauty of 23. As an added treat, ex-Backsliders honcho Chip Robinson will make a rare Charlotte appearance to open the show. Visulite Theatre (Davis)

Oddjobs -- Formerly of Minneapolis, now calling the Big Apple home, Oddjobs come across as a low-key, funky version of someone like Atmosphere, intelligent yet not foregoing the necessary (self) confidence to make the music move. Look for the band's LP, Drums, out any time now. Good stuff, and a rarity in this town. The Hungry Duck (Davis)

Phil Lee and the Sly Dogs -- Phil is a self-proclaimed hard lovin' vagabond and pens lyrical messages in a bottle that can send recipients in a "find this guy" frenzy, either to hug him or shoot him. Big boned gals and booze flowing by the barrels fuel Phil Lee's muse of, uhh, colorful characters. Pick up last year's nicely chiseled "You Should Have Known Me Then" for starters. With Mark Horn and Jem Crossland & The Hypertonics. Puckett's Farm Equipment (Shukla)

The Talk -- Another Charlotte act returning from the Left Coast (see Lou Ford, below), The Talk recently played LA's big International Pop Overthrow Festival, showcasing their ballsy brand of catchy lager lout pop. Look for the band's excellent new release, No, You Shut Up! very soon, quite possibly at this show. With the Aqualads. Double Door Inn (Davis)


Vans Warped Tour -- An annual tour that still defies all convention and books some of the coolest, gnarliest and, in most cases, unknown bands on the punk/ska/alterna rock trail. Bad Religion headlines this year's outing with long lost co-founder Brett Gurewitz (also the tribal elder at stalwart labels Anti and Epitaph) jumping back on the wagon providing the third (ouch) guitar. The boys continue their long tradition of making music that's fun and punk-pop tunes (most clocking in under three minutes) consisting of general mayhem. Too many other cool bands to list here are playing on several stages at this all-day fest, so just put on the kneepads and go pogoing. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (Shukla)


Sammy Hagar/David Lee Roth -- You know why this stupid thing is selling out across the country? Because people have lousy taste. No, that's not it -- rather, it's the fact that no hard rock bands play stupid girls'n'drinkin' music anymore, the kind of music that rocked high school parties where you'd pull your Camaro up in the yard and open all the doors while you tried to drink away your nervousness. Now, that might be a good thing, but people still thirst for such salty music, and this tour's living proof. God knows Van Halen isn't making it anymore. Maybe they could get Chris Jericho (see Fozzy, above) to sing for them. He's got to be better than Gary Cherone was. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (Davis)

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