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Ryan’s MUSIC FORECAST

by Ryan Snyder

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It looks and sounds like a match made in heaven. Country music icon and avatar for responsible marijuana use Willie Nelson (www.willienelson.com) has teamed up with one of the tightest bands in all of music, regardless of discipline, to produce one of the more interesting albums of 2009 (see my Jan. 14 review). Asleep at the Wheel (www.asleepatthewheel.com), long known as the kings of country/western swing, backed Nelson on his latest project to revive a bunch of old jazz and swing classics. Simply called Willie & The Wheel, the album was the final work of famed record producer Jerry Wexler before his death in August 2008. It contains reworked versions of favorites like “Hesitation Blues,” “I’m Sittin’ On Top Of The World” and “South,” which features contributions from Paul Schaffer and Vince Gill. Nelson and the Wheel have joined forces for a tour as well and will appear at the War Memorial Auditorium this Saturday. Expect to hear material from the album, plenty of Willie’s originals and, according to Wheel bandleader Ray Benson, “a few surprises.” Tickets are priced in two tiers at $58.50 and $75.00 and the show starts at 8:00 p.m.

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Tesla to play to Greensboro’s Carolina Theatre

Signs, signs, everywhere there’s signs that ’80s metal is soon to take over the historic Carolina Theatre. Don’t call them hair metal, however, because Tesla (www. telslatheband.com) would prefer to be described as “hard rock with a bluesy feel.” In any event, they’re the band that brought the War of the Currents back into the national focus for a brief period and reinvented one of the greatest anti-discrimination songs ever written, complete with F-bombs. In the 25 years since their inception, the band has sold more than 16 million albums in the USs alone over the course of 12 albums. They will appear in Greensboro this Friday as a part of the Forever More Tour, with special guests nu-metal band the Leo Project (www.myspace.com/theleoproject). Now I don’t like to reprint promotional quotes from the band, but this one was just too good to ignore. In the words of guitarist Frank Hannon, “I always compare Tesla to a giant train that once it gets momentum, generates enough force to plow around the world. We’re back on our tracks at full speed, headed straight for your eardrums with a new album of original material.” Frank, the ’80s called. It wants its cheesy hyperbole back. Showtime is at 8 p.m. and tickets are $46.50, $36.50 or $26.50, depending on just how thoroughly you want to be rocked. A $1.50 Theatre Restoration fee will be added to each ticket.

Prolific DJ lights up Greene Street Club

If you’re a fan of pretty lights, thumping beats and grinding up on strangers, then Greene Street Club is the place to be this Friday. The man born as Eddie Pappa and later came to be known as DJ Icey (www.myspace.com/djicey) has been killing the club scene all over the country since the mid-’90s. Though Icey lacks some of the artistic merits of peers like DJ Logic or DJ Spooky, he’s still an amazingly adept turntablist who consistently turns out some of the most original remixes of popular music on the DJ circuit. Focusing primarily on breakbeats, his work is highly uptempo with a range of influences from old-school hip hop to Euro pop. This particular show comes as the final date of a four-month tour of Germany and the US, with none scheduled for the immediate future. With a nearly three week break in between his last show on Jan. 31 and this date, expect great things to happen. DJ Frenzy (www. myspace.com/frenzydjgso) is hosting and will also open the show. Doors open at 10 p.m. and the event is ages 18 and up only. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 on the day of the show.

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