Other notable shows of the week: Kingsbury Manx, whose Pink Floydish debut album is likely to remain one of my favorites of the year, on Saturday, May 13, at Raleigh's Humble Pie (829-9222); post-rock superstars Trans Am, Thursday, May 11, at Kings (831-1005); the smooth R&B of Hobex Friday, May 12, at Cat's Cradle (967-9053); and finally, the original alt-country bad-ass, David Allen Coe at Moriah Station in Rougemont--call (336) 364-8161. --Karen A. Mann
A Telluride Folk Festival Troubadour and 1998 MerleFest artist of the year, Eugene Ruffolo (pictured right) brings his award-winning songwriting to a May 11 benefit for the N.C. chapter of the Million Mom March, the national gathering of mothers that will rally for "common-sense gun control" in Washington, D.C., on Mother's Day. Songs from the Heart: For Mothers and Others promises to be an aural treat as well as a way to contribute to a worthy cause. The evening features not only Ruffolo's clear and deeply personal singing, but North Carolina Theatre's Kids on Broadway and local folk band Bloomsbury. Performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Stewart Theatre on NCSU campus; tickets are $25 for advance seating, $10 general admission, and $5 for kids under 18. For more information, call 515-1100.
Don't miss the May 12 appearance of Shark Quest and Trailer Bride at a fundraising benefit for The Women's Center of Chapel Hill. The Women's Center provides educational and career services as well as legal referrals, peer support and adolescent pregnancy prevention information. Shark Quest, known for exotic instrumentals and innovative instrumentation, recently finished mixing their second Merge album with producer Brian Paulson. (Look for it in late summer.) Trailer Bride songbird Melissa Swingle's eerie Southern ballads need no introduction in these parts. Go! Rehearsal Studios hosts the show. Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets are $6 in advance, $7 at door. Call 969-1400 for more information.
Melancholy pop icon Elliott Smith returns to the Triangle on May 10 to support his latest album Figure Eight. Appearing with a full band, Smith should deliver a lush show highlighting the Beatle-esque harmonies and snazzy songwriting that has catapulted him from cult status to semi-household world (if your household listens to college radio and reads rock mags). Tickets are $12. Call The Ritz for details, 836-8535. --Angie Carlson