For the week of August 16 through 22 | Best Bets | Indy Week

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For the week of August 16 through 22

Patty Griffin
  • Patty Griffin

In successful second chances

According to the 2000 U.S. Census, approximately 32 percent of America's bad music jokes after 1994 involved Dave Matthews. Sure, the tripping billy and his Kermit-esque stage banter are worthy of puns and imitation, but, as the co-founder of ATO Records since 2001, Matthews has managed to give several nearly neglected acts new life: David Gray finally found a stateside audience, Chris Whitley inked a major-label deal and the mighty My Morning Jacket found the somewhat-mainstream appeal it deserved. Not least among those success stories is Patty Griffin, a Massachusetts singer-songwriter who released two albums on A&M before being dropped. She floundered about the industry before ATO picked her up four years later, and the three albums since have been the best of her career. Their superiority stems from carefully understated production and flourishes that accent Griffin's gorgeous elliptical narratives and smoked-crystal voice, serving for the sake of the song, not the sales. Thanks, Dave. Griffin plays at the N.C. Museum of Art on Saturday, Aug. 18 at 8 p.m. Reserved seats run $15 to $18, lawn seats are $13 or $6.50 for kids 6-12. For info and tickets, call 715-5923 or visit --Grayson Currin

Carolina Rollergirls
  • Carolina Rollergirls
In last stands

The Carolina Rollergirls continue to roll: In this, their third season, the Oak City Rollers have taken to out-of-town bouts and taken in a third team, The Tai Chi-Tahs. The Chi-Tahs take on the Debutante Brawlers on Sunday, Aug. 20 at the Skate Ranch of Raleigh in the season championship, a fleet feat indeed for a team still in its first season. This is also the last Rollergirls bout at the Skate Ranch, as they will finish the last three bouts of the year at the much larger Dorton Arena. It's most remarkable that a professional hockey team couldn't find revenue to stay in Dorton, but an altogether grassroots organization has managed to build up to it. Tickets are $5 to $10. For more information, visit --Grayson Currin

Josh Kelley
  • Josh Kelley

In big benefits

It's been three years since an A&R rep from Hollywood Records stumbled upon a few of Josh Kelley's homemade recordings floating on Napster, catapulting the young college student to mainstream fame. It's easy to see why the label zeroed Kelley out among the millions of hopefuls crowding Napster: His sound followed the sentimental lyrics and jangly acoustic guitar that characterize John Mayer and Jason Mraz , almost guaranteeing album sales. But Kelley's rise wasn't instantaneous, giving him ample room to mature and grow as an artist. Now, after a few years in the business, Kelley's sound has evolved past the wonderland of acoustic rock and cashed in on processed guitars over electronic programming to create a more dynamic image. But even with the new approach, Kelley has retained his best quality: the ability to pen a song with honest, intriguing lyrics that express the down-to-earth sentiment that made him so likeable from the start. On Wednesday, Aug. 23, Kelly will play at the woodsy outdoor Koka Booth Amphitheatre at Regency Park in Cary. The concert begins with Charles Kelly at 7:30 p.m. Tickets go for $15 or $25, with net proceeds going to The V Foundation for Cancer Research. For more information, visit --Kathy Justice

In small-d democratic parties

This spring's primary election put progressives on track to take the Chatham Board of County Commissioners back from development interests. But there are many tough political fights ahead. One is being led by an alliance of Chatham citizens who are taking the Board of Elections to court, alleging that the board has not followed the open meetings and public records laws, holding so-called "emergency" closed-door sessions in order to avoid public scrutiny. Lawsuits are expensive. To raise money, a group called Chatham Voters is throwing a Legal Defense Fundraiser Fête this Saturday, Aug. 19 at The Inn at Celebrity Dairy, which will include live music by (former Squirrel Nut Zippers) Maxwell & Mosher. The party goes from 6 to 9 p.m. No entry fee, though donations are encouraged. RSVP to For more information, call 360-2492 or visit The inn is located at 2106 Mt. Vernon Hickory Mountain Road in Siler City. For directions, visit --Fiona Morgan

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