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WEDNESDAY 12.22

The Federal Bureau of Rock and Roll -- The Federal Bureau of Rock and Roll -- the FBRR to their fans -- were staples in the burgeoning Charlotte rock scene of the 70s and early 80s. Known for their brand of relatively straightforward bluesy originals and for their good taste in classic cover tunes, the Federal Bureau always resisted making the move to the Allman Brothers-like sound so many of their Caucasian compatriots did, in favor of keeping it simple. Call them compassionate conservatives, then (just not to their face). This show is also said to mark the 31st anniversary of the Grand Dame of Charlotte music, the Double Door. Cheers, guys. Double Door Inn (Davis)

THURSDAY 12.23

Fishing For Your Girlfriend -- Chapel Hill-based band's upbeat pop is laced with narrative lyrics egged on with a dash of humor. It's jangly and happy pop-rock treading paths cut by John Mayer and REM. The members gelled a couple years ago while exchanging their light-hearted musical banter, and their debut release, It's a Girl, is a fairly consistent affair. Visulite Theatre (Shukla)

Minority Party -- A tighter-than-Dick-Cheney's-sphincter throwback to the early 80s "oi" sound, this Party is just the thing to attend if you're tired of all the Good Charlottes and New Found Glorys of the world. Equal parts the Exploited and GBH (the awesome Grievous Bodily Harm), their sound might not be the newest thing in the world, but their sincerity could convince you otherwise. With Timeout, Baroness, Sweetheart and Valign. Milestone (Davis)

Scoot -- Scoot, better known in the real world as George Pittman Jr., recently released Up Down Across & Back. The regional singer/songwriter has a mature knack for spinning perky and funky acoustic rock numbers. His bopping voice is an added treat and the long-running local musician deserves bigger accolades. Put that on yer list of resolutions. Riley's, Lake Norman (Shukla)

SATURDAY 12.25

Jolene -- John Crooke and Dave Burris formed Jolene a decade ago, playing roots-rock reminiscent of mid-career REM. Despite label-hopping and resulting ups and downs, band members have persevered with focused writing. Their last release, The Pretty Dive, didn't get much attention, at least stateside, but it stands up to their solid early record Hell's Half Acre. Frontman Crooke has also released a fistful of solo recordings. This is a reunion gig for old fans and, hopefully, new recruits. With Bellglide. The Room (Shukla)

MONDAY 12.27

Clutch -- Neil Fallon and Co. have always been branded something of the thinking man's hard rock band. Which is understandable -- their songs have titles like "I Have the Body of John Wilkes Booth," for crying out loud. However, the band -- thinking men though they may be -- also manages to rocket through time changes like Sputnik, and hide enough Frank Zappa-prescribed medicine in the sugar to make sure you come away from their shows with a little something other than ringing ears. With High on Fire (see our story on High on Fire in this issue). Tremont Music Hall (Davis)

WEDNESDAY 12.29

Derek Trucks Band -- Guitarist Trucks is a fabulous slide guitarist but his nimble fingers can go beyond the confines of slide blues and blues-rock with jazzy overlays and world rhythms. Trucks' work transcends any specific genre, whether he's playing an electric, acoustic, or even a sarod (a guitar-like sister of the sitar). The recently released double-live CD, Live at Georgia Theatre, is an adventurous document reminiscent of work by Trucks' other gig, the Allman Brothers Band. DTB's version of "Freddie's Dead" covers the musical gamut in which Trucks dwells. Visulite Theatre (Shukla)

Secret Lives of the Freemasons -- Asheville's SLOTF make their agenda known with sliced and chopped riffs that bounce around between hardcore and melodic punk. They're a part of the loose-knit local collective called Divisional Media. Also on the bill are the like-minded Sold America and In Remembrance of Me. SK Netcafe (Shukla)

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