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FRIDAY 12.26

DJ Baby Anne -- She's considered one of the defining mixers of the late 90s and one of the few female bass DJs with the energy to match big-name counterparts such as Alice Deejay and Debbie Deb. A protege of dance guru DJ Icey. Mythos (Schacht)

Jolene /Sea of Cortez -- A few weeks ago I suggested Jolene had broken up a while back; turns out they were only on hiatus, as this show attests. Mea culpa. But even with leader John Crooke currently residing in LA and other band members pursuing other interests, the Charlotte-based band can still deliver the goods that led to their signing with Sire in the late 90s. Expect tunes from Jolene albums all the way back to Hell's Half Acre, as well as a few surprises. With Sea of Cortez, Rodney Lanier's most excellent atmospheric/indie/Americana conglomeration. The Room (Schacht)

The Talk -- The band is beginning their support of No, You Shut Up, now out on the local imprint MoRisen Records. Interestingly, the band recently finished another record, It's Like Magic in Reverse, that ought to come out early next year (Do look for it. Buy this one first, but look for it). Produced by Jamie Hoover, No, You Shut Up is a tighter affair than past Talk projects, a bundle of nervous rock energy that releases itself with every chorus. It's good stuff, and, with a little distribution muscle, it might well "go places." Speaking of going places, the Talk was recently selected to perform at the International Pop Overthrow festival in Liverpool, England, in October. With Elevator Action. The Steeple Lounge (Davis)

SATURDAY 12.27

Federal Bureau of Rock and Roll Reunion -- The Federal Bureau of Rock and Roll -- the FBRR to their fans -- were staples in the burgeoning Charlotte rock scene of the 70s and early 80s. Known for their brand of relatively straightforward bluesy originals and for their good taste in classic cover tunes, the Federal Bureau always resisted making the move to the Allman Brothers-like sound so many of their Caucasian compatriots did, in favor of keeping it simple. Call them compassionate conservatives, then (just not to their face). Double Door Inn (Davis)

Sister Hazel/Ingram Hill -- Sunny stuff, no doubt, and catchy, but there's just something missing here that I can't quite put my finger on. How to say? It's not awful, like, say, most MTV cut-and-paste "alternative" acts, and the band does have a certain sturdiness and craftsman's polish. It feels halfway inspired, too, even if the inspiration is just a good old-fashioned barbecue with friends and a few cold cans of oat soda. What's the word I'm looking for? Generic. Not offensively generic, just generic. For many, it'll get the job done. Some of us just like the rougher stuff. (Davis)

Ingram Hill, a Memphis-based quartet, has a knack for spinning pop tunes with hearty "Southern" influences while keeping them in check within the greater contemporary collective. Justin Moore's vocals and guitar work are not out of the ordinary, but mature enough to caress the sensibilities of those seeking straight-up, no nonsense pop-rock. The recently self-released June's Picture Show will be reissued on a major label early next year. Tremont Music Hall (Shukla)

Sugar Hill Gang -- So you want to kick it old school? The originators of "Rapper's Delight" produced the first Top 40 hit for the genre back in 1979 and ensured their place in history. The song wasn't particularly strong or inventive compared to what was really going down in New York, but by being the first to break through it changed everything. It's been kind of slim pickings since then, though members of the group did release a kid's rap record in 1999. With Charlotte's own legends, McClintock G's. Mythos (Schacht)

MONDAY 12.29

Double Door 30th Anniversary Party/Black Market Radio -- Sound of Mine alums Carey Sims and Andy Seets are back together in Black Market Radio, a more plaintive, songwriting-based band than their last project. Joining them are Derek Young (ex-Jennifer Strip), drummer Chuck Lee (Cherry Bomb) and Jason Atkins (ex-Lou Ford), who fills out the sound with some of the best B3 playing in the region. Also appearing are the Monday Night All-Stars. Double Door Inn (Davis)

WEDNESDAY 12.31

Bessie Mae's Dream -- Bessie Mae's Dream take cues from the Grateful Dead, but don't limit their repertoire by donning the guise of another tribute or copy band. BMD recently released an upbeat full-length record, Blind Man Sunset, and along with like-spirited comrades Bellyfull and Fullgrown, promise to liven up New Year's Eve by playing psychedelic rock leaning on the proverbial jam trip. Neighborhood Theatre (Shukla)

Derek Trucks Band -- Trucks has undeniably emerged as the torchbearer of blues guitar gods; a flame he upholds quite valiantly. He doesn't get stuck in a straight blues rut as he departs the genre with ease, sliding into eastern influences while working with singers as varied as Rahat Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Gregg Allman. Trucks' string-work transcends any specific genre, whether he's playing an electric, acoustic, or even a sarod (a guitar-like sister of the sitar). He can also morph into a jazz guitarist; check "Bock to Bock" off his new disc, Soul Serenade, for a reference. Visulite Theatre (Shukla)

Murdercycle -- Composed of former headz from Ublisch (still the greatest marketed Charlotte band of all time) and Seducer, Murdercycle -- along with pals Semi-Pro, who are also on this bill -- continue to be one of the more intriguing heavy acts around. They're muscular yet lithe, in the vein of someone like the Hellacopters. Swede-free, however. With Elevator Action. Shelberry's (Davis)

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