SOUND CHECKS 

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POP-ROCK | The Swimming Pool Q's
Thurs. May 10
The Windjammer
$5

A year before R.E.M. released their proper debut on 12-inch vinyl, Atlanta pop/rock band The Swimming Pool Q's issued their own quirky debut, 1981's The Deep End EP and were on their way to signing a deal with A&M. Led by singer/guitarist Jeff Calder and singer/keyboardist Ann Richmond Boston, the Q's were among that first wave of "new wave" rock bands in the Peach State. 1984's self-titled effort and 1986's Blue Tomorrow were more straight-ahead, nicely arranged, sophisticated pop efforts that led to high status on college radio and beyond. After Boston exited the band, the Q's released World War Two Point Five in 1989 on Capitol. The band unofficially disbanded in '90 and Calder concentrated on writing and recording music. Several years ago, he re-assembled the classic Q's lineup with late-era drummer Billy Burton and bassist Tim DeLaney (of The Sightseers). "The Swimming Pool Q's have been a remarkably stable group, given certain financial considerations," he says. "It's true that Anne left the band for a number of years, but with the exception of Tim, the Q's are the same group we've been since 1982." The Q's recently rereleased a version of The Deep End. Their latest studio efforts include 2002's Royal Academy Of Reality and the forthcoming Suddenly Not Yet. See www.swimmingpoolqs.com for more. —T. Ballard Lesemann THURSDAY

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HARD ROCK | Action City Blackout
w/ Souls Harbor, Best of all Breathing
Fri. May 11
Music Farm
$5

Embraced by 96 Wave and 98X as sincerely rowdy, fist-clenched rockers with a refreshingly simple mission, local rock quintet Action City Blackout seem determined to make a proper go of things. They celebrate the release of a self-titled debut album this weekend. The Blackout are comprised of singer Emily Richards and guitarists Jack Hunter and Collin Debruhl — all formerly of Skintight — along with drummer Josh Martin (ex-Young Republicans), and bassist James Morgan (ex-Movie Star). All five love beer, booze, cigs, tight dungarees, and the 1970s. Band manager Percy Stainwater calls their new collection "absolutely hair-raising ... I'm terrified." Beaufort-based modern-metal band Souls Harbor and local rock act Best of All Breathing share the bill. See www.myspace.com/actioncityblackout for more. —TBL FRIDAY

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GREASER-ROCK | Tennessee Rounders
w/ The Defilers
Fri. May 11
Cumberland's
$5

Based in the bucolic little city of Chattanooga, the Tennessee Rounders — Bryan Gross, Channing Wilson, Peewee Moore, and Mike Hagaman — kick out a high-octane mix of country, blues, rockabilly, and greaser-rock. They've recently shared stages with such acts as Charlie Daniels, David Allan Coe, Steve Earle, Dwight Yoakam, and Billy Joe Shaver. Their recent debut 11-song album Honkytonkabilly and follow-up collection Flathead Eight raise a serious ruckus. Local trio The Defilers — guitarist/singer Arleigh Hertzler, bassist Michael Dumas, and drummer Duck Reynolds — have stayed super busy this season working on newly recorded material (the tentative title for the collection is Flat Tires and Ex-Wives), playing festivals and club gigs around the Carolinas and Georgia, and bringing their favorite rock bands to town for co-bills. "Otherwise, lots of drinking, partying, and usual Defilers stuff — shooting shotguns, making late-night phone calls to other states, etc." says Hertzler. Check www.defilers.net and www.thetennesseerounders.com for more. —TBL FRIDAY

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INDIE ROCK | The High Strung
w/ Matt & Kim
Sat. May 12
Village Tavern
$6

Yow! N.Y.C. rock band The High Strung just released a kick-ass album (their third) titled Get The Guests on the Park the Van label. Produced by Jim Diamond, the joyful yelping, singing, guitar noises, and rhythms are even more "high strung" than their previous two — These Are Good Times and Moxie Bravo. The bristling stuff would make Wayne Coyne blush and Steve Malkmus wince. Singer/guitarist Josh Malerman, drummer Derek Berk, and bassist Chad Stocker return to the Tavern this Saturday with special guests Matt & Kim, a Brooklyn-based indie-rock duo touring behind a new self-titled album on IHeartComix Records. Check out www.thehighstrung.com and www.mattandkimmusic.com for more. —TBL SATURDAY


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