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Saturday 11.28

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Raleigh
Pico vs. Island Trees

Lincoln Theatre—There's just something irresistible about really cute boys with great hair singing bubbly indie pop songs about falling hopelessly in love with a girl. Quick rhythms add even more pep to summery guitar chords. Pico's vocal melodies mostly breeze right by, but the moments where Jeremy Bullock harmonizes with lead vocalist Bryan Carter pull us back in. Being adorably optimistic has worked nicely for the band's career. Pico moved from North Carolina to Nashville, Tenn., in 2007 and have been busy touring the East Coast on the EP Futura. It's fun and pretty, the sort of stuff that would work on a morning mix. Michael Alvarado opens; pay $10-$12 at 9 p.m. See www.lincolntheatre.com. —Whitney Ayres


Chapel Hill
John Howie & The Rosewood Bluff, The Darnell Woodies

The Cave—Hearing the baritone of John Howie Jr. curl and lift apart from the steady-handed honky-tonk of Two Dollar Pistols, his band of nearly a decade, still smarts a tad. "There Goes My Baby," "Lonely Avenue," "You Ruined Everything"—Howie sang those Pistols songs like last-call rites, and Pistols guitarist Scott McCall underlined their importance with thin, precise licks. Now, though, the Pistols are gone, so Howie leads The Rosewood Bluff with that distinct yowl. The hurt's still got company. With agile pedal steel leads, electric accompaniment that can shoot to the front or augment the chord, and a newfound energy that at times borders on pop music, The Rosewood Bluff lets Howie sing those feelings just fine. Traveling Winston-Salem quintet The Darnell Woodies join The Rosewood Bluff tonight. The coed vocals don't sport Howie's singularity, but they get far with a devil-may-care looseness and a sense of humor unafraid to wink at tragedy. "My front and center's off to the rear" they sing during "Time You Loved Me," emphasizing the asinine frustrations of staying lovesick too long. Pass the hat at the 10 p.m. show. See www.caverntavern.com. —Grayson Currin

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