Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Countdown Quartet
Thursday, March 4, 9:15 p.m. $13 in advance
New Orleans fixture "Tuba Fats Lacen," Dirty Dozen's original tuba player and the man who gave new meaning to the phrase "air bass," passed away in January, but the band he grooved with is still rolling. Originally formed as Dirty Dozen Social and Pleasure Club in the tradition of the Crescent City's great brass bands, Dirty Dozen has recorded with an eclectic mix of artists over the years including David Bowie, David Byrne, Modest Mouse and, in their latest release, Norah Jones. If you've never seen this group or if you're in need of a serious brass fix this is the show. Countdown Quartet opens. Both bands can really move some air.
Patty Hurst Shifter/Dodd Ferrelle & the Tinfoil Stars
Pour House Music Hall
Friday, March 5, $5
Opening for hometowners Patty Hurst Shifter at the Pour House, Savannah native Dodd Ferrelle will bring a little of his own home (surf &) turf to Raleigh courtesy of his region-honoring songs. Ferrelle's latest album, a compilation titled Sweet Lowland, raids his previous releases for tunes that make reference to Savannah or nearby Tybee Island. The Celt-leaning rootsy rock that he makes with his band, the Tinfoil Stars, can be as bracing as the salty sea air, which makes his cover of the Waterboys' "Fisherman Blues" both an inspired and perfectly understandable choice. -- Rick Cornell
Axis of Change Showcase
Friday, March 5
Another "Anybody But Bush" showcase from the Raleigh-based regime-change-begins-at-home organization with Goner, Siberian, The Sames and The Pink Slips. www.axisofchange.org
Cole Guerra, Ryan Pound
Thursday, March 4
Fourteen months ago, a friend forced me to The Six String Cafe to hear another pal of his play. He was decent--light pop, lots of fun, but nothing serious. A man named Cole Guerra was headlining, and I knew nothing about him. I walked away stunned. Guerra looks like he sounds--discontent, pensive, worried. He is one of the moodiest, most foreboding songwriters we've got, and he doesn't shy away from his demons. Instead, he confronts them in staggered verse just above ramshackle, sinuous guitar lines and overtaxed melodies. A little bit like what Ben Folds would sound like if he was half-himself, half-Jason Lytle. Guerra returns for his first Triangle show since that night and the musical hiatus that followed. Ryan Pound opens. For more, visit coleguerra.com.
Junior Brown, Chatham County Line
Friday, March 5, 9:15 p.m., $16 in advance
Junior Brown doesn't mess around when it comes to defining his sound: "Country," he says with finality. But that label doesn't cover all the bases Junior does. Mentored by Ernest Tubb, the guitarist's vocal style resembles Dave Dudley as he rips through a repertoire of styles ranging from country to rock to jazz to Hawaiian and back to country, often in the same song. Brown uses a guit-steel, a contraption of his own invention that marries a Telecaster to a lap steel propped on a music stand in front of him to get his signature sound. "I was lucky to come around when attitudes were starting to change," Brown said. "It was different, but for the most part, people listened and gave it a chance." Brown, who just signed a contract with blues and jazz label Telarc, is set to release his first record in three years in August. Bluegrass hometown heroes Chatham County Line opens the show. --Grant Britt
Forty Acres House Concert
Saturday, March 6, $15
Roots rock is undeniably an overused term--and I'm a chief offender--but it remains a perfect fit for the work of Peter Case. Whether he's unearthing something from Sleepy John Estes, taking the Pogues' "Pair of Brown Eyes" for a tipsy stroll, waxing soulful like a Stax or Hi survivor, or tackling tunes penned by great American song-poets Bob Dylan and Townes Van Zandt, Case always makes the songs sound as if they sprang from common (and hallowed) ground, their roots happily intertwined. And that's without even getting started on Case's own magnificent catalog, which ranges from pop-punk classic "A Million Miles Away" to such standards-in-waiting as "Blue Distance" and "Two Angels." www.fortyacres.org --Rick Cornell
Spelman College Jazz Ensemble
Hayti Heritage Center
Saturday, March 6, 7:30 p.m., $20, $15 for students
Started in 1983 and still led by founder Joe Jennings, the 14 singers and instrumentalists who make up the jazz ensemble from Atlanta's Spelman College return for a night featuring their interpretations of standards by Ellington, Coltrane and others. In the ten years since they started taking their act on the road, the ensemble has played the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Lincoln Center and dozens of campuses across the country. This trip to the area, the group's third in three years, is a fundraiser as well. Proceeds from the concert will go to the Josephine Dobbs Clement scholarships to help local students attend Spelman.
Ghost of Rock, Fake Swedish
Saturday, March 6
Spring is heading here quick. Time to break a sweat. This rock show with the vets from The Ghost and newcomers Fake Swedish looks like a good place to get some global warming started. Early show performer is Emily Waszak.
Jeff Hart & The Ruins, Dom Casual, The Nevers
Sunday, March 7
Punk rock takes a backseat at the Kings' Sunday matinee series for a power-pop funfest. Jeff Hart is consistently occupied with his Brown Mountain Lights project, so he doesn't do the Ruins thing very often. When he does, though, it's always a wide hook, rock 'n' roll pleasure. The Nevers play whip-smart guitar pop with an R.E.M disposition, and Dom Casual will touch on every era of American rock music in one half-hour set. Have fun, but don't tell Mom you were jammin' on a Sunday. The music begins at 5 p.m. --Grayson Currin
and coming up. . .
TV On The Radio, CocoRosie
Thursday, March 11
Ace's Basement, Greensboro
It's the first week of March, and the pencils are already pushing album-of-the-year lists. Somewhere near the top of that short stack is Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes, the near-perfect Touch n' Go Records debut from TV On The Radio--the expansive Brooklyn-based trio of Yeah Yeah Yeahs' producer David Sitek, roommate Tunde Adebimpe and new guy Kyp Malone. For starters, imagine Blur recording Think Tank in America with Brians of the Eno and Wilson varieties manning production. Then imagine The Rapture if said dance-punk playthings were nearly as interesting as they were self-obsessed. Essentially, imagine a sound where Dixieland jazz hook meets barbershop quartet harmony meets noise rock abstraction. Labelmate CocoRosie will open. This is well worth the drive. --Grayson Currin