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WEDNESDAY 7.14
Just About to Burn -- Led by Paleface, former roommate of Beck and one-time NYC anti-folk icon, this trio plays an engaging acoustic blend of country, folk and blues on their 2004 self-titled debut. It doesn't stray far from Paleface's solo work, which is not a bad thing at all -- unless you happen to work for a major record label (he's been dropped from Polydor and Elektra). The trio's debut reminds one of the Band, mostly because Paleface's voice is located at the intersection of Robbie Robertson and Rick Danko (and perhaps Tom Waits). Neil Allen and Eric Krauss of the Virginia Reel open. The Room (Schacht)

Rising Lion -- Danny Dred, aka Rising Lion, lives the Rasta life and manages to write songs that would make the old school roots-reggae masters proud. His NYC outfit can also turn a trick or two in the confines of dub and dancehall. Its hot, socially conscious reggae for the mid-week doldrums and the band's fine cover of "All Along the Watchtower" alone is worth the price of admission. Double Door Inn (Shukla)

THURSDAY 7.15
Dieselboy -- He was just in town at the now-defunct Mythos a couple of months ago, but it's still worth a mention when the undisputed King of American Drum & Bass makes an appearance -- and with this venue's sound system, you're sure to notice a difference. In the interim, Dieselboy (aka, Damian Higgins) has released a two-disc set of remixes entitled Dungeonmaster's Guide -- yes, that Dungeonmaster. The reviews are almost unanimous in suggesting the fantasy game theme can be ignored. Tonic (Schacht)

FRIDAY 7.16
The Album Leaf -- Jimmy LaValle (Tristeza, Black Heart Procession) -- a compatriot both literally and figuratively with Iceland's Sigur Rós -- performs one of his rare solo shows tonight, full of all the gentle bleeps and instrumental washes you've come to expect from our frozen friends. With The Movies. See our story in this issue. Neighborhood Theatre (Davis)

Kenny Chesney/Uncle Kracker -- Chesney has somehow vaulted to the top of the Big Hat-country world recently, despite evidencing little more than an affinity for the Trans-Am rock of his youth, raggedly cut muscle shirts, and a hat that seems about two sizes too big for his head. Now, in one of those brainstorming sessions no doubt thought up with the bottom line in mind, Chesney and Kracker have banded together to record tracks and tour with each other. Of course, it's worked like gangbusters, at least financially. VH1 and CMT are boffo about the pair, as each network's marketing reach is doubled with the crossover success. Figures. Verdict: Safe as milk, and not nearly as flavorful. With Rascal Flatts. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (Davis)

Wayne Robbins and the Hellsayers -- Sporting a new album, The Lonesome Sea, as well as a crack backing band that includes Brian Landrum (Black Eyed Dog) and Jonas Cole, Asheville's Robbins appears to be an artist to watch. Robbins has a lot of Neil Young's spirit in his lyrical forays and vocal delivery (perhaps too much on occasion), but there's a freshness here that suggests someone just popped the top on a nice little second career. With Black Eyed Dog. The Evening Muse (Davis)

Yondo Sister -- She began her career as a dancer for Tabu Ley Rochereau's band and later became backup singer/dancer for soukous master Kanda Bongo Man. Congolese Yondo Sister stepped out on her own in the early 90s and, with several releases behind her, is now firmly established as a proponent for a style of African music known as soukous. Soukous is largely West African music with an infectious tropical, rumba-laced beat and a distinct guitar signature bouncing around, and in between, the rhythm. Teamster's Union Auditorium (Shukla)

SATURDAY 7.17
Delta Moon -- Atlanta-based quintet features Tom Gray's ebullient guitar work and Gina Leigh's full-bodied, feisty vocals. Their third release, Goin' Down South, expands on the whiskey-soaked blues without diluting the music and they're also adept at avoiding singing the same old blues tune. Double Door Inn (Shukla)

Rick Spreitzer CD Release -- The Americana-steeped Dirt Tracks is Spreitzer's second release, coming two years after his debut, Meanderthal. The new one includes a host of Queen City guests, including David Childers, Rodney Lanier (Sea of Cortez/The Gold Coast), Mike Orlando and Brian Burton (Cast Iron Filter), and many more. If you can't make this one, Spreitzer's hosting another release party next Saturday, July 24, at the Crossroads Coffeehouse in Waxhaw which is, well, you know, not that far. The Evening Muse (Schacht)

SUNDAY 7.18
The Dempseys -- A diesel-fueled rockabilly trio, the Dempseys are either pure energy or a bit gimmicky, depending on your point of view. Shows often end up in the audience or on the bar, and musical instruments end up behind necks or played with teeth. The band plays a mix of covers and originals, and as such might not be a bad option for those folks looking to get out and cut a rug to something other than the same ol' same ol.' With Jem Crossland and the Hypertonics. The Evening Muse (Davis)

TUESDAY 7.20
múm -- Icelandic trio's whispered, little girl voice and cascading sound bits of trumpets, accordion, guitars, and other instruments are looped into electronica. The result is a trance-inducing vibe that just may make for a cinematic experience of a sci-fi soundtrack whispered by fairies. See our story in this issue. Neighborhood Theatre (Shukla)

WEDNESDAY 7.21
All Astronauts -- Based on the moniker alone, you are forgiven for thinking "space rock" or "space jams." Instead, this Winston-Salem quartet delivers an X-like wallop, with singer Kat Lamp and guitarist Kemp Stroble playing the respective roles of Exene Cervenka and John Doe on the AA debut, Navigation Songs. It's often a thin line between citing an influence and Xeroxing one, but the Astronauts add a definite Carolina underground sound to the mix to successfully straddle the line. Opening for the Talk. The Room (Schacht)

Winter in Alaska -- Bandleader Nic Dillon has a knack for combining words and music into soulful indie rock. The music is tranquil yet angst rears its head in subtle and surprising junctures. It's the hints of classical and electronic music filling the spaces of the jazzy rock that begs attention. If the real winter in Alaska is as sublime as the band, this summer lovin' scribe just may have to put on the thick skin and head out there. The Evening Muse (Shukla)

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