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Music worth leaving the house to hear this week


Thursday, March 3
Shalini, Park Life
Temple Ball

If they didn't live in Winston-Salem, Shalini's Metal Corner would've been among 2004's top ten local releases. Obviously, having legendary hubby Mitch Easter on guitar doesn't hurt, but Shalini Chatterjee's honeyed vocals are just as important, providing the necessary mix of ballast and sonic allure to match the hooks. Locals Park Life have been awfully busy of late; catch their Britpop shimmer at Martin Street on Saturday, March 5 as well, with kindred spirits Iconic. 10 p.m./$6--CP

Friday, March 4
Tigersaw, The Strugglers

Gentle as a lullaby, Tigersaw mine a tender crawl like that of the Velvet Underground on "Pale Blue Eyes." The dewy warmth dapples their tracks with a quilt of slow-simmering beauty, abetted by the pretty boy/girl harmonies. The Strugglers are also prone to a spare, austere delicacy, with classic pop sprinkled over like cinnamon. 10 p.m./$5--CP

Rob Watson CD Release Party with Kennebec
The Pour House

Watson is a rare talent, capable of crafting his instantly attractive voice of ol' boy country soul for ambitious rock anthems, gushing piano ballads and Harrison-toned orchestral pop. --GC

Hal Ketchum
The Artscenter

There's a lot to respect about Grand Ole Opry member Hal Ketchum, including his 15 Top Ten hits. But most admirable is something that's relatively rare in commercial country music: an adventurous spirit, which has led to collaborations with ex-NRBQer Al Anderson and covers of the Vogues' "Five O'Clock World" and Todd Rundgren's "I Saw the Light." 8 p.m./$29--RC

Jett Rink, Art Lord & The Self-Portraits, Pykrete
Martin Street Music Hall
Plenty of danceable rhythms are in the mix with these Triangle-area noisemakers. The Rink teeters on the edge, while Art Lord wobbles and Chuck Johnson's Pykrete nom-de-beats pulses in house-y progressions. 10 p.m./$6--CT

Saturday, March 5
Old Crow Medicine Show
Cat's Cradle

Doc Watson said of their sound that it was "some of the finest old-time music I've heard in a long time," and gave them a personal invite to Merlefest. Marty Stuart calls them one of his favorite bands. The Old Crow Medicine Show mixes the twang of classic country with the driving beat of early jug bands, playing at such a frenetic punk-like pace. 10 p.m./ $12--GB

The Trousers, Kung Flude, The BQ's

Brimming pop dressed for downtown in multi-guitar rock rags never fooled anyone, but it certainly made 'em dance. The Cherry Valence's Brian Quast formed The BQ's years ago as an outlet for his Cheap Trick-meets-Revolver impulses, and--with a cast of Triangle stars that now includes Dragstrip Syndicate's Eric Sugg and Polvo's Ash Bowie--the back-in-high-school, for-the-boys fun formulations stick. Kung Flude's John McEnroe ideology embodies its sound: spontaneous and sweaty, flagrant and furious. --GC

Sunday, March 6
Chris McFarland, Snatches of Pink
Local 506

Churning out songwriters like a tool and die factory, Austin's got another winner in McFarland, a gruff-voiced singer/guitarist who sounds like Johnny Rzeznik (Goo Goo Dolls) without the edges sanded soft, and with more rugged rock crunch. Snatches of Pink should go down like a shot of whiskey next to McFarland's beer chaser, their glamorous raunch 'n' roll a nod to when rock stars were bigger than life. 10 p.m./$7--CP

Malcolm Holcombe
The Pour House

"I was pulling a load, and the carrot in front of me wasn't tasty enough," says Malcolm Holcombe of his brief '90s foray into country music. "Didn't like the color and didn't like the carrot--went ahead and found a logging trail instead of that old dirt road to town. I decided to be a recluse and dissolve myself into whatever words came to mind." Think a meaner John Prine, a more hardscrabble Robert Earl Keen. 7 p.m./$8--GB

Monday, March 7
Neva Dinova
Duke Coffeehouse

"God bless you," Conor Oberst tells Neva Dinova's Jake Bellows at the conclusion of a devastating take on Oberst's own "Spring Cleaning" from their 2004 song-swapping split. When the record ends, the listener questions whether Oberst blesses Bellows for treating his song with such care or because he's worried about the guy. Bellows' voice is loaded and languid, singing about that kind of hopeless romanticism that most often becomes associated with the words unrequited, devastating and deadly. 10 p.m./$4--GC

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