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Wednesday 9.25

The Damnations -- This band plays such an intentionally dry variation of country punk as to make your tongue dive into your throat seeking moisture. Their one-off record for big label Sire gave them some room to roam around the country and they've used the tread-wear well in furthering the sparring male/female vox over twangy country and cowpunk. With Bee Eater. Fat City (Shukla)

Thursday 9.26

Culture -- Finally, Charlotte seems to have landed a regular stop on Culture's annual trek through the Southeast! And this stop could prove to be the best yet since the most recent shows to date haven't exactly taken place in reputable music rooms (July 2000 saw the band at the Knights of Columbus Hall, need I say more?). Head Rastafarian Joseph Hill has been making music for nearly 30 years now and with the band he's released over 20 albums. Plenty of experience here folks, and plenty of good roots reggae played with charisma and emotion. Culture are keepers of the conscious vibe, mon. Check it out. Visulite Theatre (Lynn Farris)

Tuck & Patti -- Listening to this husband and wife duo is almost like listening in on pillow talk. The love ballads are custom made with Patti's smokey voice and Tuck's x-tra clean and smooth guitar playing. Even the single instrumental on the new record, Chocolate Moment, is a guitar solo composition doubling for a kiss blown through the air from Tuck to Patti called "Interlude in the key of P." The pair has been providing jazzy, candle lit easy listening for years to folks seeking such, and there's no reason to change things now. Neighborhood Theatre (Shukla)

Friday 9.27

Sam Bush Band -- Sam sure can play the man-do-lin, but man, do these bluegrass guys stretch themselves thin or what? The man's played with New Grass Revival, Bela Fleck, and Emmylou Harris, to name a few, but his most satisfying work to these ears is with his own Sam Bush Band, a sort of New-New Grass Revival. Sam always shows up to a session ready to pick, however, and tonight's show ought not to be any different. Neighborhood Theatre (Davis)

Seven Nations -- Graduates of the harder chapters of Hootie school, Seven Nations throw in subtle Celtic tones into their melodic rock. Frontman/songwriter Kirk McLeod weaves pleasant tales accented by tuneful and, at times, fuzzy hard pop. It's palatable, catchy and their deadpan delivery will surely make radio programmers and label heads happy while keeping the Friday night party crews swaying their bods. Amos' Southend (Shukla)

Dirty Dozen Brass Band -- Their 25th anniversary release from this past spring, Medicated Magic, lays down the dance maneuvers, full on. On the new record, this ultra-fab New Orleans posse has taken many standards from the Crescent City and added new arrangements to take them further into eclectic narration. An amalgamation of big band, Dixieland and other chapters from the jazz textbook are chiseled out by the mighty horns of DDBB into their own story. Whether you're guzzling Dixie beer on Bourbon Street or hard lemonade on Tryon Street, raise your glass and give 'em props to continue the quest for another 25 years. Samir's Gig of the Week. Visulite (Shukla)

James Zabiela -- Deep blue sea house music here, with lyre-like mood swings and garden-grown, whipcrack breakbeats. Zabiela's not the mind-numbing type, preferring organic beats that don't always come out as 4/4. The Roberta Flack of UK DJs, Zabiela prefers killing you softly. Tonic (Davis)Saturday 9.28

Dropsonic -- The Atlanta trio's newest, Belle, is a nice'un -- a little Black Crowes riffage, a little BritPop-inspired radio(head) rock wail, and some good 'ol American studio gloss. It sounds quite radio-ready at this point, by which I mean that it's accessible. It's not radio-ready in the sense that it's not grossly pandering to the late-teen audience that could make them rich. Dropsonic the band name sounds like something the big labels would eat up. Dropsonic the band? We'll just have to wait and see. Fat City (Davis)

Punk Wars 02 -- Almost all the bands lined up for this noise fest follow a guttural hardcore route. A couple exceptions are Charlotte's own melodic punks My So-Called Band, providing biting commentary, and Young Tom Fury, a set of young'uns bent on digging up 80s old school riffage. Choke Their Rivers with Our Dead, Circle Takes A Square and Between the Buried and Me are also playing. Sheesh, what happened to all the cool one-name bands and all 'The' bands? Wait a minute, there's also Walsham, Skcapegoat and here you go, The Resident. Tremont Music Hall (Shukla)

Tuesday 10.1

Karl Denson's Tiny Universe -- Maybe his universe isn't so tiny after all. Karl's newest, The Bridge, is one of those rare look-who-I-know albums that works, featuring the very underrated Saul Williams, Michael Franti, members of Blackalicious, and even jazzbos Fred Wesley and Roy Hargrove. Tight, horny funk that doesn't forget the Curtis Mayfield. Visulite (Davis)

Nickel Creek / Gillian Welch -- Nickel Creek cover Pavement's "Spit on a Stranger" on their newest album, which we all know is pretty cool. Good version, too. However, rest of said album, while interesting and pretty damn well-played, certainly isn't awe-inspiring or classic. Which is to say, they should be opening for Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. Welch, of course, is the darling of the O Brother set, and for good reason -- she likes NPR, too. Miss Gillian writes plaintive (but never plain) tales of love and loss and remembrance and regret, backed with probably one of the only guitar players on earth able to match her vocal style and sepia-tinged balladry on the six string -- beau David Rawlings. They don't cover Stephen Malkmus and Co., but then again, they don't need to. Belk Theater (Davis)

Wednesday 10.2

The Asteroid No. 4 -- This cosmic oddity is a nice new find. They began their career with swaths of psychedelic musings quite apparent on the debut recording as well as contributions to compilations. Now the Philadelphia outfit has changed directions and is aiming toward American roots. The full sound twang is the keyword, while the quartet doesn't forget their beginnings as the guitars take off into otherworldly directions. The Sights are also on for the evening. Fat City (Shukla)

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