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WEDNESDAY 6.29

Stacey Earle & Mark Stuart - The betrothed pair is touring behind Stacey's shiny new disc, S&M Community Bread, the title and cover of which may elicit a chuckle or smirk until you hear the contents, which paint a much darker picture. Earle sounds as graceful as ever, despite the often heavy content, and the harmonies still make it sound like Earle and Stuart were, well, made for each other. (Ha! Made it all the way through without mentioning Stacey's brother, Steve - doh!) With Clare Burson & Peter Adams. The Evening Muse (Schacht)

FRIDAY 7.1

The Close - The Atlanta quintet's crisp, artful pop has the type of textural shimmer and sway you'd associate with acts such as Built To Spill or Modest Mouse. The guitars contribute a prickly jangle that's often as jagged as it is melodic, while organ seeps into the gaps, blanketing the music in a soft drone. Keyboardist Theresa Marie Fedor's backing vocals add an ethereal quality to the swirling churn. The Room (Parker)

Josh Wink - Philly native Wink came out of the box with a boom, producing four huge European dance hits with his first releases back in 1995. This catapulted him into the buzz bin, and he released four albums in the next four years, though it took another four years to follow-up 1999's Profound Sounds. An adventurous and dynamic producer, Wink's worked with a variety of artists and genres, and fashions rich, deeply textured sets. Sky (Parker)

The Waybacks - The San Francisco-based trio plays what some critics like to label "unconventional" folk-slash-bluegrass, meaning the kitchen sink you're missing can be found here. Elements of country, jazz, Celtic, swing, et al cameo at any moment, as does the occasional stab at kitsch-propelled irony. Your tolerance for such diversity will undoubtedly determine whether you're impressed or bored to tears, though there's no denying the band's chops. With Steve "Big Daddy" McMurry. Visulite Theatre (Schacht)

SATURDAY 7.2

A Flock of Seagulls - This synth-happy Liverpool band scored a huge hit in 1982 that MTV propelled via video (what the fuck is that thing on his head?) to even more fantastic heights. "I Ran (So Far Away)" was a massive dancefloor fave (maybe it's the seagull?) that has helped make Mike Score (hairdresser on fire?) and his cohorts New Wave icons forever (they have to keep touring to pay for the hair products). Though the band never recaptured the magic of "I Ran," and Score has had to change personnel on several occasions (one guy bled to death when the hair grazed him on stage), a loyal following stands behind (it's the safest place) A Flock of Seagulls. With Rufio and Thieves Like Us. Tremont Music Hall (Schacht)

The Soundtrack of Our Lives - Sweden's TSOOL formed from the ashes of Union Carbide Productions, whose brutal riff attack (spiced with spates of free-jazz skronk) on its 1987 debut, In The Air Tonight, is the closest anyone has come to nicking the thunder of the first two Stooges albums. When the band imploded in 1995, three members formed TSOOL, melding free-spirited, Love-inspired psychedelica with the power-chord rumble of pre-Tommy Who. A great band that's smart, majestic and above all, rocking! Amos' Southend (Parker)

Watermelon Slim - After a recent heart attack and the ensuing psychological bout with mortality, Watermelon Slim decided to hit the road in pursuit of a full time blues career. He's no Johnny-come-lately, as his recorded output goes back to a protest album in the prime of Vietnam. A former truck driver who hauled industrial waste, Slim (aka Bill Homans) is a road-seasoned blues singer/songwriter. His sublime handywork on a National Steel guitar on Up Close & Personal snagged a W.C. Handy Award nomination this year. His music will haunt your dreams long after the last note is plucked. Double Door Inn (Shukla)

WEDNESDAY 7.6

The Atomic Bitchwax - Don't peg them simply as part of the Stoner rock movement. Part Monster Magnet, part Nebula, the Atomic Bitchwax is mostly about massive guitar riffs and power rock. In fact, Monster Magnet guitarist Ed Mundell founded the band in 1999 but has since departed. The band hasn't lost the furious interplay of bluesy, groove-laden rock. With Caldera. Milestone (Shukla)

Say Anything - Max Bemis feels the weight of history. On his debut album of last year, the 20-year-old singer/guitarist took on the music industry, from predatory labels to trend-setting scenesters, enveloping his songs in a catchy, power-pop/punk-pop thunder. With clever, tough-minded lyrics and well-written music, Say Anything is an act to watch. Tremont Music Hall (Parker)

Tim Easton - The sober man's Richard Buckner, this singer/songwriter has written some of the prettiest songs in the sad-sack oeuvre, though some might argue that a few more rough edges wouldn't hurt. Easton's a perennial favorite with many critics, and the presence on his records of heavy hitters like Mike Campbell (Tom Petty) and Jim Keltner (Dylan, Clapton, etc., etc.), among others, tells you more about his talent than a barrel-full of pundits. Easton's been recording the follow-up to his well-received 2003 album Break Your Mother's Heart (2004's Special 20 was a reissue) with the Jayhawks' Gary Louris, which seems, on paper anyway, a perfect fit. The Evening Muse (Schacht)

Wink Keziah CD Release - Local singer/songwriter Wink Keziah plays country-rock distilled in the South. With lyrics like, "some call it a honky tonk, I call it a home," you can guess where the songs usually wind up. This is the CD release gig for his solid new recording Delux Motel. A slew of local music staples, including Beth Chorneau, Robin Rogers and Jim Brock, will join Keziah. Visulite Theatre (Shukla)

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