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Circle Takes The Square

Based in Savannah, but known throughout the country (and, I daresay the world) for their exuberant, ìkiss thisÎ take on screaming, helter-skelter post-hardcore, CTTS have earning raves in influential mags like Rolling Stone (from no less than David ìIíve still got my prideÎ Fricke) and Alternative Press.

Their hallmarks are tough and biting male/female vocal interplay and twisting, sinewy obstacle courses that they call songs. Sonic references to hard-charging and idol-bashing acts like X and Fugazi abound. They rarely play hometown shows, because theyíre usually criss-crossing the country playing everywhere from house parties and youth centers to dive bars and full-on showcase clubs.

Opening will be Stop This Fall, a politically-minded punk band from Florida (think RATM mixed with standard-issue hardcore) boasting a well-defined sense of both dynamics and song structure.

If you mistakenly think there are no original bands in Savannah that are worthy of international recognition, show up for this gig (with earplugs), and have your assumptions be pounded into oblivion. Fri., The Jinx.

Cigar Store Indians

Couldnít get enough of this kitschy, retro Atlanta rockabilly band at the recent Rock The Cure benefit festival? Now theyíre back ñ which is odd, as it had literally been years since they last graced our townís stages.

Led by the charismatic Ben Friedman (whom many will remember from his lateí80s gigs at the now-defunct Congress St. Station), theyíre far from purists, but they certainly have the chops and ducktails to please most save for the fanatics... Fri., 10 pm, Mercury Lounge.

Searson, Rathkeltair

Rock-tinged Irish bands (or Irish-tinged rock bands, take your pick) have always gone over better there than more traditional fare in this venue (formerly known as OíConnellís Irish Pub), so itís no surprise that this weekend theyíve got a double shot of rollicking, uptempo, feel-good music on draught.

First up is Searson, a Canadian group that defines themselves as ìkick-ass CelticÎ. With a lineup that includes two lead female fiddlers, acoustic and electric guitars, bass, piano, mandolin, and bodhran, this close-knit family band has been a featured attraction at major clubs and Irish festivals throughout North America. Their fresh, contemporary good looks and exceptional musicianship and stepdancing make them one of the finest touring acts this pub has booked to date.

The next night, Rathkeltair returns for their first Savannah date since the 2005 Irish Festival. This acclaimed combo features members of brand-name Irish rock acts like Seven Nations and Celtic Soul, and leans in a much harder direction than Searson. Fri. (Searson) & Sat., (Rathkeltair), Finneganís Wake Irish Pub.

3 Doors Down

It was quite a coup when Georgia Southern University signed a contract with these multi-platinum modern rockers the same week their latest album hit Number One on the Billboard Hot 200 Charts. Although this Statesboro school has hosted its share of big name bands over the years (including R.E.M., The Rolling Stones, and The Allman Brothers), itís been some time since they brought in an act of bona fide superstar status.

The last time this group played our area, they sold out in no time flat, but the 20,000 capacity of this outdoor facility (Paulson Stadium) means thereís plenty of room for out-of-towners as well. Accordingly, the schoolís been advertising this show as far away as Augusta and Macon. Officials say if this show succeeds, theyíre planning to bring in at least one artists of a similar stature each academic year, and that theyíd like for GSU to become known as a viable and profitable stop for major bands on their way down through Florida.

Thatís a tall order, but with 5,000 tickets already sold just to their student body, things are looking good so far. Another selling point: seats for the public top out at $30, compared with $46 for the following night in Jacksonville. Thatís because GSU is more interested in doing something nice for their community than turning a big profit.

Whether you dig corporate rock of this sort, thatís something we can all get behind. More power to Ëem. To get tickets, go to

Wed., 7 pm, April 23rd, Paulson Stadium, GSU (Statesboro).

The Ogeechee Brothers

A two-fisted sucker punch of rural acoustic blues from guitarist Michael Maddox and Old-Time Americana from the ubiquitous Joe Nelson.

The Brothers consist of Nelson, Jeremy Stoner and Ricardo Ochoa. Theyíll play a mixture of ancient folk, hokum blues, minstrel tunes, jazz rags and Tin Pan Alley numbers ñ all recreated faithfully from their original 78 rpm sources ñ as well as throw in a few amalgamated versions which Nelson has adapted himself from various sources.

Interestingly enough, Joe will only be playing ukuleles for this show (all manner of them). This show will likely make a wonderful introduction to not only a bygone era of music, but to a couple of Savannahís most fervent true believers in the way things ought to be. Sun., 7 pm, The Sentient Bean. w