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Dolorean -- This Portland, Oregon, group led by Alex James quietly released one of last year's most gorgeous discs, Not Exotic, earning props from The New York Times, The Onion's AV Club, and almost everyone in between. The music is simple but not remotely simplistic: sparsely populated melodies loll gently by on the power of James' melancholic storytelling and Nick Drake-like guitar. Throw in a lovely Wurlitzer and the odd cello or mandolin line and this record takes on a stately, autumnal hue that many seek but few find. With The Houston Brothers and Gold Coast. Neighborhood Theatre (Schacht)

Matone -- Fans of moe. might recognize this band -- not because the two are so similar, but because they've appeared together before. Matone opened for moe. at their last Charlotte show, and then opened for moe. guitarist Al Schnier's sideband, Al & The Transamericans, a while back. Similarities can be found, though. They have a lot of the same influences, but Matone is less intense and more fluid. They won't pin your ears back, but they'll coax you through some semi-psychedelic jams, some Southern rock, and maybe even some reggae. Visulite Theatre (Brian Falk)

Pat DiNizio -- The Smithereens have always been a personal favorite. Lead singer/songwriter DiNizio's warm tenor tempers the band's hummable rock. DiNizio hits the solo trail on occasion with his storytelling knack and plays material from the Smithereens as well as covers of Elvis Costello, Buddy Holly, the Beatles, and wherever else the evening's mood takes him. He has a solo record under his belt and recently completed his first indie film, King Leisure, a spoof on his life. The Smithereens are still actively touring and will release an anthology this summer. Sylvia Theater, York (Shukla)

The Avett Brothers -- The Avetts' drum-free porch 'n' roll doesn't seem to be such an acquired taste anymore, as fans from here to Nashville and back are raving about the boys' fizzy concoction of old-time, bluegrass and punk. Tempting the taste buds of tastemakers all over the Southeast and even as far north as New York City, Scott and Seth and Co. still make it down-home style, boiling every batch of songs down to the sharpest, simplest brew possible. They know what sticks in their guts, and, having being taught to respect their elders, have also picked up a few choice recipes along the way. The proof's in the drinking, however, and...(OK, screw this analogy. Some other writer recently called them something like The Who if The Who played bluegrass. That's not quite right, I don't think, but close enough). Sylvia Theater, York (Davis)

The Bleeding Hearts -- Like a lot of bands these days, The Bleeding Hearts like Cheap Trick and The Cars as much as they do AC/DC, KISS and The Ramones. Call it stoned soup: big meaty riffs, wholesome melody, and enough hot-pepper attitude to make it burn a bit going down. Refreshingly, the band admits all this, saying that they play an entire era of music more than any one style. As the guitar rock resurgence has proven, however, it's all pretty much the same thing/different amps. The key is making it swing like mad, which the Hearts do a fine job of. Originally inked to a deal with Charlotte's MoRisen Records, the band was apparently dropped after recording their debut, Stayin' After Class. Whose fault was it? Go check 'em out and make up your own mind. With Patty Hurst Shifter. The Room (Davis)

Darediablo -- Darediablo are a mostly instrumental trio with power chords that spar with jazz and psychedelic rock. They also change the musical pace of fuzzed-out rock with the added sway of organ. There is no agenda here except to create a dissonant and sometimes atmospheric vibe. Think Pink Floyd with a lunatic organ player instead of Rick Wright, or Medeski, Martin and Wood punkified. With Stinking Lizaveta. The Steeple Lounge (Shukla)

Ginsu Jukebox -- Charlotte's Ginsu Jukebox are like a classic-rock jukebox with a few blues and R&B records thrown in for variety. Think of a party with a decent rock station, a rarity today, pumping out live tunes in the background. They play covers of Stevie Ray Vaughan and others, as well as originals. This is basically a gig for those seeking a no-nonsense blues-rock band. With Quasi Mojo. Double Door Inn (Shukla)

Dirty Dozen Brass Band -- Aw, yeah. Dirty Dozen is a party, y'all. Half New Orleans brass band and half funky force of nature, these guys are guaranteed to make you move. Believe it. This band's an institution, too. Twenty-seven years ago they resuscitated a dying musical style and made it even more fun than it already was. Now they have a day named after them in New Orleans. They keep things fresh by throwing in other flavors like reggae, Latin and calypso, as long as you can dance to it. If you don't want to dance, you can get off on the top-flight solos and super-tight arrangements. But you'll have more fun if you dance. Visulite Theatre (Brian Falk)

Larry Tee -- Already passe in the New York scene, Electroclash is still a pretty potent movement outside the 212 area code (what is the average length of a NYC "scene"? Is it measured in weeks or hours now?). Señor Tee is one of the founding fathers of the movement, which combines a faux punk aesthetic with dance music and over-the-top performances. But this is much more posh nightclub and SoHo art gallery than CBGBs or Hammersmith Palais, so the band-name appropriation (admittedly only a part of the equation) is wishful thinking. Sad to say, but it's a good thing Joe Strummer's not around for this, 'cause it's way more Big Audio Dynamite than Clash City Rockers. Still, you'll encounter massive grooves and break a sweat. With Nacho Pussy. Mythos (Schacht)

The Strokes -- Their new record is called Room on Fire, and while a subtle gradation from Is This It, it certainly didn't set the world on fire. Which might be expected. Outside the diehards, folks probably heard Julian Casablancas' mumbled howl and the sewing-machine guitar riffs of Nick Valensi and Albert Hammond Jr. and decided that this in fact was not it, and that it all sounded too much like an album of outtakes from the first record. However, cuts like the rollicking "Reptilia" and the new-wave shuffle "12:51" more than hold their own against anything on the last album, and dispense to a great extent with the foggy-headed ennui that enveloped the last record. See our story on The Strokes' quandary in this issue. Grady Cole Center (Davis)

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