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CL previews upcoming concerts (May 11-17) 

WEDNESDAY, MAY 11

MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT For nearly 25 years, Buzz McCoy and Groovie Mann, known as MLWTTKK have blasted industrial dance mayhem. The duo works with a revolving crew of musicians and oddballs and has released a slew of recordings, contributed tracks to films and compilations. They're on the road to support the release Sinister Whisperz: The Wax Trax! Years (1987-1991), a retrospective that gathers their early work with the trendsetting Chicago label Wax Trax! Over-the-top shenanigans, spine-bending dance music, and sexed-up visuals are all channeled once again. With 16 Volt and Twitch the Ripper. $14-$16. Tremont Music Hall. www.tremontmusichall.com. (Samir Shukla)

HANK & CUPCAKES Some may call it electro-raunch, others pop, others electronic rock, perhaps — no matter how you describe it, Hank & Cupcakes brings forth a unique style to their performance and music. With just a bass and drums, the duo creates a sonic wave through the use of pedals and vocals that's more disco than The White Stripes, and nearly as entertaining. $10-$12. 8 p.m. Amos' Southend. www.amossouthend.com. (Jeff Hahne)

THURSDAY, MAY 12

BLACK SKIES This Chapel Hill trio keeps the sludge-rock genre honest with gut-curdling tracks like "Mancipium Monument," which rattle the stage and backbones with a low-ended rumble. The influences — Melvins, High on Fire, Sabbath — are obvious, but the young crew works hard to bring the darkness of slow, hard, heavy rock further into the century. Also on the bill are Trade, Towering Pyre, and Husky. $6-$7. The Milestone. www.themilestoneclub.com. (Shukla)

FRIDAY, MAY 13

THE HACKENSAW BOYS Raucously rickety, the Hackensaw Boys' rip-roaring Americana and roots hoe-downs will make your toes jump out their boots wanting to dance. Trusty and reliable acoustic instruments — banjo, fiddle, and guitar — rack up plenty street cred, or should I say backwoods cred, and fire up the night with drinks a flowing. $14. The Evening Muse. www.theeveningmuse.com. (Shukla)

EYES OF THE ELDERS E.O.E. always does something special when they play at home, and this show is no different. This time the band is bearing gifts. The first 100 people in the door will get a little something free. Everybody in the house will be part of the band's upcoming DVD, and they'll be releasing a new EP that night as well. On top of all that goodness, fans can also help those affected by the tornadoes in Alabama by donating canned goods. Everybody wins. S.O. Stereo will open. $10. Neighborhood Theatre. www.neighborhoodtheatre.com. (Mike McCray)

SATURDAY, MAY 14

SCAPEGOAT With the release of their first album in over three years coming up in September, these Charlotte rockers are back on stage and in studio at home. And while they've seen international success in Japan, there's no place like home for epic live shows. Check out one band that has helped carry the rock scene here since 1999. The Demonstration and Bart Lattimore & The Mill Hill Revival are also on the bill. $7. Snug Harbor. www.snugrock.com. (McCray)

J3 GUITARMAGGEDON Who says Charlotte doesn't know how to rock? This night will feature three of Charlotte's strongest rock guitarists all under one roof. Joe Davis recently recorded a CD with Duane Allman's 1957 Gibson Les Paul, Jared Stamey is currently attending the Berklee College of Music and Jake Haldenwang is a 15-year-old prodigy. $15. 8 p.m. Neighborhood Theatre. www.neighborhoodtheatre.com. (Hahne)

TUESDAY, MAY 17

DAWES The popularity of acts like this L.A. quartet — who just signed to Dave Matthews' ATO label — is a head-scratcher to me. It's the sort of middle-of-the-road AOR whose primary trait is inoffensiveness. Yet remarkably, this band gets compared to The Band, and recently collaborated with that band's Robbie Robertson. That only muddies the waters because, to paraphrase something once said about Dan Quayle (look him up, kids), I knew The Band and you, Dawes, are no The Band. The lyrics are clichéd Dear Diary entries, the melodies and dynamics paint-by-numbers twang. "Anyone that's making anything new only breaks something else," the singer emotes, and if only they'd apply that to their music-making instead of sounding like a re-hash of the Counting Crows or Wallflowers. Super "meh." With Girls Guns and Glory. $12-$14. Visulite Theatre. www.visulite.com. (John Schacht)

THE FLAMING LIPS Maybe in the not-too-distant future, after some religion-inspired cataclysm culls the herd, our descendents will rhetorically wonder via bumper sticker: What Would Wayne Do? Wayne would be Wayne Coyne, front man and high shaman for The Flaming Lips, whose concerts have become secular tent revivals where substance-enhanced good vibes rain down with the confetti and balloons. (Coyne can apparently perform miracles because his guitar's rarely plugged in). The Lips' LPs have been uneven as hell since seminal releases The Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, but when you're all singing along to "Waiting for Superman" or "Do You Realize" in some beautiful primal moment of tribal togetherness, you will not care a whit about that. With The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger. $52. The Fillmore Charlotte. www.livenation.com. (Schacht)

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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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