Patty Hurst Shifter (duo)
In two months, Patty Hurst Shifter's second album, too crowded on the losing end, will get reviews from national critics who, most likely, will rave about the band's gritty catch and the honesty of the songwriting of the Smiths, who aren't brothers, just bandmates. They'll call it an ex-Whiskeytown project for drummer Skillet Gilmore. But it's not. It's more. With this sophomore title, PHS is in a position to establish itself as one of the most directly tuneful and well-versed bands of what everyone feels inclined to call a Southern rock revival. But this (drugs, beers and women) isn't a revival, and--as Southern rock goes--well, it is damn fine guitar rock from the South with a country tweak. That's that. This is the second week of Marc and Chris Smith's song sharing at Sadlack's, so they should be in fine form. --Grayson Currin
Tiger Bear Wolf get intimate with the big-bottom riffs and jerky gas-fire tangles that populate their gritty songs. They turn riffs inside out and let 'em rot, each note feeling carefully conceived but crazed and on fire. Like The Stooges slowly becoming Black Sabbath slowy becoming Don Cab, TBW lay waste to guitars and make mountains out of drum sets. And while Zep comparisons abound for the Greensboro three piece, San-Fran-cum-Chapel-Hill power popers io and the freshly formed candy punk kids in En Garde (Matt Tomich, ya'll!) aren't going to be confused for some dusty heavy metal. Even so, their primp pop and pin-and-needle punk will serve as some functionally composed bookends to the rock and roll chaos. Farewell opens. Tickets are $6 in advance and $8 at the door. --Robbie Mackey
Open Eye Café
Originally from Atlanta, Garr settled in the Triangle five years ago after kicking around California and the Southwest in pursuit of his muse. His crisp tenor surfs gentle acoustic folk and is tastefully understated, avoiding the confessional breast-beating offered by less accomplished singer/songwriters. This free one starts at 8 p.m. --Chris Parker
Hayti Heritage Center
The St. Joseph Historic Foundation's Hayti Heritage Center hosts the only seven-day celebration of Kwanzaa in the Triangle. Nestled in the neighborhood on Old Fayetteville St. in Durham, the vibrant festivities include dance, music, song and spoken word. Tonight is the fifth night, with a poetry slam featuring Wilton DuBois' Resound Steel Group, hosted by MC and percussionist Zayd Malik. The week culminates with the ceremonies at the Durham Armory on January 1, led by Chuck Davis and the African-American Dance Ensemble. It's all free, and it starts tonight at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. --Chris Toenes
It's a holiday whenever Chip Robinson, one of the most entertaining frontguys to ever prowl a Triangle stage, returns to the area to reconvene the couple-times-a-year Vibekillers for a max-volume, spirit-soaked night of music, so this New Year's Eve gathering counts as a double-special occasion. Expect plenty of Robinson tunes, both Backsliders and post-'sliders, as well as covers from the likes of Matthew Ryan, Radio Birdman and Wayne Kramer. The vibe wounding will commence at 10-ish, and $5 gets you in. --Rick Cornell
First Light Celebration
Carrboro Century Center
At the first light of the new year, Buddhists across the world recite prayers and perform meditation for peace. Given the circumstances, this year they'd like a little help. If you'd like to give peace a chant, join the Piedmont KTC (Karma Thegsum Choling), a Tibetan Buddhist meditation group belonging to the Karma Kagyu lineage, for an interfaith effort on behalf of world peace from 1-2:30 p.m. in the main ballroom of the Century Center.
Service Industry Night
The Pour House
There are over 15 exclamation points littered throughout the description of this event on the Pour House website. Fifteen!!! So, what are they so excited about? In order to avoid a pesky inventory and to give all those poor saps who have to work on New Year's Eve an apologetic good time, the kind folks over at the House have decided to empty the contents of their bar directly into your over-worked tummies. All you can drink draught beer, bottled beer, liquor drinks and shots for a paltry fifteen dollars. Plus, the club has encouraged everyone to bring in CD of their "favorite old school jams" for spinning. We're not entirely clear on the meaning of old school jams, but it really won't matter after seven Jager Bombs, now will it? Pay $15 for it all. Get going at 9 p.m. --Robbie Mackey
Flip It, Fold It, Figure It Out!
N.C. Museum of Life and Science
It's been here six months, and you still haven't seen it, right? It's Flip It, Fold It, Figure It Out!, an exhibit developed by researchers at the N.C. Museum of Life and Science to employ origami, patterns and shapes to explore the ways engineers use simple science and math to make the real world work. The concepts are illustrated through exhibits on kaleidoscopes, shapes in shadow, show sizes and measurements, and a folded-structure video spinner even examines the shapes that form bigger things. Sure, school's out, but this exhibit can trick your kids into learning over the winter break. The exhibit ends today. For more, see www.ncmls.org.
Sex & The Second City
A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater
A collection of some of the pinnacle moments from the laugh-filled history of legendary comedy company The Second City, Sex & The Second City finds a couple in the throes of divorce seeking legal respite from two lawyers unknowingly involved in their own collision course of love: They've been tempting each other in an online chat room specifically for lonely, lusty lawyers. And then, of course, there's the bumbling marriage counselor, whose advice is accidental apocrypha. Laugh at Richard and Denise. Maybe laugh at marriage. The show runs from January 3 to 7, and tickets range from $31.50-36.50. For more, see www.broadwayseriessouth.com.
The Remix Project
White Collar Crime
As ensembles of young musicians in the Triangle go, one would be hard-pressed to find a group with more musical acumen than The Remix Project. The quartet--Dana Chell, Matt Brandau, The Apple Juice Kid and Mark Wells--is more than a tribute band or a DJ matching a tune to turbo-tempo tap beat. Instead, The Remix Project cuts through pop and hip-hop hits with instrumental chops, mixing the melodies and pumping it out in revamped, unlikely renditions that are as smart (or smarter) as they are fun. They play the first Wednesday of every month at Raleigh's relaxed, yet colorful White Collar Crime. It starts at 10 p.m., and there's never a cover. --Grayson Currin