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THURSDAY 10.2

Blue Dogs -- The rockin' little outfit from Charleston, SC has been tearing up the road with recent gigs throughout the mid-West. One of the hardest working bands from the Carolinas, they're bringing their funky, bluesy rock to the streets of downtown for Center City After Five, which has stretched its schedule to include the month of October. Maybe these dawgs can get some of those bankers to loosen up their collars a little. Wachovia Center Plaza (Farris)

Clem Snide / Califone / Pyramid -- Fronted by one Eef Barzelay, Clem Snide and company write songs featuring titles like "Joan Jett of Arc." From just reading the back of the CD, you may get the feeling that Eef and Co. lean in a sort of smarmy, Scrabble-friendly Stephen Malkmus direction. Well, not really -- the band's got way too many country leanings, and Malkmus would never pen a song so self-consciously titled as that. What they bring is an intelligent strum and a knowing smirk, perhaps similar to someone like the Eels. Maybe they should call themselves the Eefs? / Califone can perhaps best be defined by the word "score," and I don't mean that in the backstage nymphet way -- the band often screens and scores movies made by their friends, recording the results live on tape. They'll still cut loose with a rocker or two, but for the most part it's richly-layered stuff, not quite ambient, and more concerned with crescendo than climax. / Charlotte's own Pyramid -- equal parts wires, wine, and wisteria -- are also on the bill, and, you'll no doubt notice if you stay for the whole show, more than belong on the same stage with the Pitchforkmedia.com darlings referenced above. Visulite Theatre (Davis)

FRIDAY 10.3

Eric Sardinas -- There's just something really cool about the slide guitar and Eric Sardinas has been called the best on the music scene today -: and not by just anyone, try legendary producer Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin). Kramer worked with the guitar whiz on his newest record, Black Pearls, released last month. There's nothing exceptional about his message :- Sardinas mixes standard blues with rock & roll :- but his delivery makes him worth checking out. Double Door Inn (Farris)

Victor Wooten / Kaki King -- Bassist Victor Wooten plays with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones and hits the road with his own outfit, too, mixing funk, jazz and rock. His live recordings prove there are really no studio tricks up his sleeve as the popping bass talks, shouts and soothes in all its natural glory. Wooten's solo material is rather uplifting and casts a bright light into the players' player shadow. His soulful voice is no slacker either. / Kaki King is a new, rather loud blip, on the acoustic guitarist radar. Her debut, Everybody Loves You, is eclectic, conversational and overshadows the fact there's only one guitar going on, not the illusionary dual guitar sound. She has staying power as the tricks in her fingers slap and pick away with off-kilter tunings while the six-strings relent to her prompting. Let's see if she can deliver live. Visulite Theatre (Shukla)

SATURDAY 10.4

The Dagons -- The Dagons have a catchy -- if slightly poorly recorded -- new one out, Teeth For Pearls. The band is one of those male-female duo/band setups that are so popular these days, featuring Karie Jacobson on vocals and guitar and Drew Kowalski on drums. The sound is decidedly different from anything like Jucifer or the White Stripes, however. There's a darkness suggested by Kowalski's low, conservative attack on the kit, and Jacobson's jangly surf-style on the guitar gives it just enough impending doom to have made most any song on this record a perfect fit for a Tarantino movie. Appearing with The Dagons are Charlotte's own The Noise, the stripped-down Bruce Hazel project who bring just that. With The Bullets. Fat City (Davis)

Ian Moore -- Austin's Ian Moore pounced out of Stevie Ray Vaughan's shadow long ago with his own signature on the guitar with solid blues riffing and dabbling in sound psychedelics. No, he's not a poser guitar god, but one who realizes the potency of chords while dressing them in subtle tones and not so soft bends. He's touring in support of his upcoming DVD, Luminaria. Sylvia Theater, York (Shukla)

Rev Horton Heat / Southern Culture On The Skids -- This show will likely sell out quicker than Dep hair gel and dark indigo Levi's to a greaser, but I'll ramble anyway. First of all, both these bands have a niche. Both acts aren't afraid to take out the (white) trash, exalting the virtues of fried chicken, tequila, fast cars, and faster women. It's safe entry back into a simpler time -- or at least some of the more totemic larger-than-life aspects of that time. It's sometimes predictable, but it's done in such a fashion that tribute never becomes trite. Perhaps most importantly, it rocks. Guess I could have lead with that. Visulite Theatre (Davis)

SUNDAY 10.5

Kadri Gopalnath -- The saxophone is pervasive in all styles of popular music, but when was the last time you heard Carnatic (South Indian classical music) performed on the sax? Gopalnath is a long-standing Carnatic music staple and he takes the sax to highs, lows and some elusive layers in between that are usually not heard from the venerable instrument. The melding of musical cultures works in flamboyant and subtle ways as Gopalnath delights in ragas sparring with jazz sentiments. The closest thing coming to this sound is the Indian wind instrument Shehnai. However, that instrument is singular in its delivery, whereas a sax can present a wider palate. Sloan Music Center, Davidson College (Shukla)

Weenie Roast 9 -- It's time again for the annual end of summer rock show from local radio station WEND 106.5 FM. As usual a stack of hard and alterna-rockers are lined up including the more interesting of the batch, Staind, Sevendust and Eve 6. Local bands of note include rockers Elevator Action, Etheric, Status Flow, Ten Missing Days and The New Blacks. Retro-rockers can get down and dirty with Dokken. (Shukla)

Oy. And to think I thought vaguely angst-ridden NuMetal had run its course. No, it's only morphed somewhat, into what some folks like to call "alternative rock." Most of these bands sound so alike at the core that one figures they can probably share their equipment. Ah, but don't let me dissuade you -- after all, you have Trapt and Staind and all sorts of other bands who strategically leave out letters in their band names to sound tough. By Jove, if that's not authenticity, I don't know what is! (Do check out the local boys and girls, though, who do a good job of mixing it up.) Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (Davis)

TUESDAY 10.7

The Motet -- A Latin music jam band that, thankfully, gets the groove right using Cuban, West African, funk, soul and contemporary jazz. It's all about feel good, save the earth lyrical chanting while the percussionist lays on the beats to shake your rump. This Boulder, CO, band could qualify as a rumba-jazz-Latin Rock kinda thing and are bloody fun to listen to, especially when they lay on the cosmic vibe. The Room (Shukla)

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