Hot dozen

1 Chris Rock

8 p.m. Thursday, Ovens Auditorium ($44.50-$74.50)

The stand-up comic delivers biting commentary on the election, sex, pop culture and race. www.ticketmaster.com. (See Page 2 for a chance to win tickets!)

2 Melissa Etheridge

8 p.m. Tuesday, Ovens Auditorium ($35-$100)

The cancer survivor performs a nearly three-hour show that covers the Oscar-winning songwriter's 20-year career. www.ticketmaster .com. (See Page 2 for a chance to win tickets!)

3 Hymns

9 p.m. Sunday, Snug Harbor ($5)

Concord natives Brian Harding and Jason Roberts lead this Brooklyn-based band, whose sound often rests in rural '70s Southern California. 704-333-9799.

4 Tiesto

9 p.m. Tuesday, The Forum ($40)

The globe-trotting Dutch DJ's latest collection “In Search of Sunrise 7” (recorded in Thailand) explores Asia's ambience and energy. www. groovetickets.com.

5 Alice Smith/

Citizen Cope

7 p.m. Sunday, Neighborhood Theatre ($25)

Smith astounds crowds with her supersized voice and blend of funk, rock, R&B, and jazz. Clarence Greenwood (aka Cope) is a mix of Bob Marley and G. Love. 704-358-9298.

6 Vikter Duplaix

9 tonight, Loft 1523 ($10)

A Jazzy Jeff-schooled DJ (shown above), this Grammy-nominated producer-singer's pulsating R&B has been described as liquid soul by Vibe magazine. 704-333-5898.

7 Robin Rogers

8 tonight, Haid Theater at

Belmont Abbey College. $20

Charlotte's first lady of blues celebrates “Treat Me Right,” her debut on Blind Pig Records (home to Nappy Brown and Popa Chubby). 704-922-5278.

8 Dexter Romweber

8 tonight, Tremont ($10)

The rockabilly hero, whose resume includes a turn as classical composer, returns for another sweat-soaked performance of lounge, surf and swing. 704-343-9494.

9 Chris Duarte

10 p.m. Saturday, Double Door ($15)

Like fellow Texans ZZ Top and Stevie Ray Vaughn, there's real rock edge to this electric bluesman's latest collection, “Blue Velocity.” 704-376-1446.

10 Richard Julian

8 p.m. Thursday, Evening Muse ($8-$10)

Like a younger Lyle Lovett, the former Vegas lounge player and Norah Jones' Little Willies bandmate offers smart, quick-tongued folk melodies. 704-376-3737.

11 Joey Belladonna

8 p.m. Thursday, Amos' ($12-$15)

The multitasking metal man – best known as Anthrax's lead singer – is preparing a second studio album for tentative late 2008 release. www.etix.com.

12 Everybodyfields

8:30 tonight, Sylvia Theater ($13-$15)

The Tennessee-based act added oomph to its gorgeous country-folk harmonies by hiring a drummer, who was unveiled at Bonnaroo last week. www.etix.com.