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THURSDAY 10.30

Coco Montoya -- He has learned a trick or two playing with the legendary John Mayall, but of course Coco can play the guitar about as well as any other guitar shark lurking in those blues waters. Whether it's R&B or straight up blues-rockers, Coco handles most with a firm grip on the Telecaster. His sense of timing combined with lean licks and the emotive sustain pedal keep things rolling along. Double Door Inn (Shukla)

Ellis Paul & Vance Gilbert -- Light and easy folk music combining the talents of these two veteran singer/songwriters, though established under their own monikers. They are currently touring behind their duets' disc, Side of the Road. It's all warm and giddy while they stretch musical boundaries with covers of Neil Young, Lucinda Williams, Van Morrison and others, as well some original numbers. The harmonies are as sweet as honey and filled with spiritual leanings, especially their amazing take on Woody Guthrie's poem, "This Morning I Am Born Again." Sylvia Theater, York (Shukla)

Lilley, Strauss & Schigoda -- The musicians in this trio have played with several local bands and landed in the current format, one with the intonation of a jazzy rock combo. On some cuts, Lou Reed comes to mind with terse lyrical observations and a rolling guitar sound. LSS, however, take a more jazz-infused rock route with hip arrangements, subtle harmonies and guitar licks keeping it all in check. Principle songwriter Mike Strauss' lyrics are supported by an upright bass, hollow body electric guitar, and percussion that is more brushed then banged. Comet Grill (Shukla)

FRIDAY 10.31

Fat City Halloween -- Always one of the most anticipated Halloween throw-downs, this year's All Hallows bash might be the best yet. On the bill are Black Lagoon (Tony Iommi meets Kate Bush), Babyshaker (Southern glam snarl), Elevator Action (garage-friendly nu-wave), The Bad Samanthas (party punk), Drat (full-on stomp rock), Robot vs. Rabbit (metallic noise-pop), and Mons Venera (jazz-inflected riff rock). Granted, some of the above parenthetical asides may be a bit "off" (especially if you're in one of these bands). If this bothers you, feel free to use the William S. Burroughs "cut-up" method of textual reconfiguration and rewrite this blurb to your heart's content. Fat City (Davis)

Halloween at the Steeple -- Another big spooky spectacular here, featuring The Moving Poets performing Faust, go-go dancers, DJs Wiiz Kid and Tomato Slice, a midnight costume contest, Comedy Central's Dave Attell (!) and more. Oh, and the music. Tonight's band, the cheekily-named Nighthawk, features John Morris (Tyre Fyre, Snagglepuss), David "DK" Kim (Les Dirt Clods, Goldenrods), Benji Hughes (McClintock Gs, Goldenrods), Amy Kennemore (Snagglepuss), and more, playing Rocky Horror cuts with guest vocalists. (See RHPS admission below). The Steeple Lounge (Davis)

Rocky Horror Picture Show Live Music Extravaganza -- Featuring live musical outtakes from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, this gig also features the services of the Central Playhouse players, as well as something called "Super" Poprocket. Super Poprocket features the usual Poprocketeers (Jay Garrigan and Shawn Lynch), along with Muse co-owner Joe Kuhlmann on bass and Chris Garges on drums and percussion, plus, other guest musicians to be announced. Being the only human in the world who's not a fan of Rocky Horror -- there, I said it! -- it still ought to be a fun show. Proceeds go to the Metrolina AIDS Project, to boot. The Evening Muse (Davis)

TUESDAY 11.4

Steve Earle & The Dukes -- When you put Steve Earle's CD into your computer's RealPlayer, you get a few random trivia nuggets. Most all of these refer to him as "Alt.Country Maverick Steve Earle." They say that Steve's music is "Too country for rock radio and too rock for country radio." They also say that the hard-livin' (and deceased) Austinite Townes Van Zandt was a "role model" to the young Earle. All of this is true, especially the last part (thankfully, Earle now only emulates Townes' amazing songwriting and not his lifestyle -- alt.country apocrypha has it that Van Zandt once asked Earle to tie him to a tree so he couldn't get at the bottle). All I'd add is that we did a story on Earle in this issue, and that the damn computers are taking over everything. Visulite Theatre (Davis)

WEDNESDAY 11.5

Alien Ant Farm -- OK, so they have already stepped up a notch on the scene and rock like punks, with salutes to metal and an ear for funky rhythms. The sound of these Alterna-rockers, though, is pedestrian at worst, and sing-along rock on some tunes, at best. They're poking around the touring circuit on the heels of their new release, truANT, and opening for 311. Grady Cole Center (Shukla)

Filmschool/Sea Ray -- Charlotte's own Filmschool ("Big" Mike Mitschele -- vocals and guitar, Grainger Gilbert -- guitar, Jeff Williams -- bass and vocals, "Little" Mike Kenerley -- drums) are currently working on their debut CD, to be released in the future on MoRisen records. The Mikes you may know from Jolene. Gilbert you may recognize from Leisure McCorkle, and Jeff Williams from gogoPilot and Lodestar. Which is another way of saying these guys are local music veterans, but that they're still doing damn interesting work even if they're not the flashiest, hard-drinkin'-est bunch in the world. (OK, so scratch the hard-drinking part). The Room (Davis)

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