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Feb. 20

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Raleigh

Harry S. Stout

Quail Ridge Books--The latest from Yale professor Harry S. Stout isn't as much a revisionist history of the American Civil War as it is a reconsidered history. In Upon the Altar of a Nation: A Moral History of the Civil War, Stout searches for justification of the war as a "just war." Indeed, this is a history, in that it carries implications for both past, present and future. The free reading starts at 7 p.m.

CHAPEL HILL

RICHARD BUCKNER & DOUG GIlLARD

LOCAL 506--These lyrics could/should be your life: "I road, though I've been thrown before/ I guess, put the bones to use." That's the clincher on "Invitation," the third song on Richard Buckner's last album, Dents and Shells, and his first on Durham's Merge Records. Dents and Shells is perhaps Buckner's most overlooked album, simply because it's so simple: No wide leaps of experimentation, no huge rock backing, no Spoon River Anthology adaptations. Just perfect songs, sparsely accented, sung in his voice, a deeply philosophic circumnavigation of hard times, hard liquor, leaving women and good weed, reflecting the fight to avoid the abyss' constant horizon approach. It may be his best album yet, reflecting a hopeful Bukowski stance through a Texas songwriter stamp. His shows--directed heat burning blue--get more fuel this time, as ex-Guided by Voices guitarist Doug Gillard puts his lean licks behind Buckner's weighted words. The $10 show starts at 10 p.m. --Grayson Currin

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