This week's guide contains:
YES, PLEASE: Terry Anderson, Bob Margolin, Colossus/ Hellrazor, Grapejuice Scott/ MC Homeless/ Juan Huevos
VS.: Blues World Order vs. Winter Reggae Jam
DEPARTING: A Tribute to Hoppie
12.25 TERRY ANDERSON @ THE POUR HOUSE
For the last nine years, Terry Anderson—who, being Christ-like and all, was born on Christmas Day—has been stuffing the Triangle's seasonal stockings with his delirious, witty pub rock on Dec. 25. This year, his Olympic Ass Kickin' Team has another offering for your merry ass, and it's called "Eggnogorant." A wise and equitable track about the joys and perils of holiday booze, it's one of the most memorable moments on this year's fantastic Have a Holly Raleigh Christmas compilation. Chip Robinson & the Heavy Beat Outfit joins the fun tonight. $7/ 8 p.m. —Grayson Currin
12.26 BOB MARGOLIN @ PAPA MOJO'S
Playing guitar for more than 40 years now, Bob Margolin displays an old familiarity and comfort with his instrument. He gigged with Muddy Waters from 1973 to 1980, and keeps the Chicago Blues alive to this day, winning the Blue Music Award for Guitar in 2008. Ringing notes cry out with desire and caution to those listening. Based out of High Point, N.C., when Margolin puts down the electric for the acoustic, shadows coolly get longer in the pines, evoking a laid-back, but often menacing, country past. Tonight, he joins fellow North Carolinians Tom "Mookie" Brill (bass, recipient of the 2006 Blues Music Award for Bass) and Chuck Cotton (drums, recipient of the 2005 Piedmont Blues Preservation Society's Keeping the Blues Alive Award). $10/ 9:30 p.m. —Andrew Ritchey
12.27 COLOSSUS/ HELLRAZOR @ SLIM'S
As the name suggests, Colossus harkens back to the muscular majesty of British power metal, with a dash of Sabbath-y churn. The guitars rage and rumble, spiraling up in arpeggiated plumes of baroque pyrotechnic proficiency. There's a vague whiff of the renaissance fair, while vocals dramatically ascend into falsetto screeches. It's a peculiarly classic sound with ample heft. Singer Sean Buchanan's sweet pipes offer elegance to contrast the music's menacing storm clouds. Hellrazor is similarly inspired by its predecessors. In this case, genuflections to Judas Priest come balanced with a thundering thrash pulse that owes a debt to acts like Anthrax and Testament. The result is concussive, like headbutting an Easter Island sculpture, encasing your skull in throb. $5/ 10 p.m. —Chris Parker
12.27 GRAPEJUICE SCOTT, MC HOMELESS, JUAN HUEVOS @ NIGHTLIGHT
After a stint in France appearing on indie rock bills and working up material with California rapper Subtitle, the Triangle's gregarious, excitable emcee Juan Huevos returns to host this N.C. underground convocation: Greenville's MC Homeless recently released a split via D.C. punk bastion Dischord, and his hard-cadence/ soft-beat approach reflects the lessons of early anticon greatness, in particular that of supergroup-in-retrospect Deep Puddle Dynamics. Homeless' lyrics offer social implications buoyed by abstract images, and—with singer Liz Aeby, who also appears tonight—he often twists his words into gliding refrains. Chapel Hill's Grapejuice Scott, who appears tonight with Dutchmaster Dave, spins hazy, narcotic narratives in aqueous environments—like Aesop Rock underwater, with the power cord plugged in, slowly crippling its own circuits. Also, Gut Lightning and the trip-hop of The Ex-Monkeys. $6/ 10 p.m. —Grayson Currin
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 27
BLUES WORLD ORDER
Claim to fame: Lengthy blues-world résumés
No slow-burners here: Blues World Order (yes, the name is inspired by the mid-'90s wrestling clique) greases the wheels of its Texas swing with sweaty Chicago energy. Honing talents alongside bluesmen known both locally (Skeeter Brandon, Mel Melton and Nappy Brown) and nationally (they've played with Hubert Sumlin and Muddy Waters sidemen Bob Margolin and Paul Oscher), BWO's winter warmer is a fiery roadhouse brew. Mike Wesolowski's amped Hohner harp plays foil to Bryan Smith's hot rod guitar licks while bassman Bobby Kelly and drummer Kelly Pace chug along, laying the rock-solid foundation. Recommended for those who like to put a little boogie in their step. At PAPA MOJO'S ROADHOUSE. $10/ 9:30 p.m.
WINTER REGGAE JAM
From: Triangle via Africa and Jamaica
Claim to fame: Jamrock variety hour
Hoping to warm up a chilly winter night with island vibrations, Durham's dub Addis headlines the Cradle's second Winter Reggae Jam. A revolving cast of international characters under the leadership of Ethiopia native Dereje Tesfaye, dub Addis fuses polyrhythms and three-piece horns with easygoing melodies and an occasional toast. Keyboard-driven Crucial Fiya, with special guest Junior P joining from L.A., fits the dancehall bill, while Cayenne the Lion King mixes Dirty South-inspired hip-hop into the un-easy vibes of "Toss Ya Drinkz" and "I Stack Paper." For those who consider variety (and jerk) the spice of life, this one's for you. At CAT'S CRADLE. $8-$10/ 9:30 p.m. —Spencer Griffith
12.27 BUTTER @ BROAD STREET CAFE
Owner of two recording studios; producer of multiple records; scorer of a couple dozen films; teacher of guitar, banjo, mandolin and bass; and member of the bands 8 Eyes (rock, and currently looking for a new bass player) and Workbook (jazz). As if Brad Newell wasn't busy enough, he's started Butter, a reconstructed Hammond organ trio with bassist Ken Vint and drummer Doza.
"I have [the guitar] going through several things where I mix a guitar sound with a distorted organ sound or an electric piano sound," says Newell, who sings and plays guitar in the band. "It comes out a combination of a guitar sound and an organ. We call it the Gorgan."
Influenced by the 1970s organ rock of Lee Michaels, funky grooves of Medeski, Martin & Wood, and jazz guitar playing of John Scofield, Butter is solidifying its sound around original songs, set arrangements and free improvisations. Playing only its fourth show tonight, Newell is excited about the growth of Butter. "Our second gig, the club owner went out and called all his buddies up and had them come out and see us because he was just so amazed that a band sounded this way," he says. After PM Bulldozer opens at 10 p.m., Butter takes the stage at 11:45 p.m. The show is free. —Andrew Ritchey
12.27 A TRIBUTE TO HOPPIE @ THE CAVE
Hoppie Newton arrived in North Carolina from Chicago five years ago and immediately fell into the local rock scene: On his first night in Chapel Hill, he sat in an old friend's living room as Dexter Romweber played him a tune. Since, he's served as Romweber's tour manager and, these days, his walking partner. Most will know Newton from his tenures managing bar at The Cave and Local 506 and leading a poetry night underground at The Cave.
But the Oregon-born Newton is leaving North Carolina for New York Jan. 1 to focus on his own writing. He's managed to leave behind an intriguing reflection of one of the state's best idiosyncrasies, though: Newton's been traveling the back roads of the state looking for the best barbecue with Southern Culture on the Skids and Killer Filler keyboardist Crispy Bess and filming their adventures.
Hoppie and Crispy's BBQ Road Trip is in the final stages of production. Look for it on public television next year. Newton's first going-away party is Friday, Dec. 26, at Local 506 with friends Benji Hughes and Charles Latham (see Friday's 8 Days a Week), followed by a gathering of Romweber, Taz Halloween, Stu Cole and more Saturday, Dec. 27, at The Cave. —Grayson Currin
- Juan Huevos