AVETTS: GOING ONCE...
Only three days after going on sale, Concord, N.C.'s The Avett Brothers have already sold nearly 2,000 tickets to their July 26 concert at Koka Booth Amphitheatre. Tickets went on sale Friday, May 9, and by Monday afternoon, Ramseur Records owner Dolph Ramseur said the band had sold 1,931 tickets. The venue holds approximately 7,000 people, and a support act has not yet been announced. Ramseur will released a new EP from the Avetts, The Second Gleam, July 22. The set of six songs features only Seth and Scott Avett and is the second in a series of minimal-instrumentation EPs. Ramseur will also release the debut EP The Confiscation: A Musical Novella by Oklahoma songwriter Samantha Crain on July 22, as well as the first record from former Phil Ochs protégé Sammy Walker in 12 years. —Grayson Currin
As a founding member of Chapel Hill's swing revivalists the Squirrel Nut Zippers, Katharine Whalen sang hot jazz with flair. After a short reunion round, the Zippers are on hiatus again, and Whalen still works through vintage sounds with her new band, Lucky. Instead of swing and jazz this time around, though, her focus is throttled rock 'n' roll with a hint of surfer charm. Whalen, who released a solo album called Dirty Little Secret in 2006, began branching into this latest rock endeavor when she and Zippers mate Will Dawson started playing together after shows during the Zippers' 2007 tour. Together, Dawson and Whalen infuse Lucky with a sultry blues groove, Whalen's honey-drip vocals pouring sugary-sweet pop over thumping bass. Lucky plans to release its debut this fall (produced by The Old Ceremony's Mark Simonsen), but, in the meantime, they'll take a tour of the Triangle with Mississippi's Mayhem String Band. See the bands Wednesday, May 21, at 10 p.m. at The Pour House or Friday, May 23, at The Cave. —Kathy Justice
GarageBand sensation Rachel VanSlyke has been riding her bike all over the country since March, spreading her easy-listening pop (think Lilith-era Sarah McLachlan shaking hands with Jewel) and advocating alternative transportation. She holds bike drives at many of her stops, so Bull City Headquarters, which has a bike co-op in the back, makes perfect sense for a tour respite. She'll play BCHQ Saturday, May 17, at 3 p.m. VanSlyke will cross the Canadian border before she finishes her bike tour in July. VanSlyke requests donations of $5. —Dan Strobel
The alternative to Artsplosure brings a full pail of Raleigh rock—The Loners, The T's, Starmount, The Monologue Bombs and Edmund II—with a little Sunday afternoon acoustic music thanks to Kickin' Grass to Rebus Works Sunday, May 18. Art from locals will be sold, and food, beer and Locopops will be available for a donation. There's no cover, so be there between noon and 7 p.m. —Grayson Currin