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WEDNESDAY 8.20

G. Love & Special Sauce -- Oh yeah! I've been waiting on this for a long while now -- a club show with G. Love and his Special Sauce (which is upright bass player Jimi Jazz and dynamic drummer The Houseman). The Philly trio produced a new kind of noise back in '94 with their self-titled debut (which featured the hit "Cold Beverage") and with their fifth release, Electric Mile, in 2001, they continue to kick out a funky laid-back groove that encompasses every genre from folk and blues to hip hop and reggae -- all done with a wise-crackin', fast rappin' Philly attitude that'll put any skeptic in his or her place. The band put out a Best Of disc last year, but I'm holding out for their first DVD titled, On The Back of the Bus that's slated to be released any day now and noted to be filled to the brim with all kinds of bonus material. But back to the show, it's certainly a don't miss. Visulite Theatre (Lynn Farris)

THURSDAY 8.21

Chris Lee -- Former Charlottean Lee is frequently compared to Jeff Buckley, though his press people and others make it a point to immediately downplay such comparisons. They are, however, inevitable, and rather right-on (hell, Buckley's now ascended to the first tier of Dead Rock Stars of Our Generation -- one could do a lot worse). Good news is, Lee's a hell of a songwriter in his own right, one who has nicely blended his new environs -- New York City -- into the Southern-bred mix, creating a nice sort of emotional cool that could see him going in any number of directions with future releases. His new disc, Cool Rock, is as good a musical description as any. With The Houston Brothers. The Evening Muse (Davis)

The Saw Doctors -- An engrossing band of Irish rockers who are probably more in sync with the Waterboys, The Saw Doctors sway more towards folk rock than the sonic guitar treatments of U2. The Doctors do give their political forum a boost but balance things out with tunes on the dilemmas of love and relationships. They're comparable to happy-go-lucky troubadours having a time making their music. Hearst Tower Plaza (Shukla)

Stickey Nickel -- "Stickey Nickel" is actually the stage name for a young cat named Tom Feldmann who must gargle with gravel in the morning before heading out to the delta to play steely, acoustic blues. His one-man band sounds so authentic, you'd think Son House was in the house. Plenty of gospel treatments layer his blues stomps and honky tonks while the knee cymbals and single drum inflect an underbelly of rhythm. Stickey obviously gives his props to the Big Guy but there's no overt sloganeering or preaching. He knows how to have fun in a juke joint and is probably just as comfortable singing on Sunday mornings. By far one of the more interesting blues gigs of the week. JB'Z (Shukla)

FRIDAY 8.22

D:Fuse -- D:Fuse has a new double disc out, People_2: Both Sides of the Picture, comprised of a downtempo and uptempo electro set. Live, D:Fuse is apt to break out a little Roland percussion instrument called a Handsonic, helping break down a bit the "wall" between DJ and dancer. Nothing too innovative, necessarily, just well-done house that hits all the right buttons (located, respectively, in your head, then about halfway down, towards your feet). Liquid Lounge (Davis)

SATURDAY 8.23

Dynamite Brothers / Pyramid -- The garage/blues trio The Dynamite Brothers have an excellent new one out, Clap Along With The Dynamite Brothers, that's a must-buy for NC music fans or anybody else who owns a couple of Count Five records. Full of hot rod harmonies, burnout riffs, and smoky choruses that simultaneously conjure up images of Iggy Pop and "Big Daddy" Don Garlits, it's a record that keeps the pedal to the metal from song one. Musical compatriots Pyramid have been recording an album out of their home studio for the past few months (and will continue to for the foreseeable future), and the results are eagerly anticipated down here at the Loaf offices -- they may not draw the huge crowds, but there's few bands (in Charlotte, in NC, whatever) with as much potential. To boot, and befitting their film school backgrounds, the boys are also gonna have "visuals" to go along with their "aurals." Visulite Theatre (Davis)

Jucifer -- If you like volume -- and by volume I mean enough decibels to make your ears ring for a week -- then go sell your soul to Jucifer. Guitarist Amber Valentine and drummer Ed Livengood put on a performance that is something like rock theater, but there's positively no acting involved. Equal parts a call to redemption and a call to arms, it's almost embarrassing to watch the real-life couple lose themselves in waves of howling feedback and bass drum and acid-blooze mojo. It seems so intimate, you wonder if you should turn away. You then decide against it, because you realize they're not just being exhibitionists for themselves, but for you as well, baring their souls along with everything else they have. With Team Discoveree Channel. Fat City (Davis)

The Laura Blackley Band -- The quartet, led by Laura Blackley's crooning persona, is a folk-blues band that consists of a tightly knit group of musicians who don't take a back seat to the band's namesake. As for Blackley, think more Bonnie Raitt then Melissa Etheridge, with an agenda independent of her two elders. Sylvia Theater, York (Shukla)

Leave it to Diva -- Three of Charlotte's best voices -- Deanna Lynn, Beth Chorneau and Shana Blake -- share the stage tonight, in what ought to be a hell of a show for fans of the female voice, unadulterated and amplified. All the above are nothing like divas, however, in the classical sense. They have something to say, and the focus is on the song and the delivery, rather than the darling little Vera Wang dresses they might be wearing. Local kick-ass jazzbos Ron Brendle and Chris Garges will provide the musical foil. The Evening Muse (Davis)

Rusted Root -- I gotta admit the tune "Drum Trip," from one of their records a few years back, still gets the toes stretching when it rolls out of the CD player. You also have to give the band credit for keeping things interesting when other jam bands seem to just groove on into oblivion. These forerunners of the post-Grateful Dead jam band explosion still reel with world rhythms and manage to create trippy, melodic rock. Amos' Southend (Shukla)

SUNDAY 8.24

Ozzfest -- As Ozzfests go, this one has a little less variety than most. Perhaps it's human nature to get conservative in these odd times we live in, but who would have ever thought it'd trickle down (up?) to His Ozzness? Along with Ozzy, this Bloody Sabbath show also features Korn, Marilyn Manson, Disturbed, Chevelle, Cradle of Filth, Voivod, and a host of other acts, most of whom will have their major-label umbilical cords cut if they don't make the main stage next year (however, Metallica fans might want to check out Voivod, now featuring Jason Newsted. Frankly, Voivod ought to be on the main stage over the leather-pants wearing likes of David Draiman and Disturbed anyway, but who's countin?). Ozzy (or, more likely, wife Sharon) has always done a remarkable job of cutting loose the dead weight and presenting what the kids want to see. So what's up with this year's lineup? Who knows...maybe the Osbournes should spend less time on TV shows and more time on what made them famous in the first place. (Note: A pre-Ozzfest Party will be held at Manifest Discs & Tapes on Saturday at 3pm. Twisted Method and Hotwire are scheduled to perform.) Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (Davis)

WEDNESDAY 8.27

Die Trying -- They just might, die trying that is, although there are plenty of radio-ready rockers on their self-titled debut disc out on Island Records. And they sho 'nuff have the looks, chicks and the guitars to prove it, too. The record is nicely produced with crunchy guitars a plenty, but very run of the mill. Just flick on a modern rock station and you'll hear something similar. Opening for Hoobastank. Tremont Music Hall (Shukla)

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