A still-familiar name returns to the Local 506 stage Friday night at 10 p.m.: For the first time since last year's Blackbeard's Lost Weekend, Dirty Little Heaters come back to the stage with a different lineup. The former duo of Reese McHenry and Melissa Thomas agreed that the Blackbeard's show would be their last, but—after a brief pause—McHenry is back with the old name and a new lineup.
After the Heaters broke up, McHenry started Neighborhood Knife Fight, a trio with former Spinns Rob Walsh and Josh Johnson. Johnson left the band, and McHenry and Walsh kept practicing together and collaborating on songs. Several months ago, they approached Dave Perry (Jett Rink, Fake Swedish) about playing drums, and, about a month ago, the trio finally came together.
"We had one practice, and it just clicked," says McHenry, explaining that the new material has more chord changes and stretches things beyond the former Dirty Little Heaters' tight charge-and-stomp routine. She even hints at the word psychedelic. "The three of us work together really well."
Hammer No More the Fingers' CD release party at Duke Coffeehouse Saturday night stands as one of local music's best moments this year. A perfectly executed four-band bill with consistent energy and an eager shock of fans from start to finish, Saturday night's show left an overflowing coffeehouse covered in sweat and smiles. The Future Kings of Nowhere managed to get the crowd going before Red Collar hit the stage, pushing its usual regimen of kinetics—speaker climbers, crowd surfers, audience singers—to the limit without stealing the bill from its celebratory Power Team Records labelmates. Hammer's fan base proved itself a devoted one, recognizing songs from the first few chords and cheering loudly, but singing louder. Hammer's next-generation Triangle rock was preternaturally tight, locked rhythms popping hard beneath Joe Hall's guitar crackle. —Grayson Currin
GERARD HALL SHOW
As explorers try out new inroads to elastic drones and meditational nuances, the term resonance now holds as much weight as "authentic" used to in folk and blues circles. Kentucky's R. Keenan Lawler has been teasing out long strands of Americana-tinged space for the last decade, using a 1920s brass resonator guitar and multiple bows. Tamburo sculpts acoustics similarly now with a dulcimer, while locals The Hem of His Garment (Disclosure: Music Editor Grayson Currin is a member of this collective) use shovels over a sculptor's tools (they go big and electric). Space is still the place, even on campus. These three combine with Horse Operas for a four-band bill on Saturday, Nov. 17. And speaking of space, this is the first concert in a recently restored Gerard Hall, a UNC church dating to 1822 next to Memorial Hall on Cameron Street. It's free with a UNC student ID and $5 for all others. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. —Chris Toenes