The Suspect: Marah
Marah is a roots rock band from Philadelphia with an all-star fan list that includes Stephen King, Bruce Springsteen (who has played with the band), Steve Earle, and Nick Hornby. Their first two CD's were met with glowing critical acclaim; 10 years have passed since then, and though Marah has never found the commercial success they seemed destined for, they keep delivering consistently solid music. The band's tenth full-length release, Life Is a Problem, comes out June 22.
Can Be Found: The Grey Eagle, Wednesday, June 30.
RIYD (Recommended If You Dig): Bruce Springsteen, The Gaslight Anthem, The Hold Steady.
You Should Go If: All your favorite songs have been made into truck commercials; You've spent the better part of your life perfecting a hangover cure; All your best memories have happened inside a mall; Happiness is … generic Ambien.
The Suspect: Framing Hanley
This five-man emo/alternative band is best known for their cover of Lil Wayne's song, Lollipop, which seems to hurt their feelings. "Three years later when one song that they are remembering you for is a cover song, it kinda leaves a bad taste in your mouth," says lead singer and songwriter Kenneth Nixon. They hope to change that perception with their new CD, A Promise to Burn.
Can Be Found: The Orange Peel, Thursday, July 1.
RIYD: Daughtry, Nickelback, 3 Doors Down.
You Should Go If: You subscribe to Skateboarder magazine but you don't actually own a skateboard; You were fired from your last two jobs for things your co-workers dared you to do; You wish had known that it was OK for guys to wear eyeliner and black nail polish because you would have ROCKED high school; Happiness is … a tie between breast implants and energy drinks.
The Suspect: Lez Zeppelin
Okay, you've seen Zoso, you've checked out Custard Pie, and maybe you even saw Robert Plant sashay around with Allison Kraus last year, but none of this could prepare you for Lez Zeppelin, the all-female Led Zeppelin tribute act formed in 2004 in NYC. According to the band's website, their goal is to "stay true to the musically audacious spirit of the original, delivering the legendary rock band's blistering arrangements and monstrous sound note-for-note."
Can Be Found: Stella Blue, Wednesday, July 7.
RIYD: Led Zeppelin
You Should Go If: All the art in your house involves either horses or unicorns; You get goose bumps remembering the day your older brother taught you to cut the sleeves out of T- shirts; You have other names for a guitar besides "guitar." Happiness is … acid-washed denim.
The Suspect: Soja; This five-man reggae band from D.C. recorded their first CD in 2000; their third full-length disc, Born in Babylon, was released last year. They've shared the stage with Citizen Cope, Matisyahu, Damian Marley and Steel Pulse; they come to Asheville fresh off a performance at the Summer Jam, a reggae festival in Koln, Germany.
Can Be Found: The Grey Eagle, Friday, July 9.
RIYD: Michael Franti, State Radio, Trevor Hall, Ziggy Marley.
You Should Go If: You operate a business out of your car; Head nodding is your primary means of expression; You prefer handlebars to taxi cabs; Happiness is … when your mom comes over and does all your laundry.
The Suspect: Felice Brothers
Three Felice brothers along with friends Greg Farley and Christmas Clapton began their music career playing in the subways of New York City, not far from their home in the Catskill Mountains. The band's style of loose country-rock Americana music has been compared to a young Bob Dylan and the Band. Their song "Whiskey in my Whiskey" was featured in an episode of HBO's True Blood. They've been on the road since late April and arrive in Asheville, after opening four shows for the Dave Matthews Band.
Can Be Found: The Grey Eagle, Tuesday, July 13.
RIYD: The Avett Brothers, Langhorne Slim, Trampled by Turtles.
You Should Go If: Many of your evenings begin with you collecting all the change you can find; In your world, there are three kinds of beverages: alcohol, mixers, and chasers; Your train fetish scares off many potential love interests; Happiness is … Taco Bell's fourth meal.