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Music worth leaving the house to hear this week

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Doyle Bramhall
Nash County Cultural Center, Thursday, May 8, 8 p.m.

On his new album, Fitchburg Street, drummer-vocalist-former-Vaughn-Brother collaborator Doyle Bramhall doesn't travel far from the music he grew up on: the blues of Howlin' Wolf, the soul of O.V. Wright and the rock and roll that was busting out all over. Not a bad place to stay rooted. You, however, will have to travel a bit to see him: Bramhall becomes the latest first-rate performer to grace the Nash County Cultural Center in downtown Nashville, N.C. Call (252) 459-4734 for ticket information. --Rick Cornell

Tomas Jirku
Float night, Club Element, Friday, May 9, 9 p.m.

The Czech-born, Toronto-based Mr. Jirku is a DJ-producer who delivers vodka-clear dance-floor rhythms with washes of fuzz and crackle amidst the shaking house and techno beats. Call it new funk with finesse. The Float crew, including DJs Riktor (techno) and One Duran (drum and bass) get things started. Kick off your summer-night clubbing right! For more information: 960-0070.--Chris Toenes

Ellen Gray Memorial Society Ball
Cat's Cradle, Friday, May 9, 8 p.m.

When breast cancer took Ellen Gray last summer, the Triangle music scene lost a talented and affable presence. More tragically, many people, both inside and outside the music crowd, lost a dear friend. On May 9, the Cat's Cradle will host the first annual Ellen Gray Memorial Society Ball, an event that will honor the memory of Ms. Gray and raise money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Confirmed for the show is a varied list of artists who played music with Ms. Gray at different points in her career. The line-up ranges from the country-leaning likes of John Howie, Tift Merritt and Steve Howell to graceful poppers Glory Fountain and, in one of their semi-annual performances, the Neil Diamond All Stars. The show starts at 8 p.m., with a suggested donation of $10. --Rick Cornell

T-Model Ford with Robert Belfour and the Dynamite Brothers
Local 506, Saturday, May 10, 10 p.m.

The most hardcore bluesman of the Fat Possum Records stable, Ford is pushing eighty and still drinks Jack from the bottle. He serves up the rawest, electric, hill-country stomp. Fellow Mississippian Robert Belfour joins him, while our own rough-edged rock trio, the Dynamite Brothers, kick it off. For more information: 942-5506. --Chris Toenes

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks
Cat's Cradle, Saturday, May 10, 10 p.m.

Is it "voices of their generation week"? Neither one would claim the title, but the young gun for the throne and the old man peering out suspiciously from under the cowboy-hat crown are both in town this week. Stephen Malkmus continues to write songs that always sound like they might cohere into some mind-bending philosophy for life even as they fracture into shards of odd observations, sharp one-liners and witty asides. The ex-Pavement leader's latest gem, Pig Lib, with his group the Jicks, finds him speaking in the usual, brilliantly puzzling rhymes while flaunting his singularly-catchy indie-rock guitar riffage.

Bob Dylan
Amphiteatre at Regency Park, Tuesday, May 13, 7 p.m.

After spending a few years toying with his own lead-guitar skills on tour, Dylan has recently been positioning himself behind the keyboards--piano or organ. His sets usually mixes old classics, new compositions and a few covers. Wizened, mysterious, sometimes unleashing his music to the heavens, other times gripping his songs in an asphyxiating gruffness, Dylan's voice scrapes the bedrock of American song while it reaches toward eternity. --Michael J. Kramer

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