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CL previews upcoming concerts (Jan. 13-19) 

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 13

The Bereznak Brothers Band The twin Bereznaks, David (drums) and Michael (guitar), play odes to the Smithereens and Springsteen with heartland, small-town American rock. There's no flash or glitz, and the N.Y.-based duo writes rockers and ballads that are suitably harmony-loaded and strummed for a full evening of hum-alongs. They perform as a duo as well with a full band. The Evening Muse (Samir Shukla)

THURSDAY, JAN. 14

Chelsea Lynn LaBate The peripatetic folk singer and poet now calls Asheville home, fitting lodgings for her brand of ghostly ballads. Rich with wordplay and lengthy story-songs, LaBate's music drifts past pleasantly on finger-picking drones that owe much to Nick Drake (sans diabolical open tunings). Her warbling vocals may suggest a female Antony, but LaBate doesn't have near the emotional range (few do), though she does seem to be learning to say more with less. Opening for Steve Warwick and the Secondhand Stories. Visulite Theatre (John Schacht)

FRIDAY, JAN. 15

A Vision Grotesque Rearing their hard-core metal heads out of Salisbury for the past half decade, the quintet's throaty roars, rat-a-tat marching drums and steam-rolling guitars are about as good as it gets in the genre, even staying a pace or two ahead of like-minded noisemakers. The lads have been honing their bombast through gigging and recording, now riffing like veterans. An evening of heaviness awaits. With Diavolo and The Phantom Variant. Tremont Music Hall (Shukla)

Self Made Monsters Erstwhile Brain Drain Records recording artists Self Made Monsters are one of Charlotte's longest-running bands, but you'd be excused for not having noticed. Which is a shame: Formed almost literally out of nothing – the band, collectively, did not know how to play a single instrument upon deciding to make beautiful (?) music together – SMM purvey a nice, psych-spiked take on garage punk, and the ensuing jams would sound equally at home on a Nuggets compilation or sandwiched somewhere in the SST back catalog. The Milestone (Timothy C. Davis)

SATURDAY, JAN. 16

CJ Boyd Armed only with four strings (electric or contrabass), a looping station, a gob iron, and occasional vocals that will haunt your sleep, CJ Boyd draws droning, horizon-bending soundscapes that he improvises wistful textures over, under, and through. If it reads minimalist on paper, well, to borrow sports cliché No. 14, that's why they play the games – the effect is anything but. Boyd has a great ear for developing and exploiting subtle tensions, much like some of his stated influences (Edgar Meyer, Arvo Part, Tortoise, Low, Eluvium, among many others). His most recent solo release, Aerial Roots, is a thing of ambient beauty. Opening for the Annuals, with Lonnie Walker and Bo White. Snug Harbor (Schacht)

The Last Band Standing Spectra Records, based out of South Carolina, is putting together a "contest" to find the best band in the Southeast and offer them a record contract and European tour. It kicks off this night and is followed by shows in Atlanta, Jacksonville, Fla., and Richmond, Va. The winner from each round will play in the finale to determine the "last band standing." It's a regional battle of the bands. This one features Echo Code, All Thee Above, Shadow Of Myself, Grown Up Avenger Stuff, Unsung Hero, Kamden, Beyond The Fade, We Shout Goodnight, Hephystus and Brandon Kirkley & The Firecrackers. Neighborhood Theatre (Jeff Hahne)

Jucifer If you like volume – and by volume I mean enough decibels to make your ears ring for a week – then go sell your soul to Jucifer. Equal parts a call to redemption and a call to arms, it's almost embarrassing to watch real-life couple Amber Valentine and Ed Livengood lose themselves in waves of howling feedback and bass drum and acid-blooze mojo. It seems so intimate, you wonder if you should turn away. You then decide against it, because you realize they're not just being exhibitionists for themselves, but for you as well, baring their souls along with everything else they have. Milestone (Davis)

SUNDAY, JAN. 17

Lollipop Factory Rocker duo – David Tweed (guitar) and Bekah Manning (drums) – concocts a raucous racket of rock and punk. Mimicking rock god vocalists (Queen) and guitarists (Sabbath rasslin' with Jack White) with a wide grin and a natural abandon that's more attuned to what a guitar and drums can shake up on a given day, rather than cohesive songcraft. The songs gel, though, with a road show that gathers pop-metal shards. With Kachina and Sweetheart. Snug Harbor (Shukla)

TUESDAY, JAN. 19

Anvil Most people are familiar with the band from the 2008 documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil. The band has been around for a couple of mostly unnoticed decades until a recent resurgence in popularity after the movie. The problem is, they're still playing the same music that caused them to fall off the radar in the first place. Sure, there are metal fans that are digging it, and some people are interested after the movie, but most might assume that the band's chance for a few glory days have come and gone. The Fillmore (Hahne)

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  • On Saturday, Oct. 21, hundreds gathered at Camp North End on Statesville Avenue for Charlotte's first black alternative music festival. We captured some of the bands in action on stage, but mostly we surveyed the grounds as fans, families, vendors and more lounged around the sprawling, colorful Camp North End site. It was a great day of music, food, fun, and sweet, autumn sunshine. (Photos by Mark Kemp)
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