Extended Play

by Jordan Green

Greensboro’s Lisa Dames, who has parlayed theatrical roles in Patsy Cline musicals into a full-fledged career as a contemporary country chanteuse, melds indie and corporate approaches in the brave new music industry. Her latest album, No One Like Me, is independently released, but she’s built an audience through a string of corporate promotions and sponsorships.

On Oct. 24, her Nashville agent announced that the title track of the album will be featured on And after returning from Nashville, where she’s been writing songs for her next project, Dames will “embark on the final leg of her 2008 Wal-Mart tour… scheduled to run through December,” culminating in a series of performances singing Christmas classics backed by the Greensboro Symphony. On the same day CMT announced that Dames was selected along with 63 other artists to compete in “Music City Madness” for the title of “Best Unsigned Country Act in America.”

The winner receives an all-expenses-paid trip to CMT’s Nashville studio to record an episode of “Unplugged at Studio 330” and a private audition with Sony BMG’s Nashville A&R department. Visit to cast your vote. The last survivor rises from the dust on Dec. 11.

Meanwhile, the Halloween madness gets underway on Wednesday in Greensboro with Thacker Dairy Road performing at the Shoppes at Friendly Center. Greene Street pulls together the best of heartthrob modern rock with House of Fools, My American Heart, Quietdrive, Just Surrender and Quiet Life. The beloved House of Fools, whose well-crafted guitar-pop melodramatic swoops and flails, is the best known. San Diego’s My American Heart appears to be gradually winning loyal converts through steady touring on the Warped Tour and other outings.

Ziggy’s in Winston-Salem presents several of the Triad’s heavy hitters with a Halloween show featuring the Five L’s, 7 Method, My Hero Is Me, 3QD, Old Stone Revue, Love Low and Chosen. And Irata and Sugar in the Dirt share the bill at the Garage.

Soprano Mei Zhong will be accompanied by pianist James Helton in a performance that blends classical Western opera and traditional Chinese music at Guilford College’s Dana Auditorium on Thursday.

“American Idol” contestant Elliot Yamin appears at the N Club in Greensboro on Friday with a little help from friends Josh Hoge & the Last Goodnight.

Naked Beggars, a Nashville band that includes a former member of Cinderella, takes up residency at Bandana’s in Greensboro on Friday and Saturday.

On Sunday, Nov. 4, UNCG campus station WUAG FM presents a hip-hop showcase at Greene Street featuring Ohmega Watts, Endless Mic, Median & the Remix Project and Maf Maddix.

Any rock history of Athens, Ga. traces back to the B-52s, obviously. Those who were around at the time of that late ’70s inception will also tell you that Pylon loomed large. In 1987, when Rolling Stone deemed REM “the best American band,” drummer Bill Berry reportedly demurred, insisting that honor was really due to Pylon. I know them best from REM’s frenetic cover of “Crazy” on the more famous band’s Dead Letter Office. Pylon’s classic album, Gyrate, was re-released on Oct. 16. Go see them at Local 506 in Chapel Hill on Nov. 5 if you want to see what all the fuss is about.

And on Nov. 6 and 7, witness the phenomenon of new music when Laura Veirs opens for the Decemberists at the Millennium Center in Winston-Salem.