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CL previews upcoming concerts (May 20-26) 

WEDNESDAY, MAY 20

Crowntown Showdown Yep, big surprise, right? We're promoting the Crowntown Showdown again. Until it disappears, we're going to continue to push it, too. Here's the catch – the crowd's been growing each month so I'm guessing it's only to get bigger. Where else can you see six bands for five bucks? This time around, the featured bands are The Burning Hotels, Harvard, The Holly Days, Sandcrawler, Stump Dickens and Woody Wood. Double Door Inn (Jeff Hahne)

FRIDAY, MAY 22

Roman Candle After toiling in the trenches for a good patch, this (then) Chapel Hill-based band seemed poised for Next Big Thingness with its 2003 record The Wee Hours Revue (which was really just their 2002 debut, Says Pop, gussied up by Chris Stamey and repackaged by Hollywood Records). But Hollywood sat on it for two more years until Richard Branson's V2 bought and released it to near-unanimous acclaim. But Branson sold that label the next year, and after a few more attorney-sized twists and turns, Roman Candle has finally released its follow-up Oh Tall Tree In the Ear. The neat thing is, those rootsy Big Star/Beatles hooks still sound fresh even after all that industry bullshit. With the Deep Vibration at the early show. The Evening Muse (John Schacht)

Ramseur Records Showcase Concord's burgeoning record label may have passed off the Avett Brothers to a larger home, but that doesn't mean they aren't cultivating more talent. Frontier Ruckus will kick off the show, followed by Samantha Crain & The Midnight Shivers who continue to garner praise from all over the place. Jim Avett – father of those previously mentioned Avett Brothers – will perform in the middle spot, followed by anti-folk hero Paleface. The night will end with a set by Bombadil. Quite an evening of music. Visulite Theatre (Hahne)

SATURDAY, MAY 23

Phil Harmonic and the Blue Notes Charlotte's own Phil Harmonic and the Blue Notes isn't exactly a household name, but the band sports an impressive musical resume. Since forming in 1998, the group has opened for and/or played alongside legendary acts like B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and Susan Tedeschi, among other artists, and earned awards from institutions like the Charlotte Blues Society and the International Blues Society in Tennessee. The Patriot Festival (Symphony band shell, SouthPark) during the 4 p.m. slot. (Carlton Hargro)

Chris English and the North Americans At ease with multiple instruments as he is with stitching words into moody songs, long-established Charlotte musician Chris English recently dropped a fine debut solo recording aptly named Dreamtown. English (aka Chris Pittman) has played with numerous artists and his latest material glides along on an XTC and Brian Wilson path with heaps of sun-dappled, melodic songcraft. With Chris McKay and the Critical Darlings. Prevue (Samir Shukla)

AntiSeen I recently met a guy from Portland, Ore., and when I mentioned I was from the Charlotte, he – before asking my name, mind you – exclaimed "the home of ANTiSEEN!" That's street cred, folks. And don't think they've gotten soft as they've gone gray: the 'SEEN might be the ultimate non-jam band – most songs clock in at a crisp two minutes or so, and with an equal amount of chords used. Sure, the band's shows have gimmicks – singer Jeff Clayton breaking a beer bottle on his head is almost as much of a sure thing as Southern Culture on the Skids tossing out fried chicken – but the real draw here is physical release, a blowing off of steam that ANTiSEEN probably does better than any local band in history. With 25 Minutes To Go, Music Hates You. Milestone (Timothy C. Davis)

SUNDAY, MAY 24

Crank County Daredevils Sleaze rockers CCD are lost in the rock & roll jungle with nary a care to find their way out. The Asheville blokes merge punk, garage, and hard rock – the down and dirty Stooges and G N' R type – that's custom-made for drinking and debauchery. The guitar riffs are sloshed and hammered with abandon while the quartet has a grand time pounding eardrums. With the Poontanglers, Appalucia and The Bitterman. Snug Harbor (Shukla)

Clang Quartet The brainchild of Scotty Irving (the former drummer for Geezer Lake, Eugene Chadbourne, Bunker and a number of others), Clang Quartet's moniker is rather straightforward: think lots of improvisational drone/noise/percussion and performance art, all tied up with a semi-sorta-spiritualist twist. Which is nice, but don't go expecting a kumbaya-like drum circle here – Clang Quartet sounds more akin to Rashied Ali and Tom Waits let loose in a chef supply store, only amplified. With Thrones, Grids, Projexorcism. Milestone (Davis)

TUESDAY, MAY 26

J. Wail Jonah Gabriel Lipsky, alter ego J. Wail, crafts trancey dance music where Kraftwerk meets contemporary electronica. Wail is a digital wizard no doubt, but the technology doesn't overwhelm while loop pedals and live electronics add funk to the spacey vibes. There are plenty of beats, but don't think of J Wail as a DJ as he's got synthesizers and multiple instruments lending a hand. Silver Machine is also on the bill. 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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