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Stretch Arm Strong

This hardcore 5-piece from Columbia, S.C., is supporting their latest CD, Free At Last, which some are calling the best album of their long and impressive career. Together for more than a decade, theyíve progressed methodically through the ranks of the punk rock underground, and ñwhile the members are only in their 30sñ are viewed as elders of the scene.

Weaned on classic Ëcore like Minor Threat and Gorilla Biscuits, they did a 3-album stint with the high profile Solid State Records, but have rededicated themselves to breaking out in a major way, and now taken control of their own destiny. For this show, theyíll be joined by tourmates (and hometown wards) Burns Out Bright, as well as Round For Round, Aslan and The Paper Mind.

This is a big-time event for this fledgling ALL-AGES juice bar above the late-night burger joint of the same name, and should draw out plenty of old-school moshers. Doors open at 6 pm, and it will sell out. Line up early for the best spot. Fri., 7 pm, Sweet Melissaís (formerly Le Mort Rouge, 103 W. Congress St.) - ALL-AGES.

Lucero, Whiskey Dick

Criticsí darlings, Memphis quartet Lucero began as a quiet, country-influenced group with a violinist instead of a drummer. Since then, their debut EP was named ìone of the Top 5 home recordings of all timeÎ by Alternative Press, and theyíve morphed into a bad-ass bar band that knows how to bend a note. Theyíve toured with a bizarre variety of acts, from Against Me! and The Breeders to Ted Leo and The Pharmacists. Often compared to a twangier version of the Replacements, their latest CD was produced by none other than Big Star/íPlacemats/North Mississippi Allstars guru Jim Dickinson. These days, the bandís sound rubs sonic shoulders with the Allstars, Drive-By Truckers, and other ìnew SouthernÎ rock acts. Local outlaw country figurehead (and Jinx bartender) Tony ìWhiskey DickÎ Beasley opens the show with his own slow and low hard-luck tales. Good stuff. Fri., 10 pm, The Jinx.

The Salt Miners

Fans of Savannah favorites The Wiyos will likely get a big kick out of this Detroit-based quintet that take traditional string and jug-band music and wrap it in a shawl of Motor City garage-band attitude. yet another in an increasing number of touring groups that have embraced retro Americana as both a logical and natural antecedent to gritty indie-rock, and as a much more cost-effective way to see the country. As opposed to the standard loud rock band setup, when plying this trade, only small amps are required (if any at all), and no drums are required in this string-band format. Everybody in the group lays down a powerful backbeat on their very own.

Decked to the nines in matching pinstripe suits and fedoras, they tear through their original material like, well... Like theyíre a band from detroit thatís been around the block a time or two. Their live shows are often referred to as ìfoot-stomping parties,Î because supposedly their audiences invariably get drawn into The groupís high-energy stage presence and cut a rug themselves. Sat., 8 pm, The Sentient Bean - ALL-AGES.

I Am The World Trade Center

Billed as a launch party for MURMUR, a new monthly glossy covering the local art and nightlife scenes, this unusual bill finds that magís publisher bringing in a couple of his favorite groups that would likely not play Savannah otherwise.

IATWTC is a hipper-than-hip Athens electronica duo thatís honed a slam-dunk hybrid of New Orderís intelligent dance-funk, the Pet Shop Boysí club mantras and Kristin Hershís post-Throwing Muses indie-rock efforts. Their insidiously catchy grooves sound like the best GAP shopping music youíve never heard.

Openers Teen Slain formed in Savannah, but are now based in Philly. Their minimalist electroclash recall a more grating ñand hip-hop referencingñ variation on The Rentalsí genius formula (trash can hi-hats, pulsing retro synth lines,obtuse lyrical conceits, etc...).

Owing to IATWTC vocalist Amy Dykesí recent bout with Hodgkinís Lymphoma (currently in remission), no smoking will be allowed on this night at what is usually an extremely smoke-friendly establishment. Sat., 10 pm, The Jinx.

Pearl Django

One of Americaís most in-demand Hot Club-style acoustic jazz-grass groups, this Washington state quartet of 2 guitars, violin and bass has released 8 albums in the past 12 years, and deftly blends the musical innovations of Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt with the tradition of American swing. If you enjoy the fleet-fingered clean picking of bluegrass, and/or the beguiling romanticism of French gypsy music, this is a canít miss gig! Seatingís limited, so call 748-1930 to reserve a ticket ASAP. Sun., 7 pm, Randy Woodís Pickiní Parlor (1304 E. Hwy 80, Bloomingdale) - ALL-AGES.