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WEDNESDAY 1.19
American Plague - This Knoxville-based rock quartet loosen their 70s punk rock foundations with added layers of fast and furious southern rock. Along the way, the band gives props to Motorhead, Stooges and the Ramones. It's all about yelling "One, two, three!" into the mic and blasting out of the gates. Milestone (Shukla)

Andy Friedman and the Other Failures - A 28-year-old illustrator, painter and photographer who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY, Friedman is a semi-regular contributor to The New Yorker. Matching his own classical-style pencil drawings and Polaroid pictures to improvisatory riffs suggested by the titles and words to blues songs, he's managed to create a performance that's equal parts poetry reading, stand-up comedy, and low-fi art gallery. Along with Friedman is his backing band, The Other Failures. Jeff Williams and Natalia Zukerman open. The Evening Muse (Davis)

FRIDAY 1.21
Black Lagoon/Dirty Box - Ought to be a fun show here, with the incense-and-fretboard-burning Black Lagoon sharing the stage with the always-entertaining Dirty Box. Dirty Box promise an out-of-the-box performance for this show, featuring a few audacious surprises that I've promised not to reveal. Currently mixing their debut with Joel Mullis at Zone Studios in Atlanta, the Box's Southern-fried sound - more Marshall stacks than Marshall Tucker band - should be a nice appetizer for the floor-rattling riffs laid down by Black Lagoon's Andy Cauble. The Steeple Lounge (Davis)

Boy George - The world's most famous drag queen is also a darn good DJ. George began his DJ career when he was 17 years old, playing to a crowd of trendy Londoners at Planet's nightclub. He put his DJ career on the backburner in the early 80s when he fronted the New Wave pop posse Culture Club. Now he's bringing back his considerable skills on the turntables across the pond. With DJs Andy Kastanas, Tober and others. Velocity (Shukla)

Jucifer - G. Amber Valentine and G. Edgar Livengood are Athens, GA's Jucifer. They're one of the hippest musical couples in rock. Amber Valentine's sensuous come-hither vocals coax the unsuspecting listener closer for the ensuing guitar kick in the crotch. They're part Melvins, a dash Royal Trux, and able to shake the rafters with just guitars and percussion. Yet there's also a pervasive moody vibe throughout. Valentine's deft guitars, oft laden with subtle and not so subtle effects, and Livengood's pounding percussion make for a remarkably full sound. Charlotte's Babyshaker will open. The Room (Shukla)

THURSDAY 1.20
Steve Earle - His latest, The Revolution Starts...Now was full of digs at the FCC, the Bush Administration, Condi Rice, and pretty much any other regulatory organization you can think of. What it wasn't full of was memorable songs. Granted, Earle's always going to speak his mind; problem is, this album seems to have forgotten the heart to some extent, and already sounds a bit dated even though the (mostly admirable) sentiments he expressed still hold water (oil, in this case?). No matter. Steve still absolutely rips it like a Bradley Fighting Vehicle during his live shows, censors and pinkos like me be damned. With Allison Moorer. Neighborhood Theatre (Davis)

SATURDAY 1.22
Ramones Memorial - Featuring some of Charlotte's longest running (indeed, best) punk acts, this Ramones Memorial features Jeff Clayton of ANTiSEEN, Mad Brother Ward, The Dead Kings, Mike Hendrix of the Belmont Playboys, and more. It's often said that most anyone can play a Ramones song because of that band's bare-bones chord progressions, but that's missing the point. It's the spirit that really made the Ramones who they were, and it's that same spirit that ought to make this show a success. Tremont Music Hall (Davis)

WEDNESDAY 1.26
Chatham County Line - Lead vocalist/guitarist Dave Wilson's songwriting is stoked with Dylan-haunted treatments. This is especially apparent in CCL's interpretation of Dylan's "I Shall Be Released," as well on several Wilson originals. CCL add on bluegrass flourishes to their take on country music and ably maneuver the roots highways with rip-roarin' numbers as well as plaintive tearjerkers. With Phyllis Tannerfrye. The Evening Muse (Shukla)

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