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Dave Olson -- Firmly grounded in the Midwest environs he inhabits, Olson's debut, #80, is an honest, hard-working, fuck-the-frills debut falling somewhere between Woody Guthrie, John Mellencamp and Josh Ritter. From the cover's b&w photos of run-down barns and ominous storm clouds to songs about "The Workin' Life," "Kerosene," and "This Little Town," Olson's record is the aural equivalent of a handful of rich farming dirt -- simple, but life affirming. With LJ Booth. The Evening Muse (Schacht)

The Painkillers -- Mike Hendrix (Belmont Playboys) has a new band, The Painkillers, featuring his brother Jeff on bass, Jimmy King (aqualads, DRAT) on guitar, and Darrell Ussery (Aqualads, Lou Ford, Virginia Reel) on drums. The band, which Hendrix describes as being much in the same (bulging) vein as the Playboys, are currently honing their chops by playing every other Wednesday in June at the good 'ol Dirty Door. For more info, check out Double Door Inn (Davis)

Rock Songwriter's Night -- The latest installment in the Vance Carlisle-hosted showcase features the whip-smart writing of Nashville-based Amelia White and Asheville transplant Brian Landrum of Black Eyed Dog. Two locals join the mix: Bruce Hazel of the Noise and the Gold Coast, whose rock & roll conviction recalls a slightly more famous New Jersey musician; and Lindsey Horne (sans band), whose gorgeous keyboard work and Kate Bush-worthy songs are made to order for this setting. The Evening Muse (Schacht)

Seven Mary Three / Five Eight -- Once described as the poor man's Pearl Jam, 7M3 have matured into becoming an influence on other up-and-coming bands. They are touring in support of their 5th release Dis/location. / Five Eight are Athens, GA, stalwarts, and frontman Mike Mantione's live presence is legendary. After over a decade-and-a-half of writing, playing and touring, the group has released a quintessential recording of their collective rock wisdom. The new self-titled disc speaks for itself as an elegant yet potent return. Amos' Southend (Shukla)

Blue Dogs -- The Dogs' singer, Bobby Houck, glides over roots-rock tunes and grooves while the rest of the quintet lay on the acoustic-rock sauce, nice and thick. The Charleston-based band is earnest in their musicianship, which means a lot in today's world of throwaway hits. The band's latest recording, Halos And Good Buys, is a muscular, country-tinged record. There's no opener, as the band will play two sets. Neighborhood Theatre (Shukla)

Chuck Brodsky -- Brodsky's dark humor and activist lyrics (environment, standing up for the little guy, etc) are delivered through one of the more pleasing and unique vocal styles in the singer/songwriter genre. On the new recording, Color Came One Day, Brodsky continues to embellish simple tales with prose-like flourishes. Economy of words is not his strength, but that's a good thing for this student of early Dylan. Brodsky favors verbose tales with rapid-fire delivery, turning each tune into a stand-alone short story. Rodi, Gastonia (Shukla)

Elevator Action/The Needles -- Elevator Action, our own glam/punk/pop heroes, have a great new album out this fall on MoRisen Records, and early listens suggest a candidate for local release of the year. Entitled It's Just Addiction, the record was produced by John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr., Mark Lanegan) and holds up well to the band's no-holds-barred live shows./The Needles are full-on aggro, as they used to say in the old skateboarding bible, Thrasher. Which, coincidentally, recently featured the Wilmington band with a small write-up and a picture replete with full-on Jimmy Page-style back arching and a middle-finger salute. With Chauncey. The Room (Davis)

Haitian Hate Gods/Black Lagoon -- Part of Single Cell Productions' continuing music and art showcases, tonight's event, Divas of Darkness, includes local Glamasaurauses Babyshaker, Haitian Hate Gods (formerly VooDou and purveyors of some seriously heavy Tiki Goth) and Black Lagoon, who have crawled out of the swamp with a few new players (Dean Lovette, Rob Tavaglione) and a satchel of new songs to boot. With Rutkus. Amos' Southend (Davis)

Mike Strauss CD Release -- A member of the eclectic trio Lilley, Strauss and Schigoda, and the acoustic combo Beatdukes, Strauss is releasing his debut solo disc, Gone Electric, produced by local knobs whiz Joe Kuhlman. Some ace regional musicians make an appearance on the disc, including David Childers, Michael Reno Harrell and Eric Lovell. Strauss' warm raspy voice fits nicely with all the genres he covers, which include hot blues, jazzy pop, country and classic rock. The Evening Muse (Shukla)

Anthony Hamilton -- Local-crooner-made-good Hamilton returns to his home turf this week as the young man on a tour full of old soul(ster)s. See our story in this issue. With Maze featuring Frankie Beverly and Gerald Levert. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (Davis)

The Spongetones -- The name Spongetones sums up this band pretty well, methinks. All the members are self-proclaimed sponges for the golden era of pop songwriting and manage to blend these lessons into their own music with laudable results. The "tone" part is obvious to anyone who's seen them: Guitars function more like paintbrushes, changing the mood or the drive of a piece with a simple flourish. One imagines that playing with each other for the last 20 years (musically, silly) doesn't hurt. With Michael Lipton and his band, The Carpenter Ants. Double Door Inn (Davis)

Dashboard Confessional -- It's a punk rock day at the amusement park. Read about Dashboard Confessional and others on the bill in our See and Do section. Paramount's Carowinds Paladium (Shukla)

Grand Champeen -- On record? The Replacements/early Soul Asylum Twin/Tone sound re-born. Live? Zero-to-60 in 1-2-3-4. See our story in this issue. With the Dynamite Brothers. The Room (Schacht)

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