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WEDNESDAY 3.26

James Mathus & Knock Down Society -- Jimbo Mathus is a veteran with stints in numerous NC outfits including Squirrel Nut Zippers and his ongoing day gig with Countdown Quartet. Mathus and Knockdown Society gather up good time backwaters rock and boogie with more than hints of Southern fried cool. Double Door Inn (Shukla)

Pigface -- You may not like the music. You may not like some of the fans. But you'd do well to check out a Pigface show if for nothing more than the complete breakdown of the invisible barriers performers and audiences together help build between them. Drummer and mastermind Martin Atkins keeps things fresh with an ever-changing lineup (often including folks from the audience), set list, and stage set-up. To top it off, the core members of this industrial traveling circus are all vital and seasoned musicians, having done time in some of the biggest bands of the last two decades (Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, Public Image Ltd.). Come prepared to bang something, if it's only your head. With My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult, Zeromancer, and Bile. Tremont Music Hall (Davis)

FRIDAY 3.28

Dominant 7 -- Self-described "conscious" MCs, Dominant 7 lean more toward the Anticon style of indie hip hop, favoring more intricate beats, nonlinear song progressions and thesaurus-consulting rhymes. Mind you, they still throw in some nifty call-and-response to get the house jumping -- D7 knows that sometimes you gotta give the people what they want before they'll allow you to give them what they need. With DJ NOTIK1, J-Cat and WIIZ KID (downstairs: James Fedele and KOOL DJ A.S.o.M.DASELF). The Steeple Lounge (Davis)

Hopesfall -- Charlotte-based band Hopesfall recently released an excellent new record, The Satellite Years, on Trustkill Records. A mix of no-nonsense hardcore laced with big sweeping arcs of icy melody, the record is a fine introduction to the band, who do a fair enough job of translating the rather ambitious release to their live show. Bleeding heart music for those not afraid to be called such a thing. Tremont Music Hall (Davis)

Immortal Lee County Killers -- If Iggy Pop picked up Tony Iommi, dropped by Junior Kimbrough's house, and the whole gang went over to the local pub to do shots and practice Santeria, you might have something that would approximate the Immortal Lee County Killers. They've been described as Delta punk blues, and that description's not too far off, though I think they forgot the dropping acid and listening to Stax records part. Fat City (Davis)

King Johnson -- Root-rock, blues and gumbo funk is the realm of Atlanta's King Johnson, with shades of jazz kicking in for suitable accents. KJ has inked a deal with Landslide Records and the new disc, Hot Fish Laundry Mat, is slated for release this week. The album cements the sound showcasing the band's R&B vocals and beats to add a twist to traditional blues, while a dual horn attack of sax and trombone helps delineate their click. Double Door Inn (Shukla)

Peter Finger -- If you're a guitar student or aficionado, don't let this gig fall through the cracks. German acoustic guitarist picks his way through folk, jazz and world rhythms to create a sound entirely his own. He's master of the instrument, he's been recording and touring since the mid-70s, and he has numerous discs under his belt. Finger's floating technique invokes agility and a seamless, out of the ordinary repertoire. Sylvia Theater, York (Shukla)

SATURDAY 3.29

Cursive -- You have to like the idea behind Tim Kasher and company's new one, The Ugly Organ. Ostensibly, the record is a concept CD about... concept CDs. Despite the band's considerable hardcore roots, the record manages a sly sense of humor on a number of cuts and even augments the sheet-metal melodies with some fragile cello lines on a number of songs. Kasher's poking fun at indie rock from the inside on this one, a thrift-store Jonah with more than enough barbs to deflate that big white whale of pomposity. Better yet, he keeps his tongue firmly planted in cheek, knowing that everything he's saying about the industry could probably be said about himself as well. With Engine Down and Minus The Bear. Tremont Music Hall (Davis)

Songwriter's Night -- Great mix of regional talent here, featuring Mt. Holly's David Childers, the poet laureate of Gaston County; the acoustic (but just barely) stomp of Concord's Avett Brothers; the orchestral folk-pop-rock of Vaughan Penn; and Jeffrey Dean Foster, formerly of the Pinetops. No word on the order in which these acts will perform, which ought to provide an excellent opportunity for roots music fans to broaden their horizons. Neighborhood Theatre (Davis)

Spookie Daly Pride -- These cats use saxophone to create hooks while itchy guitars send the drums scattering and regrouping to catch up. In essence, it's white boy funk with some tunes so catchy that no matter what amount of preconceived notions are brought in through the door, they're tossed right out. Visulite Theatre (Shukla)

SUNDAY 3.30

Ribbon In The Sky Benefit -- This is a gathering of artists to raise funds for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. The show includes funk/jazz trio Hipshack's new identity as a power rock trio, where lead sax man Scott McCloud plays bass. The Brubakers offer a contemporary jazz vibe while Trio 21 and Standard Brands round out the performers providing musical interludes for a worthy cause. The show is in memory of local musician Tom Billotto's wife Karen, who succumbed to breast cancer earlier this year. Tutto Mondo (Shukla)

WEDNESDAY 4.2

Too Young To Die (Benefit For Suicide Prevention) -- This is a national tour put together by the folks and affiliated bands at the Charlotte-based label Deep Elm. Most of the bands on the tour -- Brandtson, Red Animal War, Desert City Soundtrack and David Singer -- have tracks on the accompanying namesake-bearing CD comp. Emotive rock and lyrical validity are the standard bearers of the label roster. My favorite in the batch is the intriguing David Singer, who gives new meaning to therapeutic folk-rock. Added guests for this evening include Frontpage, and proceeds will benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Tremont Music Hall (Shukla)

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