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Machine Go boom, Uncle Mountain, more

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 19

Machine Go Boom This is free rock, at once joyous and irritable. Turn it up. Either the neighbors will yell at you or come over and pogo with you well into the night right there in that backyard. It all depends on the bystander's ability to absorb the noise from Cleveland's experimental rock machine when it goes boom. With Quiet Company. Snug Harbor (Shukla)

Asleep At The Wheel Less a band than a force of nature, the Western swingers have more former members than the 98 Degrees fan club. Formed 37 years ago in West Virginia, Benson and Co. then moved to Cali to get signed -- and, on Willie Nelson's advice, got the hell out and moved to Austin to escape it all. Since then, they've released close to two dozen albums, won nine Grammys and umpteen Austin Music Awards, and have even put on a hit theatre/music tour, Ride With Bob. What's more, they even have a stable lineup. The Neighborhood Theatre (Davis)

THURSDAY, SEPT. 20

Uncle Mountain Hailing from the North Carolina hill country, namely Asheville and Boone, Uncle Mountain play acoustically-tinged roots rock. They have the gall to play good music without pretensions or flashy doodads. The piano, mandolin or sax rear their heads in subtle layers while the acoustic guitars or gentle electric guitars form the foundation. Also on the bill are Bawn in the Mash and Jeremy Current. The Evening Muse (Shukla)

Pine Box Boys They sound as if they lurk in the woods of Arkansas, not the streets of San Francisco where they are based. Their bouncy bluegrass is tempered with shades of jazz and rootsy rock. The witty writing and playing is razor sharp while their brand of caustic Americana is authentic and unpretentious. The detours into honky tonk country only add to the funky fun. With South 85 and Cattletruck. Milestone (Shukla)

FRIDAY, SEPT. 21

Martin Stephenson The former leader of the Daintees -- once Newcastle 's answer to the U2 and The Smiths -- has never sounded better than on the recently released Hell's Half Acre -- The Soundfield Sessions. The Brit has long been infatuated with North Carolina roots music -- witness his 2000 ode to Charlie Poole The Haint of the Budded Rose -- but the new release corrals that record's sprawl into a more digestible document. Recorded with a luminous Soundfield mic and featuring strong turns from locals David Childers and Eric Lovell, this is a mini-classic of roots music that should shame most Americana pretenders into silence. With Paleface of About To Burn fame. Evening Muse (Schacht)

Amos Lee The singer/songwriter is currently touring in support of his second album, Supply and Demand. Bring some tissues for your girlfriend, his soulful folk/blues songs and emotional lyrics may just tug at the heartstrings. You can tell the down-to-earth songs aren't written on a whim. Neighborhood Theatre (Hahne)

SATURDAY, SEPT. 22

Jony James Blues Band You gotta turn up the heat when you live in Buffalo, N.Y. That's exactly what this blues trio does the minute they hit the stage and light the first note. James is a six-string slinger who's been mapping a rep up and down the East Coast for the better part of a decade. He knows how to rock from the onset, but also understands that slowly rising heat can also be sizzling. They have several indie releases under their belts. Double Door Inn (Shukla)

J. Roddy Walston & The Business J. Roddy and his Business men are truly best appreciated live, something that's often said of bands, but rarely the case. From Baltimore by way of Tennessee, the band comes off as something like Dr. Dog grafted with Th' Fantastic Shack Shakers, as played by Trail of Dead. Which might well sound like shit, but it's the first thing that came to mind. No matter: you won't be disappointed, 'less you're expecting a bout of somnambulant shoegaze. Snug Harbor (Davis)

Aqueduct The brainchild of David Terry, Aqueduct began life as a quirky solo project consisting of keys, synths and lo-fi drums but has morphed into a band now, with a correspondingly more diverse new record Or Give Me Death. Filled with strings, horns, grand piano and reams of electric guitars, the mordant wit in Terry's songs comes across more successfully in these even poppier environs. This is a one-off date from Aqueduct's tour opening for Apples in Stereo so save the gasoline and catch 'em here (get there early) since they'll likely never come back. Opening for the Alternative Champs. Visulite (Schacht)

MONDAY, SEPT. 24

Atreyu Birthed while the Southern Cali rap-metal scene was mushrooming, this metal-core quintet nevertheless can be quite melodic with a heaping of emo howling. There's always the intention of blowing the roof off any arena in the country, and the boys do so with over the top percussion and rapid-fire guitar machinations that have enjoyed considerable commercial success to boot. With Haste the Day, It Dies Today and So They Say. Tremont Music Hall (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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