The Speaking Canaries
A Pittsburgh supergroup, the Canaries feature Don Caballero's virtuoso thumper Damon Ché on guitar, Karl Hendricks (who fronts a self-titled trio put out on Merge) on bass, and Noah Leger (Milemarker). Taking the Wagnerian thunder of Don Cab's math rock and running it through the '80s metal roar of Van Halen in all its finger-tapping glory, The Speaking Canaries deliver epics of intricate, muddy warmth and guitar pyrotechnics that sound like a collision between a vintage Camaro and the geeky-glasses-kid's VW Jetta. Openers Warbomb are a power-pop side project of Kudzu Wish's Adam Thorn. Show's at 10 p.m.; tickets are $7. --Chris Parker
Built to Spill
When a band that has been off the road for several years decides to take it back to the streets, fans often fret that they may not be "tight" enough by the time the 15-passenger rolls into town. With Doug Martsch's cuter-than-cute trio Built to Spill, that's a bonus. With the bolts loose, Martsch's guitar hums and haws like an indie-provisational heart attack, roaring through "Freebird" and "Big Dipper" just the same. New album this fall. Dinosaur Jr.'s Mike Johnson opens. The sold out show is at 9:30 p.m. --Grayson Currin
Jambalaya Soul Slam
Hayti Heritage Center
The poetry slammin' starts at 8 p.m. with an aim at naming the official Bull City Slam Team. Language Arts gets things started with their four-piece, socially minded hip-hop that fortunately fuses the fun with the polemics. For more information, visit www.hayti.org. Tickets are $10, $5 students/seniors.
Beyond the Wall
The most famous campus uprisings of the 1960s occurred in places like Berkeley, Madison and New York, but UNC-Chapel Hill saw its own student revolt. After the state legislature decreed that speakers deemed subversive would not be permitted on state campuses, students went into action. Beyond the Wall is a recently completed documentary by UNC professor Hap Kindem, and he interviews many of the key players, including administrators, faculty members and SDS leaders. The showing is at 6:30 p.m., followed by a panel discussion.
Supersystem, Sentai, Fake Swedish, Spader
Former Dischord act El Guapo plus one, Supersystem puts down skittering electro beats bolstered by live drums and backed by heavy-handed shots of synth. The songs seem set on commentary, but the meaning often gets lost in a shuffle of overall blasé dance. Fun, but you may be uninspired after more than 15 minutes. Locals Fake Swedish make a sharply crafted psychedelic rock with shiny hooks, and Spader does a three-piece dance. Show's at 9 p.m.; tickets are $7. --Grayson Currin
Bynum General Store
Jule Brown, Run of the Mill and The Milagro Saints line up for a benefit for Kidspath. The fest, named for General Store proprietor Jerry Partin, also includes a raffle, hot dogs and homemade ice cream. Things get rolling at 1 p.m. There's a $10-$15 suggested donation. Visit www.kidspath.com or www.carrboro.com/bynummusic for more information.
The Pour House
A not-so-strident Neil Young but just as intense, Bill Mallonee is a former Vigilante--of love, that is, and has the battered heart he wears on his sleeve to prove it. The only thing not bruised by his lovesick wars is Mallonee's voice, a vehicle for heartbreak tricked out with heavy-duty shocks and suspension for a smooth ride, at least for the listeners. Michelle Allen opens. Show's at 8 p.m.; tickets are $6. --Grant Britt
Imagine a smart laptopian (The Postal Service's Jimmy Tamborello comes to mind) remixing Yo La Tengo's shoegazer pop gem "Sugarcube" for the hipsters, not the clubbers. That is, it's a mix-up more about side-stepping shuffle than body-grinding sweat. Shutesbury, Mass.'s finest (and only?) musical export does just that, crafting sugary electro-rock keepers about New York, reproduction and boredom on their stellar debut EP, City Vs Country. A band to know in 2005. Show starts at 10 p.m. --Grayson Currin
They're named after a Smokey Robinson song, and they call their music "garage soul." What more do you need? And if you ask, I bet guitarist/harmony vocalist Seth Kauffman will sell you a copy of his latest home-studio soul recording, and percussionist Aaron Sizemore will do the same with his new eclectic offering under the name The Donner Party. Kenny Tompkins and Page France open at 10 p.m. --Rick Cornell
The children of roots pop/reggae artist Denroy Morgan (famous for the early-'80s crossover dance hit "I'll Do Anything For You") carry the torch admirably. Originally formed by eight (!) of his 29 (!!) children, the band recorded their first tracks with their father in his Brooklyn studio, and a couple years later signed with MCA. But the mainstream's embrace of reggae has been tentative at best, so the Heritage have taken their classic Jamaican sound to the kids, winning many adherents on Warped Tour and even recording a track with Good Charlotte (cue the eye roll). Show's at 10 p.m.; tickets are $14. --Chris Parker
and everything nice
Durham Arts Council
The spring benefit series continues at the Council with a screening of and everything nice, a documentary about Jordan High School's 2002 production of Sugar, the musical version of Some Like it Hot. Students Matt and Ross Duffer documented the production, led by energetic drama teacher Hope Hynes. Now film students in California, the Duffer twins will be on hand for a Q&A. The showing is at 6 p.m. Tickets are $25.
Considered one of the best Beatles tribute bands in the world, these Czechs nail down the spirit and precision of the originals as apparently only Eastern Europeans can. Look for all the gestures, playing styles and, of course, the gear and garb to time warp you back to Liverpool via Slovakia. Show's at 10:30 p.m. --Chris Toenes