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by Ryan Snyder

Rock the Block was a dog that just wouldn’t hunt for most of its run, and it’s a win for the city of Winston-Salem that it was put it out of its misery in favor of something with a tad more ambition. If only the same could be said about Greensboro’s Fun Fourth. Texas Pete has a great opportunity to build on the success of its Twin City Ribfest involvement (Vanilla Ice and the dude from Gangstagrass), but as deeply ingrained as the brand is in Winston-Salem’s history, it’s still a 99-cent condiment you slather onto food — things like the hangover cures that Scotty McCreery shills. Unfortunately there’s no panacea for his lack of taste, so ACC tourney ticket holders are just going to have to stifle their gag reflexes as best they can after the second game on Wednesday when the “This holds tea” kid makes the hard pitch for Boj at the Coliseum in the guise of country music.

At least Scotty doesn’t try to hide his influences though, and the same can be said for Chapel Hill indie rockers Clockwork Kids. Let’s pretend their claim that they are “often compared to such bands as Radiohead, R.E.M., the Smiths and the National” is a meta-commentary on outlandish perspectives held by bands that just don’t know any better. Their new song “Vacuum Heart” is a good effort, but they really sound like none of those bands. The Garage is letting you form your own conclusion on Wednesday though. For people who don’t really dig surprises, the Blind Tiger has Treehouse with Jahman Brahman — unless you’re expecting the Chicago instrumental hip-hop version; this is the Myrtle Beach reggae-funk version.

Talk of Amplifier’s demise may be premature, and you can grab its seventh and (but not necessarily final) final physical issue at its release party at the Crown at the Carolina Theatre on Friday, and check out music from experimental guitar-drum duo Sacred Oaks, alt-rock outfit Elemeno lo-fi garage trio Black Santa. Michigan post-hardcore poets La Dispute have a new record dropping a few days after their Greene Street Club show, and fans may be pleasantly taken aback by the quiet existential calamity within.

Saturday is St. Patty’s Day Eve Eve, Big Something and Marvelous Funkshun have the juggernaut jams for your drunk non-Irish asses at the Blind Tiger. Jack Russell’s Great White bring you the late ‘80s cock rock at Ziggy’s, and Eddie Money has two tickets to the Ham’s Downtown parking lot.

On Sunday, guitar phenoms Vinnie and Al of moe. do their string band thing Floodwood at High Rock Outfitters. On Monday, the plastic Patty’s will be drinking nongreen beer while rocking to the Mantras at the Blind Tiger. !

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