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Bob Schneider -- The Texas-based singer/songwriter has a new one fresh off the presses, I'm Good Now, and was honored at this year's Austin Music Awards with the "Musician of the Year" crown. Call him Mr. Texas, please. His rootsy, straight-ahead rock isn't going to re-shape the musical cosmos, but judging from the accolades, he's rocked plenty of worlds already. Visulite Theatre (Schacht)

Tingstad & Rumble -- The Grammy Award-winning duo are billed as the most popular guitar and wind-wood duo in the country -- though there can't be too many oboe/English horn and guitar pairs to measure up against, can there? Nevertheless, their musical reach is impressive, covering Americana, Irish jigs, Gypsy campfire, Middle Eastern dirges and even classical. Added listening bonus: Ocarina solos. Great Aunt Stella Center (Schacht)

Burns Out Bright - A Columbia, SC, quartet firmly entrenched in the harmonious post-hardcore camp, they've been on tour (and made some critical noise) with the likes of Stretch Armstrong, and are out behind a new EP, Distance and Darkness. Clinic, Rock Hill. (Schacht)

Cheryl Wheeler -- She's had songs covered by Suzy Bogguss and Chris Gaines (Garth Brooks' bogus side project), and been signed to labels including Capitol, Philo, and Rounder. She can write rock-solid folk/country songs, humor tunes, or tearjerkers. She's played with or written songs for all sorts of folks, including Lucy Kaplansky and Mary-Chapin Carpenter. So why isn't she a bigger name? Because she's a 53-year-old-woman who doesn't have six-pack abs. Because she's never had "work done." Because she cares not a whit about prancing around on your TV with a team of stylists faking like she's down with Mr. or Mrs. Middle America. And likely, because she doesn't care to be. Her first job may have been as a waitress/performer, but she hasn't had to bus tables (or buss asses) since. With gogoPilot. The Evening Muse (Davis)

Mark Evangelist/Figga 4 -- Avowed reggae/dub fan Mark Evangelist, best known in these parts for his work with the funk-positive band Selah, will attempt to convert the masses tonight with massive amounts of echo-y dub and low end. Also on the bill is the excellent Charlotte-based underground hip hop group Figga 4, who probably owe my man Ric Flair some serious royalties by now. With DJ JahSun and djDR. Visulite Theatre (Davis)

Martin Sexton -- One of the biggest voices on the singer/songwriter circuit over the last few years, Sexton's blend of soul and folk has been compared to Van Morrison and Aaron Neville -- by whom, well, the press sheets don't say. One thing for sure, almost no style is beyond the man's mad-range vocals. Years of playing the street corners and coffee houses of Boston eventually paid off with the National Academy of Songwriter's Artist of the Year award in 1994. Amos' Southend (Schacht)

Metallica -- The Bay Area shredders recently returned with their best album in years, St. Anger, and plan on unleashing it on all you poor saps later tonight. See the See and Do section of this paper for more information. Charlotte Coliseum (Davis)

Punk Strikes Back -- The opening night of this two-day Old School punk-fest features Drat, The Lotus, and other regional acts; Saturday's show includes local heroes Minority Party, My So Called Band and many more. See our story in this issue for more details. Tremont Music Hall (Schacht)

Satellite Union -- They get the jam-band tag, but the sound is more varied than that, including elements of funk, jazz, straight-up rock and electronica. Of course that Relix magazine honor -- SU were recently chosen for the magazine's prestigious jam-off in NYC, honoring the 10 best unsigned jam bands in the country -- may pigeonhole them further, but the trade-off publicity certainly can't hurt where it counts: CD sales and gigs, gigs, gigs. With Todd Joseph Jamboree and Simplified. Visulite Theatre (Schacht)

Mersey Sound - Mike Mitschele's recently re-monikered outfit (formerly filmschool) returns for a night of melodic rock on their home turf. You can't really put a label on it (other than the "melodic" and "rock" ones), but whatever you call it, Mitschele (vox, guitar), Grainger Gilbert (guitar), Jeff Williams (bass/vox) and Mike Kenerly (drums) will be delivering it. The Room. (Schacht)

Sound Tribe Sector 9 -- More like Herbie Hancock than Phish -- and not at all afraid of technology -- STS9 play what I'd call Mantra Rock (if I can coin my own phrase): repetitive but groovy, and not a little bit hypnotic. Not much (if anything) in the way of lyrics, but how many jam bands since the Dead have written lyrics worth remembering anyway? (Phish, this means you.). Neighborhood Theatre (Davis)

Method & the Result -- This Philly-based couple -- Megan and Mason Wendell -- have an intriguing new EP out, The Things You Miss, and a kitchen-sink approach to their arrangements. Only the Wendells and their God know what's going on behind Megan's clarion-like voice -- backward typewriters? hard drives frying? hair clippers at Supercuts? But the result is more pleasant than dissonant, and there are traces of pop, jazz, rock and soul scattered amid the thrift-store instruments and super-collider computer programs. The Evening Muse (Schacht)

Jurassic 5 -- Forget throwback jerseys. If you really want to kick-it old-school, you have to go back to the Jurassic era, when DJs like Cut Chemist and Nu-Mark roamed the earth, armed only with the wheels of steel (the invention of which followed directly after the stone version of same) and an old 808. Yet another band finding like minds on the jam circuit (see their Bonnaroo appearance), the J5 can occasionally get stuck in a tar pit of overwrought verbiage (like, say, this blurb), but always manage to end the show with a smile. Which is more than you can say for the dinosaurs. Neighborhood Theatre (Davis)

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