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CL previews upcoming concerts (Jan. 6-9) 

THURSDAY, JAN. 6

AGENT ORANGE Agent Orange is still infectious, if not to their late-'70s, early-'80s level. Singer Mike Palm is the lone remaining (original) member of the Southern California troupe, but his energy and enthusiasm haven't waned in the wake of the Green Days of the world. You won't catch him writing any rock operas, for better or for worse, his tastes still running toward the loud-hard-fast two-and-a-half minute singles that defined the ethos of his era. $10-$13. Tremont Music Hall. www.tremontmusichall.com. (Timothy C. Davis)

OFF THE RECORD Chalk this one up to shameless self-promotion — I'm starting a new monthly series at The Evening Muse that will combine onstage interviews with acoustic performances. The idea behind this is to give music fans a glimpse into the songwriting process and the people who create music. January will feature Holy Ghost Tent Revival and E-S Guthrie. $5. 8 p.m. The Evening Muse. www.theeveningmuse.com. (Jeff Hahne)

FRIDAY, JAN. 7

SINISTER MOUSTACHE Influenced by prog-rock and improvisational sound twirlers like Zappa, the Sinister Moustache writes songs that seem to change genres every few minutes — metal, rock, a bit of blues — and they take time to build up the vibe at a leisurely pace. The mostly instrumental outfit from Savannah, Ga., creates film score-like music. With Malamute and The Coming Dawn. $6-$8. Milestone. www.themilestoneclub.com. (Samir Shukla)

SILVER Silver is a moody-rock trio from Raleigh channeling Muse, Radiohead and Coldplay with guitars that are effusive, yet touched with delay pedals and slow-burning effects, all held together with cohesive songcraft. It's where the guitars fill the whole screen, you know, with multi-color six strings and the rhythm keeps pace creating a twilight aura. With Illicitizen and Jack the Radio. $5. Visulite Theatre. visulite.com. (Shukla)

MARK CHESNUTT Almost 20 years ago, Mark Chesnutt was a comer on the country music scene. He'd twice gone platinum, and his first nine singles made the Top 10. Signed to Music Row juggernaut MCA Nashville, Chesnutt was posited as something of the middle ground between Garth Brooks and George Strait — someone who could nu-croon with the best of them, yet keep one foot solidly anchored in the firmament of tradition. Since then, he's continued to make music, even as labels and ever-fickle fans don't always know when he's got new product out. Why? Well, Chesnutt never was one to just release "product," even in country music's early '90s version of the tech-com stock days. Incidentally, Chesnutt has covered Don Gibson, the man whose name is part of the marquee, before: see "Woman (Sensuous Woman)," his '93 take on Gibson's 1972 hit. $34. Don Gibson Theatre (Shelby). www.dgshelby.com. (Davis)

ACTUAL PROOF Charlotte's Actual Proof is ready to get things funky this weekend. Their free show will not only be recorded for a live CD, but the set will also feature visuals incorporating footage of some UNCC dance students and live visuals by Mike Wirth Art, a Queens University professor of graphic design. Also performing are Raleigh's Funkuponya and Greensboro's Big Something. Free. 9 p.m. Neighborhood Theatre. www.neighborhoodtheatre.com. (Hahne)

SATURDAY, JAN. 8

STEREOGRAM This North Carolina hip-hop collective is the product of decades of combined experience by its MC in other groups. The Mad Rabbi of Pens & Needles, Staj Prezence and DJ Trizzack of Social Memory Complex, Treason of MindsOne and Phorensics of Heavy Contac joined forces to create their version of a North Carolina Supergroup. MC Catacylsm of Quantum Foundry and The Kharma Kids are also on the bill. $7-$9. The Milestone. www.themilestoneclub.com. (Mike McCray)

SUNDAY, JAN. 9

WALRI This Rochester, N.Y., combo is all over the musical map. A good dose of '60s retro pop with swaying keyboards included, jazzy forays, Bossa Nova, and downright quirky writing makes for an engaging listen. Although, they can sound like a totally different band from one song to another, and that can be a bit distracting, depending on your perspective. Also on the bill are Modern Man and Balloon Animal Farm. $5. Snug Harbor. www.snugrock.com. (Shukla)

ZEBU Ever listen to a record and think to yourself, it sounds like every member of this band had their own agenda? Zebu can have that effect. The trick is that's what they meant to do. From tracks that can't even be called organized chaos to mellow grooves that let you know they actually practice, this Amhearst, Mass., band presents intriguing live show possibilities. Charlotte's Such Mad Hope are also on the bill. $5-$7. The Milestone. www.themilestoneclub.com. (McCray)

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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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