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CL previews upcoming concerts (June 24-30) 


The Black Hollies Not all that far removed from a Brian Jonestown Massacre (all except for the ego-trip, drug bit shit), The Black Hollies sound like you might expect, even though the band members might not necessarily look the part. Heavy doses of '60s-style soul and pop bubble and squeak with feedback, and, at least on its last disc, Casting Shadows, the requisite Eastern drone makes an appearance via sitar and ragini. They don't sound like the Hollies, mind you, but rather like some highly-skilled hobbyists hopped up on pills and poppy (internal rhyme not intended). However, if you like your blue-eyed soul served up saucy, The Black Hollies ought to suitably buff your Beatle boots. With Violet Vector and the Lovely Lovelies, Transmission Fields. Tremont Music Hall (Timothy C. Davis)


Stump Dickens "Formed on the assumption that Herbie Hancock, not John Hancock, signed the Declaration of Independence," C-towners Stump Dickens will probably not make sense to those Bible-belters still stumped by (Charles) Dickens. Talk about evolution: a mix of Anticon/Def Jukie thesaurus rap combined with a live backing band just as likely to kick out a banjo riff as a big bass bumper, Stump Dicky's backpack-'n'-a-sack wraps should be on more shoulders than Jansport right about now. Well worth your time, and one of the best "new" bands around, whatever the genre. Rumored to be one of their last shows! With Inflowential. The Evening Muse (Davis)

Marah The brothers Bielanko have seen their star rise and fall with some regularity over the past decade. Their ramshackle debut, Let's Cut the Crap and Hook-Up Later On Tonight, was a gem lost in the alt-country miasma of the late-'90s; 2000's Kids in Philly was acclaimed as a worthy heir to mid-'70s Springsteen but under-performed at the register. So Marah dumped The Boss-meets-Mummers Parade-banjo thing and hired Oasis' producer, releasing the bloated Float Away with the Friday Night Gods, which nobody liked. The Bielankos returned to rootsier sounds and critical kudos after that, but suffered band implosion in early 2008. So with a new cast in tow (minus Serge Bielanko, a first-time papa, for the time being) and a record on the way, Marah soldiers on. With Boone wildmen the Naked Gods and locals Foxchase. Milestone (John Schacht)

Polvo Isn't it weird talking about Polvo in the present tense? A dozen years ago the Chapel Hill quartet called it quits, and you'd have made good money betting on a reunion since relatively few took notice of them the first go-round (excepting all the musicians who, VU-style, formed bands after hearing them). But with Merge celebrating its 20th anniversary – another long shot back then – and a few festival appearances under their belt, three-quarters of the original band (plus new drummer Brian Quast, ex-the Cherry Valence) headed into Echo Mountain with Brian Paulson earlier this year and, presto, a new Polvo record, In Prism, due out in September. If history holds, it'll be a hypnotic mix of fractured melodies, semi-tonal guitar skronk, and metronome-defying time-sig shifts. With electric Des Ark and locals the Junior Astronomers. Visulite Theatre (Schacht)


Johnny Winter Of course to say that Winter is a blues-rock icon is stating the obvious. Forty years down the road from his 1969 recorded debut, Winter fires up his guitar accompanied by that unmistakable throat and settles into a burning blues mode with such ease that breathing becomes non-essential. Just go for crying out loud. With Cyril Lance. Neighborhood Theatre (Samir Shukla)

Volatile Baby If you don't get to see them at the Pewter Rose on Friday, June 26, well, it sounds like this is probably your last chance. From what I've gathered via rumors, chats and Facebook (e-mails went unanswered), it sounds like keyboardist Allison Modafferi is heading out for a new project and the future of Volatile Baby remains uncertain. So, at this point, they're making like Nine Inch Nails and calling them the "last shows." Solid female three-part harmonies help the band stand out from the pack. If the rumors are true, it's going to leave a hole in the Charlotte music scene's talented landscape. Pewter Rose (Jeff Hahne)


The Lemonheads Evan Dando and The Lemonheads are back on the oft-toured circuit with the twangy new collection of tunes called Varshons (produced by Butthole Surfers frontman Gibby Haynes). The record features Kate Moss (the new wavish "Dirty Robot") and Liv Tyler (the acoustic "Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye") along with a confounding G.G. Allin cover, but other than that it's Dando all the way with his slacker vocals and guitars that reliably deliver. Visulite Theatre (Shukla)

Left On Cates At first glance, Left On Cates may seem like just another teenage rock band, letting out their sexual and social frustrations through throaty vocals and sing-along melodies ... well, maybe at second and third glance, too. This Raleigh quartet may not be tackling anything new, but they are working their way out of the ordinary with recognition from mtvU as one of the best campus bands, and by opening for major acts such as Senses Fail and Deerhunter. Hey, sometimes a little of the familiar makes for the best time. With Hotspur, We Are Masked, The Fire Tonight and Sundrone. Tremont Music Hall (Sam Webster)


Ben Prestage Prestage racks up amps-load of cred with his Beale Street country blues shuffling along to vocals that channel Tom Waits growl and the accompanying cacophonous picking and percussion. But Prestage is a bluesman in his own right with an ear for bluesy gin joint rockers that would be also at home in a backwoods honky tonk. Double Door Inn (Shukla)

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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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