Said writer Greil Marcus, quite a few years ago, of Fairport Convention: "They combined a timeless lyricism, an archivist's purism, rock & roll punch, Cajun good times, superb original songs and a sense of humor." Said musician Peter Holsapple, not all that long ago, about their Heyday album: "It's so beautiful and so good." Said many of the Liege and Lief record: "It's the first authentic British folk rock album." Said I, copying from Marcus' worksheet: "They're kind of like the U.K. version of The Band." Granted, with over 30 years having passed since the last original member left the band, the name is a bit of a franchise at this point--but what a storied franchise. Show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25. --RC
Margaret Sanger shook up the 20th century by fighting for birth control and access to abortion. Now her grandson, Alexander Sanger, is taking the pro-choice movement into the 21st century by changing the way we talk about abortion rights and reproductive freedom. Today he speaks in the Belk Dining Hall of Meredith College from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm at a benefit for Planned Parenthood, where he will also sign copies of his irreverent new book, Beyond Choice. Call 833-7534 for details.
Russian Gypsy Immigrant Rock may seem a narrow niche, but see them once and you'll wonder why there aren't more like them. The music has a manic folk-polka bounce keyed to the violin and accordion, but there's also a dark cabaret rock undertone drawn from frontman Eugene Hutz's early fascination with Nick Cave. There's also the stage show, which features statuesque female dancers who change costumes frequently and interact humorously with the colorful Hutz. --CP
The Invisible Man
NYC's Aquila Theatre Company presents its adaptation of the H.G. Wells sci-fi classic The Invisible Man. Set in Victorian England, this version of a brilliant young scientist's obsession with invisibility promises to steers closer to Wells' 1897 novel than the 1933 movie of the same name. The show starts at 8 p.m. Ticket information at www.fis.ncsu.edu/Center_Stage or 515-1100.
Country newcomer Josh Turner had a huge hit with the Johnny Cash-like "Long Black Train." Sounding like Randy Travis and looking like that "Achy Breaky Heart" guy without the mullet, the song and video illustrated the fact that the devil'll run over your dumbass with a train if you take pills, play cards or have sex--if you're a single female. Although it might be a bit much for some, it got him a standing ovation on the Grand Ole Opry his first time out. Now that's country. --GB
The Dynamite Brothers, The Bloodthirsty Lovers, Fake Swedish
Their new CD Clap Along with The Dynamite Brothers is out, and the hard driving Chapel Hill trio is ready to head back to the stage. Also on the bill is Fake Swedish, who've been in the studio a lot themselves of late, and Memphis' The Bloodthirsty Lovers, which features Grifters frontman David Shouse.
Diwali: Indian Festival of Lights
Amphitheatre at Regency Park
World music artist Panjabi Hit Squad, the originators of urban-Asian fusion, headline this annual cultural festival that includes Indian classical and folk music and dance, skits, handmade crafts and clothing, food, exhibits and, of course, fireworks. The free event runs from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Information at 462-2052 or www.amphitheatreatregencypark.com.
Hobex, Choosy Beggars
The Pour House
When singer/guitarist Greg Humphreys closed the door on Dillon Fence (since reopened), he went in an entirely different direction, leaving Southern alt-pop behind in favor of a groovy jazz and funk-driven sound that conjures memories of Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye and Wilson Pickett. This is blue-eyed soul at its best, from the chugging wah and bustling bass to the horns and Hammond B3, tracing the Stax/Motown connection through the sweaty, dancefloor grooves, and tender R&B croon, with finesse and booty-bouncin' flava. Asheville's Choosy Beggars open. --CP
The Pour House
Bill Mallonee is a veteran of the late '80s music scene in Athens as a member of hard-touring Vigilantes of Love. This show in The Pour House's Sunday Roots Series features Mallonee on the 12-string showing his Americana side. Charlotte duo The Houston Brothers open. The show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8.
Barn Burning, Kenny Roby, Reverend Glasseye
Boston's Rev. Glasseye has a glass eye collection, a pipe organ and a bunch of strange sea chanties and other tunes that he and the Wooden Legs (his backing band) would like sing for ya. See him with songwriter Kenny Roby and Providence rockers Barn Burning.
The Faint, TV on the Radio, Beep Beep
Given the disturbingly inconsistent nature of the band's work and the fact that perhaps the most compelling record any of its members has released in years came earlier this year from founder Joel Peterson under the Broken Spindles moniker, the ostensible popularity of Saddle Creek's The Faint is at first perplexing. But live, they make the kids--whether they be indie elitists, straight-edge sillies or pill-poppin' partiers--move, propelling waves of dance fever thanks to an electro/art punk aesthetic built on short-wave, build-and-release synths and rave-worthy drum tracks. TV on the Radio's Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes is one of the year's best debuts. --GC
McIntyre's Fine Books
Lunch with author Randy Cohen, who pens the New York Times Magazine column The Ethicist and pays a weekly visit to NPR to sort out perplexing puzzles of propriety. His latest book is The Good, The Bad and the Difference. Do you wait until after he's had lunch to ask him to sign your copy? Information at 542-3030. Lunch is $15.
Matt Wertz, Kyle Riabko
Who is Matt Wertz? He's the handsome white guy with the popped collar wearing a pale yellow Polo on his album cover, the nice guy with the mailing list called the Love Letter, the sensitive type with at least one pink shirt in his online merchandising bureau. What does Matt Wertz play? You guessed it--acoustic, heart-flavored pop "with a soft spot," which makes him the heir apparent to both John Mayer and that one "totally ripped" dude on Abercrombie & Fitch shopping bags. Oh, my. --GC
The Firebird Band, Life at Sea, Kerbloki, Low Flying Owls
The Firebird Band is part of a growing trend in former strict emo-punk groups that now embrace the rhythms and textures of electronic music and hip hop. Chris Broach--once a member of Braid--John Isberg and friends move in this new direction to great acclaim. Raleigh's Bifocal Media label just released their latest, The City at Night, for which this is a release party. Hip-hoppers Kerbloki's new EP, Poisonous Plants, will also be feted. These bands all know each other pretty well, so one would suppose a family-affair vibe will permeate the proceedings. --CT