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WEDNESDAY 5.12
Three Bad Jacks / The Tombstone Daddys -- It's a night of rip-roarin' rockabilly when Three Bad Jacks crank up the geetar, drums and stand-up bass. There's the whole front-man getup with leather, hair grease and tight jeans, but there's also old-school rock with a nice contemporary punk kick. Hey, the front man is even named Elvis. The psychobilly version of Motorhead's "Ace of Spades" ought to get the crowd revved, among many other fine tunes. The Tombstone Daddys are Charlotte rockers who always manage to tear up the stage with their own brand of punkabilly and honky tonk. Double Door Inn (Shukla)

THURSDAY 5.13
Between the Buried and Me -- The dissonance-heavy hardcore and metal from this Raleigh-based band covers most of the angst genres. The singer growls and screams while combative guitars and pounding percussion elbow each other for the lead spot. They also can alter the mood with Pink Floyd-like dirges, as showcased on the recent record, The Silent Circus (Victory Records). With Stretch Armstrong and Terror. Tremont Music Hall (Shukla)

The Standard -- Recently re-located to NC (from Portland, OR), this quintet returns after an early March date here. Their latest, Wire Post to Wire, has been compared favorably by more than one evangelizing critic to Kid A and/or The Bends (even the quasi-clueless Rolling Stone got it). You can't really put your finger on it, exactly, but in the progressive (but not remotely prog-rock) use of synth washes, angular guitar riffs and Tim Putnam's sad, elliptical lyrics, somehow the Radiohead connection makes sense -- though Putnam's quavering vocals sound more like Brian Ferry during Eno-era Roxy Music. Wait, there's more: They're even better live. With Elevator Action. The Room (Schacht)

Todd Rundgren -- A Wizard? A True Star? Or neither? Forgotten genius of 70s songcraft, or a hairier Billy Corgan? Whatever your opinion, one of the more lauded (and loathed) figures on the rock landscape returns to Charlotte tonight with his band the Liars. See our story in this issue. Neighborhood Theatre (Davis)

FRIDAY 5.14
Deeper Shade of Soul -- Featuring the cheekily-titled local "all-star" band Nighthawk -- John Morris (Tyre Fyre, Snagglepuss), David "DK" Kim (Les Dirt Clods, Goldenrods), Benji Hughes (McClintock Gs, Goldenrods), Amy Kennemore (Snagglepuss), and others -- tonight's show will hopefully not contain the Urban Dance Squad song it's most likely named after. It will contain the Hawkettes, however, as well as The Hoochie-Coos, DJ Wiiz Kid, The Go-Go Divas, and "celebrity cameos" (their words) by Hope Nicholls, Tara Busch, Bruce Hazel, Nicole Atkins, Emily Hewson and Mookie Brill. The Steeple Lounge (Davis)

Gene Farris -- A farewell bash for the guest DJ and Chicago native, Farris is on his way to Euro residencies (three of 'em) and taking his eclectic mix of electronica -- as much funk and disco as Chicago house -- with him. The club will morph into the "Amsterdam Cafe" for the night in appreciation of Farris' skills. Liquid Lounge (Schacht)

The Hiss -- Our CL cohorts in Atlanta say these boys are hotter than a home audio "truckload sale." And why not? The British music mags have anointed them the Next Big Thing, and they're currently touring with none other than the Electric Six, another virtual jukebox of Capital-R Rawk. Put Zeppelin and Oasis and the Stooges in a blender, and you have The Hiss. Trouble is, a puree of the above would probably taste rather awful, now wouldn't it? Word has it that the band can really rip it up live, however, which is ostensibly the whole reason you're reading this blurb in the first place. A Fir Ju Well and The Talk also appear, the latter celebrating the CD release party for their new one, It's Like Magic In Reverse. The Room (Davis)

Jimmy Thackery & the Drivers -- The legendary bluesman brings his raw sound to the DDI for a two-night stand (Friday and Saturday). A semi-regular by now at the venerable old saloon, Thackery's live shows are marathon-like, the Drivers urging on the guitar wizard with a back-beat varied enough to cover old school blues and bluesy-rockers. Thackery earned his stripes playing with the indomitable Nighthawks for 20 years, and he hasn't slowed down since. Double Door Inn (Schacht)

a perfect circle -- Guitarist James Iha of the defunct Smashing Pumpkins is the most recent addition. Billy Howerdel is the chief writer and music decomposer for these rockers, and Maynard James Keenan, former vocalist for Tool, adds his unique and intense vocal style into the musical cauldron. The melancholy of Tool is present, but the band is more melodic and infuses the strings with a more orchestral feel. Cricket Arena (Shukla)

RB Morris/Ben Mize -- Truly literate songwriters don't come down the pike too often, but Mr. Morris' bona fides speak for themselves. A former poet, playwright and editor of a literary journal, Morris' songs connect with the intellect, but not by neglecting the heart and soul. Ambling between folk and country, with a little rock thrown in for good measure, Morris can be downright mesmerizing live. If you're lucky, he'll toss in a version of his soon-to-be-recorded "That's How Every Empire Falls," which does what all good lit (and too few songs) should: connect our personal with the universal. Ex-Drivin' n' Cryin' leader Kevn Kinney headlines the early show. (Schacht) / Ben Mize, an Athens, GA, native, had a short stint with Cracker and spent the better part of a decade as the drummer for Counting Crows. On his first solo recording, Nantahala, Mize has constructed a record with the streetwise acoustic leanings of Springsteen and the effusive songwriting of Richard Thompson. Many Athens regulars make an appearance on his debut, including David Barbe and Vic Chesnutt. The Evening Muse (Shukla)

SATURDAY 5.15
Califone -- This has all the makings of a memorable one, with Chicago's post-rock/country/folk wizards Califone weaving their unique live spell. They're joined on the bill by two of Charlotte's better live acts, the Houston Brothers and Steady Baker (Pyramid's Joey Stephens and Ben Best). See our story in this issue. The Room (Schacht)

Gigi Dover -- With nary a snow-cloud in sight, Ms. Dover's rescheduled CD release party should come off without a hitch this time around. Her new one -- simply dubbed Gigi -- is a catchy batch of roots-filled rockers and laments from the co-founder of Charlotte's near-legendary Rank Outsiders. The added bonus here is Eric Lovell's versatile guitar (and sitar) laying down the twang, funk and exotica in equal measure. Visulite Theatre (Schacht)

SUNDAY 5.16
Sea Ray -- Taking a day off from a tour with The Stills, Brooklyn's Sea Ray are returning to Charlotte as tonight's headliner. Still touring under 2003's taut-and-twinkling Stars at Noon (Self Starter Foundation), Jordan Warner and company are chamber rock for the masses -- assuming, you know, that the masses liked chamber rock. Or that there was such a thing. Whatever. With The Gold Coast and Mike Mitschele. The Room (Davis)

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