Sound like an obstacle course for bummed-out sax players? It's the River City Blues Society's way of throwing down the gauntlet for five bands, judged on gut-bucketitude: Blues Flash, the Chicago Cy Band, the Chris Andrews Band, the Phifer Marshall Band, and Pure and Sinful. These five compete for prize money and a shot at the Memphis Blues Challenge. They get put through the paces June 12, 3-7 p.m. $3. 249-2338.
Karl Denson and Jon Nicholson at the Canal Club
Karl Denson's Tiny Universe comes back to Richmond with a new satellite. A fuzzy mix of blues, soul and rock, Jon Nicholson emerged from the cauldron of Nashville to form the music collective MuzikMafia, producing Big & Rich and Gretchen Wilson. Nicholson's done the organizing thing, now he's back to performing before a Tiny Universe. The show is June 10 at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $18. 643-2582.
Long Beach Shortbus at Alley Katz
Sublime's dissolution was hard for a lot of people to take. Something about their sunny, funky beach bum music struck a chord amongst the landlocked as well as the seaside folks. L.B. Shortbus keeps the thread unrolling with the bassist from Sublime and the singer from the Long Beach Dub Allstars forming the pillars of the Shortbus sound. They play Alley Katz June 11, 9 p.m.-2 a.m. $12-$15. 643-2816.
Adrian Duke at Upper East Side Lounge
The folks over at Upper East Side compare him to Ray Charles big shoes to fill, even if you haven't seen the movie. Nevertheless, he's got a couple of albums under his belt and he's on the road. See how apt the comparison is, June 9 at 7 p.m. $5. 467-6182.
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