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The guide to the week's concerts

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This week's guide contains:

YES, PLEASE: Sid & Susie, Hymns, Old Bricks, Municipal Waste, Chatham County Line, Reckless Kelly, Scott Miller, Ian McLagan, Benevento/ Russo Duo

EH, WHATEVER: Le Loup, Matisyahu

VS.: Band of Heathens vs. The Old Ceremony

VS.: The Jesus Lizard vs. Fuck Buttons, Growing

INTRODUCING: Bustello



YES, PLEASE...

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11.05 SID & SUSIE @ THE ARTSCENTER

If you're like me, when you go to a music show you're curious about what cover song a band might roll out. With Sid & Susie—Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs to those not on a first-pseudonym basis, or, for others, "that Girlfriend guy" and "that Bangle girl"—it's the opposite: You wonder whether you'll get an original composition. Across two wildly entertaining Under the Covers volumes, Sweet and Hoffs have given us a peek at their record collections, stacks that include everything from Neil Young (saw that one coming) and Love to Todd Rundgren and Carly Simon. $20/ 8 p.m. —Rick Cornell

11.05 HYMNS, OLD BRICKS @ NIGHTLIGHT

Brooklyn quartet Hymns arrives in Chapel Hill fresh from a cross-country tour backing the legendary Daniel Johnston, where, according to Sean Moeller at Daytrotter, they helped lift him from "an unhealthy guy who shook steadily and didn't look at any of the people around him as they passed, silently and politely gawking, into the savant that he is." Their own material is an assured spin through stacks of Stiff Records, insurmountable soul and swagger shot through chiseled, country-hued guitar-rock. If Wilco's Being There still sits well with you, you'll sing along with Hymns. Meanwhile, the duo Old Bricks prepares to release its debut, Farmers, a brooding LP that smears vocals and guitars into narcotic folk that fights for its pulse. It's among the best in a strong year of local releases. Also, Ventricles and Attached Hands. $6/ 9:30 p.m. —Grayson Currin

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11.06 MUNICIPAL WASTE @ VOLUME 11

Municipal Waste is gonna fuck you up—well, as soon as they can find the weed. Or so goes the parting shot on "Born To Party," the closing salvo from this Richmond gutter-metal quartet's 2007 album, The Art of Partying. In August, the band returned with Massive Aggressive, an uncut dose of seriously unserious thrash that lives up to its name dutifully. From the tumbling guitar intro and palm-muted fury of "Mech-cannibal" (yes, man-eating machines!) to the chanted gang vocals and circle pit chorus of "Sadistic Magician," Municipal Waste has again found a way to fashion its metal into party music. With NOLA's blackened death vets Goatwhore, Mountie new wavers Cauldron and Raleigh's Plague. $15/ 8 p.m. —Robbie Mackey

11.07 CHATHAM COUNTY LINE @ CAT'S CRADLE

For a while, Chatham County Line felt like your crash course in bluegrass from the first half of the last century. Prison ballads, sick children, fiddle, mandolin, bacon, skillets—it was all there. But recent albums suggest CCL is drifting ever closer to mainstream roots tunes, with big, poignant ballads like "Birmingham Jail" and collaborations with Scandinavian folk star Jonas Fjeld that have made the Raleigh quartet stars abroad. Recent history suggests CCL has more than nostalgia on its mind. The young Chapel Hill duo Mandolin Orange opens. $12-$15/ 9 p.m. —Billy Ball

11.08 RECKLESS KELLY, SCOTT MILLER @ LINCOLN THEATRE

For most every group or solo act, if you come up with four pretty obvious kindred-spirit acts and draw lines from those four, at the intersection you'll capture the essence of the band or musician in question. For the band Reckless Kelly, those four would probably be Joe Ely, Steve Earle, Robert Earl Keen and Chris Wall. For fellow Sugar Hill Records alum Scott Miller, it'd definitely be Roger Miller, Nick Lowe, Tom Petty and Loudon Wainwright III. In short: an evening of hopped-up Texas music and witty, catchy pop-rock with a rootsy lean. $12-$15/ 8 p.m. —Rick Cornell

11.08 IAN MCLAGAN @ THE POUR HOUSE

Ian McLagan—legendary keyboardist with Small Faces and Faces, session man for the Stones and Springsteen and teller of stories—makes a solo trip to North Carolina. Expect "Debris," "Ooh La La" and other treasures from the past, as well as plenty from the catalog of McLagan's Austin, Texas-based Bump Band. That latter category includes songs from last year's Never Say Never that address the tragic loss of McLagan's wife. Be prepared: They're punches to the heart. Opening are Chris and Marc Smith of Patty Hurst Shifter, a band that retitled its song "Higher Ground" to "A Prayer for Kim," in memory of McLagan's wife. $10-$13/ 8 p.m. —Rick Cornell

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11.11 BENEVENTO/ RUSSO DUO @ THE POUR HOUSE

Though the Benevento/Russo Duo started as a casual response to a New York City nightclub's $100-per-Thursday residency, the pairing of drummer Joe Russo and keyboardist Marco Benevento has become one of the must-see touring bands of the decade. Beneath a canopy of amorphous video projections, Russo and Benevento wring marathons out of melodies, improvising over them with jazz ears and skills and rock bombast and purpose. Their 2007 album, Play Pause Stop, furthered their position in the jam rock milieu, but—more important—it showed the indie kids that it doesn't take thin guitar tones from Texas to make epic instrumental music. With Sean Bones. $12-$15/ 9:30 p.m. —Grayson Currin


EH, WHATEVER...

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11.06 LE LOUP @ LOCAL 506

Let's hope this is a self-deflecting prophecy, but I predict that the third album by Washington, D.C., clusterfuck-pop act Le Loup will be a lo-fi, 12-song, garage-rock romp with crude lyrics, several inane pop culture references and sloppy playing—think Jay Reatard, only with more affected insanity. Indeed, it seems like every time mainstream indie rock coughs, Le Loup gets a cold. Their generally enjoyable first album was a potpourri of abandoned Sufjan song fragments broken by paint-by-number nature sounds, while September's Family leaps squarely and sloppily into Animal Collective goop. Saturated and delayed textures, band-as-gang yelps and chants, and rhythms that are totally multicultural and eclectic, dude? Too bad that Campfire Songs reissue won't be out until January. With Yardwork and Doug Keith. $8/ 9:30 p.m. —Grayson Currin

11.10 MATISYAHU @ LINCOLN THEATRE

Matisyawho? Seems Matisyahu—considered a rising star just a few years ago—has fallen off the map in the interim, though his music was never as interesting as the novelty of a Hasidic Jew who croons reggae and toasts his heritage. Beyond solid work from veteran producers Sly & Robbie, Light—Matisyahu's latest—is even less captivating, documenting the 31-year-old New Yorker's shifts away from his rap, rock and reggae roots toward hackneyed pop. What's more, the LP's religious content is nothing more than a few sprinkled references to Zion and Babylon. If Matthew Paul Miller performed these mostly secular tunes under his given name, would anyone care? Again, Matisyawho? Funky Nashville jammers Moon Taxi open. $23-25/ 8 p.m. —Spencer Griffith


FRIDAY, NOV. 6

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BAND OF HEATHENS

From: Austin, Texas
Since: 2005
Claim to fame: Three skilled singer/ songwriters
Favorite Canadian: Rick Danko (speculation)

The Band of Heathens is currently No. 1 on the Americana chart on the strength of their fetching new One Foot in the Ether, and the quintet's Austin City Limits performance (they shared an episode with Elvis Costello) debuts this week. It's also a group whose three-headed vocalizing/ writing attack (Colin Brooks, Ed Jurdi and Gordy Quist) and ability to mix roots rock and revival-tent soul makes music journalists reach for references to The Band in globs (see above). Kerrville Folk Fest award winner Rebecca Loebe and her band open. At THE BERKELEY CAFÉ. $10-$12/ 9 p.m.

VS.

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THE OLD CEREMONY

From: Chapel Hill
Since: 2004
Claim to fame: Having more band alumni than current members
Favorite Canadian: Leonard Cohen

The Old Ceremony might currently be No. 1 for fans of bands who, over half a decade, have streamlined their roster and sound, transitioning from densely packed orchestral pop to sleek rock. The Old Ceremony's sound makes music journalists reach for snappy synonyms for "intelligent" and "well-crafted," too. Opening is Athens, Ga.'s indie-popping Modern Skirts, ready to make their own transition from a band known for having cuts produced by Mike Mills and David Lowery to a band known for mastering the concepts of hook and chorus. At CAT'S CRADLE. $10/ 9:30 p.m. —Rick Cornell


THURSDAY, NOV. 5

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THE JESUS LIZARD

From: Chicago via Austin, Texas
Since: 1987
Claim to fame: David Yow, a frontman worth forsaking all others for

Earlier this year, a caravan of Raleigh residents headed north for the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago. Despite the dozens of other acts on the bill, all approved by the premier indie tastemaker, the group seemed to have one band on their mind: The Jesus Lizard. Comprised of four elements so volatile that a reunion always seemed kind of impossible, The Jesus Lizard continues on its recent return to glory tonight on its way back to its birthplace, Austin, for a show Saturday. And it sounds as if their agile brutality—skuzzy anthems, blasted as if from the bottom of a dumpster—has survived the intercalary decade just fine. "The resuscitated Jesus Lizard is just as good as the regular old everyday one from the early '90s, and pretty much destroys any other band working right now," Steve Albini, who produced the band's first four records, said in Paste's reader comments section recently. Or as superfan and Chunklet zine mastermind Henry Owings elaborated on his own Web site, "Yow walked on the ceiling (which I hadn't seen since Baltimore '92), lost his mic and had the crowd sing 'Puss' and bounced his microphone off the heads of everybody in the front row during the encore. .... Full throttle, that's all I can say." At CAT'S CRADLE. $20/ 9:30 p.m.

VS.

Fuck Buttons
  • Fuck Buttons

FUCK BUTTONS; GROWING

From: Bristol, England; New York via Olympia, Wash.
Since: 2004; 2001
Claim to fame: Two faceless duos preaching with volume and texture, and mostly staying on stage

It seems simplistic and maybe a tad condescending to say that, above all, both Fuck Buttons and Growing depend on sound for most of their power. After all, it is music, right? But it's true: More than the big beats Fuck Buttons puts behind its sculpted noise-and-keyboard epics, and more than the tones Growing shapes into spires and helices and clouds, it's the volume and force with which these sounds are delivered—through layering, cranked amps, rattling PAs—that make them so appealing and that, frankly, give them any chance against a run by reunited legends The Jesus Lizard. Consider Tarot Sport, the magnetic second album from Fuck Buttons: Isolate any one stream of sound, be it the beats or the noise or the twinkly melodies, and you'd be bored completely. Together and amplified, though, the beats seem bigger than techno, and the static more motivating than the bent squelch it is. The same goes for Growing. Live, neither band depends on stage dives or ceiling walks as much as they do the, you know, music they're making. Tonight's gigs are both sort of essential. Your choice, though, depends on whether or not you'd like to be stomped on or simply stare at the stage—and maybe dance. At LOCAL 506. $10/ 9:30 p.m. —Grayson Currin


INTRODUCING...

11.06 BUSTELLO @ THE CAVE

Tonight's gig might be Bustello's second show ever, but the same is not true of its members. Frontman Ben Clarke fronted the short-lived '90s act Metal Flake Mother, and Bustello's rhythm section, comprised of ex-Pressure Boy John Plymale and Jody Maxwell, played together in the Sex Police.

As Plymale—a confessed Metal Flake Mother fan—says, Clarke put aside his guitar for years after the dissolution of his former band. "[Clarke] just in the last couple years picked it up again and had about a million songs." He enlisted first-time bassist Plymale and drummer Maxwell to fill out the sound.

"It's definitely driven by Ben's songwriting," Plymale says. "The band is similar in sound to what Metal Flake Mother sounded like. It's the same style, I'm not sure even what you'd call that." Judging from "Playground," the band's only released song to date, it's a buoyant alt-pop sound, brimming with hooks and gilded with surf-twang. More songs are on the way, too, says Plymale, an accomplished producer. "[Clarke] has no shortage of material," he says, "and I've got no shortage of ability to get them on tape." With The Vinyl Strangers of Athens, Ga. 10 p.m. —Bryan Reed

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