The Big Wu -- This Minnesota troupe's marathon-length shows are a guaranteed draw among the converted. Those unfamiliar with The Big Wu can expect a funky-acoustic groove that shuffles like jazz but rocks out as well, all honed with multiple instruments and vocalists. A jam band rooted in interplay among the musicians; then again it wouldn't be a "jam band" otherwise. With The Chris McCarty Band. Amos' Southend (Shukla)

Fear Factory / Lamb of God -- Fear Factory has been pounding eardrums for a decade-and-a-half with their cyber-metal. There's a definite industrial twist, but the crew blasts off into many metal territories, including death metal and hardcore. Apparently they're back after a breakup and, yes, rapid-fire guitar chops are still there in the latest recording Archetype. Lean and mean Grindcore and thrash conspirators Lamb of God are co-headlining while pumping their major-label debut Ashes of the Wake. Also on the bill are Children of Bodom and Throwdown. Tremont Music Hall (Shukla)

The Nein -- Nein is "no" in German, but, "yes, go see them," in English. Armed with the angular firepower of bands like Slint and The Fire Show, this Durham, NC, quartet doesn't fuck around. With Sunset Cemetery. See our story in this issue. The Room (Schacht)

Christine Kane -- The Asheville, NC, singer/songwriter, oft-compared to Rosanne Cash and Mary-Chapin Carpenter, is celebrating the release of her new album, Right Outta Nowhere). See our story in this issue. The Evening Muse (Davis)

Country and Western Bill -- Comprised of "Country Bill" Walpole (best known to Charlotte music fans as slide guitarist for the Federal Bureau of Rock and Roll) and "Western Bill" Noonan (founding member and lead guitarist for the Rank Outsiders), C&WB are a guitar and pedal steel duo that pretty much do what the name implies: mix country twangers and Western-style swing, all tied up with a loopy sense of humor and storytelling that works more often than not. Double Door Inn (Davis)

David Kilgour -- Kilgour's new CD, Frozen Orange is a low-key, subdued, ethereal affair -- kind of Nick Drake meets the Connells -- which while a pleasant listen, in actual practice becomes merely an agreeable yawner. Still, as an acolyte of the Velvet Underground and influence on headliners Yo La Tengo, Kilgour's live performance, with his well-known tantalizing guitar leads, should at least have elements of charisma and warmth. Opening for Yo La Tengo -- see our story in this issue. Visulite Theatre (Lew)

Four Bitchin' Babes -- Actually that would be more like four talented, middle-aged mothers making music in between day jobs and raising kids. Current line-up includes Suzzy Roche (of the Roches), Sally Fingerett, Camille West and Debi Smith. These women write from the heart and are more akin to friends singing and picking on the front porch than strutting on the stage in booty-enhancing duds. It's a nice blend of country and folk often accompanied with hilarious lyrics, including one song about a truckload of Viagra crashing into a town's water supply. With Volatile Baby. Neighborhood Theatre (Shukla)

Mock Turtle Soup -- This performance is a part of Charlotte Folk Society's monthly gathering. MTS are a trio from Asheville playing fiddle, banjo, and mandolin, but they also mix in an array of musical instrumentation. They cover folk standards, juke joint dance numbers and many other genres of good old Red, White and Blue music as well as some Celtic shades. They are not averse to electrifying their instruments, either, and usually end up with perky results to boot. The Gathering is free, donations accepted. Details: Bryant Music Bldg, CPCC (Shukla)

Bruce Hornsby -- I interviewed Hornsby last time he was in town, and was surprised to learn two things. One, that he cusses like a sailor on leave. Actually, check that. He cusses like a sailor on leave who also is a fan of Deadwood and just happens to have his hands on a gas burner. Second, that Mr. "That's Just the Way It Is" has totally bought into the whole jam/improv thing, no doubt due to his short stint with the Grateful Dead. Worth hearing, for sure -- his piano chops are still to be reckoned with -- but be prepared for the unexpected medley/fade/extended solo thing. And some cussing, if you're lucky. Ovens Auditorium (Davis)

Cast Iron Filter CD Release -- This is where mandolin and banjo lead the musical parade while a hefty-voiced singer (check Darius Rucker from Hootie and the Blowfish) lays down the proverbial accents. The band's latest release Falls of Rough straddles acoustic pop and bluegrass-influenced rock with writing and playing that infuses Latin and other global layers, and it all takes Cast Iron Filter's "iron-grass" further into fusion. Visulite Theatre (Shukla)

Peter Salett -- New Yorker Salett's core sound -- acoustic guitar, jangly electronic accents, pedal steel, brushed drumming -- is a perfect accent for his vocal delivery, which, depending on your take, is either A) wonderfully emotive and breathy, or B) kind of fey and forced. After a While, his latest, is a decent enough listen, containing a handful of songs worthy of a good (CD-R) burn. The rest of the album, however, doesn't necessarily equal the media hype that's been thrown his way, being something of the musical equivalent of a postcard of a scenic vista and not the thing itself. The Evening Muse (Davis)

The Whigs/The Murdocks/The Sammies -- Top-notch triple bill of some real "The" bands here, featuring our very own Sammies, now at work on a new record; Athens' The Whigs, a psych-pop trio named one of the "21 Southeastern Bands to Watch" by this very newspaper chain; and The Murdocks, who are still getting on B.A. Baracus' nerves with their brand of straight-ahead glam/slam/punk-tinged rock. The Steeple Lounge (Davis)

SUNDAY 10.10
Cake -- The band's distinctive sound -- resonant surf guitar, lonely trumpet wails, and exceedingly droll (some would say dry) vocals -- have served them well over the years, usually either converting fans quickly or turning them off altogether (remember that "Going the Distance" song? Fascinating the first time you hear it, annoying as Howard Cosell on a bender upon subsequent listens). They're a little less overtly "ironic" than they used to be -- i.e., more "serious" -- and the change isn't such a good thing for a band that treaded rather lightly on artistic merit in the first place. Ovens Auditorium (Davis)

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