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CL previews upcoming shows 

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23

Bobby Bare Jr. Junior Bare is usually linked to the alt-country world, often because of his famous pappy (Nashville royalty) and the occasional (extra-nasal) twang in his rock 'n' roll. But unlike many in that genre whose appeal remains static, Bare's off-beat take and songwriting skills find him collaborating regularly with folks like the Silver Jews' David Berman, Bonnie Prince Billy, Andrew Bird, The Decemberists, and a host of others more familiar to the Pitchfork world than No Depression-ville. Opening for Son Volt. Visulite (John Schacht)

FRIDAY, APRIL 25

The Roots Live rap, with live instrumentation, has been this Philadelphia posse's credo from day one. Although they've never been a monster-selling hip-hop act, The Roots are among the most musically adventurous and, unlike myriad one-hit flashes in the world of rap, they've been consistently releasing eclectic recordings for the better part of a couple of decades. The new disc, Rising Down, composed with their signature jazz, funk and rap blend, is dropping this week. Amos' Southend (Samir Shukla)

Pierce Edens and the Dirty Work This is roots-stomping rock from the hills of Western North Carolina, aka, drinking music with loads of country, Americana, and bluegrass twirled around with guitars and Edens' gruff yet strangely melodic voice. Add moaning lap and pedal steel guitars and the whole musical package is complete. Charlotte's long-running country crooners Dave Rhames and the Westchesters are also on the bill. Snug Harbor (Shukla)

SATURDAY, APRIL 26

Villanova Villanova count among their influences most of the major bouillabaisse – (or would that be bouillabass?) style funk-rock-rap-metal bands of the past decade or so – Prince, Beastie Boys, Eminem, 311, Incubus, Rage Against The Machine, but have the good taste to leave out the Limp Bizkit or (hed)p.e.'s of the world. Brian Conner, the lead singer/songwriter and guitarist for Villanova, mixes a bit of jazz fusion into his musical mix, but makes sure to rip off a few tasty runs every now and then for spice. Along with Conner, bass player Bobby Dredd and drummer Jeremy "Finesse" Roberson manage to hold it down, which, in a funk band, is like being the quarterback of a New England Patriots-style run-and-gun offense: you're counted on for a lot, and one missed assignment can ruin the whole thing. Combine, and you get a rare dish indeed: radio-ready funk that doesn't abandon the musicianship in search of a hit. Yes, Villanova hasn't swung that hard since the heyday of "Easy" Ed Pinckney. With Rehab. Amos Southend (Davis)

Rehab If you're looking for a typical Southern folk sound from this Atlanta group, look elsewhere. They've mastered the West Coast and alternative rock genre with tunes that compare to Sublime's rhythmic backbone like "Burt Reynolds." The quintet's impressive line-up includes the talented guitarist Mike Hartnett, who can tie in a heavy rhythm section or a Celtic sound like on "What Do You Want From Me?" Look for their latest record Graffiti the Land in stores now. Villanova opens. Amos' Southend (Chey Scott)

SUNDAY, APRIL 27

Jay Reatard Never one to do what's expected, the new Matador Records' signee (nee Jay Lindsey) will be releasing six 7" singles over the course of 2008 rather than a proper full length (at least for Matador – suckers!). The first, See/Saw, just dropped, and fits in neatly with the new-ish Reatard ethos as established by 2006's more polished Blood Visions: a freakishly catchy mix of lo-fi garage squall, Ramones riffs, and nervy new wave pop textures. With Cheaptime and new local outfit The Sex Tapes. Milestone (Schacht)

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band Is there really anything that can be said at this point to sway you to go or not go to the show? He's a rock legend that's sure to play as many hits as obscure tunes on his ongoing tour. Expect some from his latest, Magic, as well. Having grown up in New Jersey it may be complete blasphemy to say I've never seen him live. I plan to change that this time around. Time Warner Cable Arena (Jeff Hahne)

TUESDAY, APRIL 29

Chris Barron Barron, the lead singer/songwriter of the '90s hippie-jam funksters the Spin Doctors, is on a solo tour. His material is folkier than the Docs, and his voice, almost lost during a voice chord paralysis a few years back, sounds just fine. Barron also did stints with the Blues Traveler. His new material is woven with diverse genres and influences, including rock, jazz, country, and funk. Call it jovial roots-rock made even sunnier with a tropical layering. 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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