Don Dixon Band -- The former Arrogance bassist and singer is no stranger to these parts, having both played (with Arrogance, and with wife Marti Jones) and recorded others (R.E.M., David Childers, Snagglepuss). Two of the man's records belong in any album collection worth its salt: the delightfully named Most Of The Girls Like To Dance But Only Some Of the Boys Like To and Romeo At Juilliard. Dixon the musician is much like Dixon the producer -- not afraid to take chances, either with instrument choice or musical direction, even if it means changing his mind mid-song. Dixon's backing band for this show features Spongetone and producer Jamie Hoover, as well as Hootie and the Blowfish drummer "Soni" Sonefeld. With Kyle Davis. Double Door Inn (Davis)

ph balance -- Signed to Indigo gal (and fellow Georgian) Amy Ray's Daemon Records, pH Balance continue to quietly persevere on the Southeastern club scene, thanks to Pam Howe's magnolia-sweet pipes paired with some tasty kudzu-style rapping and trip-hop-style beats. Sort of fuzzy and funky and feral all at the same time, the band comes off as something of a thrift-store Digable Planets, without the accompanying self-righteousness. The Evening Muse (Davis)


Faceplant -- These Texas-based hip-hoppers are forthright about partying and rocking with the homies as guitars roll across bass and drums sparring in the corner. Toasted vocals run the gamut while plenty of hardcore riffs and alterna-metal beckon the listener to do vertical hops. All in all it's your run of the mill rap metal experience. With Spun. Fat City (Shukla)


Count the Stars -- Albany's Count the Stars are on the road backing up their freshly released debut album Never Be Taken Alive (Victory Records). The sound is emotive rock with touches of harmony and pumped up -- yet not abrasive -- guitars. It all adds up to an appealing output while adding one more rung on the ladder pointed towards indie rock stardom. Also on the bill are Taking Back Sunday and Recover. Tremont Music Hall (Shukla)

Fighting Gravity -- This hipster pop ska band lays down melodic crooning with memorable originals and some downright nifty reinterpretations of tunes as well -- including a rousing classical-gone-ska version of Rossini's "Barber of Skaville." The instrumentals are as compelling as the fully realized songs with vocals, and the band doesn't limit itself to itchy ska, shifting gears to pop, acoustic tracks, funk, dancehall reggae and a bit of hard rocking. The Venue on 5th (Shukla)

Parklife -- Raleigh based duo Parklife coax guitars into soaring, moody hard pop while the stoked vocals bring a heady rush to neck muscles. Their new EP, Lonely Eyes and Amsterdam, is about ready for the stores and, with cuts like "Butterflies and Hurricanes," they are set to invade radio faster then you can blink your eyes. Guitarist Sam Clownie has deserved guitar maestro accolades since his stint with the Veldt -- this EP will further the cause. The Steeple Lounge (Shukla)


The Ataris / THE JULIANA THEORY -- A band of youngsters who are looking to outdo Green Day and the Vandals with their own punk rock fists punching the air. They've made the jump from indie label Kung Fu records to big boy Columbia with the new album So Long, Astoria. So, we've got stop & go guitars, danceable drums and bass layered over writing that has evolved from the short hops of punk rock into more calculated strides. (Shukla) / In which the ex Tooth and Nail earnest emoters sign to a major, get a big load of studio polish, and put out work that sounds like a pretty good band went into the studio and got a big load of studio polish (go figure!). They're best heard live, however, and as the band will be actually playing live tonight and not lip-synching, you're in luck. Tremont Music Hall (Davis)

The Belmont Playboys -- One of the only bands in town to make Mike Ness look like a pussy, the Belmont Playboys haven't changed a lot over the years in the name of "artistic growth," but then again, they don't need to. Along with ANTiSEEN and The Spongetones, one of the true semi-legendary bands we have in this town, and for good reason. Power rockabilly, greasy around the edges and with a tough center. Double Door Inn (Davis)


Mofro -- The North Florida funk band has a classic sound with lean piano rolls and firm beats as part of their musical arsenal, giving a warm vibe to their newest release, Blackwater. It's easy to write them off as whiteboy funk, but damn if the scraggly horns don't squirm in and out of the groove while a 70s aura invites the rhythm section to cozy on up. Visulite Theatre (Shukla)

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