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THURSDAY 8.5
Snatches Of Pink -- After a seven-year hiatus of the Snatches namesake -- band members recorded and toured under the moniker Clarissa, as well as a few other side projects -- the Pink are back with a new ripper, Hyena (MoRisen), a release that showcases the sinewy post-punk that bandleader Michael Rank always did so effortlessly. The current incarnation of the band also includes Marc E. Smith on guitar, Kevin Clark on bass and John Howie, Jr. (best known as the guy with the ten-gallon hat and water-tower-deep voice in Two Dollar Pistols) on drums. With Universal Joint and Elevator Action, two of the only bands around that can keep up. The Room (Davis)

Southern Rock All-Stars -- Featuring the combined efforts of Jay Johnson (The Rossington Band and Radio Tokyo), Jimmy Farrar (Molly Hatchet circa Beatin' The Odds and Take No Prisoners), Jakson Spires (Blackfoot), Scott Mabrey (Tank N Steele) and Charles Hart (Cruize Control), the Southern Rock All-Stars might better be described as the Double-A, Minor League Southern Rock Stars. It's said that they put on a relatively decent, flags afurl/guns-ablazin' bar band show, however, featuring plenty of covers from their previous bands as well as a few Ted Nugent and Mountain songs for good measure (or bad measure, depending on how you look at it). And no, I don't know who Tank N Steele are, either. The Money, Rock Hill (Davis)

FRIDAY 8.6
Between the Buried and Me -- Now signed to Victory Records, the boys in Between the Buried and Me pretty much all call North Carolina home, even as their touring schedule now has them canvassing the country. Last time I saw the guys live, the crowd went ape for their operatic emo-core, screaming along throughout the entire set. And why not? Every song has more fake climaxes than a month's worth of pornos. Those a bit older might find it a bit taxing after a while, but if it's sheer release you're after -- staged or otherwise -- they're well worth checking out. With Beloved, Glass Casket, and Code 7. Tremont Music Hall (Davis)

The Californias -- They actually hail from Atlanta, Georgias, and though there's a touch of Beach Boys in the mix this is more Weezer meets The Cars south of the Mason-Dixon line circa, say, 1969. The five-piece is all about the pop, in other words, though their sound wanders enough from song to song that it's hard to pin down exactly where the pop is coming from or headed toward. Stage presence is purportedly a big part of the program, and the dress code is strictly enforced: Black suits and Chuck Taylors only, please. With New August. The Evening Muse (Schacht)

Mountain / Spongetones -- Yeah, Mountain's biggest hit was the air-guitar hard-rock classic "Mississippi Queen," released over three decades ago. But don't relegate Leslie West and Corky Laing to the backburners of retro rockers, as the duo resurfaced in 2002 with a record that was as potent as anything they've done in their on/off career. It's all about blues-infused hard rock, the kind of music that can still sound eerily fresh. Go ahead and smirk, if you must, but these geezers will likely get even young punks grinning ear to ear, with said eardrums sufficiently rattling. (Shukla) / The name Spongetones sums up this band pretty well, methinks. All the members are self-proclaimed sponges for the golden era of pop songwriting and manage to blend these lessons into their own music with laudable results. The "tone" part is obvious to anyone who's seen them: Guitars function more like paintbrushes, changing the mood or the drive of a piece with a simple flourish. One imagines that playing with each other for the last 20 years (musically, silly) doesn't hurt. Amos' Southend (Davis)

The Radiators -- This New Orleans band is renowned for their marathon live shows. They're on the road celebrating a quarter century of music following the release of a double live record called Earth Vs. The Radiators: The First 25 Years. Countless jam bands have taken cues from these veterans of R&B infused groove-rock. Neighborhood Theatre (Shukla)

Robin Rogers CD Release -- Rogers has been a blues staple in our neck of the woods for quite a spell and her pipes can give even Bonnie Raitt a run for her money. She can also blow a mean harp and, along with husband/guitarist Tony Rogers, performs as a duo or with full band. Regional music stalwart Jim Brock produced and played drums on her solid new effort, Crazy Cryin' Blues. Whether singing the classic "Hesitation Blues," gospel-blues tunes or innuendo-laced hot blues, Rogers is consistently effective. Double Door Inn (Shukla)

Toby Keith -- Oh, yeah, Jingoism on stage. Big Hat (No Cattle) Country. "The Angry American" with his boot up the world's ass. Damn, I feel like invading something just talking about it - "just talk" being the operative phrase here. Shouldn't Homeland Security begin with getting these loudmouth-gas-guzzling-stay-at-homers to shut the hell up? Or maybe the Tobster could just pull a Pat Tillman and put his money where his mouth is. Either way country music comes out the winner. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (Schacht)

Baleen - The ambitious local five-piece celebrate their upcoming new release, Sedate Everyone So You Can Get Away With Everything, by giving away copies to everyone in attendanc - not your typical CD Release Party since the record won't hit stores until some time later this Fall. A sprawling mix of songs -- some with a distinct Radiohead Kid A vibe, others with an older prog-rock feel -- let's just say Sedate... has been worth the wait. The Steeple. (Schacht)

SATURDAY 8.7
El Pus -- There are plenty of rockers out there that add hip-hop to their oeuvre. El Pus takes the reverse route. The hip-hoppers from Atlanta took on guitars, drums and bass to add a band element. It's a crossover of punk, alterna-rock and rap, but make no mistake, they can be funky as hell, as on the track "Yo' Thang" from the new EP What is El Pus?. The band was brought into the limelight by another Atlantan, Speech, of Arrested Development, and the EP brightens that light to the possibilities of their evolving musical concoction. With Permanent Midnight. Tremont Music Hall (Shukla)

No Way Jose -- This SoCal trio has been turning heads -- occasionally exploding them -- with a punishing-yet-melodic brand of Tex-Mex punk-pop. Made up of three Hispanic hombres, NWJ cut their teeth in the highly competitive punk world of the soul-sucking suburbs of LA and Orange County. Though they perform mostly in English, they do occasionally drop a Spanish-speaking number ("Mana" is a band favorite) on their audience. With Solid Gold Wreckers, IYF Pork, Blinded By Underpants and more. Queen City Underground (Schacht)

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