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CL previews upcoming shows

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 30

Nonpoint I've seen Nonpoint live a number of times and their energy is always infectious. Their fans are rabid – always requesting the obscure tracks and singing along to every damn word. They released a live album in November of 2006, but catching them in person is so much better than a recording. Singer Elias Soriano may be soft-spoken offstage, but when the music kicks in, he lets the dreadlocks fly and the gutteral rage go. With Hellyeah, Machine Head and Bury Your Dead. Amos' Southend (Jeff Hahne)

THURSDAY, JAN. 31

Richard Shindell It could be the voice, a warm combo of Randy Travis and James Taylor. It could be his lyrics, dark and light, spiritual and playful, but always profound. It could be the mix of country-tinged folk. Shindell, an expat New Yorker now based in Buenos Aires, crafts a wide array of songs with all of the above elements, making his gig a must see show. He is on the road working his most recent recording South of Delia. Evening Muse (Samir Shukla)

FRIDAY, FEB. 1

The Pine Box Boys The PBB (Lester T. Raww, guitar, vocals; Alex "Possum" Carvidi, banjo, vocals; Col. Timothy Leather, bass; "Uncle" Dodds, drums) have been taking bluegrass and dyeing (or dying, perhaps) it black on stages all over our great land for years now. They're the latest (and possibly greatest) purveyors of the classic murder ballad genre, and they don't really let up on the noir – nor the knee-slappin'. Now, most bluegrass wouldn't be caught dead in a bar – probably 'cause there's shadowy folks like the Pine Box Boys just a-waitin' to catch them that way. With the .357 String Band. Puckett's Farm Equipment (Timothy C. Davis)

Unknown Hinson The almost unclassifiable vampire honky tonk of Charlotte's own grave-fave Unknown Hinson now boasts a coterie of glittery admirers, including Billy Bob Thornton, Matt Groening, Hank III (who has a likeness of Unknown tattooed on his bicep) and the Rev. Horton Heat. Youngerns that haven't checked out the penner of such classics as "Peace Love And Hard Liquor" and "Don't Bite The Lips That Kiss You" owe it to themselves to check him out. Party liquor fans and loose womens probably already have their tickets. Visulite Theatre (Davis)

SATURDAY, FEB. 2

Blue Highway The long-running progressive bluegrass quintet Blue Highway weave harmony-stacked music, alternately raucous and reflective, that visits all corners of the classic American roots genre. All members have played with various established bluegrass bands and singers. Their new disc, Through the Windows of a Train, slated for release mid-February, further establishes their place in bluegrassland. McGlohon Theatre (Shukla)

Malcolm Holcombe With Gamblin' House, the veteran roots singer has one of the first releases for Echo Mountain Records out of Asheville. Holcombe's narratives and smoke-basted vocals place him somewhere between Vic Chestnut and Michael Hurley, but it's the John Fahey-channeling-Skip James acoustic work that tends to leave the deepest imprint. That's particularly true in a live setting, where Holcombe's tent-revival intensity seems capable of summoning both their ghosts. The early show at the Evening Muse, with S.O.Stereo, The Influence and No Second Troy in the nightcap. (John Schacht)

Naked Gods Fucked-up foothills twang from this Boone gang, whose ramshackle songs owe a debt to the twisted country rock of Souled American and the Silver Jews. Their 2007 debut EP, It Ain't Just Cold Outside staggered impressively over much of the indie roots map, but avoided stale Americana pitfalls by channeling in occasional "Sweet Virginia" drunken sing-alongs or Big Star blue-eyed soul. Unless they've gone over to the dark side and started, you know, practicing all the time, their upcoming full length promises more off-kilter listening pleasures. With the Young Sons and Ungdomskulen. Yauhaus (Schacht)

Beat the Devil Since frontwoman Shilpa Ray picked up her first harmonium in 2004, the trio has prowled the east coast free of guitars. Ray's rugged voice conjures the likes of Morrison with lyrics suitable for stewing in any bottle, while the boys complete the package adding bass and drums for extra heaviness. Milestone (Chey Scott)

TUESDAY, FEB. 5

High on Fire Few contemporary metal bands can be pegged groundbreaking and have any staying power. Count High on Fire among the upper echelons of blazing metal posses. The Oakland, Cali-based noisemongers' recent disc Death is This Communion, produced by the legendary Jack Endino, is slathered with the band's signature droning, stoner metal. They deliver on the promise with roaring riffs and booming percussion, inlaid with just the right shades of classical gloom. Also on the bill are A Life Once Lost, Saviours, and Car Bomb. Milestone (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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