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Music worth leaving the house to hear this week

Thursday, April 14
A Fir-Ju Well

One of the southeast's best acts, this Atlanta quartet combine the woozy psych rock charm of early Pink Floyd with a shambling melodic sensibility worthy of the Kinks. It's a wonderful blend of chunk and shimmer that recalls the Flaming Lips, with the occasional rambling country rock gait to show they're still in touch with their rock roots (and vice versa). $5/ 10 p.m. --CP

Anthony Neff CD Release Show
Six String Café

The live performances and the recordings of Raleigh's Anthony Neff are tributes to 9-to-5ers who make music in whatever spare time they have because the songs in their head insist on it. Neff's new record, the stripped-down and comfortable Chase Your Burden, puts his affable voice and acoustic out front, supported by guitar ace Scotty Miller and Burden's producer Rob Farris. Kenny Roby joins Neff for the show. 8 p.m./$5--RC

Friday, April 15
Cigar Store Indians, Petrillo Relents
the Pour House

Though some put them on a pedestal, Cigar Store Indians lead singer Ben Friedman doesn't want to be a human jukebox, punching out tunes for money. But the variety of genres the Indians dispense and the way they mix it up defies the confines of any jukebox--few bands are able to pull off backing Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" with the Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated." Who'd want to argue with country punk Indians? $6/10 p.m. --GB

Transportation, The Rockwells
The Cave

Transportation is a tricycle rolling on three man wheels down avenues of heartache and boulevards of bluesy ballads crowded in expectant romance, pulling emotional heartstrings with a rockman's candor and a soulman's to-love-we-bow obsequiousness. The, dare I say, softest band in Raleigh's Demonbeach pantheon, these Chapel Hill boys will woo you, as will Knoxville's Rockwells, whose recent EP with Supergrass amasses five of the best guitar jangle, power pop anthems since Big Star said goodbye. 10 p.m. --GC

The Rosebuds EP Release, The Prayers & Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers
Duke Coffeehouse

Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp have recruited former Utah! drummer Mickey D' Loughy to bring his math-meets-hip-hop sensibilities to their wide-open retro guitar pop, and Schooner's Tripp Cox is now wielding guitar two. Their second Merge release, Unwind, is more adventurous, snapping with air-play shout outs. Prayers and Tears have the best record of 2005 1/2.

North Elementary 7" Release Party, Hotel Lights, Summer Set
Local 506

"Pink hair for a blue girl / Anything is funny when you're alone," moans Darren Jesse on "You Come and I Go," the beautifully beaten opening bow of Hotel Lights' eponymous debut, a sullen pop gem bridging the slow burn of Elliott Smith and the lush beauty of post-popularity Nada Surf. Get into this one and get the new seven-inch from North Elementary, busy working on its third full-length. Wilmington's power popped Summer Set opens. $6/10 p.m. --GC

Malcolm Holcombe, Laura Blackley
Six String Café

Some singers seem to have an old soul, but Asheville-based Malcolm Holcombe's has always felt downright primordial. And across the ages, Holcombe has developed a rugged state of grace in which the melody and gentle spirit of folk music coexist with the howl and thump of country blues. Fellow Ashevillian Laura Blackley opens. $8/8 p.m. --RC

Saturday, April 16
Agnostic Front
Cat's Cradle

Since the days of Minor Threat, Roger Miret's NYC hardcore group has somehow kept a heartbeat and avoided embarrassing forays into metal like his many contemporaries. In their 23 years, the group has sculpted the intricacies of hardcore into a brutal bombast of chugging multi-guitars and leveling vocal shouts. Combat boots required! Martyr AD, Death Before Dishonor, All Shall Perish open. $12/8:30 p.m. --EW

Leadfoot, Kung Flude
Martin Street

Bring the shitkickers and the denim flares, because the dark rock sludge gets deep when these two get together. Leadfoot are the Southern spawn of the 13th Floor Elevators, the original acid psych/garage rockers laying riffs so thick they sink the floor, only in Leadfoot's case, they do a little boogie when they get there. Kung Flude hail more from the punk side of the street, with a steely roar that comes at you like a back alley cold-cocking. $7/10 p.m. --CP

Rocket Fire Red, Midnight Gladness
Ooh La Latte

Durham ladies RFR kick out the crunchy pop-punk with succinct and often funny numbers full of melody and nervy electricity. Come catch 'em at the Ooh La, with local openers Midnight Gladness. --CT

Nikki Meets The Hibachi
The Cave

Nikki Meets the Hibachi's pretty folk playing and resplendent harmonies go back more than 15 years, but had been dormant for a decade before they reunited in 2003, adding percussionist Arturo Velasquez. They've since returned to the studio, recently finishing up the tracking of a new album with John Plymale. 7:30 p.m. --CP

Sunday, April 17
Shawn Mullins, Tony Scalzo
The Pour House

This is so 1998, but--at one of those wienie-roast, shindig, 20-band affairs hosted by G105 in ninth grade, I fell in love with rock just a bit, singing along with Fastball to "The Way" from the third row of Alltel Pavilion with my two best friends of the moment. And though largely ignored by mainstream since then, Fastball released their best album--the instantly likeable, Band-guided Keep Your Wig On--just last year. I never cared for Shawn Mullins (now a Thorn with Pete Droge and Matthew Sweet), but don't doubt for a second I won't crack half a smile when he plays "Lullaby." $12/7 p.m. --GC

Monday, April 18
Plat, Doofgoblin, Katastatik
Local 506

This three-act tour brings a night of humanistic electronics. Plat, an Icelandic duo, bring lush, laptop grooves as one would suspect from their native land. Baltimore's Katastatik careens improvised ebbs and minced beats into tight compositions. The unfortunately named Doofgoblin may be the highlight, 10 p.m. --EW

Tuesday, April 19
The Fucking Champs

The Fucking Champs were created for those that like a little more math in their Helmet. The riffs chug and swirl like a stir-crazy animal in a blast shelter as the two-guitar no-bass trio explore what King Crimson would sound like with a little Sabbath in their soul. $10/9 p.m. --CP

The Woggles
The Cave

The Woggles would be completely justified in recasting an old Barbara Mandrell country-pop hit as "We Were Garage When Garage Wasn't Cool." But that'd be missing the point: This quartet has always danced to its own definition of cool, a heavily perspiring soundtrack of soul, surf and primal rock. 10 p.m. --RC Wednesday, April 20 Gogol Bordello, Valient Thorr, Cat's Cradle If you crossed The Pogues with Kurt Weill and put the show on under the big top, you'd have Ukrainian gypsy punkers Gogol Bordello. The rambunctious energy and folksy underpinnings recall Flogging Molly, and then there's the lively stage show with a pair of statuesque dancers who are more comedia del arte than Solid Gold. $10/9 p.m. --CP

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