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WEDNESDAY 2.5

Chris Connelly -- Best known for his Pigface/Ministry work, Connelly has lately been pursuing a softer, more mellow acoustic approach to his music, which, while sonically interesting due to his Bowie-like pipes, fails to keep one's interest for very long. Openers VooDou, on the other hand, are a hell of a lot of fun whether or not you like your rock with goth trimmings: loud as fuck, an energetic stage show, and well-thought out songs. Last time around, Connelly did some songs with VooDou as his backing band, with the results far preferable to the ol' Chris Carrabba routine. Also appearing: Clang Quartet. Tremont Music Hall (Davis)

Malevolent Creation -- Unsuspecting folks are shuffling down the street and collectively hitting the dirt when what sounds like rapid gunfire and explosions rolls by. All is well; it's only some dude blasting Malevolent Creation in his jalopy riding through town. The machine gun guitars, glass-shattering drums, bass thumping off the registers and unintelligible gurgling vocals emanate from the speakers at max volume. Malevolent Creation delivers all you expect from a death metal band out of the metal hotbed of Florida. OK, so its music is open to personal interpretation, but it'll get yer blood flowing. Also on tap are Between the Buried and Me, Reflux and Sadie Mae. 15th Street Garage (Shukla)

THURSDAY 2.6

Hayes Carll/Leo's Invention -- It's a good thing I dug up Carll's disc from the wall of promos on my desk, as a hidden gem almost fell through the cracks. Hayes plays rollicking country music with a foot wedged in the door of a honky tonk while the other is shaking off the dirt from Texas backroads. Carll qualifies as a country artist and songwriter skilled in authentic delivery. Arizona's Leo's Invention offers a proper take on pop rock with the hooks and harmony and all. South Carolina songwriter and performer Phyllis Tannerfrye is also on the bill, rounding out a fun, full evening of music. The Evening Muse (Shukla)

The New Blacks -- Meet The New Blacks, same as the old Bel-Air Saints. Well, same members, anyway. The New Blacks are said to be a bit more raw 'n' rootsy than the notoriously fashion-friendly Saints, but I suppose the proof is in the pudding. If one goes to www.basrocks.com, you can see the general vibe behind the whole thing -- a man in a leather jacket flipping off the camera. Here's hoping it's slightly deeper stuff than that. Cool name, though. Double Door Inn (Davis)

FRIDAY 2.7

Debbie Davies Blues Band -- Debbie rattles the rafters of the male-dominated club known as Blues. Her voice doesn't howl but gets the message across nicely, and while her guitar doesn't burn, the playing emotes genuine sorrow to convincingly perform the blues. She has enough stylistic twist to remain original and is releasing her new record, Key to Love (A celebration of the music of John Mayall), this month with Peter Green, Mick Taylor, James Cotton and other veterans lending a hand. Double Door Inn (Shukla)

Todd Rundgren -- From his halcyon early days with the Nazz to his landmark Something/Anything and A Wizard, A True Star albums, Rundgren has done it all -- literally. Whether it be songwriting, producing, engineering, singing, mixing or playing instruments, Rundgren wears the cap comfortably. This same musical wanderlust has occasionally taken him down some questionable musical pathways, but he's almost always redeemed by the sheer, indomitable do-it-all creativity he possesses, the likes of which haven't been seen since Prince became a symbol. Interested parties would do well to check out www.tr-i.com, a real neat website done totally by -- who else? -- Rundgren. Neighborhood Theatre (Davis)

SATURDAY 2.8

Col. Bruce Hampton & The Codetalkers -- When you get down to sheer musicianship, the genre of music being played doesn't matter -- if you don't dig that style of music, that's one thing, but credit should be given for the vibes. Col. Hampton is one such musician who has traveled the roads of blues, jazz, country and rock to come up with his own musical route. Earlier with Fiji Mariners and in recent years with the Codetalkers, Hampton brings along top players to round out his groove while letting the music speak for itself. Visulite Theatre (Shukla)

Leon Redbone -- Leon digs so far deep in his musical muse, it's a wonder he wasn't born in the early 20th century. His plate covers music from the 20s onward to the present day. Ever since his mid 70s records, Redbone has been a proprietor of old vinyl sounds, including 20s jazz, 50s rock, 60s folk and down home country music. Using his gruff and skewed voice as another instrument in the band, he brings on an old-time traveling show to contemporary audiences. Sylvia Theater, York (Shukla)

Steep Canyon Rangers -- Not another squeaky clean young bluegrass-lite band, the SCR gang manage to keep their sound solidly traditional -- and even a tad dirty in spots. The band has a new one out, Mr. Taylor's New Home, that seems to find the group poised for bigger, if not better, things. From the sound of the record, they're pretty happy right where they are. Also appearing are personal faves the Greasy Beans, an Asheville based-group somewhat akin to a band like the Bad Livers. Neighborhood Theatre (Davis)

SUNDAY 2.9

Greg Brown -- Greg's ostensibly a folk artist, but don't let that fool you: His music voice also has accents of gospel, early rock, blues and country. A musician since the age of 18, Brown recorded his first album in 1974 and later founded his own label, Red House Records. Brown's songs have been covered by all sorts of folks, including Maria Muldaur, Shawn Colvin, Carlos Santana, Willie Nelson and Mary Chapin Carpenter, and he's even put out an album of William Blake's poetry set to music (Songs Of Innocence And Experience). For the uninitiated, check out Further In and Slant 6 Mind, both of which prove this prolific songwriter's best may be yet to come. Neighborhood Theatre (Davis)

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