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Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur 

CD Review: Various Artists

The Deal: 23 artists put their own spin on classic Lennon tunes.

The Good: There are a lot of good tracks on the album, but some are standouts. "Give Peace a Chance" teams Aerosmith up with Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars for a funky, reggae-style version of the classic song. While many bands add their own flavor to the songs, some opt not to stray or alter it too much. Avril Lavigne sticks to the original for "Imagine." Big & Rich don't mess with "Nobody Told Me." The Flaming Lips put a little of their own flair on "(Just Like) Starting Over," but it works -- even though singer Wayne Coyne has a voice crack or two.

The Bad: Duplication. Jack Johnson and Lavigne both cover "Imagine." It's difficult to compare to John Lennon, but you take it in stride when it's a benefit CD. Some of the tracks left off the CD include Deftones, Ozzy Osbourne and Widespread Panic.

The Verdict: More than 50 artists' songs are available online. Plain and simple -- it's for a good cause.

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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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