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Music worth leaving the house to hear this week


Recess: Focus on Women Performers
Thursday, May 20

This episode of Recess, a monthly night of left-of-center projects by local folks, is being organized by local musician Anne Gomez, who's been active in Triangle rock groups over the years from The Blue Green Gods to Cantwell, Gomez and Jordan. There's quite a lineup of folks from all points of the map, including Holy Roman Empire's Joyce Ventimiglia, Sara Bell of Sharkquest and Regina Hexaphone, Amelia Burch of Roxotica, Bringerer's Amy Wilkinson, Dawn Shepherd of Rocketfire Red, Micro-East Collective member and Eugene Chadbourne collaborator Carrie Shull, and drummer Kerry Cantwell. Recess once again provides audiences with another perspective on local music, where there's always the potential to catch straight-ahead rockers breaking out and trying improv, where jazz players might work with dance beats for the first time. This special edition focusing on some of the strong women figures in local music is another welcome piece of the puzzle. Tickets are $5 and the show starts at 10 p.m. For information, call 933-5550. --Chris Toenes

The Clear, Parklife, Only Midnight, The Motion
Thursday, May 20
Lincoln Theatre

The Clear is the part-time rock band of Far Too Jones expatriates Christopher Spruill and Alan Callahan. They return to The Lincoln Theatre for the first time since February with Parklife, a classic rock-inspired trio that has been denied its due for much too long (thanks, in part, to the collapse of Mammoth Records and the rise of local corporate radio) despite playing some of the most ambitious and engaging melodies in town. Only Midnight, on the other hand, transcends bits of shabby songwriting cliches with the help of bassist Nic Slaton and one of the best pop guitarists in the area, John Briggs. Their full-length debut, Strangest Warning, will be available at the show. The Motion opens. For more information, visit --Grayson Currin

Demolition String Band, The Choosy Beggars
Friday, May 21
Pour House Music Hall

In just two albums, The Demolition String Band has traversed as much territory of the country music landscape as one could imagine. Their debut, 2001's supple Pulling Up Atlantis, found charter members Elena Skye and Boo Reiners covering "Like a Prayer" and mastering Two Dollar Pistols' twang with the help of a half-dozen other musicians, including pedal steel master Robert Randolph and former Family Band organist John Ginty. Now, though, the two have reverted to the duo format, playing the unadulterated string music of Ashe County legend Ola Belle Reed for the uninitiated. Expect their latest, Where the Wild, Wild Flowers Grow, to crop up in more than one album of the year list. The Choosy Beggars, an Asheville quartet of sharply dressed fellows, will delight even the jaded, playing an enthusiastic and sincere take on R&B and that ol' time rock n' roll. These guys are worth the $5 cover. For more information, visit --Grayson Currin

Rocky Votalato, Roy
Sunday, May 23
Kings Barcade

One would have been compelled to pity Rocky Votalato at Cat's Cradle two months ago. Standing onstage in front of a packed house of faux emo kids waiting for their faux emo saints The Get-Up Kids, Votalato was baring his soul to a crowd that could hardly have given a damn. The fact that his tune "Mix Tapes/Cell Mates" is on par with the classic "Don't Think Twice (It's All Right)" that he covered minutes later was completely lost on the throng. But, after listening to Votalato, you know that he doesn't want anybody's pity. Instead, the former Waxwing front man candidly and expertly projects his own vulnerabilities and issues towards his audience as a type of cathartic, misery-enjoys-company Suicide Medicine, the title of his 2003 acoustic masterpiece. Roy, a couple of Northern hardcore boys gone a la Wilco, headline. This show starts at 5 p.m. For more information, visit --Grayson Currin

The Weather, The Rosebuds, The Dynamite Brothers
Saturday, May 22
Kings Barcade

Unofficially, this will be The Rosebud's Vinyl Release Party for Pidgeon English's reissue of the band's smart and infectious Make Out, released last year to critical praise and popular glee on Merge Records. The set--to be issued on black vinyl with a bonus track and some reportedly unique liner notes--won't hit stores until July, but it will be for sale at Kings just two weeks after the band received the final pressing. Officially, though, this gig will be a generalized rock 'n' roll bash. The Weather kick it old school with big guitars and even bigger hooks, while The Dynamite Brothers kick it straight out of the garage with enough zeal for three gigs packed into one jam. And if you can't move to "Kicks in the Schoolyard," you ain't got no soul. --Grayson Currin

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