Recommended Music Shows this Week 

Soundchecks: Highlights from this week's music calendar

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ROCK/POP | Trident United Way Battle of the Bands
Wed. Sept. 19
Gaillard Auditorium

The Trident United Way ushers their annual Battle of the Bands contest back to the Gaillard Auditorium Exhibition Hall (77 Calhoun St.) on Wednesday Sept. 19. Hosted by River Dogs announcer Ken Carrington and enthusiastically fun-loving team President Michael Veeck, the event is a great way to check out some local talent and up-and-coming bands while raising money for the United Way. Participants include an amusing mix of pop-rock, blues, and metallic styles — The Bandicoots, Dirt Gypsy, The Fire Apes, Headrush, Help!, Gross Negligence, On The Hunt (pictured), Rocky Mountain Oysters, and Vanishing Point. Admission is $10 (and a business card). Beer kegs will be tapped at 5:30 p.m. The musical event starts at 6 p.m. Food and drink are included in the ticket price. All proceeds will go to the Trident United Way. —T. Ballard Lesemann WEDNESDAY

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BRASS/FUNK | Big Sam's Funky Nation
Sat. Sept. 22
The Pour House

Led by trombone man "Big Sam" Williams (formerly of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band), New Orleans big-brassy funk ensemble Big Sam's Funky Nation return to Charleston for a special "post ChazzFest" set or two at the Pour House. Williams works a high-energy mix of New Orleans "street-dance," jazz, and pure funk with an improvisational style, masterful chops, and a horn-heavy front section. The group — Williams, sax players Calvin Johnson and Andrew Baham, trumpeter Adam Matasar, keyboardist Casey Robinson, guitarist Doug Dietrich, bassist Dwayne Williams, and drummer Alvin Ford — recently released an album titled Take Me Back. They toured this summer, playing their "feel-good music" with Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint on the Europe Festival circuit and East Coast. Dig online for more. —TBL SATURDAY

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Sun. Sept. 23
Tonik Nightclub

New York-based keyboardist Nate Shaw (of Big Bucket and New Power Trio) and Atlanta-based baritone saxophonist Will Scruggs return to Charleston this Sunday under the name "CC Booker III" — a four-time sell-out hit last spring during the 2007 Piccolo Spoleto Jazz Series at Tonik (479 King St., (843) 709-5050). "The name comes from our three main influences. 'C' for Ray Charles, 'C' for King Curtis, and 'Booker' for Booker T. & The MGs," says Scruggs. "The concept kind of evolved over the past months. I spent some time with Nate in Brooklyn earlier last spring. We rehearsed with the band, recorded a little EP, and started gravitating to a more organic, old-school sound." Their four-song, self-titled disc includes a rendition of the blues standard "Got My Mojo Workin'," Booker T. & The MGs' "Soul Dressing," the Ray Charles tune "Hallelujah I Love Her So," and the Leiber & Stoller hit "Charlie Brown," made famous in the late '50s by The Coasters. Expect sets of Shaw-penned tunes, choice lounge covers, and some hot Hammond B3 action. Two sets — one at 8 p.m. and another at 10 p.m. Visit for more. —TBL SUNDAY

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SYNTH/ALT-ROCK | Shiny Toy Guns
Tues. Sept. 25
The Windjammer
Free ($3 under 21)

A brief bio on one of their websites tags them as "Los Angeles indie rock," but their latest, Rainy Monday, was recently released in July on the Universal/Motown imprint (the same company who dumped Charleston band The Working Title). They claim their synth-driven rock style is all about "guitars, technology, and melody ... the permanent ever-changing fusion of drums and screaming analog instrumentation." 2005 album We Are Pilots (and the single "Le Disko") received some critical acclaim. Last year, they signed to Universal, just as a rendition of "Nothing Compares 2 U" came out on Redline Records' 2006 Electro Goth Tribute to Prince. Could synth-player and bass guitarist Jeremy Dawson, singer Carah Faye (pictured), bassist Gregori Chad Petree, and drummer Mikey Martin be for real? See for more. —TBL MONDAY


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