Thursday, February 27, 2014

This week's hot concerts

The Letter Jackets/Tonk
Friday  8:30 p.m., Visulite, 1615 Elizabeth Ave., $8,
The aptly named Tonk (who were conceived as a Ray Price tribute before branching out into originals) teams with fellow Raleighite the Letter Jackets, who are heavier on the folk-rock than twangy, pedal steel-colored honky-tonk. Both feature members of internationally known bluegrass band Chatham County Line.

George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic
Friday  8:30 p.m., Amos’, 1423 S. Tryon St., $35-$40/VIP $65,
At 72, the influential Kannapolis-born funk-father’s marathon sets may not be as endless, but he’s as active as ever on stage and off - releasing new music with Sly Stone, fighting for artist rights and music education and receiving an honorary doctorate.

Time Sawyer
Saturday  8 p.m., Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St., $8,
The prolific newgrass/folk rock band (who moved to Charlotte from Elkins) celebrates the release of its fourth album “Disguise the Limits” with a sense of humor, heart, and charisma and, most notably, ear catching instrumental interplay far beyond traditional bluegrass and folk tropes.

Saturday  10 p.m., Snug Harbor, 1228 Gordon St., $10,
The original dirty rapper - a caped, masked hip-hop superhero of sorts whose risqué rhymes predate 2 Live Crew by decades - turned 75 on Valentine’s Day. Consider his economically priced CIAA-timed 75th birthday tour an alternative to downtown’s pricier parties.

Norma Jean
Monday  8 p.m., The Milestone, 3400 Tuckaseegee Rd., $15,
The veteran Georgia metalcore outfit has long played large venues like Tremont and Amos’, but fans have a chance to catch them in a much more intimate setting touring behind 2013’s dark, aggressive, groove and speed-driven “Wrongdoers.”

Shovels & Rope
Tuesday  8 p.m., Visulite, 1615 Elizabeth Ave., $15,
The Charleston couple literally brought the house - or actually a giant disco ball - down opening for the Avett Brothers at TWC Arena on NYE. Now it’s the charming roots duo’s turn to headline with buzz-building, boot-stompin’, heartfelt, harmony-driven tunes.

ZZ Ward
Wednesday  8 p.m., Visulite, 1615 Elizabeth Ave., $18-$20,
The steadily rising Ward, who sold out Visulite in 2013, seems poised to become a premier, genre-blending pop singer-songwriter for the post-modern age by writing hip-hop savvy pop songs with rock and soul guts and singing with the maturity and tone of a British blues singer much older than her 27 years.

Thursday  8:30 p.m., Visulite, 1615 Elizabeth Ave., $15,
What sets its debut “From the Hills Below the City” apart from a growing number of samey folk-rock acts is its ability to flit between big, psychedelic and gospel-tinged anthems and more intimate fare and co-ed vocals that range between Band of Horses-meets-Dylan and raspy, classic country.

Leverage Models
Thursday  10 p.m., Snug Harbor, 1228 Gordon St., $3,
If your Pandora or Sirius/XM station stays glued to the darker side of `80s new wave and early alternative - bands like New Order, INXS, and ABC - then the distorted, yet wickedly catchy synth-rock of Shannon Fields (Stars Like Fleas) makes a perfect precursor to Snug Harbor’s weekly Shiprocked! party.