David Spencer Band
For a decade and a half now, David Spencer has been filling his songs with the kind of hooks and veteran-craftsman touches that give meat and potatoes rock a good name, bringing to mind such Johns as Mellencamp, Hiatt and Wesley Harding. You can count on a band stocked with top-drawer locals, and just maybe a cover of James McMurtry's great "Levelland." 10:30 p.m./$5--Rick Cornell
Sweet Honey in the Rock
Six African-American women from the D.C. region have been making sweet sounds for years with lyrics that speak of love, history, injustice and triumphs. Part of N.C. Central's Lyceum Series, the show at the B.N. Duke Auditorium starts at 7 p.m.
The Old Ceremony
West End Wine Bar
When asked to describe The Old Ceremony, his latest musical project, Django Haskins offers, "With the jazz instrumentation and Kurt Weillian theatricality, the songs create a shoebox panorama of a world of paper palm trees, chalk outlines and unopened air mail." If that sounds a little sinister, well, it's probably supposed to. This could be the music that Guillermo Ugarte listens to when he sits sweating in his bungalow. 10 p.m. --Rick Cornell
Weird War, Valient Thorr
United in their aesthetic (if not sound) with Gang of Four, Weird War make danceable garage-funk with a pervasive political overtone. Ian Svenonius preaches his idea of social change--freeing the mind by losing the pants--while musically they deliver a ribald, slop-rocking experience cadged from a dank, decadent corner of rock 'n' roll. They're joined by local Venusian rockers Valient Thorr's cacophonous traffic jam of punkish verve. 9 p.m./$8--Chris Parker
Alex De Grassi
Acoustic guitarist Alex De Grassi's specialty is disguise--the deconstruction and reconfiguration of familiar folk tunes into something strange and beguiling. On his latest, Folk Songs for the 21st Century, he rearranges rhythms and utilizes offbeat tunings on classics like "Streets of Laredo" and "Shortnin' Bread." 8 p.m./$16--Grant Britt
Count Basie Concert
The works of Count Basie, jazz pioneer and one of the greatest composers of the 20th century, are featured in this concert by the Duke Jazz Ensemble. Sitting in will be saxophonist Frank Foster and vocalist Chris Murrell. 8 p.m. at Baldwin Auditorium.
Two Dollar Pistols, Dom Casual
Ooh La Latte
John Howie and his hotter-than-a-Two Dollar Pistols will reach the 10-year mark next year. Their longevity is testament to their purist approach to country, outlasting the neophyte rockers-turned-twangers crowd. The surf-infused pop of Dom Casual kicks off this locals-only roundup. 8 p.m./$8 --Chris Toenes
Herb Young Community Center
The Ujima Group and Cary Parks and Rec present a concert of Musical Traditions of the African Diaspora as part of the 7th Annual African-American Celebration. Perfect Vision, Abdullah B. Rahman, Jam Rock and Carnavalito provide the gospel, jazz, reggae and Latin styles. There'll be exhibits, food and a children's village. The event, which runs from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., is free.
In Exile Close to the Equator
The final section of performance artist Jose Torres Tama's Trilogy for the North American Dream uses incantations and visual tableaux to convert a multicultural coming-of-age story into an urban rite-of-passion ritual. Why? To turn his anger for you into a poem. Why? To turn your hatred of him into a sculpture. And that's only the beginning. Show's at 7 p.m. in Branson Theater; tickets are $5, free for Duke students and employees. --Byron Woods
Shooter Jennings & The 357s
The Pour House
With lyrics like "Playing hillbilly music / like I was born to do" and a title-track chorus lifted entirely from the Waylon Jennings standard "Are You Ready for the Country?" there's really no need to mention the lineage of Shooter Jennings. But don't dismiss him as a "famous-because" kid: This George Jones addict knows as much about the howl of a Fender as he does the weep of a Martin, and he likes 'em both. And he despises the Nashville crowd. David Childers & The Modern Don Juans and The Houston Brothers open. 7 p.m./$10--Grayson Currin
ZTV's Music Trivia Game Show
Mr. Mouse, owner of The Cave, Craig Zearfoss and a motley crew of filmmakers and henchmen shot countless hours of footage of local music and various hi-jinks during ZTV's run. This pilot episode of their music trivia show should be equal helpings of Price is Right cornball and Jeopardy brain food. 8 p.m. --Chris Toenes
Long Beach Shortbus
Sublime's Eric Wilson and RAS 1 of the Long Beach Dub Allstars team up to take you on a ride on the shortbus. The band has been touring their brand of thunder rock since the release of their debut CD Flying Ship of Fantasy last year. Show starts at 8:30 p.m. One Draw opens.
Jason Adamo Band
The Pour House
As a kid in Blacksburg, Va., Jason Adamo would sneak into his parent's bedroom and steal plucks on his old man's guitar. He took to the sound and then to the city, distilling a blend of romance and nostalgia as a New York newbie trying to make it. One of Raleigh's newest, Adamo is a fierce strummer, hammering open-chord letters to embittered exes and preaching from a borrowed, washed-out rocker's pulpit for the deft "My Contribution."
The Conservatory for the Performing Arts at the N.C. Theater produces one musical per year in their Kids on Broadway program. But high school theater this ain't: not with pre-professional students supported by visiting Broadway director Casey Hushion, designers and musicians. In this British classic, two brothers separated at birth find their fates inextricably linked in the years after World War II. The strength of the Conservatory's program makes this the place you're most likely to see tomorrow's stars tonight. Fletcher Opera Theater at 8 p.m./$23--Byron Woods
They've been described as "Velvet Underground jamming with a beaten-down Beck," which effectively conveys the mix of raw, primitive rock and folky, downbeat singer/songwriter-type songs. There's an intimacy to singer/guitarist Brandon Herndon's raspy tenor creak that recalls Tom Waits, as does the band's penchant for unusual tones and percussion. Not so much morose as haunted, and piqued as opposed to tortured, this is road music to leave town for good to. 10 p.m./Free--Chris Parker