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THURSDAY 10.24

The Talk / Port Huron Statement -- Nice pairing here, with Charlotte's own Westerbergian Talk sharing the stage with The Port Huron Statement, a hi-fi band fond of lo-fi recording, a la Guided by Voices or any one of Lou Barlow's various guises. Don't be fooled by the looseness of either band -- both know their way around a melody as well as they do the local watering hole. Good stuff. With Goldenboy. Tremont Music Hall (Davis)

FRIDAY 10.25

Baleen / Japan Air -- Baleen send you aloft on soft clouds and drop you in a spiraling free fall with a nice gentle landing back on earth. It's an amalgamation of samples, guitars, rock and R&B, bits of trip-hop and surreal sounds for an aura they can call their own. / Japan Air are an intriguing Winston-Salem band who take a floating, echo-laden sound to create their own take on Brit Pop with abstract vocalization while leaving plenty of room to expand brain cells. They evoke Aphex Twin and Spiritualized, among others, for their waves of sound. It's the intellectual music night of the week. Fat City (Shukla)

Black Lagoon -- Black Lagoon, that most mystically intriguing of new Charlotte bands, will hold a CD release party tonight at The Steeple Lounge, a new club situated in an old church on Pecan Avenue. The CD in question is the fine-sounding Laguna Negra, likely the only CD in recent memory to conjure up Kate Bush and Sabbath in the same song. Appearing with the band will be Star Motor Company, the new heavy rock outfit helmed by Chris Boone, ex of Spite and Jennifer Strip. The Steeple Lounge (Davis)

The Wailers -- Yes, this is indeed the same group as in Bob Marley & The Wailers, but trust me when I say they're not just some rehash of a group whose better days were over 20 years ago. I caught the band, which is still anchored by Aston "Familyman" Barret (Marley's most trusted musical accomplice), earlier this year when they opened for Carlos Santana, and all I can say is the vibe is still real, mon! Visulite Theatre (Lynn Farris)

SATURDAY 10.26

The Alternative Champs -- Good show here, as these guys dress in costume even when it's months away from All Hallow's Eve. Goofy, sure, but pretty exceedingly well done at the same time -- a sort of coffee klatch on acid. Will they break out the workout gear? The "lights" ensemble? There's only one way to find out. Mojo Restaurant & Spirits (Davis)

Deanna Lynn -- She's also known as Deanna Campbell (once a part of Charlotte's Violet Strange) and she makes her solo debut with a solid seven song self-titled disc. This release party will showcase Deanna's newly recorded personal introspections saturated with shades of acoustic folk and tips of the hat to Sarah McLachlan. Lyrically, and musically, she approaches Springsteen's solo work with melodic rock that rumbles around your head long after the tune has finished. The Evening Muse (Shukla)

Derek Trucks Band -- A lot more folks have probably become familiar with Trucks more recently due to his touring with the Allman Brothers Band. And of course that Southern slide sound creeps into the work he does with his own band, but so does plenty of blues, jazz and (especially) world music, which is clearly evident on his third and most recent release Joyful Noise. Heck, it also can't hurt being married to blues wailer Susan Tedeschi, who is reportedly sharing a strong interest in gospel with her guitarist hubby these days. Trucks isn't afraid to experiment with different genres and it helps to keep his own music fresh and new. Visulite Theatre (Lynn Farris)

Larry McCray Band -- He's not a huge name in the scene but he does have all the fire and brimstone of old and established guitar slingers. McCray plays pumped up blues with a definitive rock and roll edge. He's a Buddy Guy with a rougher voice taking pop cues from Robert Cray. A promising blues gatherer with plenty of crispy licks and funky vocals to keep even the casual blues listener interested. Double Door Inn (Shukla)

Weekend Excursion / Bridge -- Good double bill here if you like your radio-friendly pop with a bit of a crunchy rock edge. The Weekenders are still touring strong throughout the region in support of their latest, Take Me Home. Songs from the album have recently been included on several compilations, including one for Kenneth Cole (it'll be distributed nationwide at KC retailers) and another for their label, The Redeye Label. / Bridge have been busy working on new material and recording with Steve Heigler (Fuel, The Nixons) for an EP they hope to release soon. They also just signed with a new management team and they'll be shooting live footage tonight for an upcoming video. Amos' Southend (Lynn Farris)

SUNDAY 10.27

A.K.C. Natarajan -- Here's an evocative take on traditional Carnatic (South Indian Classical) music fronted on the decidedly non-traditional clarinet. Natarajan is a virtuoso of the style and takes the clarinet into exotic climes of Southern India. K. Munikumar accompanies Natarajan on Nadaswaram (a simple yet intoxicating double reed wind instrument) while two Thavil (percussion instrument used mostly in devotional settings in deep South India) players add the percussive backdrops. Don't get flustered trying to pronounce the names, just open your mind to an erudite and exotic musical experience. Sloan Music Center, Davidson College (Shukla)

Plea For Peace/Take Action Tour -- A posse of rotating bands is touring to knock heads for some cool causes. The tour name speaks for itself so here's a lowdown on some of the bands: Thursday are a melodic hard band looking to stir up some angst instead of running with ill-gotten booty. Engine Down are a killer rock outfit that put the punk down when necessary and bring in cooling back patting when the heat gets too stifling. Poison The Well shred vocal chords and guitar chords in their own politicizing. Also on the bill are Common Rider and Armor for Sleep. Tremont Music Hall (Shukla)

TUESDAY 10.29

Justincase -- Today's the national release day for the three siblings' debut national release, the self-titled Justincase. Now, I'm not the biggest fan of radio pop, but it's relatively well-crafted stuff, and is getting some national attention. Anyway, they're playing a free gig at Manifest today for their CD release party. If you like 'em, you'll be there anyway. If you've never heard of them but fancy yourself a hanger-on, feel free to come by as well. If you don't like them, why have you read this far? Manifest Discs & Tapes (Davis)

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