It should come as no surprise that Howie Day--the 23-year-old songwriter who emerged out of Maine with 2000's Australia, one of the most inspiring debuts from an American songwriter in years--took the move to Epic Records like most high school seniors take to the NBA. He floundered upon arrival, recording a humdrum sophomore sinker before touring with a stagnant live band for nearly a year. But Day still shines when he steps back into the solo spotlight, twisting his bold chords, Buckley-style vocals and heart-on-the-line mantras into a system of loops and delays that musters magic. --Grayson Currin
Ellen Gilchrist, author of the National Book Award-winning Victory Over Japan, will receive the Thomas Wolfe Prize and deliver a lecture at 7:30 p.m. at Carroll Hall. Sabine Durrant commented in the London Times, "[Gilchrist] writes about ordinary happenings in out of the way places, of meetings between recognizable characters from her other fiction and strangers, above all of domestic routine disrupted by violence." Info: 962-4283.
Wafting the Eno
West Point on the Eno
The weather has turned cooler and the rains have passed. Now is the perfect time of year to go on a two-hour float trip on the Eno River led by naturalist Riverdave. Departures most days at 10 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. All ages welcome. 5101 N. Roxboro St. Call 471-3802 for reservations. $12.
Oregonians Dead Moon play by their own rules, defying the commercial nature of rock 'n' roll, and living unique, autonomous lives. Fred and Toody Cole have stood out as underground heroes going on 40 years. Along with drummer Andrew Loomis, this couple's music has more gusto and bubbling vitriol than most fresh-faced, so-called "indie" bands. This year, two Chapel Hill natives, Kate Fix and Jason Summers, eloquently told their tales of the band in their documentary Unknown Passage: The Dead Moon Story, starting with Fred's beginnings as the "white Stevie Wonder," Deep Soul Cole, at age 14. Now, more than ever, we can all use some leather-vested maverick heroes. This is the real thing, folks, no bull. --Chris Toenes
Sounds Local Art Show
The Second Friday Art Walk takes in galleries and exhibition spaces all over Carrboro and Chapel Hill. You can check out the list of what's showing this month at 2ndfridayartwalk.com. We're partial, of course, to the several Sound Local exhibits in Carrboro at the ArtsCenter, Town Hall and the Century Center that feature posters, photos, T-shirts, memorabilia and other art works and artifacts from the local music scene. In addition to the Art Walk, there's a reception for the artists and contributors for these exhibits at the ArtsCenter from 6-9 p.m. Raleigh Concert for Change the Pour House-- Get inspired, get registered and get entertained, with help from Indy Music Award triple nominees Tres Chicas, Best Rock band nominee Patty Hurst Shifter, and veteran upstarts The Nevers. For the uninitiated: Tres Chicas make harmony-drenched folk rock of the highest order, while Patty Hurst Shifter are Clash-and-Crazy Horse-covering guitar rockers with a taste for anthems. And The Nevers, featuring Ron Bartholomew (who has played in all three bands on the bill at one time or another, as well as in the Hanks, the Woods, and the Accelerators), never got bogged down in the whole Beatles vs. Stones thing: They love 'em both. --Rick Cornell
And She Was
And She Was is a joint exhibition by Lynda Bonkemeyer and Thomas Thielemann, which uses collected images and mixed media to examine a range of human themes. Bonkemeyer, who teaches at various N.C. colleges, focuses her work on family and how past generations affect present ones; while Thielemann--who teaches art at Caldwell Community College--uses Basquiat-like references in paintings that seek to elevate the human experience. The exhibition opens Thursday, Oct. 7 and ends Friday, Nov. 5 with a closing reception. 209 Bickett Blvd. 836-5358 or www.bickettgallery.com .
All Astronauts + Phon + TV Knife
Two Triangle newbies team up with one of the Triad's favorite young rock bands for this strong triple-bill at Kings. Two-piece Phon finesses found sounds and manipulates electronic tones from gizmos and guitars during slow-burning, slow-building tone pieces, while TV Knife buries the steel guitar in thoughtful western gems. Winston-Salem's All Astronauts is a jarring co-ed bunch of indie iconoclasts, sonic schizophrenics that lull and roll like Blonde Redhead buried in an opium den before splitting the difference between Sleater-Kinney pulse and Deerhoof angularity. --Grayson Currin
Duke Perfomances and the Indian Classical Music and Dance Society of North Carolina welcome Gopika Krishna, an Indian classical dance drama this Sunday at 5 p.m. Presented by Kuchipudi master Vempati Satyam's Madras academy, the play concerns the Gopikas (maids) of Lord Krishna and their utter devotion to him. Artistic costumes, intricate footwork and emotional hand and facial gestures merge with live music in this impressive production. Page Auditorium, Duke Campus. 684-4444. $20, $5 students.
(On Saturday, Oct. 16, Duke Performances and ICMDS will present a South Indian Double Violin concert featuring Shankar & Gingger with Zakir Hussain. Concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in Page Auditorium; tickets are $20, $5 students).
Go to www.duke.edu/web/dukeperfs/calendar.html for more information. Raleigh Andrew Martin and the Greensboro School of Painting Lee Hansley Gallery--The late Andrew Martin was a professor at UNC-Greensboro, and today is the opening reception for a show of his works and those of 12 of his students. The show runs through Nov. 14. 225 Glenwood Ave. 828-7557, www.leehansleygallery.com .
Rilo Kiley + The Good life + Neva Dinova + Now It's Overhead
Tonight's bill of astounding talent is headlined by Rilo Kiley, starring the seductive vocals of Jenny Lewis, who trails only Neko Case and Laura Balance in rock vixenhood. They blend pop, folk and country in the Saddle Creek cauldron of lush sonic raiment, the strings and horns abetting the biting, bittersweet tone of their lyrics. The Good Life is the songwriting vehicle of Cursive's Tim Kasher, and often sounds like the stage adaptation of a sordid autobiography rich in relational failures and self-flagellation, but which succeeds like no one's business thanks to Kasher's startling dramatic and lyrical acumen. Neva Dinova may be the best band in Omaha NOT on Saddle Creek, forging sweet, lingering dream pop rife with nihilism. Athens' Now It's Overhead channels British pop from '80s new wave to '90s shoegazers. --Grayson Currin
Joan of Arc + Black Socks + Ticonderoga
Joan of Arc reframes its left-of-center rock music each time around the block. The Chicago band addresses socio-political issues with a heavy hand, recently mingling message into electro-acoustic songs, melodic piano numbers and rock anthems on their new record, Joan of Arc, Dick Cheney, Mark Twain. ... Tim Kinsella and friends tackle big issues, blending concept and technique into a heady brew. Black Socks, an offshoot of Raleigh band Strange, and Iowa City-to-Raleigh neo-folk transplants Ticonderoga open. --Chris Toenes
Though perhaps best known as the band where Richard Thompson got his start, these British folk-rockers featured several writers and singers, part of their early style being informed by the rich harmonies of The Mamas and The Papas. Sandy Denny (Strawbs) and Ian Matthews, in particular, made a name outside the band, and in 1971, when the final original member left, the band still forged on. It continues to this day following the same aesthetic it blazed in the late '60s, marrying American folk to traditional British styles such as Irish and Celtic music. --Chris Parker