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Neo-Funk Open Jam: You've heard of neo-folk, neo-psychedelia and neo-soul - get ready for neo-funk. I have no idea what acts are on this bill (if anyone can figure out how to decipher the Room's user-unfriendly web site, please advise), but since Funkadelic was the band that merged original soul, psychedelia and folk to create its pioneering early-70s funk, it should be interesting to see how the acts on this bill define neo. The Room (Kemp)

Dropsonic: This Atlanta trio specializes in rock & roll laden with heaps of start/stop guitar riffs. There's no leader in this bunch, as the bassist and drummer also hop in and out of the lead spot at a moment's notice. Think of the Jesus Lizard playing with a classic arena rock band. With Almighty Flying Machine and The Paper Tongues. Milestone (Shukla)

Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players: They're an ersatz Partridge family, culled down to a two-piece that hosts a bob-vaudevillian parlor slideshow, with all the kitsch and irony you'd expect from a confirmed leftist and his conceptual-artist wife. Like TV's Partridge clan, it's the youngest Trachtenburg, 9-year-old drummer Rachel, who steals the show with her pigtails and precocious charm. The duo's shelf-life will be about the same, too, so you'd better see them before Rachel starts reading Jane. The Evening Muse (Parker)

Cowboy Mouth: Refugees from 80s acts Dash Rip Rock, Red Rockers and King Missile, the band's New Orleans-based hippy-folk-funk relies on brisk, tuneful songs and a gentle vibe. Singing drummer Fred LeBlanc fuels the high-energy show with his whimsical good spirits, as the band delivers the Americana version of the Barenaked Ladies. Dixie's Tavern (Parker)

Jeff Black CD Release: Jeff Black has a way of taking a lyric and wrapping just the right haunting melody around it. The Missouri native's newest batch of songs Tin Lily showcases the singer/songwriter's country-folk flair, but Black is not averse to turning a somber country tune into a rock duet occasionally. Sylvia Theater, York (Shukla)

Superfest 2005: Into The Moat, Calabi Yau, Red Death, Aleuchatistas : Somewhere along the line, metal morphed from solo-driven bastardized boogie rock into dread-drenched guttural art rock. Into the Moat's trudging post-death metal incorporates King Crimson-like breakdowns. It should mix well with local post-hardcore experimentalists Calabi Yau's contrapuntal attack. Metal Blade artists Red Death are reminiscent of Entombed or Rush, while Asheville's Aleuchatistas play jazz- and prog-inflected hardcore. Milestone (Parker)

The Forecast: Quartet from Peoria features dual male/female vocalists with a catchy punk vibe. The outfit has matured musically over the last couple years, integrating solo guitar breaks into its full-band assaults. The Forecast tosses in some country accents for good measure. Also playing are Still Life Projector, Lovehatehero and Harvard. Milestone (Shukla)

Indigo Girls : They're still going strong commercially and creatively, delivering intensely personal folk confessions lifted up by the great harmonies of Amy Ray and Emily Saliers. The emotional navel-gazing may overwhelm those of a more cynical disposition, but the Girls' crisp playing and rich vocals mediate any cringe-inducing moments. Neighborhood Theatre (Parker)

Melt-Banana : The most intriguing gig in town this week. A loose description of Melt-Banana would be to peg the outfit as a Japanese punk band. While that description is apt, the group speeds things up by putting guitars in warp drive, adding loops of noise, shrieking female vocals and scads of free jazz elements into its ephemeral blasts of sound. With Vaz and Calabi Yau. The Room (Shukla)

Robbie Fulks: After strolling around on an Americana-pop-rock trail for a spell, Fulks returns to his roots with Georgia Hard, his most straightforward traditional country record to date. Fulks is not bashful in taking cues from classic country crooners and songwriters, and he knows how to put his lanky frame around a good tearjerker. But he has the musical sense to separate genuine country from the pop-country wankers infesting the airwaves. Charlotte music staple Lenny Federal will warm up the crowd. The Evening Muse (Shukla)

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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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