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WEDNESDAY 5.19
Dig Shovel Dig - This innovative two-piece from Asheville formed in 2002 and has two full lengths out on their own Searchwielder Records. Ted Robinson sings, and plays bass with his hands and synth with his feet; Mark Williams drums and occasionally "yells at the audience," according to the band. With influences ranging from the Talking Heads, Lee "Scratch" Perry and Melt Bannana - well, who the hell knows what could happen. Isn't that reason enough to go? The Room (Schacht)

Rich McCulley -- McCulley's new one, If Faith Doesn't Matter, is a nice slice of melodious power-pop with a roots tinge that sounds like Tom Petty one moment and Big Star's #1 Record the next -- without, you know, being a masterpiece or anything. Still, with McCulley's raspy vocals, hooks aplenty, and some gas-pedal stomping road tunes, it should be worth a look-see live. Late show with Geronimo. The Evening Muse (Schacht)

THURSDAY 5.20
gogoPilot -- Jeff Williams' (ex-Lodestar) latest incarnation is a loose seven-piece ensemble featuring members of Sea of Cortez, the Gold Coast and Pyramid, all of whom provide a melodious racket for songs with a distinctly adult take -- and we're not talking the "adult" your filthy mind is no doubt picturing. These are real-life themes about compromise, regret, memory and eventual redemption that aren't easy to pull off, but Williams manages to do just that. The Lindsey Horne Band, with a debut disc nearly ready, headlines. The Room (Schacht)

La Rua -- This Ecuadorian and Venezuelan mix of musicians has been at the forefront of Charlotte's explosive Latin rock eruption. A five-piece now, they've come a long way from their '02 trio dates at a local Mexican restaurant, and their blend of Latin influences (Soda Stereo, Mana) and Anglo bands (Police, U2) has won over a loyal audience of fans from both camps. Visulite Theatre (Schacht)

Rock Songwriters Night -- These events have failed to draw real well so far, which is a bit of a surprise. Every episode so far has featured some of the crème of the Charlotte songwriting scene, presenting their work in the most nakedly open way possible. Maybe that's the way to get 'em out -- focus on the nakedness! Sex sells! Anyway, these folks all plan on giving the Full Monty tonight: Major Nelson's Henry Pharr, C.R. Edwards, ex- of Lou Ford, Neil Allen (The Virginia Reel) and Brandy Robinson. The Evening Muse (Davis)

Sister Machine Gun -- Chris Randall is essentially Sister Machine Gun, and he learned a few tricks of the industrial-rock-and-dance trade as an employee of Wax Trax records and as a roadie for KMFDM in the early days. A dozen years since their debut, Sister Machine Gun continues to evolve a distinctive sound. They may not be catalysts, but Randall keeps things fresh with a rotating crew of noise mongers and musicians. There's loads of obligatory sampling and overdubs, and the band keeps fans engaged with plenty of remixes and singles in between full-length releases. With Christ Analogue and Manufactura. Tremont Music Hall (Shukla)

FRIDAY 5.21
Delancey Street Band (CD Release) -- The Delancey Street Band's jazz-inflected music slips into world-folk on occasion -- but they can also rock when the mood suits them. The musicianship has the immediacy of a like-minded collective of veterans. The deft and exacting guitar work (Keith Shamel) keeps pace with the smoky female vocals (Melinda Hansen) and tight rhythm section (Rob Knox, drums & Bill Buck, bass), giving this Street a world-jazz feel. The new disc, Against the Night, is their first studio effort. Double Door Inn (Shukla)

Marshall Crenshaw -- "Someday, Someway" is probably Marshall's crowning achievement as far as Pop-ularity goes, and for good reason. It's a song that is decidedly hopeful even in full uniform, the musical equivalent of a wool-clad man dressed in suit and tie whistling as he walks down a staid old company hall. The tune is also intelligent, knowing that behaving any differently is akin to acknowledging our encroaching mortality. And -- perhaps most importantly -- it rocks plenty, with enough Buddy Holly verve to keep the ears ringing along with the 'ol heartstrings. Good stuff. Great Aunt Stella Center (Davis)

Tyre Fyre -- Late last week, I got my grubby paws on Tyre Fyre's debut record, Let it Burn. First of all, cool title. It references Let it Be and Let it Bleed, and additionally shows the band's commitment to the overthrow of the music industry (OK, so perhaps the title doesn't really reflect that sentiment, but you can't blame a guy for trying). People who saw lead burner John Morris in Electro-luxe and Come on Thunderchild will love this stuff: there's some 70s power-chord stompers, a little early-80s Lou Gramm-style "urgency," a sprinkling of the melancholic (a la someone like Ray Davies), and a nod or two to the Golden Age of Alternative.With The Gold Coast. The Steeple Lounge (Davis)

SATURDAY 5.22
Galactic -- This is a two-night stand for the New Orleans-based band, who draw heavily from the blues, soul, and jazz of their native city. Galactic's take on the jam-band template carries a bit more heft -- think a greasy double cheeseburger -- than the tofu sandwiches offered up by some of their musical compatriots. Full of pulsing keyboards and wah-wah guitar, Galactic's sound still has plenty of bottom end, which, last time I checked, is pretty much a prerequisite for anyone attempting said music post-Clinton (George, that is). With Mike Doughty, ex- of Soul Coughing and now the leader of his own band, the snappy "Mike Doughty's Band." Visulite Theatre (Davis)

SUNDAY 5.23
Rocky Votolato -- A talented musician who also fronts Seattle's Waxwing, Votolato is touring behind a strong solo disc from last fall, Suicide Medicine. With vocals reminiscent of a warble-free Connor Oberst and/or Paul Westerberg, Votolato's new one gets a boost from the presence of Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla, Red Stars Theory's Seth Warren and Seldom's Casey Foubert. But it's Votolato's impassioned singing and pleading lyrics that raise this release beyond even his Waxwing material. With Portland's Roy and Wadesboro's up-and-coming youngsters, the Sammies, opening. Neighborhood Theatre (Schacht)

TUESDAY 5.25
Janis Ian -- Ian released her debut way back in 1967 as a 16-year-old -- not yet "At Seventeen." Her latest disc is Billie's Bones, the title song a paean to the legendary singer Billie Holiday. Ian has been banging the proverbial folk drum to the tune of a personal agenda over the decades and has penned many memorable songs. Ian's writing can rise to enlightened wake-up calls or slide into syrupy poetry. She will also do an in-store appearance at Manifest Discs at noon. Great Aunt Stella Center (Shukla)

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