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CL previews upcoming shows


White Williams Smoke, the electro art pop debut from Brooklyn-via-Cleveland native Joe Williams, has generated plenty of keystroke heat among critics and bloggers since its November release. It's often too busy and processed for my pedestrian tastes, but Williams has been lauded for his ability to recall the decadent dance rock of '70s icons T. Rex/Eno/Bowie and coke-fueled '80s synth-pop (check the remake of Bow Wow Wow's "I Want Candy"), and there's little point in disputing that or the record's attention to detail. If your boat gets floated by that ... With Rings and Missing Children. Milestone. (John Schacht)

Drowning Pool This Texas metal quartet thrust guitars straight into the heart of amplifiers, thanks to C.J. Pierce's handiwork on the six stringers, but the music has been swaying more on the melodic side of late. The slow grind, ala Alice In Chains, remains intact on their latest recording Full Circle, which features their newest and third vocalist Ryan McCombs (formerly of Soil). Also on the bill are Saliva and Deepfield. Amos' Southend (Samir Shukla)

Wayne Wonder Call Wonder a sensual crooner and dancehall toaster, as opposed to the crotch-grabbing bravado of most dancehall reggae stars. He is a smooth operator with a velvety voice and romance-imbued lyrics with just enough R&B stitched into the mix to make the soul flow without forgetting his tropical, Jamaican roots. Wonder's 11th recording, Foreva, is a blend of dancehall, roots and soul music with plenty of nods to all things love. He headlines the Bob Marley birthday celebration tonight, also featuring I Wayne and Reggae Infinity. Neighborhood Theater (Shukla)


Nat Baldwin Since his 2004 start as a solo contra-bassist, this intuitive musician has added layers of textures to each subsequent release without diminishing the impact of the big-throated instrument at the center of things. Comparisons to Rachel's and other strings-centric acts tag along behind him, but Baldwin's great ear for wistful melody and fleshed-out arrangements suggests he has more in common now with Andrew Bird, another musician whose atypical instrumentation has done much to expand rock's traditional boundaries. Samples from his brand-new release, Most Valuable Player, indicate Baldwin's career-arc is just getting started. With Black Congo, NC and Yardwork. Chalet 2000 (1400 Pecan Ave.) (Schacht)


Meg and Dia This savvy production matches well-polished vocals with catchy guitar harmonies. Packed with alternative pop melodies like "Monster" and the acoustic laced "Cardigan Weather," Meg and Dia's debut album Something Real is guaranteed to top charts. The sisters pieced together a five-piece set that hit the Van's Warped Tour over the summer and recently premiered "Roses" on mtvU, check them out at Amos' Southend (Chey Scott)


Greg Trooper/Mando Saenz Yes, the Springsteen influence is obvious. What might not be so obvious – at least to most of America – is that Trooper, while lacking a slam-bang outfit like the E Street Band, may be the more subtle, literary songwriter at this point – see "This I'd Do" off of Make It Through This World. There's nothing here even close to edgy, mind you, just the rounded corners of experience. Mando Saenz got a little pop-culture push when the song "When I Come Around" (from Watertown) got a little play on CMT a couple years back, and he's built on that success with his new Bucket, due out on Feb. 5. (Dude's got a little H2O jones, it seems.) It's a little similar to Wills Hoge and Kimbrough, but still wholly his own: relaxed and reinvigorating at the same time. Trooper with Joe Rathbone; Saenz with The Coalmen. Evening Muse (Timothy C. Davis)


Darsombra Darsombra is the instrumental solo project of Brian Daniloski, the Baltimore-based avant-garde metal band Meatjack's guitarist. His composed soundscapes flutter with whispers, drones, psychedelic wigouts, jazz-like percussive runs, noise, sci-fi sounds, and loops. That's before he even warms up. Darsombra is an invigorating take on experimental music, a task that could turn into a jumbled mess in lesser hands. With The Gentle Suit and Holster. Milestone (Shukla)


Serj Tankian System of a Down may be on hiatus, but that doesn't mean the boys have stopped working. Singer Tankian released his debut solo album last year and it still sounds a lot like SOAD thanks to his unique vocal tone and stylings. "Empty Walls" has been flooding the airwaves and the rest of the album stays up to par with the first single. With Fair to Midland. Amos' Southend (Jeff Hahne)

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