The Last Five Years
This play kicks off a 60-day, six-play festival of Kennedy Center favorites called Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy. The Last Five Years, which runs from June1-12, is a contemporary romantic musical from Tony Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown and was nominated for four 2004 Dora Awards. Visit www.hotsummernightsatthekennedy.org for more information. Tickets are $35 or a season pass for $150.
On a night that is certain to leave the indie kids with boggled minds one way or another (see Spoon at the Cradle or Ted Leo at Kings), one of the feistiest brews come from the trans-Atlantic Futureheads, righteous punks that transcend their retrofitted peers of Franz Ferdinand and Dogs Die in Hot Cars via multi-layered, packed-up-tight harmonies. Their 2004 debut was one of the year';s best, and their live show is every bit as exuberant. Pitty Sing opens at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $10. --Grayson Currin
Spoon, The Clientele
"Every mornin', I've got a new chay-unce," Britt Daniel gruffly announces from Gimme Fiction, his band Spoon's latest. The urgent self-realization could just as easily be a mantra for the Austin band's story, one rich with major label drama, singing about it once a la Pavement, and finding a welcome home in Merge. Daniel's bristly guitar and pinched vocal style belie post-punk's reptilian rattle, but he moves ever closer to pop resonance with an architect's eye on clean song structure (and some glorious hooks). Merge with the Clientele to start, a cooing collection of British pop melancholia. --Chris Toenes
The Brewery Birthday Bash
Raleigh's re-opened Brewery deserves credit for assembling a diverse collection of bands for its two-day bash. Opener Raleigh's Sedona, combine pop melody with electronic textures. Fairfax's 33 West are catchy ska-inflected punkers, Wilmington's Scarlet Undercover's prog-metal pops for a reason, while Greensboro's Bloodjinn's throttling metal-core cops some prog intricacy. Night two features Raleigh's Seven Stories Fall, whose pop-punk leans emo, while Alesana is pure screamo and look like the goth kids from South Park. Asheboro's Niro has a slow-burn, experimental texture. Saturday concludes with Raleigh prog/death metal quintet Called To Arms and the appropriately titled metal outfit Slavemachine. Shows start at 6 p.m. $10-12--Chris Parker
The Wise Ones
Set in 1965, local author Howard Craft's play explores disagreements between two families in Hicksville, Ala. over the work of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. The free shows on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus are June 3 at 7 p.m. and June 4 at 2 p.m.
Durham Arts Council
Mesmerizing Malian kora player Mamadou Diabate is touring in support of his new record Beymankang. You can pick up tickets--which are $10 or $8 for students, seniors and children--at the Music Loft and Ninth Street¹s Native Threads. The show starts at 7 p.m. Visit www.durhamarts.org for information.
Rilo Kiley, Portastatic
Don't be fooled into dismissing Rilo Kiley simply because they're Gilmore Girls/One Tree Hill/Insert Generic Drama Here favorites or because their third release, More Adventurous, is a bit more compact, polished and pop than their previous escapades into righteous, heart-on-the-line, alt.country-leaning indie. Jenny Lewis (currently recording a solo album) is one of the brightest, most endearing songwriters around, and when Blake Sennett isn't singing, he's an equally taut guitarist. Mac McCaughan--who gave Rilo Kiley an early leg up by taking them on the road with Superchunk--opens with Portastatic. Bright Ideas, due out in August, is the band's most realized album yet, tugging at the mutual edges of snappy rock and sappy pop. Show's at 9 p.m. and tickets are $14. --Grayson Currin
Miller High Life Fest
Billed as a bluegrass/roots rock carnival, this 10-hour inside/outside gathering features a climbing wall, games and other diversions to go with the tunes. Echoing across the outdoor stage will be the harmonies of Chatham County Line and the Avett Brothers, four-part and hollerin¹ respectively. That stage will also play host to Rebel Records recording artists the Steep Canyon Rangers and Barefoot Manner¹s shoeless joe action. Inside, the music of headliners Kokolo Afrobeat Orchestra will reveal the common roots of Fela Kuti and Ruben Blades. The free event starts at 2:30 p.m. --Rick Cornell
A smooth jazz summit: Tenor saxophonist Richard Elliot was a pillar of the mighty Tower of Power horn section. Guitarist Peter White spent 20 years with Al Stewart before going solo. Trumpeter Rick Braun used his voice and horn on tour with Tom Petty and Rod Stewart before topping smooth jazz charts. South African acoustic guitarist Jonathan Butler had a big '87 hit with the Staples' "If You're Ready." Hear them all together at 7:30 p.m. for $35. --Grant Britt
Dinky, white-boy, joke hip hop has bum rushed the DIY circuit like synthetic kudzu. Go to enough shows or head out on tour and you'll surely get tangled up in it. Chicago's Princess is funny but not to be laughed at. The duo maintains sweet dancehall lyrical flow and live guitar crunch/beat backing alternating between Queen pomp and '80s Atari. With Black Widow. Show's at 10 p.m. and costs $3. --Eric Weddle
Fin Fang Foom
Don't doubt the power of a little Foom in the room. These Chapel Hillians broke out of the box with a punk-bred roar, compartmentalizing hardcore's rage into neat little dynamic arrangements with melodic cohesion. Their last record took a turn toward the black and blue, with piano figuring prominently. One of the Triangle's most resilient bands, they're gigging regularly again after a hiatus. Find them here in the intimate setting of The Library's "Indie Rock Tuesdays" series at 10 p.m. for only $2. --Chris Toenes
John Brown Quintet
Bogart's American Grill
Duke jazz director John Brown and friends continue in their effort to get jazz acts to migrate off the campuses and back into the nightclubs. The music runs from 7-10 p.m.