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CL presents upcoming concerts (Dec. 16-21) 


Aram Shelton's Fast Citizens The observant will note that the last time through the Fast Citizens flew under tenor saxophonist Keefe Jackson's moniker. Jackson's still on board, but his ceding of the marquee to alto sax man Shelton points directly to the Fast Citizens' collective aesthetic. And that, in turn, infuses the music of this talented Chicago-based sextet – and their fantastic, Shelton-penned Two Cities – with the give-and-take essential to any jazz ensemble worth a damn. Toss in Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello, Josh Berman on cornet, and a rhythm machine of Frank Rosaly (drums) and Anton Hatwich (bass), and this is like a touring All-Star team with a different compositional ace on the mound each record. A must for jazz and free music fans. With CJ Boyd and Great Architect. At 201212 (1212 10th St.) (John Schacht)


Kris Allen With the release of his new self--titled album, the season eight American Idol winner, not to be confused with crotch-thrusting runner-up Adam Lambert, is coming to perform for Charlotte. While Allen is best known for his folk-inspired representations of modern pop songs, he is classified as a pop/rock performer. On Idol, Allen sang "She Works Hard for the Money," "What's Goin' On" and "We Are the Champions," to name a few, and if that doesn't prove his versatility, maybe his skill of playing several instruments such as guitar, keyboard and piano might do the trick. All in all, expect an exceptional performance. Amos' Southend (Nicole Pietrantonio)


Through Porchlight Here's a promising combo that's got just the right tones and hues for a moody pop evening. The songs are tightly written with a jazzy, cinematic guitar backdrop. The Charlotte quartet's recent album Don't Wake Up. I Have To has a hazy, twilight feel with fine Euro-pop vocals and strumming throughout. Think date night music. With The Lo and Beholds, Death Becomes Even the Maiden, Junior Astronomers. Tremont Music Hall (Samir Shukla)

Josh Phillips Folk Festival Phillips, the guitarist, singer and percussionist for Asheville funk combo Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band, recently left that party band and embarked on to the rootsy project Josh Phillips Folk Festival. JPFF melds reggae, New Orleans jazz, folk, and roots rock that ranges from sparse folk to, quite often, danceable global fusion. With Laura Reed. Neighborhood Theatre (Shukla)

Appalucia First of all, you have to love a band whose bio begins in the early 1800s in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. In the interest of time, I'll skip ahead a couple hundred years, and tell you that Appalucia, a duo comprised of the Milestone-friendly Andy "The Door Bum" Fenstermaker and Cory Zeigler, play (roughly, sometimes very roughly) the same hootin' music said to be played in the holler at the time, namely white-lightnin' spiked country blues twisted with the Holy Spirit and a dash of the devil. Songs can go from pretty to pretty fucked-up (lyrically speaking) at the drop of a bowler hat, which, it might be said, constitutes a pretty fair representation of what mountain life was like (way) back in the day. Plus, the boys' beards are consistent with the times, which always adds authenticity points. With South Side Punx, 25 Minutes To Go, Summer Night Shade. Milestone (Timothy C. Davis)


The Spalding Grays After this newly minted trio's opening slot at a recent Shuffle blowout, a couple of impressions emerged: 1) Great frickin' band name (for amplification, see the late author/raconteur's one-man stage play/film Swimming to Cambodia), and, 2) the Strokes-meets-Franz Ferdinand-flavored tunes were suitably linear yet relaxed enough to rock, but could have done with some additional instrumentation. Initially, the locals – former members of The Sammies and Atlanta's The Booze – had another guitarist, but the mesh was shit. Now they've allegedly added a keyboardist, which seems like it's just what those songs called for. With the Houston Brothers (shooting a video @ 4 p.m.!) and Secondhand Stories. Milestone (Schacht)

Angela Faye Martin Where do you go musically after your neighbor – in Martin's case, that would be Sparklehorse's Mark Linkous – produces, engineers and plays all over your debut, sprinkling his beautifully fucked-up pixie dust on nearly every track? Martin will have to answer that question down the line, but for now she and her band tour behind the gothic folk narratives of Pictures From Home and recreate those compelling textures without Linkous, who remains sequestered in his Great Smoky Mountains redoubt. With Eric Scott Guthrie and Matt Urmy. The Evening Muse (Schacht)


Find Your Muse Every once in a while, we like to remind people about this regular open mic night that goes on every Monday. Aside from having a featured band that plays a 30-minute set, you also never know who's gonna show up and hit the stage – Ben Henry, Jimmy Brown, Jeremy Current and countless others often throw their names in the hat to play two songs each. It's a low cover ($3) and not much else happens on a Monday night. The Evening Muse (Jeff Hahne)

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