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CL previews upcoming concerts (Jan. 7-12) 

THURSDAY, JAN. 7

Blastoids Murfreesboro, Tenn., if you haven't had cause to visit, is to Nashville sort of like Concord is to Charlotte, without the benefit of Lowe's Motor Speedway or the Avett Brothers. But the 'Boro does have a sneaky good, diverse little music scene, thanks to not much going on there/plenty of venues to play in the Music City. Included here are experimental/freakfunk/noise rockers Blastoids. How weird? Well, they've got a record called Ten David Bowies and Your Mother is Terry Bradshaw, for one. Folks who saw them at the Yauhaus back in early July know the drill(ing you're going to get). With Minority Party, Anisette, Divets. The Milestone (Timothy C. Davis)

FRIDAY, JAN. 8

The Moderate Deftly-written songs lyrically leaning on storytelling, the D.C.-based quartet, with North Carolina roots, seems to have a natural knack for spinning yarns that span rock's storied decades. The guitars point to indie rockers such as Built to Spill while tossing in bits of countryfied rock. The combo is working their cogent debut The Rest is Up to You, released this past fall. With openers Mama's Love. Double Door Inn (Samir Shukla)

The Mangles Nothing like a trio racking up punk influences from The Ramones to Johnny Thunders and cuttin' loose while drenched with a few mugs of brewskies. The N.C. band's tracks range from punk-fed bar chords to riffs that channel rock guitarists of yore. The basic elements of rock – guitars, bass and drums – where all three croon as needed promise a bouncy set of punk and garage rock. Warming up for Lamb Handler. Snug Harbor (Shukla)

SATURDAY, JAN. 9

Super Ape Right in line with the crazed spirit of their project's inspiration (dub shaman Lee "Scratch" Perry ), this local quintet of producers and members of Bullship and Dirty Drummer call themselves the "official imperial military band of the Planet Badass." Perry's Upsetters projects may be Super Ape's sonic starting point, but elements of jazz, Krautrock and wide-screen Morricone waft like ganja-smoke through the self-titled, debut 7-inch the band will be hawking this night. They're also encouraging attendees to don a wig for this bacchanalia, or, better still, an ape suit. The latter play for free, and may wind up part of the show – something to tell the kids one day, no doubt. With DJs George Brazil, Scott Weaver and Jah Sun Rising. Visulite Theatre (John Schacht)

Publicist Sebastian Thomson, who's on the drum-o-tronics here, you probably know from the most awesome Trans Am. On record and often live, he's sometimes joined by former Nation of Ulysses/The Make-Up main man Ian Svenonius (who was in Weird War with Thomson), but as of press time we're unaware of whether the latter is on this particular tour jaunt. Thomson often sets up and takes off (on) his kit in the middle of the floor, the better to get the clinched-arms-and-PBRs crowd up off their ass and dancing. It's all about the beat here, but if you're expecting 4/4 the whole time, go back and listen to Thomson's body of work, and bring a calculator. Or a calculator watch, which would be cooler. With Moenda. The Milestone (Davis)

Perry Fowler/Erika Blatnik Call them two of Charlotte's acoustic powerhouses. Fowler's a fine songwriter who straps a tambourine to his foot ­– if it's moving anyway, might as well get some sound out of it, right? Blatnik spends most of her time these days performing with the indie rock The Lights, Fluorescent, but still gets to spread her proverbial songwriting wings on the acoustic when she gets the chance. Nice to have 'em both at the same place, with Elonzo along, as well. Common Market (Jeff Hahne)

SUNDAY, JAN. 10

Adam Franklin & Bolts of Melody Given the distance between Franklin's most recent solo effort – '09's Spent Bullets – and his early '90s Swervedriver heyday, it would seem practically pointless comparing the two. But listen closely, and it gets less absurd. Granted, the guitars rarely red-line anymore, and the pace tilts chill rather than "Last Train to Satansville" urgent. But Franklin's laid-back vocals were underrated in the Swervedriver equation and still sound the epitome of "cool," and the guitar lines weave in and out of each other now with the same inspired intricacy – albeit more gently and quietly. But if his 2005 gig here was any yardstick, he can still seek – and find – heat on stage. With Radio Taiwan and Super Ape. The Milestone (Schacht)

MONDAY, JAN. 11

RJD2 A pastiche of electronica, pop, and hip-hop, RJD2's newest disc, The Colossus, hits the streets later this month. Ramble John "RJ" Krohn is a DJ, producer, crooner and an all-around musician whose muse ranges from tracks that are bloody enlightened to occasionally downright cut-and-paste dull and he seems to have his fingers and signature on every instrument, sample, bleep and blurp. When his collage hiptronica is on, though, it's downright on. Visulite Theatre (Shukla)

TUESDAY, JAN. 12

Zappa Plays Zappa The son of Frank, Dweezil Zappa has been doing his father proud in recent years, going on tour with the ZPZ outfit to bring his father's music to the masses. Sure, it could be considered a cover band, but Dweezil's playing this stuff note for note – and that ain't easy. He basically had to re-teach himself how to play guitar in order to get it done. And if it's gonna be done, you've got to do it right. Neighborhood Theatre (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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