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WEDNESDAY 9.4

East Meets Jazz -- Tabla maestro Sandip Burman has been a busy man. He's played or toured with masters of Hindustani Classical music and hot jazz musicians including Bela Fleck, Al DiMeola and Jack DeJohnette. Now he's back through the region with a scaled down version of last year's ensemble East Meets Jazz, which created a blend of jazz and Indian music where ragas enveloped jazz improv and drums sparred with tablas. Indian music is based on melody and executed within ragas while jazz lends itself to eclectic compositions. The two forms can be natural partners if blended properly. Burman promises furious renditions of his own compositions along with the works of his comrades to take world music further into the exploration realm. This tour also features Paul Bollenback on guitar and David Pietro on saxophone. Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte (Shukla)

The Subteens -- You gotta like any band with "sub," "teen" or "youth" in the title -- see the UK Subs, Sonic Youth, Teenage Fanclub and the dutchie-passing Musical Youth. The Memphis-based Subteens play it the old-fashioned way, with loads of grain-fed indie sensibility a la the poet laureate of the style, Paul Westerberg, and a solid knowledge of the first 10 pages of the Mel Bay Chord Handbook. I mean that as a compliment. Mojo Restaurant & Spirits (Davis)

FRIDAY 9.6

The Dynamite Brothers -- Didn't know this killer band existed till recently. Using spare cuts of blues, punk and psychedelics, The Brothers create an energetic, full sound of rock & roll havoc. The ghosts of Howlin' Wolf and Willie Dixon have come back to haunt the woods, and this trio delivers them sliced up with their own agenda intact. The Dynamite Bros don't clean old records, opting to play them through the dust, scratches and all. Fat City (Shukla)

Gideon Smith & The Dixie Damned -- A bastardized child of both Sabbath and Skynyrd, Smith and the Dixie Damned are part of the new Southern Stoner movement, along with bands like Artimus Pyledriver. Psychedelically heavy in a style similar to early Cult or Phil Anselmo's Down, they've often been described as swamp rock, due to the thick, vinelike bass lines and muddy washes of feedback and reverb. As it is, they're one of this town's more underrated acts, even as they've received all sorts of praise from destinations on the other side of the Mason-Dixon line, and even the International Date Line. They're playing as part of a tattoo art show, which ought to be right up their alley. Gideon and Co. will also play at the gallery tomorrow night. Hart-Witzen Gallery (Davis)

Machine 7 / Sugardaddy Superstar -- A couple of bands basking in their testosterone with plenty of 80s rock and waving to, but not getting pulled into, 90s alterna-rock. Machine 7 are a quintet with dual guitars, lotsa chorus-filled harmonies holding up the back, and a rhythm section pumping up the foundation. Sugardaddy Superstar takes cues from Metallica and other hard rockers with skewed bass playing and rough knockin'. Both bands pull out all the stops for spot-on rock radio, and in the grand scheme of things, why not? Just elbow your way up to the front and yell at the top of your lungs, "Whooooooo!" The Hungry Duck (Shukla)

The Wild Magnolias -- A group that has helped define and refine Mardi Gras partying and the accompanying music. They've been performing for over 25 years, and the gruff voiced shakin' is so mesmerizing and infectious that you just may feel like you're smack dab in the middle of Mardi Gras. Watch out, lest the dream comes real and you find yourself with your bare butt swingin' in the middle of Bourbon Street. The Wild Magnolias named their last record Life Is a Carnival, and indeed they prove themselves correct. Visulite Theatre (Shukla)

SATURDAY 9.7

Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater -- Long-running Chicago bluesman has sparkling chops and a searing style of playing that keeps the booties bouncing and dance floor rumbling. No, there's no Native American connection, but the man can swing the blues like a seasoned Windy City roller and brings in a nice assemblage of American roots music to tie it all together. Double Door Inn (Shukla)

MONDAY 9.9

John Mayer / Charlie Hunter -- Hyped by Rolling Stone as one of the "next big things" for 2002, Mayer did his part, recently dating Jennifer Love Hewitt and appearing in People. He's developed a sort of Sting/Dave Matthews hybrid of a sound. Though a reasonably talented guitar player, Mayer's toned down the guitar histrionics in favor of a softer, more melodic approach, which basically sounds like our man Dave with a particularly bad bout with the flu. Many of his songs are indeed catchy, but then again, so is the aforementioned flu. (Davis) / Guitarist Charlie Hunter has been disseminating hipster jazz since his debut back in 1993. He plays the unique 8-string guitar/bass and has recorded as a duo, trio and quartet. His quartet can funk it up, bop it up and seduce it up, taking cues from all across the jazz/rock/soul spectrum. It's Hunter's unconventional guitar technique that makes it all worthwhile in the end, sometimes blasting right out front, while other times happy to color the palate from the back. He has taken many detours on the jazz roads (covering Bob Marley's entire Natty Dread record, for one) and still comes out swinging, helping to redefine the textbook of jazz. Belk Arena, Davidson College (Shukla)

TUESDAY 9.10

Topaz -- If Chicago (the band) followed Widespread Panic, you'd have Topaz. Not bad, and kinda hypnotically soothing in a Burt Bacharach-on-acid kind of way. However, if you're looking for something with an edge, look elsewhere -- every musical surface with these guys is as fitted for comfort as an Eames chair. For those looking for a soundtrack to drink cocktails and gently twirl to, however, your birthstone is Topaz. With Green Light. Visulite Theatre (Davis)

WEDNESDAY 9.11

Bruce Hazel & The Noise -- Bruce Hazel manages the rare feat of biting, vitriolic commentary, combined with all sorts of muscular hooks -- imagine Elvis Costello co-habitating with a drunken Ryan Adams circa the Strangers Almanac tour. Eschewing for the most part any semblance of country (except for the odd, twangish lead), Hazel's music nonetheless retains a rootsy quality -- self-doubt, regret, and the pathos of the new non-rich -- that, to these ears, sounds rather authentic. Double Door Inn (Davis)

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