Music » Our guide to this week's shows

The guide to the week's concerts

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This week's guide contains:

YES, PLEASE: Kenny Roby's Mercy Filter, Les Dudek, Gray Young/ Citified, Guitar Bomb, The Dead Science, Rahdunes/ Jooklo Duo, My Dad is Dead

EH, WHATEVER: Bell X1

VS.: Thrill Kill Kult vs. Helmet

VS.: Southern Culture on the Skids vs. Red Stick Ramblers

SONG OF THE WEEK: Yo Majesty's "Club Action"



YES, PLEASE

05.16 KENNY ROBY'S MERCY FILTER @ SADLACK'S

Photos come and go on the main page of the locally owned and operated Guitartown Web group. The current shot features Kenny Roby sporting a wry grin that looks the way some of his lighter tunes sound. But elsewhere—most notably on his last two records—Roby tackles weighty issues such as loss and addiction as well as anyone in the Triangle—or beyond, for that matter. And these days the music behind those deep thoughts brings to mind the warm folk-pop of new Yep Rocker Ron Sexsmith, a good fit for those sentiments and for almost any facial expression. 7 p.m. —Rick Cornell

05.16 LES DUDEK @ CAT'S CRADLE

Guitar heroics and ace session skills have made Les Dudek into a long-haired version of Woody Allen's Zelig: There Dudek is in the studio with the Allmans, ghostplaying a Duane-like solo on "Ramblin' Man." Look, he's backing Boz Scaggs and serving in the Steve Miller Band. That's him alphabetically ahead of a former Hendrix associate and the guy who wrote "We Just Disagree" in Dudek, Finnigan & Krueger. Now he's collaborating with Cher and Stevie Nicks. (Blink, though, and you'll miss him in a re-formed Steppenwolf.) Tonight, he'll be the one fronting the old-fashioned power trio. $15/ 9 p.m.—Rick Cornell

05.16 GRAY YOUNG/ CITIFIED @ SLIM'S

Greensboro's Citified washes its dreamy, '80s-influenced pop fabric in vats of reverb. Its textures are anchored by strong melodies, giving it a jangle that keeps its head above the waters of shoegazer stereotypes. Locals Gray Young build indie rock anthems that are grand without being grandiose, steered by flashing guitar and propelled by the thrust of its mighty rhythm rotor. $3/ 10 p.m. —Spencer Griffith

05.16 GUITAR BOMB @ THE CAVE

One man blues-punker Guitar Bomb boasts a sinewy croon halfway between a gutter-bound Tom Waits and a mud-caked Delta 72. It's a ragged, cranky shuffle held together by chewing gum and paper clips, rattling like a shockless semi speeding down a steep decline. Backasswards, of course. Think Scott Biram with a hint of Bowery grime. $5/ 7:30 p.m. —Chris Parker

05.16 THE DEAD SCIENCE @ BULL CITY HEADQUARTERS

Led by one-time Xiu Xiu members Sam Mickens and Jherek Bischoff, this Seattle trio plays dramatic, jazz-infected post-rock. Windy and replete with odd tones, the music's built on disjunctive tempos and stylized noir pop mannerisms. For all its self-consciousness, it's surprisingly approachable, like the Dresden Dolls siphoning Dirty Three's hypnotic grace and Dan Bejar's arch vocal delivery. The Hem of His Garment opens. [Ed. Note: Music Editor Grayson Currin occasionally plays with this band but will not be playing this show.] $5/ 9 p.m. —Chris Parker

05.17 RAHDUNES/ JOOKLO DUO @ NIGHTLIGHT

Italy's Jooklo Duo provides caterwauling, form-blasting free jazz with tenor and baritone saxophone and drums, while San Fran's Rahdunes power-stoned-drones with tapes, bass and drums sound like Bardo Pond distending everything with an ear for menace. Also, Todos Somos Ninjas and Stronghold Crusader. 9 p.m.—Grayson Currin

05.18 MY DAD IS DEAD @ LOCAL 506

Originally hailing from Cleveland, Chapel Hill transplant Mark Edwards traces MDID's origins to the early days of American hardcore, touring with Rembrandt Pussyhorse-era Butthole Surfers. There's a stark rustbelt echo of Pere Ubu in the sometimes steely arrangements, which doesn't preclude hooks that, with their rubbery pulse, suggest XTC or Big Dipper. Edwards' reedy confessionals tend toward the dissolute, though he turns that around some on 2005's A Divided House. One of two MDID albums in the past decade, it traffics in folk-inflected shimmer as Edwards seeks out "My Safe Place" in "The Maze of My Mind." $7/ 9 p.m. —Chris Parker


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EH, WHATEVER

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05.20 BELL X1 @ LOCAL 506

I can't blame you for getting swept up in the woozy romanticism of Irish quartet Bell X1, as I too have enjoyed many shows on the WB Network. Bell X1, once "the biggest band in Ireland" according to Vanity Fair, does the big, charging thing with splendid consonance and élan, and—at moments—it just feels good. But look under the hood, and you'll see a band trying as hard as it can to be the perfect 21ST CENTURY ROCK BAND: References to Seasonal Affective Disorder and text messages sit uncomfortably beside Adam and Eve archetypes and lamppost nostalgia, while the songs are but ballads with banal electronic augmentation. It's an attempted update on several forms the band has not yet mastered. Uncomfortably ambitious posturing from across the way. With Brooke Waggoner and Cool Ethan. $8/ 9 p.m. —Grayson Currin


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THURSDAY, MAY 15

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THRILL KILL KULT

From: Chicago
Since: 1987
Claim to fame: Debauched big beats and satanic themes

My Life with Thrill Kill Kult was big when Chicago's Wax Trax Records created a mini-revolution for industrial music; its inroad was via the exploitation trashy-movie-bikini-girl aesthetic, one now worn bare in nearly every venue possible. But is anything shocking anymore? With Taradactyl and Angels on Acid at LINCOLN THEATRE. $16-$20/ 9 p.m.

VS.

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HELMET

From: Los Angeles
Since: 1988
Claim to fame: Precision in heavy metallic riffing

After Page Hamilton took Helmet from its minimal, robotic metal beginnings to the full embrace of heavy metal headbangers, he went from indie-punk crowds to opening for G n' R in stadiums. The calculated guitar crunch never really changed throughout, though, which gives Helmet props and the better reach here. With ASG, Caltrop and H.O.W. at VOLUME 11 TAVERN. $15/ 8 p.m. —Chris Toenes


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SATURDAY, MAY 17

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SOUTHERN CULTURE ON THE SKIDS

From: Mebane, N.C., and thereabouts
Since: the late '80s
Claim to fame: Hot pickin' and tossed chicken

The flashback sounds of Southern Culture on the Skids feel rooted in a series of images and memories from 30 years ago: the soundtrack to the sleaziest drive-in movie you ever saw, professional wrestling on a black & white TV, Dale Hawkins and John Fogerty sharing "Suzie Q," and lots and lots of Naugahyde. SCOTS has always snuck in a couple obscure numbers from those primal days ("Daddy Was a Preacher but Mama Was a Go-Go Girl," anyone?), but last year's Countrypolitan Favorites was all covers. And the spectacle of the trio playing Twister with genres made that release one of 2007's most entertaining. Violet Vector and the Lovely Lovelies open. At CAT'S CRADLE. $10-$12/ 10 p.m.

VS.

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RED STICK RAMBLERS

From: Baton Rouge, La.
Since: the early '00s
Claim to fame: Hot fiddlin' and sauce piquante recipes

The throwback sounds of the Red Stick Ramblers feel rooted in a series of images and memories from 30 years ago: hard-working folks two-stepping on a payday Friday night, a pick-up truck with its radio tuned to the Louisiana Hayride, the Hackberry Ramblers easing into a waltz, a nip of backwoods booze. But last year's Made in the Shade, the quintet's first for Sugar Hill, also factored in songs from the repertoires of Count Basie and Bob Wills. Those adventures in versatility, along with a band-grown Cajun murder ballad and Clifton Chenier and Canray Fontenot tunes, made that release one of 2007's most entertaining. This battle of crafty vets versus hard-throwing upstarts is too close to call. At THE ARTSCENTER. $15-$17/ 8:30 p.m. —Rick Cornell

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