For the week of 2.14 ~ 2.21 | MUSIC: Get Out | Indy Week

Ye Olde Archives » MUSIC: Get Out

For the week of 2.14 ~ 2.21

Music worth leaving the house for


Contributors: Rick Cornell, Grayson Currin, Kathy Justice, Jack McDonald, Chris Parker, Chris Toenes

Wednesday, February 14

Scott Miller, Hideaway BBQ

Sure, Ex-V-roy and current Commonwealth leader Scott Miller has a healthy wiseass streak, but he also has the romance in him. Come on now, isn't the author of the line "When I'm thinking that I'm all tapped out/ She gives me something just to sing about" and songs about hearts both pounding and wounded someone with whom you'd want to spend at least part of Valentine's Day? Gerald Duncan, who was making rootsy rock with the Accelerators long before it had a bunch of names and magazines, opens. $10-$12/ 8 p.m. —RC

Thursday, February 15

Randy Whitt (early), Lactose Quervo (late), The Cave

His smile's bigger than his 10-gallon hat, and his heart's bigger still. Whitt's bright, ambling, sometimes gospel-inflected country thrives on his clean, honeyed vocals and a disarming charm. Durham duo Lactose Quervo's dramatic art-rock recalls the Dresden Dolls with a King Crimson fetish. $5/ 7:30 & 10:30 p.m. —CP

Calloused Hands, Don De Leaumont, Betsy Shane, Marvell Events Center

One thing local-centric venues do well is gather in small clutches budding artists trying out their own work with intimate audiences. Here's a roundup of songwriters of the acoustic stripe, digging into their noggins for some fresh ideas. A hint: Durham's Calloused Hands listens to a lot of Dylan and Wilco. 9 p.m. —CT

Kevin Devine, Jennifer O'Connor, Local 506

Kevin Devine's jangly, major-chord rock and decidedly high-school vocals will probably appeal to a pretty select audience: those who continue to buy new Ben Kweller albums. But if you're the type that listens to Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville with a wistful smile, wondering what the hell happened, you will undoubtedly like Brooklyn's Jennifer O'Connor. In fact, most anyone with a soft spot for hard-bitten but amiable female singer-songwriters is likely to appreciate her shuffling rhythms and breathy vocals, as well as her knack for lyrical detail. In support are Koufax, coming on like a Midwestern Strokes who've discovered keyboards, and Pablo, offering pared-down Americana. $10/ 8 p.m. —JM

Friday, February 16

Arlington Priest (early), Killer Filler (late), The Cave

Arlington Priest is classically trained singers Jill and Rhett McAllister. They left NYC after 9/11, got married and began pursuing a career together in music, playing reflective country-folk powered by terrific vocals and pop-friendly arrangements. Instrumental quintet Killer Filler (with ex-SCOTS keyboardist Chris Bess) feature a lively old-school bounce that will be appreciated by fans of The Ventures and Booker T. & The MGs. $5/ 7:30 p.m. & 10:30 p.m. —CP

Lucy Kaplansky, The ArtsCenter

I'm well aware that Lucy Kaplansky has a strong following, but I have to confess that the only thing my ears know for sure about her is "Song for Molly" from the Parkinson's disease benefit album, 38 Songs of Hope. Still, that song offers plenty proof of Kaplansky's winning way with a melody as well as her ability to break your heart with an image, and is more than enough to warrant a recommendation. $17/ 8:30 p.m. —RC

Anne McCue, The Gougers, Hideaway BBQ

Young Australian songwriter McCue counts John Doe and Lucinda Williams as her collaborators on her Koala Motel, and those are appropriate referents: Her words carry the empirical-truth edge of that pair, and she caters a winking playfulness fitting of Doe and the sensual air exuded by Williams at her best. But Koala Music shows that McCue may not quite be there: Her songwriting and the way it's handled by producer Dusty Wakeman occasionally waltz into schmaltzy, clichés, as opposed to the grit espoused by McCue's precedents. Still, when she's bare and bitten, as on "Bright Light of Day" and "Sweet Burden of Youth," she's capable of commanding (especially when she sounds like Stevie Nicks). $10-$12/ 9:30 p.m. —GC

Saturday, February 17

Akron/Family, Birds of Avalon, Duke Coffeehouse

The blessed bastard children of this whole mislabeled freak-folk parade, Akron/Family is among the best bands moving in the indie circuit right now, combining simple, eloquent songwriting with a complex ear for collective arrangement and improvisation: Their half of a 2005 split with Angels of Light is all momentum and motion, high-stepping from Syd Barrett flotation and Naked City thrash to reveries in idealism and studies in tongue-and-groove rock. It's a perfectly executed 25 minutes. Such A-to-Z, song-based interpolations aren't novel, but Akron/Family makes it feel—at the very least—fresh and, somehow, of one piece. This band is Brooklyn's real windfall. $6/ 10 p.m. —GC

Bill Kirchen , Jason Ringenberg, Hideaway BBQ

On the tribute to the Telecaster that gives his terrific new Hammer of the Honky-Tonk Gods its name, "Hot Rod Lincoln" riffmeister and Nick Lowe cohort/ kindred spirit Bill Kirchen memorably proclaims that it was "born at the junction of form and function" and then roll calls a host of Tele heroes, starting with Luther Perkins. Kirchen is much too unassuming to include himself on the list, but he sure belongs. Jason Ringenberg, a sweat already broken from a Farmer Jason matinee (Wait, I thought that was his brother?), opens. $12, $15/9:30 p.m. —RC

Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Carolina Theatre

Robert Randolph broke to big crowds in 2001 with The Word, a collaboration with John Medeski and The North Mississippi Allstars. Since that one-off, his popularity has eclipsed that of his earliest proponents. While it's true that part of his success is rooted in the novelty of his 13-string sacred steel guitar slamming onto secular stages, Randolph and his Family Band deserve loads of credit for their energy: Randolph knows how to party, and—after two hours with him—you'll probably know same sensation. Just wear your marching boots. $21-$25/ 9 p.m. —GC

Mel Melton & the Wicked Mojos, Blue Bayou

More than 35 years ago, former UNC student Mel Melton visited the Big Easy. He never truly returned. From the Cajun cuisine to the Zydeco sound, Melton's soaked it all up, learning how to make that Big Easy musical gumbo bubble on stage alongside greats such as Clifton Chenier and Sonny Landreth. He knows how to cook up the Orleans, whether it's behind a stove or in front of his Wicked Mojos. If anyone can serve up a proper Mardi Gras in North Cack, it's Mel. 9:30 p.m. —CP

Farmer Jason, Hideaway BBQ

"People think that it's easier to do the children's show, but that's actually not the case," says Farmer Jason, the (chuckle, chuckle) twin brother of the equally animated Jason Ringenberg of Scorchers fame. "The concentration level for a children's show is very high; you have to really be on it. If you lose control of a room full of kids, you have a real problem." Bring your youngsters to this 1 p.m. matinee and see how it's done, courtesy of Farmer Jason's engaging manner and tunes from his A Day at the Farm and Rockin' in the Forest. No problem. Reservations at 828-5226. $5/ 1 p.m. —RC

Sunday, February 18

Jimbo Mathus & Knockdown South, Blue Bayou

Like Jonathan Richman, Jimbo Mathus is an American original, a swamp-addled iconoclast crossing the roots landscape with the itinerate spirit of the wind. From the Squirrel Nut Zippers to his various solo vehicles, Mathus has explored a vast sonic expanse—jump jazz, hill-country blues, country-folk and bar room boogie—all united by his magnetic stage presence and persistent unpredictability. $12-$16/ 9:30 p.m. —CP

Singer/Songwriter Night, The Pour House

Vin Scelsa's "In Their Own Words" shows at NYC's Bottom Line and the occasional special episode of "Austin City Limits" increased awareness of the songwriter circle/guitar pull format (and Jeff Hart's "Songwriter Alliance" brought it local), but it's no doubt existed since there've been songwriters and rooms big enough to hold two of 'em. Lynn Blakey, Jeffrey Dean Foster, Kenny Roby and Rob Watson star in this latest N.C. installment. $6-$8/ 8 p.m. —RC

Wednesday, February 21

Kris Kristofferson, Meymandi Concert Hall

The first three LPs that I can remember in my house growing up were by Johnny Cash, Roger Miller, and the only gentlemen of the three still with us, Kris Kristofferson. Even before that record's appearance in my family's living room close to 40 years ago, Kristofferson was already justifying his reputation as a songwriter's songwriter, with his songs ultimately recorded by Messrs. Cash and Miller and many, many others. Last year's well-received This Old Road showed that he still has plenty of game. $35-$40/ 8 p.m. —RC

Catie Curtis, Adrianne, The Pour House

Water and Stone. It's the simple juxtaposition of fortitude with fluidity, and it's the perfect comparison for Catie Curtis' raw folk aesthetic. It's also a cut from Curtis' newest album Long Night Moon, where the folk songstress plays up the two opposing sides of her own human nature. Sometimes, she's the compassionate mother cradling her two adopted daughters in a river of never-ending love; then she turns on the forward-thinking political power of "People Look Around," a hard-nosed demand for world change. She's the water and the stone. Singer-songwriter Adrianne shares the stage. $15-$18/ 8 p.m. —KJ

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