Spotlighted Gigs & Recommended Shows 

Deep and Wide

This impressively spot-on tribute act from Indiana comes awfully close to recreating the glory days of theatrical Danish shock-rocker (and purported Satan worshipper) King Diamond. Their punishing setlist includes material from throughout his solo career (intentionally omitting anything from his days fronting Mercyful Fate), but seems to focus mainly on his 1990 LP The Eye. For some strange reason, while this band of diehard fans has built their own scaled down versions of Diamond’s famous Alice Cooper-esque stage props, they choose to perform without the ghoulish face paint for which he the singer is known worldwide. (This may be for legal reasons, as the ultra-underground group claims to have recently received a “cease and desist” letter from Diamond’s lawyer demanding they stop performing his music in public.) Their manager tells me this may be the band’s final cross-country tour, so if you’ve never seen them before, now may be your last chance. This is the first show held in several years at this tiny, alcohol-free DIY venue just off Hwy 21, behind an auto-repair facility. It is now under new management who plans on hosting touring metal bands at least once a month. $10 cover for ALL-AGES.Tues., 10 pm, The Metal Hut, Pt. Wentworth.

Deaf Judges

Fresh off an appearance at the celebrated South by Southwest music showcase in Austin, Tx., this underground rap act from Ga. (named 2007's Best Hip-Hop Artists in Athens by Flagpole Magazine) offers up edgy, unpredictable beats and grooves based around vintage vinyl breaks and samples at this club's weekly alternative hip-hop showcase. There's a manic energy to their rhymes and delivery that smacks of early punk, and the fact that they name-check The Kentucky Headhunters in a positive way says more for their background and ethos than anything from my pen. Plus, their producer bragged to me in an e-mail that they "kick hipsters in the kneecaps." That shit's hilarious. Listen & Learn: www.myspace.com/deafjudges. Tues., 11 pm, The Jinx.


Most folks know The String Cheese Incident as a highly respected jam-band that incorporates fiddle, Rhodes piano and mandolin (among other instruments) into their funky, multi-culti improvisatory workouts. They're taking a break from the road to promote a new Hi-Def concert DVD, but their drummer and percussionist are touring as a live, breakbeat duo.

Taking their cues from such studio and stage pioneers of world-beat, avant-jazz, electronica and dub as Bill Laswell, Weather Report, Bill Frisell (and even newer notables like Propellerheads) they’re generating baddass, beat-heavy trances filled with nods to trip-hop, house and D’n’B. Even cooler: nothing is pre-recorded or pre-looped. Everything is created live and spontaneously on real acoustic drums, percussion, sampler, bass, guitar, keyboards and computer, guaranteeing a totally unique show in each town. This is an unexpected and notable booking for this venue, and it deserves the attention of the local techno and dance crowds as well as psychedelic and jazz-fusion fans. $15 cover. Listen & Learn: www.myspace.com/eotomusic. Sun., 10 pm, Tantra Lounge.


This "Afro-politan Fusion" band of Harvard grads founded Take Back the Mic, a movement geared toward challenging today's youth to speak for themselves and reject negative stereotypes and personification. After only a few years, their music has made an impact in over 50 countries worldwide, and they recently signed a management deal with The Eurythmics' Dave Stewart that bodes well for future success. Their captivating mix of hip-hop, funk, reggae and highlife is used to spread a positive and uplifting message, and their fresh, dance-oriented spin is the spoonful of sugar that makes the social medicine go down easy. Listen & Learn: www.soulfege.com. Fri., 7 pm, AASU's ArmstrongFest.

Strange Design (a Tribute to Phish)

This S.C.-based tribute to Phish is geared toward celebrating specific shows by that legendary prog-rock/jam-band. They literally replicate the concerts song for song, using bootlegs and the original setlists as their guides, and they allow "phans" to vote online for which shows they'd like the band to tackle. Strange Design also attempts to recreate the lighting and staging of those original Phish gigs as well, but puts their own spin on the more freeform and exploratory moments in each show. This is billed as starting after the Bruce Hornsby and Ricky Skaggs show at the Savannah Music Fest, and is only open to those 21+ with proper ID. Listen & Learn: www.myspace.com/thestrangedesign. Fri., 11 pm, Locos (Downtown).


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Jim Reed

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