WEEPERS & REAPERS | “Tom Waits Tribute”
w/ The New Music Collective
Fri. Dec. 29

Reviving what’s becoming a grand tradition, the clever musicians and artists from the local New Music Collective — Bill Carson, Michael Flynn, Jonathan Gray, Nathan Koci, Philip White, Ron Wiltrout, and guests — present a “Tom Waits Tribute” this evening at 10 p.m. They’ll pay respect to the American songwriter’s distinctive hoary rasp, singing and plunking some of Waits’ finest “grand weepers and grim reapers” — from the 1983 album Swordfishtrombones and 1985’s terrific Rain Dogs (each played in their entirety). “This is the same group that performed Rain Dogs in March ’06 as part of a fundraising event for Redux,” they say. “It was such a hit that we’re back to present more of the music of this brilliant songwriter. These two back-to-back albums from the mid ’80s are what people often refer to as a highlight in a career spanning three decades.” —T. Ballard Lesemann FRIDAY

ROCK | Cowboy Mouth
w/ Yates Dew Band
Fri. Dec. 29

He can goon around like Moon The Loon and execute a plush drum roll across the snare drum like Ringo, but Cowboy Mouth’s drummer/singer Fred LeBlanc is probably best known among fans for his fierce dedication to the pure American rock music art form, as it’s presented in the crowded-club setting. LeBlanc got his start playing with Louisiana’s Dash Rip Rock way back in the cow punk days of the early ’80s before stepping out and putting together his own collective of like-minded rock ‘n’ rollers. Through the ’90s, they played the college town circuit and even enjoyed a bit of “alternative” radio airplay with 1996’s “Jenny Says.” The current lineup includes LeBlanc, John Thomas Griffith (guitar, keyboard), Paul Sanchez (guitar), and Sonia Tetlow (bass). Their latest LP is a New Orleans-themed side titled Voodoo Shoppe (Eleven Thirty) (see www.cowboymouth.com for more). Local pop/rockers Yates Dew Band open at 9 p.m. —TBL FRIDAY

JAMGRASS/ROCK | Blueground Undergrass
Sat. Dec. 30
The Pour House

Atlanta’s Blueground Undergrass is one of the most enduring bands that combines old-time Appalachian bluegrass licks with undercurrents of gypsy jazz and jam-friendly rock. Taking cues from adventurous predecessors the New Grass Revival, the current incarnation of the Undergrass gang features founding vocalist/banjo man Rev. Jeff Mosier in the lead, accompanied by returning Athens fiddler David Blackmon, former Fuzzy Sprouts drummer Seth Hendershot, guitarist Matthew Williams, and bassist A.J. Adams, also of Athens country-rockers Stewart & Winfield. The band released a strong new album called Faces earlier this year that features their trademark genre-jumping on several originals, like the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band-inspired “Clock Goes On,” and a lively revamping of Texan songsmith Guy Clark’s “Dublin Blues.” Those who enjoy their old school pickin’ with fervent splashes of tie-dye across the board should consider the band’s two-night stop in Charleston a most pressing engagement (look for them with Sol Driven Train and Big City Sunrise on New Year’s Eve as well!). 9 p.m. Michael Andrews SATURDAY

TWANG-ROCK | Dash Rip Rock
Sat. Dec. 30
Fiery Ron’s Home Team BBQ

Already two decades into a career in rock, the rowdy, twangy trio Dash Rip Rock are still at it with their trademark swampy Southern-style garage-rock sound. Singer/guitarist Bill Davis formed the band in 1984 (Cowboy Mouth’s Fred LeBlanc was the original drummer) and pressed ahead with bassist Ned “Hoaky” Hickel and drummer Chris Luckette. They recorded for the Mammoth Records label through the 1980s and ’90s, playing the college radio markets and underground rock festivals. Their latest LP is a 21-song double album titled Recyclone — a collection filled with bits of dirty blues-rock, rockabilly, power pop, and white boy boogie. Home Team BBQ sets the room up for the live shows at 9 p.m. The rock kicks up at 10 p.m. See www.dashriprock.net for more. TBL SATURDAY

POP-ROCK | Manchester Orchestra
w/ The Explorers Club, The New Frontiers
Mon. Jan. 1
The Village Tavern

Atlanta’s Manchester Orchestra — a six-man outfit led by singer/guitarist Andy Hull — return to the Tavern on New Year’s Day for an opening set behind their new album, I’m Like a Virgin Losing a Child. Neither an orchestra nor hailing from Manchester, England, the band is so-named due to Hull’s early obsession with Morrissey and the random friends who played with him when he was starting out. The name has misguided many — from concert organizers who inquire where the band’s violins (and the rest of the members) are upon arrival to SXSW to organizers who put the band on a bill with five U.K. bands this past March. The guys have plans to tackle some serious road work in 2007, including a U.K. tour in January and an outing with friends and emo-gods Brand New at some point. Add to that the search for the perfect record label and the guys have a busy year ahead. Check www.themanchesterorchestra.com for more. Charleston’s Explorers Club headline with support from Dallas pop/rock band The New Frontiers (formerly Stellamarris). Leah Weinberg MONDAY

FOLK/STRING BAND | The Mad Tea Party
w/ The V-Tones
Sat. Jan. 6
The Map Room

As demonstrated on their new CD, Big Top Soda Pop, Asheville, N.C. band Mad Tea Party jam with a cool, retro sound — a blend of vaudeville jazz, country blues, mountain music, fun vocal harmonies, and rock ‘n’ roll. Singer and ukulele player Ami Worthen, upright bassist Joe Edel, and fiddler/guitarist Jason Krekel formed the trio in 2000 out of a solo folk music project of Worthen’s. The duo caught on with audiences and critics in their hometown of and National Public Radio stations across the country began picking up their 2004 album 73% Post-Consumer Novelty. Charleston’s own string combo The V-Tones open. See www.themadteaparty.com for more. TBL SATURDAY

MICHIGAN ROCK | Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
Tues. Jan. 9
North Charleston Coliseum

“Rock ‘n’ roll never forgets.” It may have been 30 years since Bob Seger first sang those familiar words of admonishment, but during the lengthy span in which neither Seger nor his Silver Bullet Band toured or released new records, America’s Bullethead faithful definitely haven’t forgotten about him. In fact, during the last decade — a time in which John Fogerty, Rod Stewart, Springsteen, Mellencamp, and many other rock vets cut albums and drew packed houses — the most we’ve seen from Seger has been thanks to more than a few degrees of separation. It seems, though, that one of Detroit’s most influential — and often most underrated — elder statesmen of rock ‘n’ roll is calling it a comeback with a solid new album, numerous TV appearances, and an extensive U.S. tour with the Silver Bullet crew in tow. His latest, Face The Promise, is getting the warmest reception a new Seger release has received since the 1980s with its older-but-wiser ruminations on aging, addiction, and the nation’s current political woes. Thankfully, he still knows how to burn rock ‘n’ roll rubber, too, with tracks like “Wreck This Heart” and the Vince Gill-penned “Real Mean Bottle” providing spirited throwbacks to the early days of the Bob Seger Sound System and the Silver Bullet Band’s ’70s arena-ready sound. For both the young longhairs and elder graybeards in the stands, that’s some welcome good news. The “Seeg” is set to perform at the North Charleston Coliseum on Tues. Jan. 9 at 7:30 p.m. Check www.bobseger.com and www.coliseumpac.com for more. Michael Andrews TUESDAY

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