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WEDNESDAY 9.17

SNMNMNM -- For starters: a lead accordion player. A tuba player instead of a bass guitarist. Three-part harmonies. Also, that cliched-ass instrument called the electric guitar. Yet another band proving that it's not the gimmick that makes the band, but the other way around. Sure, it takes some getting used to -- accordion melodies, as polka fans everywhere can attest, are not the rockingest things in the world -- but it works, and well. Both polka and rock are usually done in beer halls anyway, come to think of it. Winding down a regular Wednesday-evening residence at Fat City, and well worth checking out for those looking for something a little out of the ordinary. Fat City (Davis)

FRIDAY 9.19

6 Points Showcase -- Music and art seem to be quite the happy bedfellows these days in the Queen City and the 6 Points Showcase continues the trend as Jason Scavone & The Noises Ten are hosting their first in a series of three -- each featuring three musical acts along with three visual artists. Tonight's showcase will feature the distinctive sounds of Jason and Co. along with Charleston's Michael Flynn and locals Filmschool. Art work from Charlotte artists Erica Shaver, Jason Basden and Mustafa Rashid will be on display. Although there's an emphasis on local artists tonight, look for more varied performers and artists at future showcases scheduled for October and December. Visulite Theatre (Farris)

DJ Vadim -- With or without his ensemble, The Russian Percussion, Vadim can get the asses up and motivated quicker than the KGB on a surprise midnight raid. While he doesn't do that neat dance where you fold your arms and kick from a crouch, he does manage some smooth softshoe and head-bob maneuvers. He's appearing with DJ First Rate, who does more of the over-the-top, bells-and-whistles style scratching and cutting. Vadim's style is more Siberian cool. Don't let that dissuade you, however. After hearing about 10 minutes of his subtle cuts and flips, you'll gladly accept exile there anytime. With DJ First Rate, Blu Rum 13, Dominant 7, The Others, and The Disorientalists. The Room (Davis)

T. S. Monk -- Don't pay much attention to the lineage of the last name as T.S. is a bandleader and percussionist of original caliber in the ever-evolving realm of jazz. His newest recording, Higher Ground, explores hard bop to Latin and contemporary rhythms. The record is loaded with great tracks including the self-explanatory "Cubano Chant," along with the sensuous feel of "Ladera Heights." Expect originals from his own venerable catalogue, as well as rare and long lost gems from his father's compositions -- a Monk-on-Monk exploration. The legendary Thelonius Monk passed on the language of jazz to his son long ago, and T.S. keeps the traditions from fading. Duke Family Performance Hall, Davidson College (Shukla)

Tinsley Ellis -- A modern master of tone, Ellis' considerable six-string voice gains even more experience by the year (month/week/show). Whether picking a rolling shuffle, gospel-tinged house rocker, or some good 'ol Chicago-style blues, Ellis delivers. His most recent release, Hell or High Water (Telarc) is more of the same: a slice of life delivered with a workingman's ethic and an artist's eye. Double Door Inn (Davis)

SATURDAY 9.20Christine Lavin -- Lavin's a pretty darn good guitar player who tells breathless tales in which some are interesting, while others are ultra-lite meanderings (including ones about making breakfast on Sunday mornings). But all are cooked up with a peppy persona. She's more harmless then a feather-wielding baby and delivers light and airy folk strewn with corky blues and Cajun rhythms that are accompanied by a be-bop vocal styling. The tour is in support of her recent disc I Was in Love with a Difficult Man. One can almost imagine a chorus of gals joining in each time the refrain is repeated in the title track, too. With J.C. Honeycutt. Sylvia Theater, York (Shukla)

Jennyanykind -- Chapel Hill's Jennyanykind have a new (sort of -- the album was released on the Internet last year) 15-song record set to come out on Charlotte's own MoRisen Records within a few weeks. Entitled Peas and Collards, it's much in the vein of their previous effort, I Need You, which was something of a lo-fi hypnogospel jazzterpiece. (Eat your heart out, James Joyce!) To the uninitiated, the music of the brothers Holland may take a few minutes to get into. Once that train starts a-rollin', however, you'll want to ride it wherever it takes you. With Marat and Bellglide. Visulite Theatre (Davis)

Plena Libre -- This hip-shaking band plays the music of Puerto Rico they helped to popularize called "Plena." The non-stop carnival feeling rolls on with instrumentals as well as traditional numbers. It's a progressive style mixing salsa and calypso with other Caribbean rhythms. Eddie Palmieri's "Plena Plena Plena," from this year's release Mi Ritmo ought to stir up the ants in the pants. It's infectious and immediately danceable, all on a Saturday night to boot. Spirit Square (Shukla)

SUNDAY 9.21Sloan Wainwright -- Wainwright's folk music has taken on a more moody and ethereal feel with her new release, Cool Morning. She has the voice for subtle shades and the lyrics are littered with old hippie musings and plenty of happy, sunny dilemmas of love and other niceties. The best track on the album by far, however, is the cover of U2's "Where the Streets Have No Name," a great song regardless and one she manages to give even more of an eerie and somber feel to. The record is a good listen although some of the lyrical parade sounds tired. With Cosy Sheridan. The Evening Muse (Shukla)

Trans Am -- Taking new wave and running it through a grinder of guitars, drums and machines, the trio Trans Am are properly penned sound terrorists. There's just no pigeonholing these cats when they pull out all the stops, including lo-fi hip-hop, melodramatic new wave and dance music reminiscent of The Cure, straight up rockers and anything else that's on their minds on any given evening. With a band called The Movies. Tremont Music Hall (Shukla)

MONDAY 9.22

Dillinger Escape Plan -- John Dillinger, Mr. Public Enemy Number One, ultimately died in a hail of G-man bullets, you'll remember. Seeing the Dillinger Escape Plan play live feels like something similar, albeit without all the nasty blood and guts and doublecrossing by the gal in the red dress. Their recent EP with Mike Patton, Irony is a Dead Scene, was one of my absolute favorite records of last year -- a swarming maelstrom of intellect, math rock, and absolutely brutal speed-core. I'm probably nearing the end of my window to enjoy such aural violence, but rest assured I'm going to let my ears go out with a bang. Part of the Take Action Tour with Poison The Well, Further Seems Forever, Eighteen Visions, and Avenged Sevenfold. Tremont Music Hall (Davis)

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