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WEDNESDAY 7.28
Ten Missing Days -- A Charlotte five-piece in the manner of the Deftones or Foo Fighters, only with a bit more emo vibe than Dave Grohl humor. It's loud, it's fast, it's earnest, it's got three guitars. The band gets tagged with the scream-o label, but there's more melody and pop elements here than that, even if there are some palpable post-hardcore moments as well. With Wellington and A Black Market Diary. The Room (Schacht)

KISS : I first learned of KISS via an acquaintance who'd plastered black light posters of the band all over his room as a visual aid for certain activities that may or may not have required a bong. A few months later, supporting Black Sabbath, their painted mugs, leather costumes and fire-breathing antics were an amusing but not-in-the-least filling opening act. Ozzie and Co. came out and quickly restored order with a frills-free set of punishing rock. Thirty years later (!) and KISS is still at, buoyed now by Gene Simmons' tongue and its exploits as much as anything, and I can't help but wonder: Just how high was I? With Poison. Verizon (Schacht)

THURSDAY 7.29
Drive-By Truckers -- Southern Rock Opera was a red clay reveille to timid critics everywhere, and these truckers haven't taken their foot off the gas since. Finally set with a stable lineup, the band is now a well-oiled machine live, provided you like your well-oiled machines with plenty of three-guitar howl and snarled lyrics about the Southern experience. Expect the DBTs to preview a few cuts from their new one tonight, tentatively titled The Dirty South, as well as another two hours or so of back-catalog. See our story in this issue. With Dodd Ferrelle and Tinfoil Stars. Visulite Theatre (Davis)

FRIDAY 7.30
Dillon Fence -- Triangle rockers Kent Alphin, Scott Carle, Greg Humphreys and Chris Goode have all played in lots of bands (most notably Collapsis and Hobex), but it's Dillon Fence they're all best known for. Immortalized in song by none other than Darius Rucker ("Put on a little Dylan/sittin' on a fence"), Dillon Fence put out three albums, a handful of CDs, and were the backing band for more keg parties than anyone since Doug Clark and the Hot Nuts. Now, after a 10-year hiatus (save a few live shows), they're back. Incidentally, Charlotte's own MoRisen Records is currently preparing something called Best+, a greatest hits release which includes a separate CD of new material recorded in spring '04. Visulite Theatre (Davis)

Little Charlie & the Nightcats -- The tag team of Little Charlie Baty (guitar) and Rick Estrin (vocals, guitar, harmonica) give the Nightcats their unique swing and jump blues vibe. Baty is a fluent guitarist and Estrin's innuendo-laden lyrics and sharp harmonica playing are further enhanced by piano rolls that slide in and out of the rhythm at strategic junctures. Little Charlie & Co. qualify as originators, not followers of run-of-the-mill blues. The Sacramento band has released several fine records on blues staple Alligator Records. Double Door Inn (Shukla)

Oteil & the Peacemakers -- If you really like the bottom end, then this is the man for you. Oteil Burbridge was a founding member of Aquarium Rescue Unit and a veteran of the H.O.R.D.E. tours, a bassist with an encyclopedic stylebook. He's become a supremely talented improviser and bass-riffing legend, but Burbridge can also provide steady foundation work, as his current chair in the Allman Brothers Band (since '97) suggests. The Peacemakers though provide a much jazzier vibe, mixed with funk and a dose of gospel. With Supreme Shelving. Neighborhood Theatre (Schacht)

Ultralush -- Local trio is a slightly harder version of Urge Overkill and even tips the musical hat to early Bowie. They've got a knack for making modern rock hip and laden with potent guitar riffs. Tracks like "I Am Nothing" and "Beautiful Disaster" should get the youngsters swaying in the sun or in a darkened room. With Dirty Box. Queen City Underground (Shukla)

SATURDAY 7.31
Chris Cook -- Cook's warm-hearted country music is rooted in small town Americana. As a matter of fact, his appropriately titled folk and rock-tinged new recording, Small Town Gone, is a touching look at the flattening of small towns via economic downturns and strip-mall plagues. Cook bemoans the continuing loss of this American foundation, but also happily reminisces about simple things like old coats and guitars and his native North Carolina. Local music veteran Jim Brock helped produce the cohesive release and when the slide guitar opens the lead track "The One That Got Away," the feeling of impending loss invariably gets the listener rooting for Cook's pleas. The Evening Muse (Shukla)

Larry Keel Experience -- Unlike Jimi Hendrix, Larry Keel's Experience includes a revolving door of musicians -- sometimes Curtis Burch, every now and then a Vassar Clements, a Tony Rice -- all playing off the guitarist's cues. Like Hendrix (albeit not just like Hendrix, mind you), Keel's a masterful guitarist and an underrated singer, taking the music in his genre to new places while still staying attached to his (in this case, bluegrass) roots. However, the only feedback Keel ever produces live come from the audience. Visulite Theatre (Davis)

Pyramid/Houston Brothers/Sea of Cortez -- Expect at least a baker's dozen musicians on stage tonight when all three of the bands listed above hit the stage -- together. See our story in this issue. Neighborhood Theatre (Davis)

SUNDAY 8.1
WSGE Benefit -- Less than $10 ($1 less, to be precise) will get you into this worthy event, featuring the following bands (for more information on the Gaston College radio station benefit, see our See & Do section): Poprocket, David Childers, Tyre Fyre, Les Dirt Clods, Mike Strauss, Rick Spreitzer, Abe Reid, George Pittman Jr. (aka "Scoot"), Reeve Coobs, John Dungan and Lyndsey Horne. The show runs from 3-10pm. The Evening Muse (Schacht)

MONDAY 8.2
Vans Warped Tour -- Some of the regional acts reeled in for the 10th anniversary tour of this arguably most successful festival-styled summer shindig include Charlotte's The Talk and Monday In London plus Punos (Goldsboro), Forever July (Fayetteville) and Sedona (Raleigh), among others. The locals will play on various side stages. See our See & Do section for a pick of the national acts playing. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (Shukla)

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  • On Saturday, Oct. 21, hundreds gathered at Camp North End on Statesville Avenue for Charlotte's first black alternative music festival. We captured some of the bands in action on stage, but mostly we surveyed the grounds as fans, families, vendors and more lounged around the sprawling, colorful Camp North End site. It was a great day of music, food, fun, and sweet, autumn sunshine. (Photos by Mark Kemp)
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