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Music worth leaving the house to hear this week


Animal Collective, Gang Gang Dance
Cat's Cradle
Thursday, Nov. 18

Picture this: a young singer/songwriter playing the acoustic guitar and singing with every square inch of his being. Forget everything you know. Panda Bear, the "melodic" half of Animal Collective, incorporates more pathos into his unscripted, free-ranging, no-holds-barred music than any "emocore" scribe in the business. No lyrics, just pure passion, pain and nostalgia played over scrambled, chirping electronic textures and pounded pianos, six-strings and percussion. Indefatigably original. Don't skip Gang Gang Dance. --GC

Dierks Bentley, Cross Canadian Ragweed
Page Auditorium, Duke
Thursday, Nov. 18

Dierks Bentley is one of a growing number of commercial country artists, along with such other young bucks as Joe Nichols and Daryle Singletary, whose sound is inspired by bluegrass and honky-tonk instead of the Eagles and Journey. Plus, Bentley had the excellent taste to cover a Buddy and Julie Miller song on his self-titled debut. Openers Cross Canadian Ragweed can share with him the pros and cons of having a song on a truck commercial. --RC

Go Machine, Shearwater, The Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers
Local 506
Thursday, Nov. 18

If you have the inkling to take a chance--and if our club scene is to survive, you better--this is the show to do it. The Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers have a lonesome, reflective sound reminiscent of Pedro the Lion or Damien Jurado. Go Machine have a curiously eclectic approach that spans art rock, electro-pop and chamber pop. Shearwater features Okkervil River's Will Sheff and plays thoughtful singer/songwriter rock in the vein of Nick Drake and Leonard Cohen. --CP

Helmet, Totimoshi
Lincoln Theatre
Friday, Nov. 19

In the '90s, their chunky, staccato sludge was an East Coast answer to Seattle, with a punishing rhythmic pulse that combined the low-end throb of Black Sabbath and the noisy guitar squall of Big Black. Leader Page Hamilton began with Sonic Youth-styled noisemeisters Band of Susans, but while evidencing their avant-garde sound in the uneven time signatures, Helmet thrived on its brutal guitar attack. Their return album, Size Matters, attempts to recapture old glories, but instead feels a bit played out. --CP

So Percussion
Baldwin Auditorium, Duke
Friday, Nov. 19

As part of the Milestones 2004 Festival of New, Recent and Landmark Music, co-sponsored by Duke and UNC-CH, New Haven quartet So Percussion will be unveiling interpretations of pieces composed specifically for the event by Duke graduate students. As for the outfit itself, drop the noisy bombast stereotype you may expect from most percussive units--there's a delicacy in the playing here, an exuberance and zeal for the script and sway of a piece, manifested in the care that goes into every ping, pop and plop. The show starts at 2 p.m. So Percussion returns for another show Sunday, Nov. 21 at 4 p.m. --GC

Tiala, The Kickass, Continent
Martin Street Music Hall
Friday, Nov. 19

When Japanese thrash syndicate Tiala decided to come stateside for a brief string of three shows, they chose against the obvious places--New York, Los Angeles, Washington--and instead opted for the 248-mile stretch of American asphalt between Greenville and Charlotte. Thank Bifocal Media founder Charles Cardello for this rare bit of Asian aural assault, as two of his acts--The Kickass and The Ladderback ex-coms Continent--hook up with Tiala on every trip East. --GC

Bouncing Souls
Cat's Cradle
Friday, Nov. 19

From kids jumping BMX bikes in their backyard to punk rock veterans, the core triumvirate of Bouncing Souls have literally come of age together. From happy-go-lucky pop-punkers under thrall of Green Day in the late '80s to current-day grizzled punkers that have built a layer of import and roc 'n' roll urgency onto their classic punk chassis, the New Brunswick, N.J. quartet has evolved into a top-shelf act of admirable heft and lyrical perspective. Not to be missed. --CP

E.G. Kight
Blue Bayou
Friday, Nov. 19

She sounds like Bonnie--not the guitar playing blues woman but the backwoods Mississippi screamer Bonnie Bramlett, the better half of the raw Southern soul duo Delaney and Bonnie, who once punched out Elvis Costello for dissing Ray Charles. Kight's more housewife than bar fighter, but she can howl when she gets her back up, drawing comparisons to Phoebe Snow and Delbert. Now if we can just get her to work on her uppercut. --GB

Durham Rocks Release party
ooh la latte
Saturday, Nov. 20

The recent Durham Rocks local compilation highlights a good cross-section of fresh faces and new sounds coming from the Bull City; a movement worth celebrating. Come party with some Durham styles, including the left-of-center rock of the Wigg Report, Section Eight's politics-on-sleeve punk, Dom Casual's excitable sounds, and more. --CT

N.C. Songwriters "Eclectic Folk Tour"
Joe & Jo's
Saturday, Nov. 20

The N.C. Songwriters Co-op is a foundry of musical sparks and creative fire, enabling and showcasing talented writers across the state. In this edition of their "Eclectic Folk Tour," you can catch a small acoustic ensemble with Keith Howard, Gary Florence and John Klingler, led by Dwight Sullivan, performing rich musical stories. Joe & Jo's is a natural locale for this type of storytelling. --CT

Junior Brown, Danielle Howle
Cat's Cradle
Saturday, Nov. 20

Ernest Tubb told Junior Brown to keep it country. But Brown couldn't get his guit-steel, a contraption of his own invention that marries a Telecaster to a lap steel, to behave. Instead, Brown tears through the country, rippin' it up from rock to jazz to Hawaiian and back to country, often in the same song. Ole Hank might not have done 'er this way, but it sure is interesting. --GB

WXDU Benefit
Duke Coffeehouse
Saturday, Nov. 20

Come help raise funds for the budget of Duke's student/community station WXDU, 88.7 FM, enabling more ammo for the free-form airwaves. While you're at it, celebrate the reopening of a storied venue, the Duke Coffeehouse, which has been closed for renovations. Sublime secret pop confessions from Eerie Choir, diverse rockers Hotel Motel, and our blue friend Torchy will be on hand, with two surprise hip-hop acts also lined up. --CT

Local 506 and The Cave
Saturday, Nov. 20

This one-night mini-festival at two venues is loaded with some of this area's strongest female rock groups in a benefit for charities including the Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls and the American Liver Foundation. Meander between The Cave, with an evening of singer-songwriters, and 506, where the lineup includes the near-perfect guitar pop of The Pink Slips, the solid chops of Lactose Quervo and Little Miss Messy's punk-pop. Don't miss it. --CT

Ian Mclagan & the Bump Band
The Pour House
Sunday, Nov. 21

Before Rod Stewart wore out his croak raspin' disco pap about hot legs or bellowing about downtown trains, he used to be a pretty good rock singer with a band called The Faces. As time goes by, it's becoming more apparent that it was the band as much as Rod that made the magic. Keyboardist Ian McLagan's B-3 licks were all over "Stay With Me," "Maggie May" and "You Wear It Well." McLagan's Bump Band relives those days with new material and without Stewart. It still rocks. --GB

The Choosy Beggars
The Pour House
Monday, Nov. 22

The Choosy Beggars have recently shifted their home base from Asheville to Chapel Hill, but they're still making what they call "garage soul" and what often comes across like a percussion-heavy version of the Rolling Stones back when Mick and company covered Don Covay and Sam Cooke songs like they meant it. And at a Beggars show, covers of Cooke and Al Green fit comfortably alongside the band's deep-groove originals. --RC

Papa Roach
Cat's Cradle
Monday, Nov. 22

Rap-metal arrived six years ago with all the power and peril of the Black Plague, which by now seems preferable. Second to only Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit in loathsomeness, Papa Roach's angst-ridden paeans to alcoholism, broken families and pain (with such thoughtful couplets as "You're the master/And I'm waiting for disaster") make John Wayne Gacy seem well adjusted. These clowns, besides preying on young minds, beg the Shakespearean couplet "a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing(ness)."--CP

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