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Music worth leaving the house to hear this week

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Seven Mary Three with Parklife
Lincoln Theatre
Wednesday, July 9

Some may still be inclined to call it post-Cobain kitty-cat rock 'n' roll full of the angst and emotional detachment that turned the Florida quartet of Seven Mary Three onto a national audience with their 1994 single "Cumbersome." But since their glorious, painstaking debut disc American Standard, these boys have gone from snare-snapping guitar rock to one of the most undeniably determined but chronically underestimated manifestations of a New Wave education that survived grunge America. These days, "Rock Crown" would be considered a gem. --Grayson Currin

Kings Barcade Fourth Anniversary Weekend
July 10-13

Those cats down at Kings have earned themselves one hell of a reputation for throwing parties with all the trappings of legend, and they seem bound and determined not to slip with their fourth anniversary shindig that stretches straight from a Dr. Gonzales/Skybolt 6 gig on Thursday to Neu Romance with DJ Madcow on Sunday night. The real fun, though, gets started Friday night with one of the best talent shows you may ever witness, judged by a panel of your favorite (but completely fake) celebrities and rock stars. Bring your sleeping bag; if you miss Johnray Fuller's DIA DEL DESTINO! Mexican wrestling bonanza and the tunes of the accordion-playing, self-deprecating and altogether funny-as-hell Corn Mo, you'll want to kick your own ass. For more information, visit www.kingsbarcade.com. --Grayson Currin

The Straight 8s
Bynum General Store, Friday, July 11

Central North Carolina trio The Straight 8s mix together a serious dose of rockabilly, swing, surf, and old country. I freely admit that the last half of that sentence comes straight off the band's Web site. However, having seen the guys in action, I can vouch for that description. Here's another way of saying it: If you like Wayne Hancock, Ronnie Dawson, and/or Deke Dickerson, then you're going to like The Straight 8s. As a bonus, Pat McGraw has recently taken over the standup bass slot, which means the 8s are now no more than three degrees separated from any other Triangle band. --Rick Cornell

The Balance with the Loners and the Ghost of Rock
Go! Studios
Friday, July 11, 9 p.m.

Newish Raleigh pop trio the Balance includes Jim Brantley (ex-Ashley Stove) and Matt McCaughan (Portastatic), so the songs are taut and straight-ahead. With a double shot of local Demonbeach Records folks, both Loners and Ghost of Rock, the lean mean rock will be the order of the night as well. This one sizes up to be a large local music roundup. For more information: 969-1400. --Chris Toenes

Two Cow Garage, Temple Ball Gallery and Performance Space
Sunday, July 13

If you line up the numerous Uncle Tupelo name-drops that this twangrock trio has inspired courtesy of their debut Please Turn the Gas Back On and their high-energy shows, those references just might reach from the band's homebase of Columbus, Ohio, all the way to Carrboro. Not that these young guys are home that much anyway: By 2003's end they will have played about 300 shows for the year, including opening slots for Slobberbone and Drive-By Truckers. Like those kindred spirits, Two Cow Garage gets filed in alt-country's crank-it-up drawer, a drawer that can never be too full. --Rick Cornell

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