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THURSDAY 7.24

David Grisman Quintet -- Old timer, musical compatriot to Jerry Garcia and a big brother to jammers and alterna-rockers alike, Grisman rejuvenates traditional bluegrass with touches of jazz and eclectic signatures that don't meander while keeping purists rolling in the hay. The "dawg" cuts his music like a precision laser tool, but leaves plenty of rough edges for a downhome feel. Neighborhood Theatre (Shukla)

Matone Phish Phry -- Here's something different: to prepare for the Phish show on Friday night, Matone is throwing a "Phish Phry" at the Visulite Theatre. Matone's a good band to get you warmed up for Phish -- they opened for moe. when they played here, too. Matone doesn't sound like either of those bands, but they have a lot of the same influences, from psychedelia to Zappa to Southern rock to jazz, and even some funk. They'll start playing at 9pm, but if you get there around 8pm, you're invited to join them out back for a good old-fashioned fish fry. To complete the theme, they've added a bunch of Phish tunes for this show, and they'll have prizes for people who know their Phish trivia. Visulite Theatre (Brian Falk)

Two Dollar Pistols -- John Howie's voice is one of those that you expect to hear coming out of the clouds as the sun breaks through after a huge storm. Yes, if God sang honky tonk, it'd sound something like the lead singer of the Two Dollar Pistols. 'Course, if the devil played guitar (we already know he plays fiddle, thanks to Charlie Daniels), it'd sound something like the brimstone-hot licks of Scott McCall. It's great interplay, however, and good for the soul, no matter whose side you're on. With Les Dirt Clods. Fat City (Davis)

Wakefield -- The debut from these young punk-popsters, appropriately titled American Made (Arista), is straight up radioland fodder. The guitar kick seems to have been softened a bit in the studio and the angst doesn't quite muster the "ass sliding on sandpaper" grit. There are a couple snazzy tunes in the mix. Hey, you might as well bail out if you can't even dole out a one hit wonder. Tremont Music Hall (Shukla)

FRIDAY 7.25

Fin Fang Foom / Piedmont Charisma -- A cut called "How to Make a Monster," off the recently released With The Gift Comes The Curse (Lovitt Records), is a sketchbook of rock deconstruction. The Chapel Hill based trio know their way around dissonance and feedback but they use those tools in a melodic structure. It's indie rock going a couple steps further with drones, manipulations and piano composites, while duping their instruments into sublime statements. An intriguing musical roller coaster. (Shukla) / If Devo and Interpol got married, went on a Myrtle Beach vacation and had their caricatures done while sipping Coronas (extra lime!), the result would sound something like the most excellent Piedmont Charisma. Experienced riders of New Wave, the Charisma always manage to avoid wiping out by keeping the musical landscape fresh with all sorts of electronic instrumentation and loads of killer loops. Thus ends the forced analogy. With The Nein. Fat City (Davis)

Leadfoot -- Raleigh's Leadfoot is led by singer Karl Agell -- a name some old school hardcore fans should recognize from his days fronting Corrosion of Conformity. C.O.C. bassist Phil Swisher is on board as well. With Leadfoot, Agell and Swisher can still kick out plenty of grit but this rock is much more accessible than that of their former project. Think early Cult with a nasty Southern sting. The music is seriously good while the lyrics remain lighthearted with songs like "Chicks Love Metal" from their newish release We Drink For Free. With Eliot James & The Snakes -- the latest project from JJ Jones, ex-Marvelous 3. The Steeple Lounge (Lynn Farris)

SATURDAY 7.26

Loch Ness Johnny -- A Columbia, SC, quartet, The Johnnies spice their Southern black coffee with a little Irish cream, mixing mid-tempo acoustic rockers with a Guinness-guzzling Emerald Isle flair. Hints of Richard Thompson and Van Morrison crop up from time to time, as well as nods to Mellencamp and other, more landlocked artists. Strangely enough, it works. Luck of the Irish, perhaps. George Washington Bookstore & Tavern, Concord (Davis)

Todd Joseph Band -- Joseph and his musical comrades borrowed from regional bands, have a supple, Southern groove about them without any pretensions. This could likely run aground when the improv goes on a tad longer than necessary, but TJB have the foresight to keep the tracks at just the right level that builds enough tension to keep the listener in the fold. Visulite Theatre (Shukla)

MONDAY 7.28

Vans Warped Tour -- You can thank these guys for the fact that we have Good Charlotte and all the other nameless, faceless bands that are singularly responsible for the national shortage of Catholic high school PE shirts, wristbands, and Dep hairstyling products. All that said, there is some meat on the carcass yet, and it's still one of the bigger concert bargains of the year. Yay: AFI, Dropkick Murphys, The Fags, Vendetta Red, Pennywise, Rancid, the Ataris. Nay: The Used, Andrew W.K., Mest, The All-American Rejects, Simple Plan, Taking Back Sunday. The "Yays" have it. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (Davis)

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