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by Ryan Snyder

upcoming shows you should check out

JASON & THE SCORCHERS COME TO THE GARAGE

Just a few years ago, Jason Ringenberg was calling himself Farmer Jason while entertaining the little ones with cutesy sing-alongs about animals and tractors. With his seminal cowpunk band Jason & the Scorchers on an interminable hiatus, Ringenberg all but disappeared from razing down crowds with the furious blend country, punk and hard rock he helped to create. They lasted only three albums spread over a decade, but their imprint was permanent. Well, the band won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Americana Music Conference in 2008, and last year saw the band’s return with their first album since 1996, Halcyon Times. With its release, Jason & the Scorchers have accomplished a pretty rare feat: Deep into their career, they have made a rock ‘n’ roll record every bit as dynamic and mind-blowing as their classic work. It was one of the more overlooked albums of 2010, but few were as simultaneously thoughtful and unrelenting. The band will come to the Garage this Friday with special guest Stacie Collins, a honky tonkin’ hellcat who more closely resembles contemporary country artists, in tow. The show starts at 9 p.m. and tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door.

LAUREN HILL EMBARKS ON A SMALL VENUE TOUR

Lauryn Hill’s publicity materials for her 17-show tour say that she’s “well aware that she may never play venues of this size again,” which is either blowing smoke to sell $60 tickets, or the long, long, long awaited follow-up to The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is coming soon and is going to be bigger than huge. She’ll be coming to North Carolina for two dates this weekend, of which the Orange Peel show on Sunday is already sold out, leaving on her Saturday night show at Amos’ Southend in Charlotte as the only available regional date. It’s been 13 years since her seminal solo debut instantly catapulted her among the greatest female MCs of all time, but the buzz and mystique around Hill hasn’t been greater. She’s touring with a full band in tow, playing solo classics, Fugees material and a scattered few new compositions, so the opportunity is there to justify the cost. The show happens this Saturday, and tickets are $55 in advance, about $67 after fees. The base cost goes up to $60 the day of the show, though chances are they won’t make it until then.

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