SOUND CHECKS 

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'Brazilian Bluegrass' | Clay Ross' Matuto
w/ Morimoto
Wed. May 30
The Pour House
$8, $5

Ask a guitar player in Rio de Janeiro to play you some Bill Monroe, and you'll likely get the same reaction as asking an Appalachian front porch picker to strum something with a Baiao rhythm. College of Charleston alum Clay Ross is bridging that gap, bringing his group Matuto to the Pour House under the genre-label "Brazilian Bluegrass." Ross spent the last few years touring with New Orleans stalwart Cyro Baptista's Beat the Donkey, recruiting percussionist Tim Keiper from that group for the Matuto project. Former Blue Merle fiddle player Rob Hecht and "afroperuvian" jazz bassist Edward Perez round out the quartet. Taking their name from a Brazilian slang word for "country bumpkin," Matuto find similarities between the roots music of Northeastern Brazil and the rural traditions of America, spinning them into danceable rhythms that sound both familiar and wholly new. Fittingly, if Charleston is to produce another Clay Ross, it might just be recent CofC grad Dave Linaburg, guitarist with Morimoto, who open the show. For all guitar players attending, prepare to be humbled. See www.myspace.com/brazilianbluegrass and www.charlestonpourhouse.com for more. —Stratton Lawrence WEDNESDAY

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METAL/ROCK | Crossfade
w/ Everything After, Eve To Adam
Thurs. May 31
The Windjammer
$17, $15 (adv.)

Columbia-based alt-rock/metal band Crossfade may have had a debut album that sold 1.2 million copies and a single titled "Cold" that became the most played rock song of 2004, but if bassist/vocalist Mitch James thinks those successes assured the band that its second album, 2006's Falling Away, would be another success, he wasn't showing it in a recent phone interview. Instead, he expressed little in the way of expectations for the new album. "We're starting over on the bottom and it's going to be a long process to try to sell records," he says. "We're glad that we have some fans already waiting in the wings to buy this record. We think that's going to jump-start everything. But it's going to start on the grassroots level, just like it did last time, just word-of-mouth and people saying 'Oh my God, have you heard this?' Hopefully it will do that again." James, singer/guitarist Ed Sloan, drummer James Branham and special guests headline the Jammer on Thursday. See www.crossfadeonline.com and www.the-windjammer.com for more. —Alan Sculley THURSDAY

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Noise ROCK | DMBQ
w/ guests
Sat. June 2
Cumberland's
(call)

The four Tokyo, Japan-based psych rockers in DMBQ last graced Charleston with their face-melting sonic noise bombs as part of the Kevin Hanley-curated Sawaguzo! festival in 2005. After playing one of their trademark blistering, action-packed sets at Cumberland's on Oct. 28 of that year, the band continued on their epic American tour for just one more week before the van they were traveling in was struck by a car that swerved into their lanes on the Jersey turnpike, killing China, DMBQ's longtime drummer. It's been almost two years since the tragedy, and this is the band's first U.S. tour since — the new line-up features Wada Shinji, former drummer with King Brothers, plus musicians who have played with legendary Japanese act The Boredoms. Visit the "Disc" section of DMBQ's website (www.dmbq.net) for a sampling of what's to come on Saturday, but bear in mind that the live show is 1,000 times as dynamic as anything they've put on record. Some advice: be prepared to grin a lot ... and bring earplugs! —Sara Miller SATURDAY

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COUNTRY | Martina McBride
w/ Little Big Town, Rodney Atkins
Sat. June 2
N. Charleston Coliseum
$59.75, $49.75, $39.75

There is no shortage of country tours this season, but when it comes to star power, the triple bill of Martina McBride, Little Big Town, and Rodney Atkins shouldn't take a back seat in a spring and summer of high-powered events. Now in her 15th year as a recording artist, McBride, with her newly released disc, Waking Up Laughing, is bidding to notch her sixth straight studio album to top one million copies sold. McBride can't say for sure why she's been able to maintain her popularity. She suspects it's partly that her musical instincts, like her image, mirror those of her audience. "I feel like there's a good balance between consistency and reinventing and keeping it fresh," she says. "I think consistency is appealing to a lot of people, myself included. I think when my fans buy my record, they have a certain idea of what to expect. They feel that they're getting to know me a little bit better, or they really get a part of me, and it's relatable. I think that's a part of it, too." Doors are at 7:30 p.m. See www.martinamcbride.com and www.coliseumpac.com for more. —Alan Sculley SATURDAY


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