The Frosted Sugar Bombs and Tad Dreis
Bynum General Store
Friday, July 25
Here's a nice double bill if you're in the mood for some porch-sitting in Bynum. (And who isn't?) Tad Dreis is the maker of swell folk-pop, and a young guy who has broken out of the binds of alphabetical order to file his Jack Logan CDs next to his Crowded House CDs. His "I Said I" is a jangly marvel with a bittersweet story to tell and one of the catchiest tunes you'll hear coming out of North Carolina this year. The Frosted Sugar Bombs are a brand new, veteran-stocked outfit--Jeff Hart (The Ruins, Brown Mountain Lights), Tom Meltzer (5 Chinese Brothers), Mike Nicholson (X-Rayons, Stratocruiser) and Eddie Watkins (Polvo)--dedicated to the big, goofy two-minute pop song. If, as suggested here recently, Terry Anderson's Olympic Ass-Kicking Team is the batter-fried Rockpile, then the Frosted Sugar Bombs are Rockpile with a delicious candy shell. --Rick Cornell
Gavin DeGraw with Sister Hazel and Virginia Coalition
Tuesday, July 29, 8 p.m.
Given Gavin DeGraw's warm, dopy grin and his nonchalant, slightly goofy mannerisms, you'd probably never expect that DeGraw--a 26-year-old multi-instrumentalist with a voice as rich and languid as that of an Allman Peach--is the next piano-wielding star of Top 40 radio. With a storyteller's wit and charm that manages to avoid folk didactic and with chord progressions that pay homage to Steve Perry while remaining thankfully free of ballad cliches, DeGraw--whose J-Records' debut, Chariot, was released yesterday--may be big. No, he will be huge. Sister Hazel headlines. Virginia Coalition opens. --Grayson Currin
Primordial Undermind with ST 37 and Robot Vs. Rabbit
Tuesday, July 29, 9 p.m.
The Undermind and ST 37, two Austin-based purveyors of psych-rock, are coming to shake the walls at Carrboro's Nightlight. The former works in straight heavy guitar workouts, while the latter takes the drone vibe out toward Krautrock freaks like Amon Duul or Can. Not be left out, the Kannapolis, N.C., openers Robot vs. Rabbit keeps the local head trip fires burning. For more information: 933-5550. --Chris Toenes