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Music worth leaving your house to hear this week

WKNC benefit and high wattage celebration
Friday and Saturday Jan. 16-17

Two nights of local rock to celebrate WKNC's return to the Web and the station's boost in power to a kicking 25kw. Doors open at 9 p.m. and music starts at 10 p.m. each night. Friday's lineup is The Pink Slips, Schooner, The Greatest Hits, Proof and The Cartridge Family. Saturday features Sedona, Shadow of a Great Name, The Kickass, Dynamite Brothers, and Strange.

Cool John Ferguson
Local 506
Wednesday Jan. 14, 10 p.m.

Blues guitarist Cool John (he often wears sunglasses when performing) is no stranger to fans of roots music in the Triangle, and his notoriety outside of the South is growing. His residencies at the All People's Grill and now Bully's Basement have afforded many in the Durham area chances to catch him. He is deeply involved with the Music Maker Foundation in Hillsborough, receiving support from the foundation and helping other musicians with their projects. With a self-taught playing style that runs the spectrum between finesse and fireworks, Ferguson, who is in his fifties, is a unique talent in our area. He can drag you down in the hole with him on an electric blues that hits you in the stomach, only to lift you up high in the air with a soaring, Hendrix-like passage. Here's a chance to see his guitar sparks fly on Franklin Street, when he visits Chapel Hill. Don't miss this one. For more information, call 942-5506--Chris Toenes

The Strugglers with Erie Choir
Wednesday Jan. 14, 10 p.m.

Under the name The Strugglers, Chapel Hill's Randy Bickford crafts countrified neo-folk, with a distinctive quiver and crack in his voice. It's this feeling of shaking through the tales in his songs that gives them great weight; exactly what one wants in reflective, often somber, acoustic songwriting. Look for more from Bickford this year, both on record and at shows around town. Another group of locals banging out their homemade songs, Erie Choir were added to the bill as Jeffrey Lewis cancelled. So take advantage. For more information, call 933-5550. --Chris Toenes

The Nickel Slots, Uphonik, Rob Watson
The Brewery
Friday Jan. 16

The Slots are the new project from former Lustre front man Will Marley with a more-pop-less-noise feel. Rob Watson, who's worked with Kenny Roby and The New Electric Combo and Troy Smith's Kennebec among others, escapes from the studio for a night on the town.

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