PULSE 

CRITIC IN THE A.M.
Over three months after unceremoniously dumping longtime morning show hosts Storm Zbel and Kenny Z in late March, local rock station 96 Wave announced their new morning show lineup last week. On Thurs. July 6, a team led by Wave veteran The Critic will launch their own morning show, called "Critic in the Morning." Jim "The Critic" Voigt, 41, has been a part of Wave, on and off, since 1992. His co-hosts include Wave newcomer Carly "Maine-iac" Maddoxx and excellent on-air utility man Stupid Mike (a Storm & Kenny teammate). Other guests include the notorious Southern Avenger, irascible barfly commentator Evil Lou, and many other regulars from Critic's recent afternoon shows. Critic replaces Miles "Uncle Miles" Crosby, who's been playing it straight since March. So what will become of those 3-7 p.m. slots? Hmmmm...

LOCAL X: THREE HOURS
This Sunday's episode of "Local X" on 98X marks the debut of the "extended version" of the show. Host Amy Hutto and her team of rascally oafs have added an extra hour's worth of local hard rock tunes, concert information, and interviews, making it a three-hour weekly specialty show from 8-11 p.m. On Sun. July 9, the guests include Dirty Sanchez and Supa Black (both of the Music Farm staff). Upcoming guests include Broadside, Wretched Excess, and Handgun Sonata. Check www.98xonline.com for more.

WORKING TITLE AT PLEX
Charleston-bred alt-rock band The Working Title celebrate the release of their major label debut, About Face (Universal/Motown), with an all-ages concert at The Plex on Tues. July 18 with support from local bands Slow Runner and Leslie. Tickets are available for $12 (adv.) at etix.com, the Plex box office, Millennium Music, and Monster Music. In late July, they leave for summer tours with the Counting Crows and the Goo Goo Dolls. Check www.theworkingtitle.com and www.theplexonline.com for more.

DARK DAYS FOR BLACK VENUS?
Local hard-rock cover band Black Venus: broken up or what? One venue tells City Paper they're done. Another says they're on the schedule for sure. According to the band, things are kinda-sorta up in the air as guitarist Jordan Smith will be doing some summertime road work with The Working Title and bassist Mark Wheeler is preparing for a move outta town. Look for them in the most shadowy of downtown taverns.

BY FORCE OF WILL
Denim-clad, Nashville alt-rocker Will Hoge and his quartet recently released a brand-new 10-song album titled The Man Who Killed Love. The band performs a three-night weekend stint at the Windjammer with support from local band Army of Me on Fri. July 7, with Athens indie-rock band The Whigs on Sat. July 8, and with various bikini-wearing contestants on Sun. July 9. No official word yet on any welcoming party plans from the board-posters (and Hoge-haters) at Chord and Pedal (www.chordandpedal.com).

DEX ... WHERE YA AT?
Former Flat Duo Jets guitarist/wild man Dexter Romweber was scheduled to open for The Legendary Shack*Shakers at Cumberland's on Thurs. July 6, but can't make it this time around. It's all up to Charleston-bred David Lee and the gang now.

TENS IN, MAESTRO OUT
After some confusion over the Maestro listing on the Village Tavern's schedule last weekend, word finally came in that the local trio had officially ceased to be. "Maestro is no more," bassist Taylor Nelson told City Paper. "The Tens have risen to the challenge and recorded and released a new full-length album called It is Very Hard to Stop. We just returned from a crazy tour with our 1971 Challenger bus and we're hot to trot." The Tens, comprised of Nelson, drummer Jordan Herschaft, and newly-initiated saxophonist Louis Dixon performed at the Tavern on Fri. June 30 in Maestro's place. They describe their new sound as, "an unholy marriage between a mute Queens of the Stone Age and Tortoise, presided over by Bill Laswell."

SOL DRIVEN Updates
Local groovers Sol Driven Train announced that bassist Rusty Cole (of the Graham Whorley Band and other local groups) has signed on, replacing Davis Buckheister, who announced his departure in May upon his engagement. "Rusty brings a lot of experience and enthusiasm to the band," says singer/guitarist Joel Timmons. "Over the past few months, he's proved his dedication on the road as our sound engineer, and he's really a great guy to have around. Meanwhile, fill-in drummer Philip Antman continues to sub for Phill Eason, who is recovering from surgery to his bicep tendon and shoulder. Look for the band at Wild Wing downtown on Wed. July 5. Timmons and guitarist Ward Buckheister continue their every-other-week series as acoustic duo Joel & Ward at Art's Bar & Grill with a show on Sun. July 9. Check out www.soldriventrain.com for more. —TBL


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