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WEDNESDAY 3.6
Clem Snide ­ Fronted by one Eef Barzelay, Clem Snide created a minor stir with their The Ghost of Fashion album a year or so back. Evidently, it's still creating a buzz, as the band is still touring on the strength of it. Featuring titles like "Joan Jett of Arc," you may get the feeling that Eef and Co. lean in that sort of smarmy Stephen Malkmus direction. Well, not really ­ the band's got way too many country leanings, and Malkmus would never pen a song so self-consciously titled as that. What they bring is more of a nice Vic-Chesnutt-with-feedback kind of vibe, similar to someone like the Eels. Maybe they should call themselves the Eefs. Tremont Music Hall (Davis)

THURSDAY 3.7
Danielle Howle & the Tantrums / Martin Stephenson ­ Howle's rocking new disc, Skorborealis (Daemon Records), will be celebrated at this release event. Look, by now if you don't have at least a slight clue of Howle's earthy, too cool for radio writing prowess, then just keep playing the latest disc from the "sexpot of the hour" in your car. Danielle turns on the Southern charm to the max with country, folk and moody rock. She's a musical traveler of top songwriting caliber and has been holding her own turf through various outfits and on the solo tip; the Tantrums only help solidify the sound. See blurb on Martin Stephenson down the page a bit. The Evening Muse (Shukla)

Stewart & Winfield ­ These Georgia rockers have an interesting angle. They play old time, classic rock with enough soul and country tinge to create a warmer, rather than a dated, sound. A bit of Neil Young is there, along with NRBQ and Little Feat for a full-on Southern rock feel. A potent amount of harmonies, with bits and pieces of bluegrass, also help the jams roll along smoothly. They have a "commercial radio be damned" outlook with a country-rock sound, poached by so many bands back in the 70s, which, with a few exceptions, never quite ripped through the mainstream. Visulite Theatre (Shukla)

FRIDAY 3.8
Les Dirt Clods ­ People beat the term "roots music" into the ground; Lord knows I do. But here you have it, with echoes of Muscle Shoals and Booker T, Appalachian sloe-eyed storytelling, a Delta blues-like call-and-response with the vocals and guitar, and the requisite lank hair and western shirts. For my money, they pack way more feel into a song than a comparable national band like Beachwood Sparks, and without all the pseudo-psychedelic bullshit to court the indie crowd. Right on right on. With The Dynamite Brothers and Nicole Atkins, who nicely mixes country with a janglier exoticism, perhaps something like 10,000 Maniacs were they twangier. Atkins' band for this show consists of Clods Rainy Day Lewis, Mark Lynch and Shawn Lynch (no relation). Visulite Theatre (Davis)

Phil Lee & The Sly Dogs ­ The immediacy of Lee's story-tellin' and raucous guitar playing separate him from the mass of Americana heroes lurking in the honky tonks of the world. He's country and rock rolled into one, but never hanging with either genre for too long. Don't peg him with the "color by numbers" country hit makers of today, as the likes of Lee are what Nashville needs for some direction and a return to true, heartfelt country music. Freeloader is also on the bill. Fat City (Shukla)

Warlocks / Snagglepuss ­ Nice mix here, with the stoned-out psych-rock of West Coasters The Warlocks, an indie band with a goodly buzz going (in more ways than one), up against Charlotte's own Nuevo Wavo Snagglepuss, who have nearly as many members as the seven or eight person strong Warlocks. Too bad Earth, Wind, & Fire weren't available. With Piedmont Charisma. Tremont Music Hall (Davis)

SATURDAY 3.9
Anthony Gomes ­ This Canadian born ­ and now Chicago-based ­ blues youngster cuts the ice with twisted licks and vocals thick enough to make long running blues aficionados nod in approval. He's got gospel-splashed blues, funkified blues and cool cat electric blues. One of his records, the aptly titled Blues In Technicolor, sums up Gomes and his all-purpose contemporary playing and sound. Double Door Inn (Shukla)

Starsailor / Chris Lee ­ UK's Starsailor's debut, Love Is Here, is the ethereal, yet firmly grounded, black-sheep cousin of Radiohead. That initial comparison out of the way, singer James Walsh and the rest of the quartet show hopeful promise of morphing a sound all their own. The songwriting is heady and the music wraps it all up in a comfy blanket of Brit-pop with a firm salute to Jeff Buckley. See 'em now in a club setting before they become huge. Chris Lee is a guitarist/vocalist who has made the rounds with various eclectic outfits in North Carolina and New York City and created sparse yet floating records along the way. He marks lo-fi guitar splashes with the warmth of NC and the stark cool of NYC as a backdrop. Tremont Music Hall (Shukla)

MONDAY 3.11
Scienz of Life ­ Like rock music, of course, there's a buttload of great bands that are left to play in clubs that are too small for their talent. But few rock clubs outside of Tremont and Fat City seem willing to support live hip hop in Charlotte. 'Tis a shame, because shows like this one from "overground" heads Scienz of Life deserve a larger audience. A mix of Mobb Deep and Raekwon with a few hearty puffs of Goodie Mob positivity, Scienz also boast some nice Hitchcock/noir tracks, as evidenced on Project Overground: The Scienz Experiment. Damn good, even with the inclusion of a couple of stupid homophobic references and the like. Recommended. With Lost n Found Dept. Fat City (Davis)

WEDNESDAY 3.13
Martin Stephenson / David Childers ­ Brit Stephenson is a big fan of North Carolina musicians and has spent a lot of time in NC recently, soaking up the heritage of Doc Watson and Charlie Poole and the like, not to mention the David Childers of the world. Stephenson, who has toured with all sorts of strange characters including Roy Buchanan, Prefab Sprout and Del Amitri, is a bit like an Anglo Childers with a little more punk rock blood ­ a nice mix of folk, country, gospel and rockabilly. With the aforementioned Childers, who will play songs off his upcoming new CD, Blessed In an Unusual Way, as well as Lou Ford's Alan Edwards, and moodsters nonpareil The Interstellars. The Evening Muse (Davis)

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