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Varnaline and Centro-Matic

Northern transplant Anders Parker, aka Varnaline, has been shaking up the local music scene since he moved to the area. As a solo artist, he's been picked to open shows for the likes of Jay Farrar (Son Volt, Uncle Tupelo). After touring on his lonesome for his acclaimed album Songs in a Northern Key (on Steve Earle's E-Squared Records), Parker's got a hankering to play with a full band again, and he couldn't have picked a better choice than Denton, Texas rockers Centro-Matic, who not only serve as his backing band but share the bill with him. Centro-Matic's disc, Distance and Clime, delivers 15 heartfelt, low-fi pop tunes, a la Bob Pollard or early Flaming Lips. Sonically, these guys keep it frayed around the edges, overdriving their amps and stomping the fuzz boxes just enough to keep the indie-rock crowd from noticing what great pop choruses they write. Catch the tour when it touches down in Parker's adopted town of Raleigh this Saturday, Feb. 9, at Kings Barcade. --Angie Carlson

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