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THURSDAY 8.26
The Gourds -- This quirky Austin-based band of Tex-Mex country rockers always puts on a rambunctious show with plenty of tongue-in-cheek bravado. With Papa Mali. See our story in this issue. Visulite Theatre (Shukla)

FRIDAY 8.27
Avett Brothers -- The brothers Avett bring their high-octane punk-grass to Winthrop College's Welcome Week after showing the Left Coast (well, the valley and mountains of the Left Coast) a thing or two about how it's done in Carolina. With stops in Sacramento, Old Folsom, Nevada City and Davis, the brothers struck while the iron was hot, right on the heels of their Sony Distribution deal for Mignonette. The result? Airplay on KDVS, UC Davis' influential college radio station. Textbook. With Bonepony, another act specializing in Le Stomp. Byrnes Auditorium, Winthrop (Schacht)

Bob Margolin -- A sideman for Muddy Waters through most of the 70s, Steady Rollin' Bob Margolin's road-hardened voice is almost a natural brethren of his guitar work. The bluesman mixes choice covers and potent originals in his regular appearances when rumbling through town. It's your good old and effortless take on the American tradition of electric blues. With Carey Bell. Double Door Inn (Shukla)

Dove -- A unified sound so big it should quench Charlotte's metal void. Dove serves up a fine mix of metal, hard core, punk, 70s rock and reggae, with bands like Neurosis, Nausea, Rush and King Tubby cited as influences. Tuned low, the droning guitar -- along with singer Henry Wilson's vocals -- dominates the sonic landscape. The quick-time drumming exhibits a unique sense of timing that fits right in with the overall sound. Dove is loud -- but not noisy. Wilson calls it the "universal sound." Bring earplugs because it's going to be LOUD. With Horse Thief, Fat Day, Calabi-Yau, and JT & the Blame. Queen City Underground (Lydia Marlon)

Hope For A Golden Summer -- This five-piece from Georgia sounds like a good fit with the headliners of the late show, Pyramid. Their reconstructed songs include saws, accordions, cheese graters, clarinets, Coke bottles, banjos, marimbas, dulcimers, violoncello and bowed guitars (Jimmy Page has got to be proud; two bands, two bowed guitars). Of course the proof's in the playing of all those instruments, but that does not appear to be a problem -- the Golden Summer folks can bring it. The Evening Muse (Schacht)

La India/Tito Nieves -- La India, born in Puerto Rico and raised in the Bronx, has been crowned the princess of salsa, and for good reason. She adds emotive vocals and a sultry pizzazz to the tropical sounds of salsa (the music, not the sauce). She began as an R&B/Dance artist but quickly returned to her roots and gained fame in the world of Latin music, including rumba. She has worked with Eddie Palmieri, Celia Cruz and others. Tito Nieves is also a salsa master, but has taken more crossover R&B and hip-hop detours than India. But when in his element, Nieves can also get down to the business of Latin music with sizzling results. Get ready to be transported to a street party in San Juan. Blumenthal Performing Arts Center (Shukla)

The Rosebuds -- One of the Triangle's best new bands returns with their infectious hook-laden pop rock. Go ahead, try and stand still. We'll buy you the refreshing beverage of your choice if you can (offer void in North Carolina). With the Mersey Sound. See our story in this issue. The Room (Schacht)

SATURDAY 8.28
Grand Funk Railroad -- Another 70s band back from the dead (for the third time) to cash in on a hit still in rotation on all the right Classic Rock radio stations. This lineup includes two of the original five members: Don Brewer, who penned and sang the Funk's big one, "We're an American Band," and bassist Mel Schacher. They're joined by hired hands Max Carl (38 Special), Bruce Kulick (a KISS cast-off) and Tim Cashion (Bob Seger, Robert Palmer). This GFR is also in the studio, promising to add daily "new chapters in the band's biography." Hmmm. Let's see if they can catch lightning in a bottle twice; the Todd Rundgren-produced "We're an American Band" was a high point, even if those are the only words anyone remembers. Cabarrus Arena & Events Center, Concord (Schacht)

Green Light -- This eclectic instrumental trio merge rock, jazz and world music into a spacey vibe, without falling into unnecessary "drag-it out forever" jamming. Sure they play lengthy tunes, but Green Light succeeds in fusing an original sound knitted together with scads of improv and interplay. It's a convergence of musical ideas explored with a basic guitar/bass/drums setup. Pink Floyd for the Z-generation? Maybe, just maybe. With Bellyfull. The Room (Shukla)

Les Dirt Clods CD release -- In a just world a record this good would be the toast of roots music fans everywhere -- now that it's actually coming out after a lengthy gestation period, let's see if Randolph Lewis' band gets its due. Filled with soaring harmonies worthy of the early Jayhawks, fat hooks via two guitars and keys in a Faces' Long Player fashion, a Southern Gothic feel like the Black Crowes, and just the right amount of cowbell, Earth Rooster hearkens back to a prehistoric time when rock riffs ruled the world. To its credit, the record never sounds dated or nostalgic, only fresh and invigorating. Some things are worth the wait. The Evening Muse (Schacht)

Sunday 8.29EVERCLEAR -- You have to hand it to Art Alexakis and his bandmates because they're still at it, long after their time in the sun has come and gone -- for bands who have times in the sun, that's a rarity. It's probably due to the fact that though their hits ("Santa Monica," "Heroin Girl") were nothing revolutionary, they were catchy as hell. Equally important, Alexakis and Co. didn't rest on their laurels, diversifying their sound on their last few records. Despite the fact that the masses weren't biting and the diversifications weren't all that successful, they soldier on. Power to 'em. Visulite. (Schacht)

TUESDAY 8.31
Phantom Planet -- Phantom Planet's self-titled new disc is clearly much harder than their earlier two recordings of pretty-boy pop rock. The bright, three-part harmonies are still there, but the garage obviously has been revisited, and it's a nice change of pace. Did these guys all of a sudden discover punk, fuzzed-out grunge and The Fall? A clue lies in the fact that Mercury Rev's Dave Fridmann produced the record. With The Like and The Damnwells. Tremont Music Hall (Shukla)

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