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Music worth leaving the house to hear this week


Rebecca Martin
Borders in Chapel Hill
Wednesday, Jan. 12

Rebecca Martin hits Chapel Hill with an Independent Music Awards record of the year nomination and too many Norah Jones comparisons (courtesy of a jazz singer style and mutual covers of "One Flight Down") in tow. But Martin's definitely her own woman, made clear by the 16 evocative originals on her new People Behave Like Ballads. 7 p.m./Free --RC Benevento/Russo Duo, Chris Boerner Trio, the Pour House, Wednesday, Jan. 12 Despite a New Year's Eve run of sold-out bills with ex-Phish Mike Gordon, an upcoming Japanese jaunt supporting the Dirty Dozen and a reputation for unbound improvisation on daring originals and imploded covers, Joe Russo and Marco Benevento are "no jam band." Brilliant jazz band is more like it, as these two prime players revel in tough-time tactics a la Mingus while maintaining an MMW-like ability to kick it hard. Request "Paranoid Android" for a treat. 9 p.m./$5 --GC

Bickett Gallery
Thursday, Jan. 13

This show features the likes of Eugene Chadbourne, Eric Hofbauer, Rich Robeson, The Torch Marauder, Tom Whitelock and Tyson Rogers. Line these guys up, set 'em free to do as they wish and watch the fireworks begin. With Dr. Eugene at the helm, this'll be a prime look at folks who know how to approach their instrument in fresh ways. 8 p.m./$7 --CT

Two Dollar Pistols, Ohio Farm Cats, Hearts & Daggers
Martin Street
Friday, Jan. 14

John Howie is the closest thing to old school country around here. The Pistols keep it rockin' and rumbly with plenty of twang. Dave Kepford's Ohio Farm Cats with Jon Shain on guitar, bassist F.J. Ventre and drummer Mackie McKinney are a cross between the Rolling Stones and Neil Young & Crazy Horse, says Shain. "It's kind of got the roots rock sound, but it's definitely cranked up--lots of distortion on the guitars." 10 p.m./$7 --GB

The Recipe
the Pour House
Friday, Jan. 14

Fans of Morgantown, W.Va.'s The Recipe call their music "hillbilly disco." The band prefers to call their mix of mountain music with psychedelia "Appalachian roots rock." Growing from a trio called Party People in a Can to a seven-piece, the band helps bridge the gap between Americana and psychedelia with their annual three-day Recipe Family Cookout festival. 10 p.m./$6, $8 --GB

'80s Tribute Night: The Cure and The Smiths
Local 506
Friday, Jan. 14

On a night like this, I can hope for "Subway Song," my favorite creepy Cure number with a maddening bassline and a harrowing plotline. Secretly, though, I'm hoping for a smackin' kiss-off cover of "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby." And if The Caterpillar or The Shanklys--The Cure and The Smiths tribute bands built from local parts gleaned from Jett Rink, Dom Casual and several others--can't manage, there's a good chance DJ Johnny Rocket will. 10 p.m./$6 --GC

Michael Burks
Blue Bayou
Friday, Jan. 14

Blues guitarist Michael Burks mixes the Kings (Albert and B.B.), Son Seals, Hendrix and Santana in blistering two-hour sets that bring down the house. "Start at 9 o'clock at night and don't stop until the sun comes up. If I played for two hours that's a short set." Burks has three '04 W.C. Handy Award nominations for Contemporary Album and song of the year, "I Smell Smoke," and guitar player of the year. 9:30 p.m./$14 --GB

Abe Reid & the Spikedrivers
Friday, Jan. 14

Back before music was parsed and dissected more than public policy, there weren't categories, just music. That's the type of music Abe Reid makes. Rock, blues, roots--yeah, all those apply, but this boogie-woogie trio simply cooks a smoking rhythm flavored with plenty of harmonica, guitar and wry humor (see "Ted (The Toaster)" about his world-conquering, singing toaster). 8 p.m./$8-10--CP

Donna The Buffalo
Lincoln Theatre
Friday and Saturday, Jan. 14-15

It was 'spozed to be Dawn of the Buffalo, but somebody misheard, giving birth to Donna the bison. Bluegrass, old time, reggae, jazz, folk rock and Zydeco gets run through their processor and blended into a Dead /Marley /high and lonesome fusion that spawned a Motherfest in upstate New York and two annual grassroots ones in N.C. near Pittsboro that show their muddy roots. 9 p.m./$14 advance, $17 day of show, $25 both days --GB

Ahleuchatistas, Cantwell Gomez & Jordan, Calabi Yau
Joe and Jo's
Saturday, Jan. 15

Whoa, time to get pummeled at the Pub. Asheville's Ahleuchatistas know how to bring the hammer down in their aggressive guitar/bass/drum excursions. D-Town's own CG & J rip through the brush like Ornette with a weedeater. Charlotte's Calabi Yau dart and dash through screaming no-direction thump. Bring earplugs and beer money. 9 p.m./$5 --CT

Bringerer, Shallow Be Thy Name
The Cave
Saturday, Jan. 15

Featuring itinerant musicians (are there any other kind?) from a bevy of area acts not limited to Kingsbury Manx, The Ghost of Rock and Mowing Lawns, this double bill is high on experimentation. Shallow Be Thy Name has a bit of Kingsbury Manx's easy-going melodicism, with organ and shimmery guitar riffs conspiring for a bit of gauzy sonic haze. Bringerer features TGOR vocalist Ron Liberti and a broad musical itinerary crossing from minimalist soundscapes to gruff, grimy rock. 10:30 p.m./$5 --CP

Rory Block
Saturday, Jan. 15

Block has garnered attention for her sublime use of the rootsy voice of American folk guitar music, with nods to Son House and Charley Patton along the way. This is her return to The ArtsCenter as part of their American Roots Series. 8 p.m./$18 --CT

Kerbloki, The Mathematicians, Skull Division
Local 506
Saturday, Jan. 15

Want left of center? Here ya go. The Mathematicians are Al Gorithm, Dewi Decimal and Pete Pythagoras, a New York trio who turn out quirky, goofball dance numbers about theorems, tangents and binary girls by way of brilliant tabletop beats and a nerd-disco synth addiction. Online collective Talitribe claims them, as well as opener Skull Division, a polysyllabic stylin' emcee that promises to give Sole and Aesop Rock company before long. Kerbloki headlines. 10 p.m./$7--GC

Tim O'Brien & Bruce Molsky
Community Church Coffeehouse in Chapel Hill
Saturday, Jan. 15

When multi-instrumentalist and erstwhile Hot Rizer Tim O'Brien isn't busy recording and touring with his Songs from the Mountain buddies Dirk Powell and John Herrmann or making his own ambitious records (his '95 album of old-time and bluegrassified Dylan covers was nominated for a Grammy), he's been known to drop by a church coffeehouse. Bruce Molsky, a talented multi-instrumentalist in his own right (with fiddle a specialty) joins O'Brien. 8 p.m./$20 advance, $25 day of show --RC

Acoustic Syndicate
Cat's Cradle
Saturday, Jan. 15

"We don't pretend to be a bluegrass band of any sort, never have," says Acoustic Syndicate guitarist Steve McMurray. "We don't do bluegrass festivals." With a drummer, sax player and a banjo player that sounds like Hendrix, they probably wouldn't be welcome anyway. "It was steered more towards folk/country, old-timey country songs and folk ballads of the depression era," McMurray says of his background, which the band uses as a launch pad for their space explorations. 10 p.m./$12, $14 --GB

Todd Barry, Portastatic
Local 506
Sunday, Jan. 16

Bronx-born comedian Todd Barry has done comedy with David Cross, appeared on cartoons (Aqua Teen Hunger Force) and TV (Chappelle's Show), put out two comedy albums, and yet he's possibly best know for his one-man show Icky. It's based on disparaging newsgroup comments made about him after an appearance on Conan O'Brien, which he then conflates into an amusing show examining Internet junkies and the proper protocol for shitting on someone. Barry admits to an unhealthy obsession with music, dotting his stand-up with references to cool bands, so it's not so strange that he opens for Portastatic. The one-time studio project of Mac McCaughan has evolved into a touring act, adding a little rock 'n' roll swagger to its palette. 10 p.m./$8 --CP

Jim Lauderdale
the Pour House
Sunday, Jan. 16

We'll let Jim Lauderdale's resume do the talking: recording collaborations with Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys and Donna the Buffalo; an album (and then some) of co-writes with Robert Hunter; songs recorded by everybody from Vince Gill to Dave Edmunds. All that, plus seven fine albums of his own on which folk rock vies with hard country. 7 p.m./$10 --RC

An Albatross, the Cinema Eye
Local 506
Tuesday, Jan. 18

Electroclash may be on life support, but bastard strains continue to proliferate, as evidenced by An Albatross and The Cinema Eye. An Albatross are a Philly six-piece that combines the pummeling pace of hardcore with electronic textures that vary from psychedelic space rock interludes to hyperactive gothic keyboards like Skinny Puppy, Primus and JFA at a Hallo-wienie roast. Columbus, Ohio's Cinema Eye also boast an electronic-driven sound that bubbles over with aggression. 10 p.m./$6 --CP

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