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WEDNESDAY 11.3
Delta Nove -- Hailing from Long Beach, CA, Delta Nove are a pleasant surprise where jazz and funk collide in a happy-go-lucky mood. "We're gonna make your hips shake, we're gonna make your liver quiver," pretty much sums up their lyrical take. The six-piece ensemble is adept in jabbing away at afro-beat, samba, jazz, funk and rock. Wacky improvisation only adds to the multiethnic experience. Smokey Joe's Cafe (Shukla)

THURSDAY 11.4
Circle Takes The Square -- Tagged with the "Screamo" label, CTTS do a great job of transcending that genre's tendency to rely on loud/quiet dynamics and trebly-yet-rootless dentist drill-style riffing. The group's vocal delivery is greatly varied, thanks to a male/female dynamic that can easily go from dead-on yelping to raspy yearning to a little, you know, classic singing. The music is equally as layered, a full palette of metal-flake guitar, hyperspace drumming, and enough avant/noise elements to make it appealing to fans of either ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead or Albert Ayler. Milestone (Davis)

David Lindley -- A musician's musician, Lindley's played various stringed instruments for a veritable who's who over the last 30 years, including Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart and Ry Cooder. See our story in this issue. Visulite Theatre (Schacht)

John Cowan Band -- Cowan is a country singer with a dash of rock, a hint of folk and bits of bluegrass. As of late he has settled into pop-infused country rife with R&B crooning. Cowan's records are fairly consistent in the songcraft dept., and one can presume his good looks gets the ladies swooning during live gigs. With Vassar Clements. Blumenthal Performing Arts Center (Shukla)

Leon Redbone -- Little is known about the real Leon Redbone, who guards his privacy as zealously as Dick Cheney guards the notes from his energy policy meetings. See our See & Do section for more information on this show. Neighborhood Theatre (Schacht)

Taking Back Sunday -- Accessible yet eclectic, the Long Island band has an instant rapport with youngsters. The track "You're So Last Summer," is a perfect example of this connection. The band's emo-core is wrapped around intricate treatments and even has some strings arrangements thrown in a tune or two. Their second full-length, Where You Want to Be (Victory), proves they're not a fluke and are here to stay with songs that can be darn catchy. With Atreyu and Funeral for a Friend. Grady Cole Center (Shukla)

SATURDAY 11.6
Al Stewart -- OK, so most of us know him by "Year of the Cat," a vaguely mystical folk song from the album of the same name. Along with "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" and "Brandy," it's one of those songs you know every word to even as you curse the day the guys that wrote the damn things (Rupert Holmes and Looking Glass, respectively) were born. But do know that Stewart has some other pretty good vaguely mystical folk tunes too, and that he's actually a pretty darn accomplished guitar player. That said, bet on "Year of" for the encore. Sylvia Theater, York (Davis)

Ashley Robinson -- Perhaps you've seen their "live @ the Visualite" gig flyers adorning a telephone pole near you; luckily, the band are better musicians than spellers. A four-song demo featuring cuts from their upcoming debut showcases a rich, varied mix of contemporary influences, including the orchestrated downer-pop of Coldplay, emoting ala Dave Matthews, and, say, a pinch of Weezer. Not my cuppa, but nevertheless clearly well done. Baleen headlines. Visulite Theatre (Schacht)

Doc Watson -- A North Carolina treasure, Watson's influence on flatpicking guitar is immense. An inspiration to most any folk artist who ever picked a tune post-1960, Arthel "Doc" Watson is a living songbook of American music styles, having incorporated blues and country, even R&B, way before such fusions were widely accepted. In fact, the indefatigable Watson (RoboDoc?) now seems more energetic than ever, gleefully plying the crowd with a well-placed story (often a little history lesson in American music), a choice bit of gossip or G-rated joke, all the while still picking like a man half his age. Ever wish you could have seen a Charlie Christian or a Woody Guthrie while they were still alive? Watson's pretty much a talent of that caliber. With grandson Richard Watson, Derita's own Jack Lawrence, and Concord's finest, The Avett Brothers. Neighborhood Theatre (Davis)

Evenout -- Here's a promising band with one of those "not really any weak tracks on it" debut EPs out now. The quartet, led by Maurice Mangum's worthy guitar chops and voice, has quite a bit going for them and are on tour to prove it. The sound? Acoustic and electric punk-laden rock with above average tricks on the electric guitar and clean stroking on the acoustic. The band will also do an acoustic show at Manifest around 3:30pm. Also on the bill for the evening show are The Start, Babyshaker and Gym Class Heroes. Tremont Music Hall (Shukla)

The Fashion Brigade -- Oooof! Donning earphones for this Wilmington quartet's four-song EP is like dropping a toaster in the tub: Electrifying. A shimmering onslaught of jagged guitars and psychotic synths, pulsing basslines and danceable drumbeats, TFB till pretty much the same retro field as Interpol and the like -- the entire back catalogs of Wire, Joy Division and Gang of Four are in bloom here. It's all executed with enough energy (at least on record) to make their influences proud. Can they deliver live? With The Talk and The Sammies. The Room (Schacht)

TUESDAY 11.9
Kelly Joe Phelps -- His first three releases, Lead Me On ('95), Roll Away the Stone ('97) and Shine Eyed Mister Zen ('99) were models of acoustic blues minimalism, just Phelps' delta-smoked voice, an open-tuned guitar, his ubiquitous stomp box and a host of memorable classics. In his two releases since then, the Portland, OR, native has opted to be more of a bandleader, working with such luminaries as Bill Frisell and Larry Taylor (Tom Waits' bassist of choice) to flesh out his originals. A remarkable guitarist in either context. The Evening Muse (Schacht)

WEDNESDAY 11.10
Black Eyed Peas -- The West Coast hip-hop outfit is funkier and more R&B oriented than the gangsta violence of their compatriots. Being socially conscious, as well as just plain fun, earns extra props. Read more about the Peas in our See & Do section. Belk Arena, Davidson College (Shukla)

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