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Music worth leaving the house to hear this week

Melissa Ferrick, David Berkeley
Cat's Cradle
Thursday, Dec. 9

Some compare her to Melissa Etheridge, but Melissa Ferrick's much more feral and forceful. "It's pretty weak, especially from a writing standpoint," she says. "It's kinda like, 'Did ya listen to the record?' Yeah, my name's Melissa, I kiss girls too and we both play the guitar, and therefore we're the same person. It's just stupid, really." Ferrick enjoys her new solo career. "It just suits the songs better and suits me better." $12 in advance, $14 day of. 10 p.m. --GB

The Standbys
Joe and Jo's
Friday, Dec. 10

A group of fresh faces from Chapel Hill, The Standbys get both twang and jangle in their sound, perfect for a lazy Friday night in downtown Durham. Look for their EP out now. 9 p.m. --CT

Hank Sinatra, Straight 8s, Wrinkle Neck Mules
the Pour House
Friday, Dec. 10

Their first album, From Hank to Frank, says it all. The New Orleans-based ensemble has Patsy Cline and Louis Jordan rubbing elbows in a multi-genre encompassing musical celebration that includes rhythm and blues, jazz, country, swing, rockabilly and jump-blues. $6. 10 p.m. --GB

The Physics of Meaning, Kapow Music, Viswas Chitnis
Bickett Gallery
Friday, Dec. 10

As members of three of my favorite local outfits come together to form The Physics of Meaning, I'll go ahead and preemptively call this newfangled excursion a Triangle supergroup. Mark Paulson and Wes Phillips of Ticonderoga, Daniel Hart of Go Machine and Ann Polesnak of Utah! have something special on their hands with this mercurial, under-construction pop pursuit. Kapow Music, the newest Bu Hanan project and one of the area's upcoming acoustic projects, opens. --GC

Homeward Bound, Bobby Gales & Gospel Grass
Bynum General Store
Friday, Dec. 10

In a wonderful Season of Peace one-two punch, the Bynum General Store's annual holiday show features the gospel choir Homeward Bound joined by Bynum's own Bobby Gales and his appropriately and alliteratively named outfit, Gospel Grass. Please be generous when the hat gets passed. 7 p.m. --RC

International Orange, Parklife
Friday, Dec. 10

As International Orange, Snuzz, Sledge, Haskins and Faggolonius make meaty pop music heavy on the hooks and the whimsy. Comparisons to another, slightly more famous pop band of Sledge's seem as taboo as they are unavoidable, but--given the dexterity of the vocals and the playfulness of the songwriting--fans of vintage Presidents of the United States of America, Built to Spill and Elvis Costello are likely to fall in love all over again. 10 p.m. --GC

The Hanks, Brothers Grim
Friday, Dec. 10

In the late '80s, four guys from Garner proved to be behind the times, of their time and ahead of their time with a jangle and hum that combined the Byrds, R.E.M. and what would come to be called, some seven years later, alt-country. After a decade or so off, The Hanks are back at it. Free. 7 p.m. --RC

Malcolm Holcombe
Flipside Listening Room in Clayton
Saturday, Dec. 11

A Malcolm Holcombe performance can leave his penetrating stare, aimed (thank goodness) at nothing and no one, almost as deeply ingrained as his songs. And that's saying something, because Holcombe's music--an astute howl that's the sound of folk meeting country blues head on--is the very definition of gripping. $7. 9 p.m. --RC

Dodd Ferrelle & the Tinfoil Stars
Sunday, Dec. 12

The rock made by Athens, Ga.-based Dodd Ferrelle and his band The Tinfoil Stars, both roadhouse and radio ready, has Celtic shadings and shaggy-dog charm. That's fitting for a guy whose musical heroes are Waterboy Mike Scott and Paul Westerberg. Free. 6 p.m. --RC

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