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THURSDAY 9.19

The Jukebox Hero -- They call themselves "indie rock your girlfriend will dance to," which is nice, as it implies said dame will have no choice but to shake her ass (watch yo' self) when the band launches into its singalong "indie/emo" rock (the "indie" more so for the spirit of the thing than the actual sound; the emo, if there is any, is only for your girlfriend). With Beneath the Dream and Two Thirty Eight. JB'Z (Davis)

O.A.R. -- So they aren't going to stir up a musical revolution, but at least their moniker speaks "of a revolution." The bottom line is the band's decent knack for twisting a loose blend of psychedelics and reggae for a folk-rock lesson in grooving. Any Time Now is the recently released double live CD set that has all their tunes getting the "on stage" treatment. It's pretty potent, but the end result is like a decent meal that wasn't quite enough to soothe the belly. With Graham Colton. Tremont Music Hall (Shukla)

FRIDAY 9.20

DJ Ulysses -- Electro-clash (no, Mick Jones isn't involved) maven DJ Ulysses stops in Charlotte in the midst of a globe-hopping tour (odyssey?) to perform as part of a large scale multimedia event put on by local DJ/club guy Jim Grindle. An art exhibit curated by Anida Gurlit will be featured, as well as Local DJs Oliver Long and Aurora and local electronic musician James Thomason, who will be performing an original live electronic set. To boot, Charlotte will see the debut of the band Die Elektro-Kartell, who already seem pretty ass-kicking just based on the name. I mean, with a name like Die Elektro-Kartell, you know you're not going to get some warmed-over emo/alt.country whine, right? Aye, Der Kommissar. Tonic (Davis)

Mark Olson / Victoria Williams -- Alt.country's clean-livin' Scott and Zelda, Olson and Williams' music with their band, The Creekdippers, ain't note perfect, often veering wildly in the course of a show. That said, it's positively enthralling at times, and, like a patchwork quilt, perfect in its imperfection. Olson's best known for his work with the Jayhawks, but his albums with wife Vic are quickly approaching that band's body of work in the relevancy category, no matter how much y'allternative apologists whine to the contrary. Go buy that crappy new Jay Farrar album, whydoncha. Neighborhood Theatre (Davis)

The Silos / Ware River Club -- The Silos are currently a trio, but that doesn't matter much as they create a full-on sound littered with characters from roads and alleyways of Americana. The Silos, and founder Walter Salas-Humara, are arguably one of the catalysts of the whole alt.country movement. / New England's Ware River Club has a Jayhawks-meet-Smithereens approach to creating hard acoustic pop laced with a harmony-filled attack. Note: Both bands are also playing the following night at Neighborhood Theatre's Spread Your Wings Breast Cancer Benefit. Double Door Inn (Shukla)

SATURDAY 9.21

Blue Dogs -- The Canine Conspiracy Tour pairs a couple of regional comrades in arms, namely the erstwhile jammers Jupiter Coyote and The Blue Dogs. The Dogs' singer, Bobby Houck, glides over country rock tunes and grooves while David Lowery's unassuming production of their last studio record, Letters from Round O, has helped tighten their sound. The Charleston, SC based band has an earnest vibe and the musicianship is solid, which means a lot in today's world of throwaway hits. Their newest release, Live at the Florence Little Theatre, creates images of Carolina in full bloom. Amos' Southend (Shukla)

Mary Prankster / Memphis Quick 50 -- The Baltimore-based trio fronted and named for vocalist Mary Prankster are touring in support of their third and latest release, Tell Your Friends. The rockin' new tunes, complete with countless expletives, was recorded with veteran producer Mitch Easter, who is certainly well known in these parts. Honestly, the crew strikes me as a female-fronted Belmont Playboys with tons of attitude, a pounding bass and a drinking habit that might even make Keith Richards blush. (Lynn Farris) / MQ50 have a new self-titled record out, and it's a solid slice of feedback-riddled country rock in the style of early Whiskeytown: loose, autumnal, drunkenly playful, and a little bit ragged around the edges. Literate barroom rock with low-slung guitars (and jeans -- they're young), the band's sound and grasp of same has improved greatly in just a few short years. One to watch. Fat City (Davis)

Spread Your Wings Benefit -- Now in its second year, the Spread Your Wings benefit has scaled down a bit, but still offers up more roots than a Chinese herbalist. This year, for your perusal, are: The Silos, the underrated Ware River Club, ornery rocker Scott Miller (ex of the V-Roys), Duane Jarvis, Mt. Holly's own David Childers, and Stacey Earle (sister of Steve), who is appearing with husband Mark Stuart (see our story on Stacey Earle in this issue). Neighborhood Theatre (Davis)

SUNDAY 9.22

Weenie Roast -- As usual, this annual end of summer party from 106.5 The End boasts a variety of alterna-rock bands. Nickelback is a melodic hard band that actually takes time to construct songs amongst all the angst. Doves offer luscious, dreamy electro-rock and bring out the ethereal possibilities of pop music. Berlin - yes, the sleaze-tease new wave band from the 80s -- is back with a new set of tunes. Canadians Our Lady Peace play with epic intonations embedded in the melody. Regional acts of note include SickSpeed and Karma. There's plenty more on the bill for the all day affair. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (Shukla)

WEDNESDAY 9.25

The Damnations -- This band plays such an intentionally dry variation of country punk as to make your tongue dive into your throat seeking moisture. Their one-off record for big label Sire gave them some room to roam around the country and they've used the tread-wear well in furthering the sparring male/female vox over twangy country and cowpunk. With Bee Eater. Fat City (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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