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The Capsules

Fans of such dreamy guitar-oriented alt.pop groups as Luna, the Sundays and the Cranes, will probably find much to like about this Lawrence, Kansas trio formed by Jason and Julie Shields from the ashes of Shallow – a celebrated indie outfit that toured with everyone from The Creatures and Low to The Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev, as well as appearing on the 1996 Lollapalooza Tour.

This new guitar/bass/drums group has been around since 2001, and builds on Shallow’s foundation, but adds a few electronic gadgets into the mix (such as the beloved Theremin), and aesthetic nods to newer influences like Radiohead and Coldplay. Their minimalist pop tunes are often tagged as being “sweet,” and that has no doubt helped them to land such cooler-than-cool assignments as being asked to record original material for Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants. Sat., The Jinx.

Tony Furtado

Initially gaining notoriety as a teenage banjo prodigy, this extremely talented musician soon made the leap to the electric slide guitar, which wound up leading him into yet another transformation. He’s now grown into a respected roots-rock singer/songwriter.

Nowhere is that maturation more evident than on his latest indie LP, These Chains. Far from just showing off his instrumental prowess, the record finds him singing lead on almost all tracks (as opposed to his previous records which boasted guest turns by such heavy hitters as Allison Krauss). Going one further, this new batch of songs include collaborations with veteran critics’ darlings like Jules Shear, Jim Lauderdale and NRBQ’s “Big Al” Anderson.

Furtado cites eclectic axemen Ry Cooder and David Lindley as key influences on his hodgepodge guitar style, and tunesmiths like Tom Petty and Bruce Cockburn as lyrical heroes.

With this latest chapter in his constantly evolving career, he takes a great leap forward in shedding his earlier jamband skin and emerging as a nuanced songwriter and vocalist of subtlety and substance. Fri., JJ Cagney’s.

The Kickass

Unbelievably intense power trio from Greenville, North Carolina, playing instrumental rock that straddles the line between death metal, vintage prog, insane hardcore and the jaw-dropping con-gon-kee-gonk of early Primus.

This is the kind of bound and determined act that’s either going to win you over instantly or run you out of the room. If you’re a musician who plays any of their chosen instruments (guitar, bass, drums), The Kickass will either inspire you to practice harder and become more technically proficient, or force you to give up and hock your gear out of desperation.

Highly recommended for fans of Don Cabellero or The Fucking Champs.

Also on this bill: Victory Records metalcore masters Dead To Fall, touring behind their sophomore CD, and Black Tusk, a new local punk act featuring former members of both The Bricks and HammÜrd Shit. Fri., The Jinx.

Bain Mattox

In 2003, the namesake frontman of this Atlanta modern-rock combo was named Singer/Songwriter of The Year by that town’s Creative Loafing magazine.

That’s only one of many compliments his music has received since the guitarist (who also plays mandolin, accordion and harmonica) traded up his acoustic duo for a full-on electric band. Songs from their debut LP have shown up on various regional and national compilations as well as on high-profile TV shows like TNT’s NASCAR and MTV’s The Real World.

Their biggest gig to date was likely 2004’s Music Midtown fest which found them sharing a stage with Switchfoot (ahem), The Strokes, and the Foo Fighters. This will be their second gig on the main floor of this Congress Street venue. Thurs., 10:30 pm, Phat Kat Lounge (at Ibiza Nightlife).


The Laura Blackley Band

A little bit country and a little bit rock & roll, this Asheville, North Carolina quartet has been steadily building a strong following in the Southeast through years of hard touring and word of mouth.

Their latest album, Liquid Courage, was not only produced by the iconic Atlanta folk-rocker Michelle Malone (a Patti Smith acolyte and peer of the Indigo Girls, who pretty much wrote the book on adult, empowered female roots-rock in the late’80s and early ‘90s), but it’s also the first release on her brand-new vanity label.

This disc is tougher and more resilient than Blackley and company have released in the past, and it showcases her band as a sympathetic, well-oiled unit that can anticipate and embellish her detours into gospel and soul shadings.

This should be a very satisfying evening of gritty, granola-fed Southern rock and roll. Fri., 10 pm, Café Loco (Tybee).

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Jim Reed

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