Kasey Anderson at Shenanigan's
Kasey Anderson said the goal of his latest album, "The Reckoning," released on Sept. 11, was to "create characters that would resonate, clearly conveying the hope, rage and fear that [I] saw in the lives of so many, regardless of culture or geography." It's a lofty claim for the third release of an Oregon-based alt-country folk rocker, but Anderson might just have the goods to deliver. Anderson has left behind much of the melancholy folk of his last album in favor of a twangier rock sound reminiscent of John Mellencamp. Anderson's tour brings him to Shenanigans Eatery and Pub on Thursday, Oct. 4, at 8 p.m. 264-5010. -Olivia Beatty
Hudost and Rattlemouth at The Camel
Inspired by Rumi, the Sufi poet of love, HuDost's music is an "alternative-world rock, country and eastern fusion." The band's core is made up of singer-songwriter duo Moksha Sommer on voice and harmonium and Jemal Wade Hines on voice, guitars, bazouki and bendir. For live performances, the two are joined by four other performers who add flute, bass and percussion to the mix. The Montreal/New York based HuDost casts a wide net of musical influences- from Bulgarian and Balkan to Farsi, Turkish and Arabic. The group adds elements of folk, pop, rock and gospel to the traditional world music. Opening for HuDost is local world music favorite Rattlemouth. The sax, drums, bass and guitar outfit bring their own original musical sensibilities to African and Lebanese arrangements. The result is an energetic and exotic sound that moves you to the dance floor. Catch the double dose of world fusion fun at The Camel, Saturday, Oct. 6 at 8 p.m. $9-$12. O.B.
Megadeth won't die
After nearly 25 years and six lineup changes, Dave Mustaine has been the driving force behind the band and the only remaining original member. The new Megadeth album, "United Abominations," makes a heroic, if possibly misguided, attempt at political and social commentary. With song titles like "Amerikhastan" and "Washington Is Next!" it makes you wish Mustaine would enunciate his lyrics so people might actually understand the statement he's trying to make. Metal-heads fear not, the band has not abandoned its red-hot riffs and classic metal stylings. Megadeth plays Toad's Place Monday, Oct. 1, at 6:30 p.m. with In This Moment and The Confession. $37.50-$40. Call (800) 514-3849 or visit www.toadsplacerva.com. -O.B.
Bird has layover at Toad's Place
Despite receiving Suzuki training at a young age, Andrew Bird opted to play his violin in a not-exactly-classical manner and accompany himself on glockenspiel and guitar. He then proceeded to add singing, whistling and songwriting to his repertoire, truly solidifying his multitalented, multi-instrumentalist status. Bird, with the various incarnations of his backup musicians, has released an astonishing 10 albums in the past 10 years. His latest, "Armchair Apocrypha," came out in March. The Chicagoan's breathy, lilting voice softly projects beautiful prose over lush layers of multi-instrumental harmonies think toned-down Arcade Fire. Bird and his current band will perform at Toad's Place Sunday, Sept. 30, at 8 p.m. $20-$22. Call (800) 514-3849 or visit www.toadsplacerva.com. O.B.
Josh Turner goes to the fair
Josh Turner looks like an extra from "Lost," but when he opens his mouth, it's clear the 29-year-old was born to sing. Sounding a little like a countrified version of Isaac Hayes, the baritone-voiced Grammy nominee definitely knows how to croon with the best of them. While keeping the standby country instrumentation close at hand, Turner goes straight for seduction with his lyrics rather than relying on sweet, longing ballads. One gets the feeling that some of Turner's songs would be right at home on either K95 or KISS FM. Surprisingly, the unexpected soulful sounds that flow throughout Turner's music feel completely natural, even when it's decked out in boots and a cowboy hat rather than a polyester shirt and gold chains. Josh Turner will be playing at the Classic Amphitheater on Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. $20. For more information, call 345-7223 or visit www.richmondracewaycomplex.com. Colby Rogers
How to play mind games and win
Described as an "extraordinist," Craig Karges' performances blend psychology, humor and mystery. From flying tables to linking rings and reading minds, Karges keeps audiences mystified and enthralled. The performer insists he is not a psychic or a magician, but an entertainer. He's appeared on many TV talk shows and performs at theaters and colleges across the country. Karges brings his own special blend of mental sorcery to the University of Richmond Tyler Haynes Commons Friday, Sept. 28, at 8 p.m. Free. 289-8980. O.B.
Titans in Training
Right now, Alexandria's T.J. Williams High School is known as that high school from "Remember the Titans." But it's only a matter of time before it becomes that high school where the band Virginia Coalition got started oh yeah, and something about Denzel Washington. Virginia Coalition (VACO for short) covers the spectrum from bluegrass to hip-hop, centering on rock. The band's released seven albums, most recently a two-disk set of tracks recorded at the 9:30 Club. VACO performs Thursday, Sept. 27, for Swingin' on the Tracks at the Science Museum of Virginia, with openers Watson and Calhoun. Gates at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $12-$45. Call 794-6700 or visit www.swinginonthetracks.com Sarah Mogin
Jackass Flats go to church
Jackass Flats got its start in Richmond and has been kicking around the east coast for seven years now. Their style should be familiar to anyone who has spent any time within 100 miles of the Appalachian Mountains - clean, easy, backwood bluegrass mixed with the band's own brand of topical lyrics. Their last CD, Purgatory Mountain is a refreshing blend of musical cues including some jazz and reggae music, and was met with much critical praise when it was released in 2005. The band's show at the Church of the Holy Comforter on Sept. 28 at 6:30 p.m., is free. 355-3251 or visit www.jackass-flats.com. C.R.