(all shows on Feb 14 unless otherwise noted)
Meltzer/Hart Valentines Day Show
Francesca's on Ninth Street, 8 p.m.
Distinguished Durhamites Tom Meltzer, former member of NYC-based roots heroes Five Chinese Brothers, and Jeff Hart (he of the 47 bands, including the power-popping Frosted Sugar Bombs with Meltzer) team up for their second-annual acoustic Valentine's Day show.
Expect many, um, hart-meltzing moments as the pair dip into catalogs as deep as a lover's eyes, or something appropriately mushy like that. This year the show moves from The Cave to the even more romantic Francesca's on Ninth Street. "All I Need," "Rose of Sharon," and a half-pound chocolate eclair--it doesn't get much better than that. --Rick Cornell
Pico vs. Island Trees w/ Kellin Watson
Fifth Annual Love Hangover
The Gaze & The Loners, Basement Studios If a night at Meymandi Hall watching Jessica Jones front the North Carolina Symphony or an evening at Memorial Auditorium evading Javert doesn't sound very exciting to you and the love of your life (or at least the love of your life until tomorrow morning), there are a handful of alternatives in Raleigh this year. Pico vs. Island Trees will host a Valentine's Ball at the Lincoln Theatre along with charming Appalachian singer/songwriter Kellin Watson and Far Too Jones ex-pats, The Clear. Expect some '80s love ballads from the Pico boys just days after the release of their debut, just wait.
If pop doesn't fit your bill, rock away Valentine's evening (show starts at 8 p.m.) with The Loners at Basement Studios after catching the intriguing splices of ambience and noise from the night's opener, The Gaze.
Or, you can head over to Kings, where ten premiere Triangle talents will join each other two-by-two for the Fifth Annual Love Hangover: Caroline Mamoulides will join Scott Phillips, and Glory Fountain's Lynn Blakey will perform alongside the ultra-talented Rob Watson. Other participants include Katrina Lamberto of The Ready Set, David Mueller of Strange and Jeremy Lowe of The Greatest Hits. And hell, that don't even include good ol' Kid Rock at the RBC Center. He'll probably have a heart on. --Grayson Currin
Neil Diamond All-Stars, Dave Spencer Band
The salvation show returns to the Cradle for a very special Valentine show. Along with brother Jack Whitebread, the All-Stars feature a line up of, well, all stars including Grand National's Ed Crawford, Laura King and Jenni Snider, and the fabulous Sonar Stange on backing vocals. The show is part of series this month honoring the late Randy Ward.
Pink Slips, The Breaks
It's all-Chatham night (billed as the 2nd Annual Valentine's Pittsboro Power Pop Explosion)as The Breaks, one of the Circle City's newest ensembles and the Pink Slips crank it up at The Cavern Tavern. Show starts around 10 p.m.
Library Blues Concert, 6 String Cafe
Cary, Noon-2 p.m., $3
The Wake County Library is teaming up with Bamboo Music to present an afternoon of blues, poetry and civil rights writings Feb. 14 at Cary's Six String Cafe. As well as being a recording label Ken Weigand's Bamboo Music is also a training center that teaches children vocal, instrumental, song writing and performance skills. Students Marissa Jensen, Matt Uribe, Meredith Haight, Jessica Graham, Paul Wheeler and Jonathon Jackson will be performing blues from the '50s and '60s. The program is a tie- in with the Wake County Library's Reads Together Project, which promotes the idea of everyone in Wake County reading the same book, Lewis Nordan's Wolf Whistle, January 4-April 1st. The book is an account of the 1955 lynching of Emmet Till. --Grant Britt
Sage Francis with Joe Beats
Wed. Feb. 11
Cat's Cradle, $12
Don't be surprised that it took a rapper like Sage Francis --a straight-edged, self-described Providence "disaholic" with an unrelenting attitude matched only by his considerable microphone skills--to launch the "Fuck Clear Channel Tour" with the explicit motto of "Changing the Rules to How Shows Get Thrown." After all, Francis, who appears at the Cradle with Grand Buffet, Mac Lethal and The Gimme Fund, isn't afraid of anybody. "I'm not left-wing or right-wing, I'm the middle finger," he spits above the old-school production of Beats, on Hope, their first album as the Non-Prophets duo. Francis is perhaps the most provocative and dangerous rhymer in America, pairing a venomous wit and an aversion to pop culture with nihilistic, irreverent propensities. --Grayson Currin