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WEDNESDAY 3.16

Situationals - Featuring former members of TabascoHottie, Bruce Joyner's Reconstruction, The Bond, and White Merle, The Situationals are fronted by singer Candy Bassett, and backed by Shane Human, Bryan Askew, Mike Carinelli, and Kelly Morse. Figure on an equal mix of pop, post-punk, and college-rock coloring, heavy on the indie-go blue. Local garage-pop favorites The Sammies open the show. Double Door Inn (Davis)

THURSDAY 3.17

Clang Quartet - An evening of experimental music is the claim here. That claim would be correct as the Clang Quartet, essentially the brainchild of Scotty Irving (drummer for Geezer Lake, Eugene Chadbourne, Bunker, and others), stir up dormant brain cells with improvisational noise/percussion and performance art. Also on tap for a night of musical enlightenment are Khate, Feralcatscan and Projexorcism. Milestone (Shukla)

FRIDAY 3.18

Collective Soul - Simon says beware a band named after a line from Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead - how could Rand know a thing about our "collective soul" when she didn't possess one herself? More pertinent here perhaps to pose the same question to these Georgia boys, who genre-hopped from grunge to dance-pop and didn't think anyone would notice. Well, nobody did. Now they're playing the Glam card; if this doesn't work, there's always fusion, nu-metal, Americana, post-punk, emo...these guys could be around forever. Amos' Southend (Schacht)

Darling - The solo project from Seth Avett (Avett Brothers), Darling isn't so far removed from the normal Avett ouevre, except for a noticeable absence of the tub-thumping, guitar-smacking porch-n-roll pyrotechnics and rough-hewn harmonies shared with brother Scott. Mostly mid-tempo, finger-picked material here (with the noticeable exception of a song like "Guilty," with its tape-looped breakdown), but everything is saved by Avett's lyricism, melancholic yet never maudlin. With Nicole Atkins. Old Courthouse Theatre (Davis)

Hadden Sayers - With his upcoming 5th release 12 Bars and the Naked Truth, Hadden Sayers is firmly entrenched in the hallowed halls of "big sound" guitar bluesmen of Texas. Yeah, you know, those muscular guitar riffs backed up by a rocking rhythm section. Sayers keeps it simple with guitars, bass and drums laying down a thick, steaming platter of electric blues. His time in numerous blues and rock bands has only ripened his playing. Double Door Inn (Shukla)

Laura Blackley - Blackley's latest, last year's Liquid Courage, offered strong proof - not quite 151, but at least 80 - that Americana in Asheville is in good hands. Calling her record "a tribute" to the music she was weaned on, you can hear echoes of Hank Williams, George Jones and Merle Haggard in her gritty narratives, peopled with hard-luck losers, against-all-hopers and other assorted sad bastards. With Fullgrown. The Evening Muse (Schacht)

Pyramid - It took almost as long to release as it took the Egyptians to build an actual pyramid, but The First American, Pyramid's debut full-length, is here at last. A sonically beautiful record constructed the old-fashioned way, it's a full-length statement/challenge/dare that contains multitudes, forgoing the hotel-style "here today, gone tomorrow" hit aesthetic in favor of building a foundation for a long and promising artistic future. See our story in this issue. With The Dynamite Brothers. Neighborhood Theatre (Davis)

SATURDAY 3.19

Steel String Theory - Asheville trio immerse their acoustic music in bluegrass, jazz and, on occasion, classical. Tunes like "Charo" dabble in Brazilian jazz, which adds global texture to the band's American music. The percussion-less trio's crisp guitar picking, along with mandolin and stand-up bass, evokes rustic mountains on a warm, spring day. With The Rev. Peyton's Big Damn Band. The Evening Muse (Shukla)

MONDAY 3.21

Lock & Key - Boston-based Lock & Key (on local imprint Deep Elm) could be described as, well, emo-licious, if that's your flavor. But there's a harder angle here to some of the material on their new release, Pull Up the Floorboards, which the band is currently supporting as they embark on a five-week tour (hope that van's got some air fresheners, boys). There's no denying the energy here, which Punk Planet said "breathed new life into post-hardcore." Didn't know it was ill, but bully for them for mastering musical CPR. With Tall as Lions, Tsar and Felt Element. Milestone (Schacht)

TUESDAY 3.22

Maroon 5 - It's easy for critics to slam Maroon 5 and their ilk. How dare they sound sprightly with a dash of soulful vocals stitching up their harmonizing alterna-rock, sorta like dozens of other acts? The fact is they may be a copycat band, but Maroon 5 are a darn enjoyable lounge act. Unless you count a new EP of live acoustic tracks, there doesn't seem to be any new recording on the horizon since their debut three years ago. Damn the critics and just enjoy the bleeding music. Cricket Arena (Shukla)

Ozric Tentacles - With a newish album out, Eternal Wheel- Best of Ozric, the baja-and-tiedye-clad lads in Ozric Tentacles are once again taking the world in their (many) arms, spreading their ethnic/ambient space-age take on psychedelia all across the United States. While occasionally meandering on record (especially without the aid of narcotics and/or a top-notch hi-fi), the group's live shows are where it's at. While you may wonder where a given song is headed, you can rest assured it's blasting off for somewhere new. Neighborhood Theatre (Davis)

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