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Music worth leaving the house to hear this week

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My Dear Ella
The Cave
Thursday, Nov. 11
Friday, Nov. 12

The psychedelic warmth created by the heavy riffs laid down by My Dear Ella would be enough to warm a rainbow gathering, were the thick crunch of distortion-rife downstrokes equivalent to BTUs. Loud, humming bursts of melody explode like a Fourth of July fireworks show, creating immediate flashbacks to My Bloody Valentine and the heyday of nearly tactile sonic textures. --CP

Jeffrey Lewis
Temple Ball
Thursday, Nov. 11

Comic book writer/illustrator and Moldy Peaches protege Jeffrey Lewis mines a similar musical territory, generally compartmentalized as "anti-folk." Usually this involves applying the over-the-top energy and snarky, in-joke humor of punk to the acoustic singer/songwriter realm, but while of the same ilk musically, Lewis' songs are fractured, alienated and somehow tenderly naive loner tales, like Welcome to the Dollhouse from a male perspective and put to music. --CP

Suzy Bogguss
Cat's Cradle
Friday, Nov. 12

For quite a while now, so-called country music has been more about pop than country. On her latest release, Swing, Suzy Bogguss adds jazz to the genre. Funny thing is, it sounds like she's been doing it forever. Turns out she has. When Bogguss started out, she was mixing jazz standards with her country. But it's more out of town than uptown, thanks to producer Ray Benson and past and present members of his band Asleep At The Wheel, who add a Bob Wills touch to standards like Duke Ellington's "Do Nothing 'Til You Hear From Me." It's a nice touch of class in a genre that sorely needs it. --GB

The Everybodyfields
Bickett Gallery
Friday, Nov. 12

This trio from Johnson City, Tenn., tends to leave many a believer and many a Gillian Welch comparison it its wake. The Everybodyfields' debut Halfway There: Electricity & The South is what some in the business might call a quiet, sneaky little record, equally suitable for a Mountain Stage appearance or a slow wake-up on a Sunday. --RC

The Straight 8s
Sadlack's
Friday, Nov. 12

Sporting a guitarist who regularly vacations at the Viva Las Vegas festival, a drummer with deep punk roots and a bass player who played electric bass in half the bands in the Triangle before switching to the upright, rockabilly band the Straight 8s somehow make music that sounds both refined and raw. And their songs hit all the right topics: cars ("Draggin' Down Main Street"), girls ("Candy Doll") and car girls ("Hot Rod Queen"). --RC

The Woggles, Holly GoLightly, The Spinns
Local 506
Saturday, Nov. 13

With a sound patterned on The Who and appropriated by The Hives, The Woggles represent rock and roll at its most basic level. The former Athens quartet, now based in Atlanta, are Sleazefest regulars who always get the crowd shakin' and howlin' along with their three-chord symphonies. Led by a mop-top who looks like a relative of Sleazefest emcee Beatle Bob and backed by a drummer who got his start playing drums at age 11 in his father's band The Country Gentlemen, The Woggles are a mind-bending look back into the savage heart of rock and roll. Folk rocker Holly Golightly co-stars on this bill. --GB

J. Mascis & the Fog
Lincoln Theatre
Saturday, Nov. 13

Kurt Cobain asked him to be Nirvana's drummer, but instead he started his own group, Dinosaur Jr., featuring a sound like Neil Young with feedback and more attitude. When Dinosaur Jr. broke up in '97, the noise punk-pop outfit The Fog came out. The group has featured My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields, Guided By Voices' Robert Pollard, fIREHOSE's Mike Watt and earlier this year featured Panic's Dave Schools and Tom Collins' Kyle Spence. --GB

Carrie Newcomer
Six Sting Cafe
Saturday, Nov. 13

Carrie Newcomer describes herself as a sweet-sounding folk singer who's pissed off. Sounding like a cross between Kathy Mattea and a huskier-voiced Mary Chapin-Carpenter with a vibrato, the country-tinged folkie's Quaker activism is evident in many of her songs, but she sounds so damn good that you don't feel like you're being preached to. --GB

The Avett Brothers
Kings
Saturday, Nov. 13

Brothers Scott (banjo and vocals) and Seth Avett (guitar and vocals) and upright-bass-playing buddy Bob Crawford peddle a spirited blend of bluegrass, old-time and folk, with pop melodies, shouted harmonies and punk energy all on board in equal measure. Theirs is a whirlwind presence, which has earned the trio comparisons to Jason & The Scorchers and the Pogues. --RC

Badly Drawn Boy, Adem
Cat's Cradle
Sunday, Nov. 14

Former bassist of shape-shifting but disappointingly defunct British post-rockers Fridge, Adem Ilhan's debut, Homesongs, is as innovative as anything you're likely to hear from any solo act in coming years. Recorded in his bedroom, these introspective, slept-in tropes are picture-perfect snapshots from a romance ending in slow, poetic motion. Brilliant songs over crackling acoustics, sustained glockenspiels and lush harp sweeps that, appropriately, will make headliner Badly Drawn Boy seem all too humdrum. --GC

Giant Sand, Sally Timms, Johnny Dowd
Local 506
Monday, Nov. 15

Howe Gelb and his revolving cast in Giant Sand achieve what most mere alt-country or roots bands can, capturing the cloudy effects of time and place in both states of heartbreak and epiphany. Gelb often entrenches his work so deeply in his Arizona landscape, one wonders if his gravelly voice scratches from burying himself like a saguaro cactus in the native desert. Don't miss Sally Timms of the legendary Mekons, and opener Johnny Dowd. --CT

Matthew Sweet, Velvet Crush
Cat's Cradle
Monday, Nov. 15

Sweet may have dropped off the radar of many hook and harmony pop junkies in recent years, but his songwriting panache and way with a phrase have never been stronger. He's touring on a brand new album and the domestic release of a formerly Japanese-only record. Arriving early is required to see the direct, sublime power pop of Sweet's kindred spirit band Velvet Crush. --CT

Divided Like a Saint's
Nightlight
Tuesday, Nov. 16

If Pavement had used samples and a lot of acid, the result may have been something like Divided Like a Saint's, a Georgia rock band with an off-kilter song sense developed around twisting guitar lines and evaporating time signatures. And oddly enough, they've been known to do a Coldplay cover or two. --GC

Hot Snakes, The Ponys
Cat's Cradle
Tuesday, Nov. 16

Two of the best caustic rock bands going, Hot Snakes and The Ponys revel in heavy riffing and cranking the volume up to the max. The Snakes' approach is crunchy, tight guitar licks backed with enough venomous angst in their songs to fill several rattlers' fangs. The Ponys celebrate the fuzzed-out noisy mix of psych-infused freak rock a la Stooges with a vocalist who spits phrases like street poet Richard Hell. --CT

Sound of Urchin, Instant Death
Local 506
Wednesday, Nov. 17

Like The Dead Milkmen, Ween and Tenacious D, Sound of Urchin make funny, goofy albums full of self-conscious music jokes (lame '70s sax solos, thrash metal take-offs) and silly subjects. At times it's just a piss-take, other times it's more of a joyous goof, reminiscent of They Might Be Giants. Instant Death is Ween bassist David Dreiwitz and drummer/keyboardist Scott Byrne, who've been making music off and on for almost 15 years. --CP

Monsonia
Nightlight
Wednesday, Nov. 17

Monsonia plays math rock that manages to be as fleet and able as it is sludgy and heavy, matching serpentine guitar lines with concomitant walls of overdriven, gargled distortion and one of the more dexterous rim shot 'n' high hat drum attacks that the Triangle currently claims. Picture Unwound and Don Cab tripping to the dark side, smudging the formula up a bit with an ol' dose of essential indie vocal wobble. --GC

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