Sept. 30
CHARLIE SEXTON This show sold out in summer, but it's not because Charlie Sexton's on the bill. Some guy named John Mayer is headlining. Whatever. Though idolized in his native Texas and respected among small cults of people who still understand that it's possible to be a guitar-slinger and a good songwriter, Sexton never received the acclaim he deserves. Although his new album, Cruel and Gentle Things, should rectify that, it's likely that a run around the country with Mayer will do him a lot more good. (House of Blues)

Oct. 1
The opening performance is a fairly important night for a classical music organization, and the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra is setting a fine tone for this year's season by featuring violinist Sarah Chang as the Phil runs through Dvorak's "Violin Concerto, op. 53, A Minor." A child prodigy no more – she's still prodigious, just not a child – Chang is the kind of skilled marquee performer who's needed to shake inattentive classical music fans out of their stupor. (Carr Performing Arts Centre)

Oct. 2
Detroit's Wolf Eyes kick off an oh-so-psychedelic October with a barrage of skull-peeling mayhem that'll make any quest for consciousness seem less important than holding on to your sanity. This group's blistering guitars and broken-down synthesizers have made them an underground favorite, and though their recent Sub Pop debut didn't exactly sell in Shins-type quantity, it's given their abrasive sound a surprisingly large audience. (Will's Pub)

Oct. 4
This hip-hop trio from the Raleigh-Durham area gets a lot of attention since they claim one of the hottest hip-hop producers in the world – 9th Wonder – as a member. But it's the threesome's low-key funk that holds your interest after the questions about Jay-Z have been asked. (The Social)

Oct. 6
Nowhere near as brutal as Wolf Eyes, nor as acid-drenched as Acid Mothers Temple, this Japanese group is still a suitable addition to October, aka "psychedelic" month. Delicate and expansive, Mono's sound traffics in atmospheres and dynamics, with oddly endearing bits of melody thrown in for good measure. It's always worthwhile to see a Japanese band come around that's not cutesy or completely psychotic. (The Social)

Oct. 7 & 8
The band celebrates their 10th anniversary not only with a blowout Oct. 8 at House of Blues, but also with an intimate acoustic show the night before at The Social. The catch is, the only way to see the Social show is to buy tickets to both. Hey, 10 years is nothing to sneeze at, so surely the band will make it worth it. (House of Blues and The Social)

Oct. 14
This long-running aggregate of freaks is a cult unto itself, and they've been harnessing the powers of drone and feedback into something spiritually explosive for nearly 10 years. Guitarist Kawabata Makoto is relentless in his quest for higher awareness and seems determined that the only way to arrive at it is to squeeze as much sonic mayhem out of his guitar as possible. (The Social)

Oct. 15

Two legends of dirty, nasty, raunchy musical comedy – and not just any dirty, nasty, raunchy comedy, but the dirtiest, nastiest and raunchiest comedy you've probably ever heard – in the same room at the same time? It's like Christmas, but with dick jokes and Dolemite. Whatever you do, don't bring Mom (unless she's a whore). (Will's Pub)

Oct. 16
Only one member is a girl and none of them are from Brazil, but the laissez-faire grooves this New York quartet dispenses are as evocative and sultry as their name. With elements of funk, electro, club pop and bossa nova (duh) swirled into a gorgeous blend, their tunes about sex, dancing, sex, dreaming and sex have earned them a huge amount of attention. (The Social)

Oct. 18-23
Put together by the folks at Fighting Records and The Social, this festival places national acts like Portastatic, John Vanderslice, Ambulance LTD, Atmosphere, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Blueprint and, uh, The National at venues all around town. And the organizers have arranged for some panel discussions on how to keep independent rock as DIY as possible. Although The Social (and the Social Pavilion), The Lodge (and the Lodge Pavilion), Will's Pub, Peacock Room, DMAC, AKA Lounge and Park Ave CDs will be hosting the festival, it promises to still feel low-key and intimate, focusing on quality, rather than quantity. (

Oct. 23
What can you say? It's Neil Diamond. Buy your very expensive but very worth-it tickets now. (TD Waterhouse Centre)

Oct. 25
Despite the dumbing-down of the majority of rock radio, the fact that this bill is expected to sell out the arena is proof enough that hard rock fans are still smart enough to know what their money is worth. Sure, it's difficult to understand how your average meathead can enjoy the dark sonic nihilism of Nine Inch Nails, the smart-ass gut-rock of QOTSA and, say, Shinedown, but hey, since when is rock & roll about "understanding"? (TD Waterhouse Centre)

Oct. 28
The skepticism associated with the reunion of the New York Dolls was so thick and impenetrable that it took the folks who saw the first few shows awhile to admit that they actually saw a great performance. Three of the original five members are dead and David Johansen is still trying to live down Buster Poindexter, but it's quite possible that this version of the band is as good as – and definitely more consistent than – they were the first time around. (House of Blues)

Oct. 30
A month or so before Death Cab's latest album, Plans, was released, it was very much the talk of the town. Turns out that getting signed to a major label (in DCFC's case, Atlantic) didn't do a whole lot to keep full versions of Plans from flooding illicit channels. People were talking about it as though it had been in stores for months – "Hey, you hear the new Death Cab? I'm digging it" – so suffice it to say there's little chance that this show won't sell out. Oh crap, I wasn't supposed to say "sell out" when writing about Death Cab. Oh well. (Hard Rock Live)

Nov. 9
How can one band be so much fun and so smart at the same time? How can one band cover Gil Scott-Heron, Dada and Falco on the same album? How can it be that people focus more on the fact that Molotov sings in Spanish than on the fact that these guys are one of the best bands on the planet right now? (Hard Rock Live)

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