Brian Auger's Oblivion Express
-- The legendary Auger's second installment of the Oblivion Express, and a family affair to some extent, with daughter Savannah on vocals and son Karma on the skins joining Dad on his ubiquitous Hammond organ. Auger's been plying his jazz-inflected trade since the early 60s, having played and recorded with the likes of Jimmy Page, Rod Stewart, Eric Burdon and various fusion heroes over his four-decade career. CD release party. Double Door Inn (Schacht)

Catie Curtis -- What the hell is in the water up there in Boston that they turn out so damn many acoustic folk artists? Curtis comes from a long line of Boston acousticians, but offers up a more clear-eyed, sober vibe than someone like pal Dar Williams. Her newest one's called Dreaming in Romance Languages, and while not as straightforward as 2001's My Shirt Looks Good On You, it's still a good fit for those looking for coffee-rock with a little consciousness-raising stir. Neighborhood Theatre (Davis)

Angie Aparo / Willy Porter
-- Here's a double-bill of potent acoustic-leaning rockers. Aparo wrote Faith Hill's recent hit "Cry" and is a regional mainstay of the genre. Porter is a particularly skilled guitarist and plays the mighty strings in his own expressive manner. Porter favors unassuming slide-blues, folk rockers and ebullient pop. He is also able to lay on the emotions thin and thick without much effort or pretension. Amos' Southend (Shukla)

PSYCLE : The young quartet is well versed in the ABCs of modern rock, with hard/soft guitars and a developing yet solid lyrical style. There's enough melodic layering to keep them from tripping on too many amped guitars. Think Tool or Metallica, though not as hard, and a band feeling their way around the craft of rock and roll. With Sever the Tie. Steeple (Shukla)

Regina Hexaphone -- The 'Hex have a new CD all finished up, The Beautiful World, that ought to please fans of both Piedmont Rock and good old-fashioned country twee. Featuring original members Sara Bell (who also plays in Shark Quest), Chris Clemmons (The Management), Jerry Kee (The Feebles) and Margaret White (North Elementary, Belle and Sebastian, Cat Power, Sparklehorse) plus new keyboard player Nathan Brown (Laramie UK), it ought to be a show worth checking out -- with schedules like theirs, there's no telling when you might see 'em again. The Evening Muse (Davis)

Big Bill Morganfield
-- That last name on Big Bill Morganfield sound familiar? It oughta. He's the son of one McKinley Morganfield, better known as Muddy Frickin' Waters. Along with AJ Croce and Rufus Wainwright, he's one of the few second-generation songwriters who would still be worthy were they not knighted with their lofty surnames. He's influenced by his dad (who the hell isn't?), but he has his own distinct style, especially in his tastefully chorded guitar work -- figure more moan than howl. Double Door Inn (Davis)

Malcolm Holcombe -- An acoustic tornado of blues, folk, and country, all filtered through Holcombe's unique vocal stylings -- part growl, part howl -- and frenetic, half-finger picked, half-strummed guitar playing. The Weaverville native tends to leave the uninitiated staring in disbelief at the stage long after he's packed up and moved on to the next gig -- no, you haven't seen anything like it. Comet Grill (Schacht)

Mons Venera -- On their self-titled website (add a "dot com") Mons Venera say that if you must use words to describe their music, that "experimental, avant-garde, improvisational, space-rock, free-jazz, pseudo-ethnic, modern, classical, soundtrack, progressive, film-score, acoustic, electric, electronic, beautiful, ugly, soft, loud, dissonant, textural, noisy, good, and awful" would all work. I say these guys, talented all, don't play out very often, so if any five of the above sound good to you (all except for the "awful," of course), you've got your band. Smokey Joe's Cafe (Davis)

-- Here's an NYC band with influences that don't overwhelm the material, and hype that's grounded in reality. Longwave's 2003 sophomore effort, The Strangest Things, was an ethereal, dream pop gem produced by Dave Fridmann of The Soft Bulletin (The Flaming Lips) fame -- credentials enough, methinks. The band's dual guitar attack and expansive soundscapes recall Swervedriver, Ride and even My Bloody Valentine to a degree, but you never get that "been there, done that" sense, either. They're touring behind a brand-new EP, Life of the Party, which Fridmann also produced. With the Mersey Sound. The Room (Schacht)

Los Lonely Boys -- Texan Garza Brothers are Los Lonely Boys. Stevie Ray Vaughan is an influence and Santana must be a jogging partner, but let's take the Boys on their own merits. The Mexican-American trio knows how to groove with laid back Latin rock and pop infused with freewheeling roots music, and they aren't too shabby when it comes to playing Texas blues. The self-titled disc was recently reissued by Epic for a national release. With La Rua. Visulite Theatre (Shukla)

Rockabilly BBQ -- Featuring Jem Crossland and the Hypertonics, the Carburetors, the Tremors and 4 On the Floor, this hoedown promises a wild ride for all throughout the night. The influences range from Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash to the Stray Cats, but you'll also hear four unique takes on the fundamentals. Plus, the BBQ sandwiches are free. Puckett's Farm Equipment (Schacht)

J.J. Cale
-- Cale is one of the benchmarks of the songwriting textbook and a guru of American music. He speaks softly but carries the proverbial big stick of influence. "Call Me The Breeze" (covered by Lynyrd Skynyrd), "Cocaine" and "After Midnight," (both made into rock standards by Clapton) are just the tip of the iceberg of Cale's output of songs. His newest recording, To Tulsa & Back, should be out in time for this gig. Spirit Square (Shukla)

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