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Music worth leaving the house to hear this week

Fairburn Royals
Bickett Gallery
Thursday, Oct. 14

Taking inspiration from Athens peers Neutral Milk Hotel and Elf Power, this melodi-pop outfit pens tender tracks suffused with hooks and sonic warmth. There's a loose, friendly quality that infuses their songs, which purvey a psychedelic folk jangle but can also break into a restless rock pace at times. The smile of a coffee shop barista, a touch on the arm by a cutie in a crowded bar: this is the casual intimacy of Fairburn Royals. Add to this a sweet, cockeyed lyricism that lauds "Japan" for its smiles and bonus tracks, "Secretary Day" as "one day you'll notice I'm even here," and passing "The Rapture" with lovely Sara Bell. Primetime foot-tapping, head-nodding pop. --CP

Rock the Lemurs benefit
Ooh la Latte
Friday, Oct. 15

Locals International Orange and Velvet and Ohio's Cari Clara team up to play a show in support of the Duke Primate Center, home to about 300 prosimians representing 25 species including the mouse, mongoose and fat-tailed dwarf lemurs along with various slow and slender lorises. Info on the show at and on Duke's land of lemurs at

Concrete Blonde
Cat's Cradle
Friday, Oct. 15

"Still in Hollywood," the single from their debut album, sounded like an answer to the X classic "Sex & Dying in High Society." Concrete Blonde's next two albums, Free and Bloodletting, are the apogee of their oeuvre, with dark lyrical tone and grinding, mid-tempo alt-rock guitar, the latter scoring them an unlikely gold album for the alcoholic anthem "Joey." The next two albums sold poorly and the band called it quits in 1993, but reunited nine years later, and just released their second studio album since, Mojave. --CP

The Honored Guests CD Release Party with North Elementary, The Rachel Nevadas
Local 506
Saturday, Oct. 16

Russ Baggett, Jeremy Buenviaje and Andrew Kinghorn--all survivors of the Pearl Jam/Radiohead-inflected former Chapel Hill college band Milo--reunited earlier this year to form The Honored Guests. Kinghorn's rock 'n' roll temperament finally sees the light of day, as he makes a better cymbal-booming drummer than pedal-playing guitarist. Baggett seems to have found his thing, too: stylistic variation as content with taffy melodies and pop songs as with his past monotype of brooding introspection. --GC

Sadlack's Benefit for SAFEchild
Saturday, Oct. 16

A big nod to Sadlack's for hosting this benefit for the not-for-profit, child-abuse prevention agency SAFEchild ( The first two hours are family time with clowns, games, a puppet show and bluegrass music from the onomatopoetically named Yellen' Horsely. Next up, a fish fry dinner at $7 a plate, and then the music kicks in with one-hour sets from Rob Watson, Dexter Romweber, Econoline and Leadfoot. All proceeds go to SAFEchild of Wake County, so play, eat and rock for a great cause. The show runs 3-9:30 p.m. --RC

Critters Buggin, Benevento/Russo Duo
Lincoln Theatre
Sunday, Oct. 17

It's a shame that Ropeadope--the robust New York label that boasts Antibalas, Tin Hat Trio, DJ Logic and and Charlie Hunter--seems compelled to perpetuate its image as a thinking hippy jazz hideaway, continually causing some of its finest records to be overlooked by those frustrated with the label's twirl-and-smoke following. Stampede, the label's most recent release and the first outing in five years from Seattle's Critters Buggin, is hard to ignore, though: chillingly tranquil moments hunker down in descending basslines, ubiquitous vibes and under-the-covers sheets of distortion before combusting upon impact with the brilliantly liquid drumming of Matt Chamberlain. If Medeski, Martin & Wood mean anything to you, this is essential listening. --GC

Stanley Jordan
Tuesday, Oct. 19

Jordan graduated from Princeton with a degree in music theory and composition, and then made a living as a street musician playing for change in various cities from Philadelphia and New York to towns in the Midwest and South for a couple years before signing a label deal. His shuffling jazz style incorporates not just contemporary jazz but elements of blues and pop. Much of Jordan's fame is related to his startling stylistic proficiency with "touch" playing using hammer-ons and pull-offs (think Eddie Van Halen) to create a layered sound of multiple guitars at the same time.

Radio 4, Jett Rink
Local 506
Wednesday, Oct. 20

Radio 4's model remains Gang of Four, but on their latest, Stealing of a Nation, the beats are turned up and the production shines like lemon-scented Pledge, sapping the band of much of their jagged energy. The crunchy riffs are still there, but the rock-steady dance beats that throb loudly like the vein in the corner of your forehead after a night of too much house music whither the throttling dance-punk of their last album, Gotham! Openers Jett Rink conjure a new wave-driven rock roar that provides ample ballast for the entertaining, chaotic stage antics of Iggy-esque frontman Viva. --CP

Red Elvises
The Pour House
Wednesday, Oct. 20

"What we do is very eclectic music," says Red Elvises' guitarist Victor Yuzov. "It's rockabilly/surf, Russian, like traditional music, heavy on rock and some disco and jazz. And I like Mediterranean, so we've put it in there too." Their bumper sticker says it a bit more succinctly: "Kick-ass rock'n'roll from Siberia." Although they share the King's name, they don't do impersonations. "We did a little bit of Elvis' tunes," says Yuzov, "but not any more. He's the best to do his own songs. But just the name stuck to us." --GB

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