Here are two Augusta acts worth watching

Perhaps there's something in the water, or maybe there's something about the semi-sultry climate that encourages and engenders musical expression. Whatever the reason, Augusta has always been, and continues to be, a musical city.

Each January, I try to predict and pay tribute to local bands I feel will be making their bones in the coming months. Sometimes I hit - last year I hyped the Edison Project, which has become an established Augusta favorite and seems poised for a big break (more on that at a later date).

Other times I miss. A couple of years ago, I was full of Pedestrian love, a band that dissolved shortly after I offered my endorsement. I'm sure the two events were unrelated.

Still, I'd like to offer up a couple of acts I feel certain will be worthy of watching in '07.

Veara, currently recording in beautiful Brooklyn, N.Y., plays a sort of serious post-punk that flirts with some of the tones and textures of emo but wisely never commits the sins often associated with that particularly dour brand of bluster. Anchored by an assured rhythm section and featuring soaring vocals and angular guitar and key work, the Veara sound is reminiscent of the more personal moments or stadium-ready rock. Check this very young band out before it inevitably flees the scene.

Less likely to make a break from Augusta are Joe Graves and the Dirty Left Hand. Largely composed of grizzled (I use that term in the most affectionate possible way) vets, the Left Hand features one-half of the legendary Neato Torpedo and guitarist Furman Fowler from the punk rock purist band Sick Sick Sick. Sonically, the band resurrects a rough-hewn style of indie rock not heard or, more important with a stage-savvy band such as the Hand, seen since the days before Pavement and Guided By Voices discovered production value.

Smart without being smug and fun without ever becoming a novelty act, the Dirty Left Hand embodies the spirit of bar band rock 'n' roll.

Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626 or steven.uhles@augustachronicle.com.

AUDIO EXTRA

Veara's Getting Kicked in the Face (MP3 format)

Dirty Left Hand's Sundown (MP3 format)

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