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Ringworm, if you're new to the scene and feel like getting a bruise or two this weekend, is the city's reigning king of metallic hardcore. Frontman the Human Furnace — the story behind his nickname is one of Cleveland's best-kept secrets — describes the band's latest Victory Records release, The Venomous Grand Design, as "Kreator, Nuclear Assault, D.R.I., Sodom, Suicidal Tendencies, and Slayer all puking in the same toilet." The up-and-coming heavyweights of Fenian, whose name is inspired by a group of Irish American commandos that invaded Canada shortly after the Civil War, open the show. This lineup of scene veterans has worked at Peabody's, where band members found bile rising in their throats as they were forced to watch what passes for hardcore bands these days. So they decided to show everyone how it's done. Frontman JC Koszewski sang for Dead Even, Scene readers' metal band of the year in 2006. He's still screaming his throat raw on songs like "Blue Collar Brawler," which lunge from Ringworm-indebted metalcore to circle-pit melées. Promises Koszewski, "We will make you bleed." The show starts at 7 p.m. Friday, July 25, at Peabody's (2083 E. 21st St., 216.776.9999). Tickets: $8. — D.X. Ferris

If glowing reviews were the coin of the realm, the members of Wussy would be wealthy enough to hire Sting to trim the hedge animals around their mansions. As it is, the rootsy folk squall quartet has put out two ecstatically received indie releases - its 2005 debut, Funeral Dress, and the recent Left for Dead, both on Cincinnati's Shake It Records - and has heeded the admonition to keep the day jobs. Until it can tour full-time, Wussy will have to be content with feedback around its Cincinnati base and responses like Robert Christgau's recent four-star rave of Left for Dead in Rolling Stone. The album was produced by former Afghan Whigs bassist John Curley, and the quartet had a couple of years of live gigs under its belt and decided to play as a studio unit to keep the sound rawer and noisier. When Wussy takes the stage, any mannered studio subtleties are jettisoned in favor of a grittier, louder, more confrontational sonic experience. Good Touch Bad Touch and the Ben Barrs open at 9 p.m. at the Beachland Tavern (15711 Waterloo Rd., 216.383.1124). Tickets: $7. — Brian Baker

Taylor Swift
It's a shame radio neutered 18-year-old country singer Swift's best lyric. "So go and tell your friends that I'm obsessive and crazy/That's fine/I'll tell mine your gay," she sings on the original version of "Picture to Burn," a less-destructive version of Miranda Lambert's and Carrie Underwood's revenge fantasies. The remix replaces the "gay" line with a shrugging "You won't mind if I say . . ." Before that, the gentle twang of "Teardrops on My Guitar," one of the best songs on her self-titled debut album, was swapped for a poppier gloss. Not that Swift needs it; she's pretty pop as it is. She also knows how to write a hook. Nearly every song on her debut, which was released almost two years ago and is still going strong, would sound great on the radio. So far, five of the record's 11 tracks have reached the country Top 10. It's only a matter of time before the remaining six do the same. She opens for Rascal Flatts at 7 p.m. at Blossom Music Center (1145 W. Steels Corner Rd., 216.241.5555). Sold out. — Michael Gallucci

Bill Evans
Jazz is stocked with innovators and visionaries who are adept at recognizing its historical strengths while finding new ways to translate their creative expressions beyond the genre's strictly established parameters. Saxophonist Bill Evans has been among the forefront of jazz's free thinkers since the start of his career two decades ago. It probably doesn't hurt that he began his professional jazz life at the age of 22, playing behind Miles Davis, arguably one of the most experimental and influential jazz artists of all time. Throughout his career, Evans has sought to stretch the boundaries of jazz, playing with jazz greats like John McLaughlin and Herbie Hancock and pop artists like Andy Summers and Mick Jagger, and then bringing those experiences to his solo recordings. Evans' last two albums, 2006's Soulgrass and his most recent European-only, The Other Side of Something, have explored the interaction between two seemingly disparate styles of purely American music - namely jazz and bluegrass. When Evans first conceived the idea of combining the genres, he was thinking less about actual hybridization of the two traditional forms and more about the creative tension of playing jazz melodies against bluegrass instrumentation. He assembled renowned bluegrass players — banjoist Béla Fleck, mandolinist Sam Bush, dobroist Jerry Douglas, fiddler Stuart Duncan — and brought them into a jazz context with no preconceived notions of how it should turn out. The results were surprising to everyone. The more inspiration Evans drew from the sessions, the more he realized that he was working an untapped concept. As the recordings expanded in scope, Evans began to think beyond the studio and envisioned taking his new concept on the road — which ultimately led to the formation of Soulgrass Special Edition, the touring unit that brings Evans' jazz/bluegrass alchemy to life. The show starts at 8 p.m. at Cain Park (Lee and Superior roads, 216.241.5555). Tickets: $20-$25. — BB

Dub Trio
Dub Trio is three white guys whose thing is the employment of disorienting, hypnotic dub effects within massively heavy, aggressive metal instrumentals. This might sound like what Blind Idiot God was doing in the '80s, but it's not. Where B.I.G. played a hard-rock song, followed by a dub song, Dub Trio mixes its sounds much more organically. Like its predecessors, though, it's confident about its all-instrumental status; its second studio album, 2006's New Heavy, had only one track with vocals. Mike Patton showed up on "Not Alone" and must have been thoroughly impressed with the results, as he hired the Trio to back him on his Peeping Tom tour and signed it to Ipecac for its newest studio disc, the crunching and imperious Another Sound Is Dying. In between, the group released a monster live album, Cool Out and Coexist, an impeccably recorded encapsulation of what the band brings to the stage. Guitarist D.P. Holmes and bassist Stuart Brooks crush you with a swirling roar that wraps around your head like a thick, flaming blanket, while drummer Joe Tomino's cracking polyrhythms stay airtight, aggressive and somehow funky to boot. You won't miss the sound of a human voice at all. Guaranteed. Captain Kneal & the Noise Makers open at 9 p.m. at the Grog Shop (2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., 216.321.5588). Tickets: $8 advance, $10 day of show. — Phil Freeman

The Black Crowes
Blessed are the rockers ahead of the curve — just not too far ahead. Back in the heyday of Hair Nation, raucous Southern rockers the Black Crowes swam against the current with the second coming of the Dixie sound. "Twice as Hard," the leadoff track from their 1990 debut set, Shake Your Money Maker, virtually demanded you reach for the volume knob and turn sharp right. The collective nerve they hit netted the Crowes a multiplatinum send-off for a career that's garnered a lot more music-biz metal and is headed toward its third decade. Not mere resuscitators of back-home boogie, the Crowes' knack for a bash-up sound made for major blowback in the direction of the Stones and the Faces, with emphasis on the latter. The transatlantic touch is most evident in the vocals of Chris Robinson, whose work evokes Faces-era Rod Stewart as much as any homegrown source. That Robinson and guitarist/brother Rich have made for a masterful team of roots-bound songsmiths hasn't hurt the Crowes' shelf life either. The most recent addition to their dozen-plus discography, Warpaint, heralds the well-chosen addition of North Mississippi Allstars axeman Luther Dickinson into the fold. The two-night stand at House of Blues (308 Euclid Ave.) includes shows at 7 p.m., with Grace Potter & the Nocturnals opening both nights. Tickets: $42.50-$59.50. — Duane Verh

Dave Matthews
Dave Matthews exists in a strange space, somewhere between jam-band-loving granola-munchers and high-fiving frat kids. He's an amiable guy, leading his fiddle-playing, sax-blowing band through more than a half-dozen albums over the past 15 years. But nothing about the group or its music has much substance. None of Matthews' records - the most recent studio release, Stand Up, dropped in 2005 - hold up for more than a song or two. Then again, the Dave Matthews Band has always worked better as a live act; it's released more concert albums than studio ones, if that tells you anything. It can all be a bit boring, but for listeners dipping their toes in the jam-band pool (DMB is tons less daunting than, say, Moe), it's a start. Matthews is currently working on a new record with Green Day's producer. Expect to hear some new songs when the band makes its annual trip to Blossom Music Center (1145 W. Steels Corner Rd., 216.241.5555) this week, with Ingrid Michaelson opening. Tickets: $40-$70. — MG

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