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Thursday, Aug. 19, Lincoln Theatre

Call them ZZ Top for the hard rock set. Clutch presides over a Black Sabbath sludgefest that cops more bluesy Led Zeppelin riffs than ZOFO, delivered with a deep-fat Southern-fried feel that's crunchier than three-day old pizza. They have a funky swagger that's a lot more limber than your standard metal band, sounding something like a wrestling match between Monster Magnet and Faith No More refereed by Sevendust. A hard-touring act that's been at it nearly 15 years, they've broadened their sound modestly to include a bit of melody with the heavy-riffing. --CP

The Sames, Tober, Ticonderoga
Thursday, Aug. 19

This triple-bill covers a lot of geography, but everyone has the pursuit of great melodies in common. Look for whip-smart rock from Durham´s The Sames; NYC band Tober brings the smart power-pop; and Raleigh-by-way-of-Iowa City group Ticonderoga start off things. You won´t need Mapquest for this one. --CT

Laura Blackley Band
Friday, Aug. 20
Bynum General Store

With its roots/soul/blues blend, the title track on Laura Blackley's new Liquid Courage brings to mind The Black Crowes' "She Talks to Angels," and--whether or not you ever cared for the Crowes--you have to admit that's a pretty cool tune. Elsewhere on the record, and most definitely during the band's spirited live shows, the Asheville-based Blackley alternately rocks things up and brings some country to the mix. --RC

Terry Anderson & the Olympic Ass-Kickin' Team at Sleazefest
Saturday, Aug. 21
Local 506

Tarheel Terry Anderson has been in training since his college days: first as a Fabulous Knob, then a Woodpecker, a Wood, and finally a Yayhoo before making the Olympic Ass-Kickin' Team. Though he usually plays drums, Anderson often sits in on guitar and provides vocals that sound like Rod Stewart with a torch held to his crotch. He's had an on-again, off-again relationship over the years with former Georgia Satellite Dan Baird, first as a Woodpecker and then as a Yayhoo. When Baird is busy elsewhere the Yayhoos are on hold, so Anderson becomes an Olympian along with Jack Cornell and Roger Gupton. --GB

Mel Melton
Saturday, Aug. 21
Blue Bayou Club

Last time Melton was in this Bayou, he was surrounded by snakes, witchy women and cameras, shooting the video for his new CD, Papa Mojo, which he hopes will be ready for his next gig at the BB on Halloween. Meantime, you'll have to listen to Mel's fine regular fare of Zydeco, blues and maybe a taste of Papa's mojo. GB

Early Day Miners
Tuesday, Aug. 24
Local 506

Early Day Miners play supple, understated music that nonetheless has a certain still-fragile power. Singer/guitarist Daniel Burton's laconic, downcast delivery recalls Sparklehorse's Mark Linkous, investing the music with a gentle grace that borders on slo-core though with more build and a stronger through-point. One hears echoes of Neil Halstead's post-Slowdive project, Mojave 3, which has a similarly open-country feel while retaining some of the shoegazer tendency toward blooming textures, abetted on their latest album, Jefferson At Rest, by swooning touches of violin and muted distortion. CP

Josh Lederman y Los Diablos
Tuesday, Aug. 24
The Cave

I was going to riff on the multiculturalism implied by this band's name and the eclectic music it plays, which, among other places, falls between the Pogues and Blood Oranges. However, a quick Web trip revealed that Cambridge, Massachusetts' Lederman had already nailed it by writing, "When it comes to a Jewish guy with a Spanish band name playing Irish-sounding music to roomfuls of drunken Wasps, it doesn't get any better than this." Well said, sir. --RC

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