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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)

THURSDAY 1.27
Angry Johnny and the Killbillies - The quartet's skewed notions of rockabilly, blues and country are mingled into what may be called blues trashabilly. Originals range from rippin' rockers to jugband drinking songs where banjo or mandolin takes the lead. Their cover of The Cure's "Love Song" is downright scary. The singer/guitarist is also an artist (Dinosaur Jr.'s Where You Been album cover) and ably lays down thick guitar chops. With Slick Shift and Bums Lie. Milestone (Shukla)

FRIDAY 1.28
Horse Thief/The Forms - Charlotte's loudest band is joining forces with one of New York's Decibel Dons, the half-angular, half-amazing The Forms. The Forms' Icarus was one of the single best records I heard in 2003, an emotive, arty thriller that was only advanced by its relative shortness. (It's over? Throw that shit on again!). Incidentally, Horse Thief will soon be releasing a split 7" with Chicago's Plague Bringer, no doubt sending you local-music loving vinyl-o-philes into a Shellac-has-a-new-album type hizzy. With PUNR, White Collar Massacre, and Verona Burning. Milestone (Davis)

LaR·a - Charlotte's best-known Hispanic rock band releases their debut, Una Noche de Abril, which, as far as I can tell from my dog-eared Spanish-English dictionary (last used to get me out of a sticky situation in Mexicali), means "Top-notch rock from Charlotte's best Hispanic Band." Anyone who's caught the mayhem live knows of their chops, so it'll be interesting to see what six months in the studio translates into on stage. With Bakalao Stars. The Room (Schacht)

Lou Ford - Masters of rural rock and one of Charlotte's best bands in recent years, the original lineup has reformed to pick up where they left off. Welcome back, gents. For more information see our See & Do section. The Steeple Lounge (Schacht)

SeepeopleS - SeepeopleS is a Massachusetts band now based in Asheville, and can fall under the same file that holds Radiohead and Stereolab. Their music is like a collection of ideas, psychedelic jams, trip-hop, and funky pop rock, all coaxed into a perplexing whole. Spoken and whispered vocals are intermingled with sung ones on the new recording The Corn Syrup Conspiracy, but the varied affair has a nice flow. The new recording also features a couple of Parliament members. Dean Fields is also on the bill. The Evening Muse (Shukla)

Straylight Run - Straylight Run has created quite a buzz in the past year, and their self-titled debut on Victory Records is a cohesive affair of literate tunes. The once-hardcore label Victory Records is branching out with bands such as Straylight Run, who bring in strings, piano and a flowing vibe to their melodic rock. This foursome also boasts a couple of former members of Taking Back Sunday. With Something Corporate and The Academy. Tremont Music Hall (Shukla)

SATURDAY 1.29
ANTiSEEN - Sporting a new DVD and a freshly-finished new grinder of a record in Badwill Ambassadors, ANTiSEEN show no signs of stopping their assault on eardrums and self-righteous political correctness anytime soon. Jeff Clayton, Mighty Joe Young, Doug Canipe and Sir Barry Hannibal (still one of the greatest names in local rock) have become the most stable lineup in the group's 20+ year history, lending a rock-solid musicianship to the band's already concrete catalog of three-and-four minute sonic blasts. If you're lucky, they might even break out a Sun Ra (!) song or any number of idiosyncratic covers. With Hungry Ghost and SFTM. Milestone (Davis)

Two Dollar Pistols - John Howie's extra-twangy basso-profondo baritone and good-times stage presence alone should be enough to recommend a Pistols' show. But toss in Scott McCall's chicken-pickin' guitar mastery, a driving rhythm section and a batch of new songs from their 2004, Brian Paulson-produced Hands Up!, and you've got all the makings of another winning (and jam-packed) show. Randy Whitt & the Grits open this 10:30 show. The Evening Muse (Schacht)

MONDAY 1.31
Jupiter Sunrise - Founded in upstate New York and relocated shortly thereafter to sunny Southern California, this quartet's January 2004 release, Under a Killer Blue Sky, has been favorably compared to Weezer and Dashboard Confessional. With a stated career goal of being the "first band to play in space," JP has spent two years on the road -- maybe as a kind of endurance test for their eventual space gig. With Amanda Rogers, After Eden, and These Green Eyes. Milestone (Schacht)

Taj Mahal Trio - Taj Mahal's style consisted of playing country blues early in his career, but over the years he has expanded his muse and recorded with world music artists as well as put out a nice children's record with Bob Marley's mother. Never mind the fact Taj Mahal released his first record way back in 1968, its what he still does that matters. Listening to the old blues master and storyteller is like putting on a cozy, warm sweater, and he remains relevant with his expansive, contemporary approach. Spirit Square (Shukla)

TUESDAY 2.1
Carey Sims and Black Market Radio CD Release - The band's new album Coffee and Second Hand Smoke is finally ready, and the record is a nice chapbook of old-fashioned story songs accented with Sims' uncanny knack with meat-and-potatoes rock hooks. Tonight, Sims and BMR will be joined by Jason Atkins, Jason Scavone of the Noises Ten, Donnie Marshall on percussion, Dan Hood of the Noises Ten on guitar, and Dustin Hofsess on lap steel and dobro. Second-hand smoke 'em if you got 'em. Amos' Southend (Davis)

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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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