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Sound menu: Wednesday/6

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BASTARD SONS OF JOHNNY CASH, SLIM CHANCE -- With one of the coolest band names to come down the tracks, you'd expect the BSOJC to exude some of the tough, uncompromising outlaw appeal of their Man in Black namesake. Instead we get pleasant, unvarnished jangly country rock that's far from edgy. Disappointing. More likely to walk the line is the Cash-lovin' honky-tonkin' opener Slim Chance (aka CL contributor James Kelly), who has a truckful of new tunes and an encyclopedic knowledge of all things C&W. Smith's Olde Bar (Horowitz)

KHALED -- See article, p. 77. Variety Playhouse (Falstaff)

SELENE MCCARTHY -- An unusually gifted Decatur chanteuse, McCarthy offers evocative sonic glimpses into everything she loves -- from horses to coffee -- on her latest CD, Fresh Flowers. This Open Mic Shootout winners' showcase also features performances by Antje Duvekot and Sanjay Kothari. Eddie's Attic (Nicoll)

RYE COALITION, KYLE FISHER AND OWEN -- Rugged rhythmic rockers Rye Coalition sand down the edges of their brutal, discordant throb into a hard gem of primal rock 'n' roll on their forthcoming album, On Top. Where once they pounded and writhed with the unrestrained intensity of the dark, nihilistic Chicago rock strain epitomized by the Jesus Lizard and Shellac, they've now settled into a blues-inflected boogie that recalls a hungover ZZ Top on a crystal meth bender. Kyle Fisher's (Rainer Maria) solo debut, Open Ground, is a somber acoustic affair with a certain muted grace. Owen is actually Mike Kinsella, who has a solo CD of his own and joins Fisher's band. The Earl (Parker)

SCRAPPY HAMILTON -- Reckless and irresistibly charismatic, Asheville's Scrappy Hamilton stomps out old-timey hot jazz with snake-handling, fire-eating, glass-walking abandon. Like a long blow on a deep jug, the Scrappilachian mountain sound resonates for a country mile. Appearing with the Blue Jays and Sonoramic Commando. Echo Lounge (Hutchinson)

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