SOUND CHECKS ‌ Notable Shows in the Next Week 

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ROCK | Bobby Bare Jr.
w/ The Explorers Club
Wed. Jan. 24
The Village Tavern
$8

He used to rock out a la Cheap Trick in the riff-o-riffic Bare Jr.; his dad recorded "Tequila Sheila," "Miller's Cave," and several other country classics penned by iconic author Shel Silverstein. And do not forget to commend Bobby Bare Jr. for legitimizing the drip-curl hairdo amongst men age 24-35. Somewhere apart from all that trivia, Bare Jr. (the man, not the band) is also a champ when it comes to penning lovelorn, offbeat, and catchy-as-hell slice-of-life songs as he has for the last four albums with his Young Criminal's Starvation League. The rotating cast of players, the core of which includes guitarist Carl Broemel and drummer Patrick Hallahan, released The Longest Meow (Bloodshot) in Sept. '06. Bare also made cameos on the most recent outings by the Silver Jews and head Pixie Frank Black, a longtime favorite of Bare. "They gave me a heart that is bionic/Now my love is supersonic," goes a catchy lyric from Bare's freshest loose-leaf scribbles. Flash the devil horns all you like, but pay close attention because, whether alone on a stool or with the League at his back, Bobby Bare Jr. works hard for your love or, at the very least, for your cover charge. --Michael Andrews WEDNESDAY



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INDIE-POP | Modern Skirts
Thurs. Jan. 25 / Fri. Jan. 26
The Pour House / Millennium Music
$6 / Free

There's seemingly no end in sight; the cutesy Athens, Ga. pop-rock quartet The Modern Skirts are still on a roll with their melodic piano-driven sound and critically-hailed discs and whatnot. Pianist, guitarist, and singer Jo-Jo Glidewell, lead singer, guitarist, and sometime-pianist Jay Gulley, bassist Phillip Brantley, and drummer John Swint formed the group in 2004 and blended their British and mod-U.S. pop influences on their 2005 debut EP, This Is Winning and Thinking. The full-length follow-up, Catalogue of Generous Men (Go To Your Room), made its way onto a good many "best-of" lists in 2005 and '06 (96 Wave regularly spins cuts of the new disc on their Sunday specialty shows). The Skirts hit the loungy Pour House for the first time on Thurs. Jan. 25 and bounce back into action for a special "Live @ Lunch" in-store set at Millennium Books and Music (372 King St.) at 1 p.m. on Fri. Jan. 26. Check out www.modernskirts.net for more. --T. Ballard Lesemann THURSDAY/FRIDAY



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POP-ROCK | The Vinyl Strangers
Fri. Jan. 26 / Sat. Jan. 27
The Map Room/The Village Tavern
Free / $5

In this cynical, mixed-up, crazy world, the Vinyl Strangers formed for all the right reasons. Main singer/frontman and guitarist Joe Guerzo and original bassist Steve Cox had played in Athens, Ga. band Flood City Shootout together for three years. Guitarist/singer Reid Howland had been Guerzo's closest friend for years, while drummer Ian Werden (of Slackdaddy, The High Caliber, Tinfoil Stars) was actually living at Guerzo's place when they first started jamming. "Never mind all the other bands that boast members of this four-piece, suffice it to say, the number closes in on double digits," says Guerzo. "As such, the Vinyl Strangers may be little more than a labor of love by four guys who get along swimmingly." The band recently added bassist Tim Adams (of Tinfoil Stars) to the lineup and released their debut album on Seattle indie New DNA Records. They manage to update their Byrds and Everly Brothers fetishes and bridge the gaps. See www.myspace.com/thevinylstrangers. --Tom Bavis FRIDAY/SATURDAY



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ROCK | Black Diamond Heavies
w/ Lasso
Sat. Jan. 27
Cumberland's
$6

Nashville blues/rock duo Black Diamond Heavies -- organist/singer John Wesley Myers and drummer/singer Van Campbell -- have made a messy splash this season with a howling sound and a "demonically-possessed," butt-shakin' trash-rock style. The duo leaves for a three-month tour from Nashville to London and back in support of a high reputation for wild live performances and a heavy-hitting, reverb-drenched new album titled Every Damn Time (Alive). Opening act Lasso are a new local combo featuring guitarist Jonathan "The Mumbler" Nicholson, bassist Richard "The Installer" Weld, and drummer George "Montana" Baerreis (all three of A Decent Animal), alongside vocalist Lindsay "See Through" Holler (on piano), and guitarist Clint "Tandem" Fore (filling in for Nick "Busy" Jenkins). See www.blackdiamondheavies.com and www.myspace.com/adecentanimal for more. --TBL SATURDAY


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