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Kenny Roby -- Presently at work on a record at Charlotte's own Cougar Camp studios, Roby (ex-Six String Drag) does the wizened Costello/Newman songwriting thing as well as anyone in the state, but, like the natural storyteller he is, never forces the yuks. Also a talented guitar player, Roby's worth catching if you like a bit more lyrical (and musical) heft than is usually heard on the touring Americana circuit. With Mt. Holly's own David Childers, no slouch himself in the songwriting category. The Evening Muse (Davis)

Drunken Fool's Benefit -- Bruce Hazel (The Noise/The Gold Coast/The Virginia Reel) has collected some of the home team's best musicians to perform in what he hopes will be an annual benefit for the Second Harvest foundation. See Hometown Lowdown in this issue for more details. The Room (Schacht)

Artoxication w/ The Noise -- Forget the KLF -- Bruce Hazel's gonna rock ya. The transplanted rocker doesn't lack for ambition or meaty hooks, as his last record The Fall of the Chicken King, proved. He's learned to rein in the rasp a bit, but there's still enough believable snarl that you never doubt the music's authenticity. Also featuring Nacho Pussy and The Never, along with a cast of visual and performance artists. The Steeple Lounge (Davis)

Bill Patrick -- A regular on the New York scene at Twilo since 1998 (until 2001 when they closed), Patrick recently landed a residency at club Fluid in Philly (with the three other members of the 112 Crew). His brand of minimal dubbed-out techno is augmented by sound-scapes of house, electro and breaks, which has won him a following up and down the East Coast. Tonic (Schacht)

The Gibson Brothers -- The duo play wonderful mountain music and classically styled bluegrass, no small task considering they come from upstate New York, not the hills of the South. The freshly-released Long Way Back Home (Sugarhill Records) has a gospel-tinged warmth wrapped in sweet harmony, especially the bonus track "East Bound Train" and the wistful take on The Band's "Ophelia." With Moonshine Racers. Neighborhood Theatre (Shukla)

The Sammies -- Like some time-warped offspring of the MC5 and The Mooney Suzuki, one of Charlotte's (okay, Wadesboro's) best new bands has won over just about everyone who's had the pleasure of their live show. It's infectious high-speed-hyper-fun-proto-punk from a band so hungry to play they'd set up in the trunk of your car if you promised them a case of PBR. Everything, in other words, The Strokes are supposed to be but aren't. With Chauncey. The Room (Schacht)

Superjoint Ritual -- Phil Anselmo (Pantera frontman and various other side projects) leads this band of punk-metal and hardcore hooligans. There's no new disc since last summer's A Lethal Dose of American Hatred (Sanctuary), in which guitars imitate screeching tires, drums shuffle like hovering helicopters (the military type, of course), and Anselmo shouts into the mic above the din. An added attraction here is Hank Williams III taking a break from the honky-tonks to play bass. It's all custom-made for a loud, angry and profane Friday night. Tremont Music Hall (Shukla)

Beatles Tribute Night -- Awright, what more explanation do you need? There are more than 30 local and regional performers lined up to pay tribute to the Fab 4. Poprocket, Robin Rogers, Sam Fisher, Chris Cook, Steve Stoeckel and many others represent varied styles of music converging to play Beatles tunes. The collective should make for an evening of contemporary takes on songs long cherished. Now if I can only get the guy next door to stop singing "Let It Be" in the bathroom during the wee hours of the morn. The Evening Muse (Shukla)

Fantomas -- Featuring a who's who of the experimental metal scene -- Mike Patton (Mr. Bungle, Tomahawk, Faith No More), Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle, Trevor Dunn Jazz Trio, Convulsant, John Zorn), Dave Lombardo (Slayer, Grip Inc.) and Buzz "King Buzzo" Osborne (The Melvins) -- the band is touring behind their new release, Delirium Cordia, a 74-minute song/album. Yes, you read that correctly. With Melt Banana. See our stories in this issue. Tremont Music Hall (Davis)

Charlotte Blues Society 11th Anniversary w/ Sean Costello -- Yes, he's a young white dude. No, I don't know the extent of the man's personal encounters with the blues. His latest platter, Moanin' for Molasses (Landslide Records), certainly evidences mucho technical chops, but I've always thought the true sign of blues greatness was in playing hardly any notes at all and still making the song swing like a big-time Hollywood producer on Viagra. Costello's certainly not there yet, but his fretwork is undeniable and ought to please the SRV crowd and the older cats alike. Double Door Inn (Davis)

Goapele -- Bay area native Goapele (pronounced "gwa-pa-lay") offers up a blend of old school soul, hip-hop, jazz and R&B that caught the attention of Columbia Records, who signed her on the strength of her debut, Even Closer. Her bloodline -- she was born to a Jewish mother from New York and a father from South Africa -- has played a major influence on her music, which means there's more to it than the typical major-label fare. Amos' Southend (Schacht)

Great Big Sea -- Whether playing Irish drinking music or rock sprinkled with their native Newfoundland traditions, Great Big Sea have a knack for spinning tales with a crossover appeal. It's contemporary rock mixed with a stylish blend of Celtic and Canadian traditions. The acoustic combo has a hard-driving sound and are on the road pushing the newly released Something Beautiful. Visulite Theatre (Shukla)

SNMNMNM -- For starters: a lead accordion player. A tuba player instead of a bass guitarist. Three-part harmonies. Also, that cliched-ass instrument called the electric guitar. Yet another band proving that it's not the gimmick that makes the band, but the other way around. Sure, it takes some getting used to -- accordion melodies, as polka fans everywhere can attest, are not the rocking-est things in the world -- but it works, and works well. Both polka and rock are usually done in beer halls anyway, come to think of it. The Room (Davis)

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