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Carlos Washington & The Amazing Giant People -- Washington, a former US Marine Corps Band trumpeter, created the Amazing Giant People ensemble a few years back, after touring with Karl Denson. Musically, it's a horn-heavy take on Afro-beat, neo-Cuban jazz and R&B, with a few sparking wires of powerline funk to set everything off. Solid. Visulite Theatre (Davis)

THURSDAY 2.20Rick Holmstrom -- Holmstrom threw a curve ball to his blues followers with last year's Hydraulic Groove (Tone Cool). The record has its share of steaming blues cuts, but hybrid elements of funk and electronic treatments are blended in and work to the listener's advantage. It's an expansion of blues with chunky licks, while the samples, loops and treatments give it a potent twist. Rick promises to be a new voice in the traditional blues genre. Double Door Inn (Shukla)


DJ Colette -- Colette's straight house is matched against her partner in Chicago's SuperJane collective, Dayhota. Colette, probably the bigger name of the two at this point, can command the microphone as well -- her vocals, often layered with effects, help soften the blow of her head-snap spinning. Liquid Lounge (Davis)

Gigi Dover/ Diggy/ The Lowdown Travelers/ The Sundowners -- Gigi is a regional veteran of roots music tempered with her adroit vocals and hearty tales of Americana by the way of Carolina. Diggy, aka Randy Perkins, is a folk performer from Ohio with sweet vocals and syrupy lyrics. The Lowdown Travelers from Asheville are considerably more intriguing with a seasoned take on lo-fi blues, making the barfly stretch his neck to see if it's not some old John Estes or Ma Rainey 45 spinning in the jukebox. The Sundowners will play the late show, showcasing their hook-heavy alt.rock. The Evening Muse (Shukla)

Home Grown/ Riddlin' Kids -- An evening of punk pop is on hand tonight with a pack of torchbearers from the house Green Day built. To their credit, Home Grown have been at it with snappy tunes for a few years, while new kids on the ole block, Riddlin' Kids, add a few more tiles of their own to the aforementioned house. The show, moved from its original Thursday night booking, also features All American Rejects and Wakefield. Tremont Music Hall (Shukla)

Thad Cockrell & the Starlite Country Band -- When Thad sings, "I used to have a stack of dreams 10 miles high...," make sure you've got absorbent shirt sleeves to bawl into. Cockrell is a North Carolina songwriter with a voice that delivers a dry, lonesome wail that gives his music realism. His backup, Starlite Country Band, consists of NC music staples from other roots-minded outfits staking their own turf of twangy country music. Puckett's Farm Equipment (Shukla)


Alejandro Escovedo -- Escovedo, whether he likes it or not, has been elected to the royal family of Americana music. Like the monarchy, the people haven't had as much say in the matter as have the writers and critics everywhere who swoon with every strum of his guitar. Now touring with a string section, Escovedo's music still contains a healthy dose of wide open space. Spare, beautiful and honest to the point of wincing, you can tell some of the words he sings cut on their way out. Now if he'd only stop telling the same stories over and over. Neighborhood Theatre (Davis)

Dynamite Brothers/ All Night/ The Talk -- Terrific bill here, provided you like straight-ahead, 70s-referencing, garage-specific rawk. First, there's the Triangle's very own All Night, who roll like the James Gang on uppers. The Talk, Charlotte's own intelligently unhinged quartet, share the bill along with the straight sick Dynamite Brothers, Dragstrip Syndicate and the Labiators. For folks that like fucking rock music (as in "I just like fucking rock music, man"), it looks like one you'd be stupid to miss. Tremont Music Hall (Davis)

Pierce Pettis -- Pettis is still touring on the strength of State of Grace, his third album on Compass Records. Live shows are usually an intimate collection of slow-burn bluegrass and R&B-tinged folk-rockers, all draped in the requisite Spanish moss (but sans the overly sugared, sweet-tea sentimentality that usually goes along with such acts). Good, sturdy alt/folk that doesn't talk down to the audience. The Evening Muse (Davis)


DJ Vadim -- A catalyst for the evolution of Hip Hop, beatminer DJ Vadim is a turntable master who has more commonality with experimental music composers than rappers that can't stop stroking their scrotums while on stage. Vadim brings a cathartic and sparse toastiness to the turntables with his latest, USSR: The Art of Listening (on the ultrahip Ninjatune label). Vadim is a DJ, remixer, producer and all-around Hip Hop intruder. He brings the knob-twisting studio tricks to the live stage with a posse called Russian Percussion, featuring second turntablist First Rate and vocalist Yarah Bravo. The Hungry Duck (Shukla)


Tori Amos -- Her new one, Scarlett's Walk, is a nice return to form after the intriguing but often lacking "cover" album Strange Little Girls, in which she interpreted songs from artists as disparate as Eminem and Slayer. Walk, in feel and reach, reminds these ears of earlier albums like Under the Pink. Musically, it's probably more mature than those records, but no less confessional. Ovens Auditorium (Davis)

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