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WEDNESDAY 8.28

The Flatlanders -- Three mighty pickers and writers from Texas recorded a loose collection of songs back in 1972 which saw the light of day a few years back on CD. Now 30 years later, they've got a proper CD featuring a searing collection of tunes. One has no need to ask why, as the trio consists of Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely and Butch Hancock. If you're familiar with the players, you know they're top solo acts but collectively ooze camaraderie with vocal group harmony and stark honkytonk stories peppered with rockers and lonesome ballads. Neighborhood Theatre (Shukla)

THURSDAY 8.29

Particle -- LA's space rockers bring in enough psychedelic flavors and trippy jams to keep their musical excursions tasty. The instrumental quartet has a funky rhythm section and fluid guitar warming up the galactic sounds created by the keyboardist. An intriguing jam band. Visulite Theatre (Shukla)

Peter Tork & Shoe Suede Blues -- The novelty of this blues outfit is the inclusion of the oldest living Monkee, namely Peter Tork. Yeah, that's right, he was the cute bass player with the hat -- or was that the other guy? Anyway, this quartet's basic take is creating a party and dance atmosphere of old time blues layered with Tork's fun vocals and accomplished guitar. It's not exactly hot blues or cool blues, but hanging somewhere in the middle. Double Door Inn (Shukla)

The Talk -- The band's newest, No, You Shut Up, is one of the best local releases of the year. Like a hipster-friendly thrift store T-shirt, it's both tight and loose in the right places, showing excellent wear but still promising years of good service. Where the band differs from a hipster-friendly thrift store T-shirt (don't you love writing devices?) is in the message: no chuckling irony, just meat and potatoes melodic rawk. Hmm. Perhaps they're more like a work shirt. Or a nice pair of vintage Rustler cords. Or... With Mosquito Mite and The Thirsties. Fat City (Davis)

FRIDAY 8.30

Man Will Destroy Himself / Black Lagoon -- Reed Mullen of Corrosion of Conformity's latest project, Man Will Destroy Himself, have a new record out, consume...be silent...die, a nice hardcore punk-flavored grind along the lines of COC's old Technocracy. Mullen's behind the kit on this one, though his stamp is all over the record on songs like "The Exploder," "The Leeches Are Speechless" and "Dying to Know." In addition to Mullin, the band also features Abe Quinn (Negative State), Ronnie Dalgo from Raleigh's Aftermath A.D., and Sam Madison from Bloodmobile and Pit Boss. Black Lagoon are putting the finishing touches on their debut, Laguna Negra, a rich stew of gothic NOLA-style stomp that grinds like a semi going down a mountain. Nice double bill. Fat City (Davis)

The Spongetones -- The name Spongetones sums up the band pretty well. All the members are self-proclaimed sponges for the golden era of pop songwriting and manage to blend these lessons into their own music with laudable results. The tone part is obvious to anyone who's seen them: Guitars function more like paintbrushes, changing the mood or the drive of a piece with a simple flourish. One imagines playing with each other for the last 20 years (musically, silly) doesn't hurt. Mojo Restaurant & Spirits (Davis)

Sprite Liquid Mix Tour -- Pretty nice (and pretty cheap) package tour here, featuring the usual mix of cool hip-hop acts and woeful "alternative" bands. There's Hova himself, Jay-Z, Nappy Roots, Talib Kweli and N.E.R.D., four of the most interesting acts in hip-hop today. There's also the lamentable Hoobastank and 311. And you wonder why rap acts work with Fred Durst and Linkin Park -- hell, consider the alternative. Grab a beer before Jay-Z, while 311 tell you endlessly how much they "keep it real." Maybe Suge Knight could sign them or something (dangle them off a balcony, maybe?). Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (Davis)

SATURDAY 8.31

ProgDay 2002 -- The 8th annual Progday bears mention for its solid lineup. Prog Rock (Yes, King Crimson, Ozric Tentacles) goes back three decades but had its heyday in the 70s. Now, this two-day outdoor fest brings back some of the old boys along with new blood for electronic, mostly instrumental, planetary journeys. The bands include Happy the Man, Kraan, the Muffins, Izz Tempano and others. Check progday.com for info/updates. Storybook Farm, Chapel Hill (Shukla)

Snuzz -- A North Carolina indie staple (he even did a stint in a band with Ben Folds), Snuzz has released a snappy new disc appropriately penned The One Piece Band. Snuzz, sometimes known as Britt Harper Uzzell, made the record at home and played all the stuff on several songs. So, what's it all about? It's a take on Folds and early Elvis Costello loaded with crispy hooks, a ton of pop sentiments with an "ohhh so catchy" end result. Snuzz is also a lyrical twister able to say volumes with a simple nod. Can't go wrong with this evening as Darren Jessee, Bellglide and Django Haskins are also on the bill. The Evening Muse (Shukla)

SUNDAY 9.1

Tarmak -- Here's an American electronica band looking across the pond at Portishead and the like for props and inspiration. Although all the tools of the trade are employed, their grasp falls short of their valiant, long reach. There are plenty of found sounds, serene female vocals, turntables, loops, modified toys and such that work to an extent, but the sizzle isn't quite there yet. It's basic drum 'n' bass and trip hop done suburbia style; maybe some late night lurking in urban jungles can cure those ills. Fat City (Shukla)

TUESDAY 9.3

Bonerama / MuleBone -- Both of these New Orleans-based acts are fronted by Mark Mullins, a fella who's played with the likes of Galactic, Rancid, Ani DiFranco and Harry Connick Jr., among many others. As different as the acts he's backed, Bonerama and MuleBone differ considerably as well. Bonerama is a six-piece horn outfit that Rolling Stone's David Fricke called the "ultimate in brass balls" in a recent review, while MuleBone is a five-piece song-oriented rock project. However, the latter doesn't prove to be quite as interesting as the horn project, as Bonerama offers up cool versions of Led Zeppelin's "Moby Dick" and Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein" on their latest, Live at the Old Point. Fat City (Lynn Farris)

WEDNESDAY 9.4

East Meets Jazz -- Tabla maestro Sandip Burman has been a busy man. He's played or toured with masters of Hindustani Classical music and hot jazz musicians including Bela Fleck, Al DiMeola and Jack DeJohnette. Now he's back through the region with a scaled down version of last year's ensemble East Meets Jazz, which created a blend of jazz and Indian music where ragas enveloped jazz improv and drums sparred with tablas. Indian music is based on melody and executed within ragas while jazz lends itself to eclectic compositions. The two forms can be natural partners if blended properly. Burman promises furious renditions of his own compositions along with the works of his comrades to take world music further into the exploration realm. This tour also features Paul Bollenback on guitar and David Pietro on saxophone. Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte (Shukla)

The Subteens -- You gotta like any band with "sub," "teen" or "youth" in the title -- see the UK Subs, Sonic Youth, Teenage Fanclub and the dutchie-passing Musical Youth. The Memphis-based Subteens play it the old-fashioned way, with loads of grain-fed indie sensibility a la the poet laureate of the style, Paul Westerberg, and a solid knowledge of the first 10 pages of the Mel Bay Chord Handbook. I mean that as a compliment. Mojo Restaurant & Spirits (Davis)

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