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Music worth leaving the house to hear this week

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Wednesday, April 27
Radar Brothers, Hotel Lights, Lud
Kings

Los Angelenos the Radar Brothers' laid back pop drifts into the head like atmospheric floaters: mile-away smells, leaves that never hit the ground, subtle, distant melodies in the wind that grab the attention. Get settled early for local luminaries Hotel Lights and Lud. 10 p.m. --CT

Thursday, April 28
Jazz Mandolin Project
Pour House

Nearly ten years ago Jamie Masefield did the unthinkable: He birthed swingin' life into the mandolin. His Jazz Mandolin Project bumped Blue Note into the burgeoning jam world and pushed Phish-heads to seek out Ornette Coleman LPs. Post-bop to avant garde improvisation, his rotating tour crew can nail any groove to the floor only to break it off a second later. 10 p.m./$10 --EW

The Explosion, Throw Rag
Cat's Cradle

Boston's The Explosion recognize that punk's the urban blues of four-on-the-floor frustration, rebellion and boredom, tapping into a variety of punk veins: the high-energy rhythms of east coast hardcore, the big shout-along choruses of English Oi! and the jagged, simmering, distortion-rich guitar lines of '80s acts such as Husker Du. Throw Rag recently released up a 10-song split 12" with Dexter Romweber on Demonbeach, full of strutting, bad attitude blues grooves. 7:30 p.m./$8 --CP

Friday, April 29
SpencerAcuff, Chris Stamey, Pico Vs. Island Trees
Cat's Cradle

The folk-blues pop of Spencer Acuff and the itinerant blues rock of Pico Vs. Island Trees are sandwiched around Chris Stamey, who turned in a set of full-bodied pop classics on last year's Songs from the South and jammed out with Yo La Tengo on this years A Question of Temperature. Stamey is joined on this tour by Anton Fier, composer, drummer and collaborator of John Zorn, Yoko Ono and Herbie Hancock. 9 p.m./$10 --CP

Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks
ArtsCenter

Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks twist lyrics, genres and melodies so that it's not always clear what Hicks and company are trying to pull off. But you can bet it's always gonna be witty, urbane, sophisticated and smooth. Hicks folk/jazz sound is a creamy blend not sold on TV. Ask for it by name. 8 p.m./$19--GB

Michael Reno Harrell, Mike Strauss
Six String Café

Michael Reno Harrell and Mike Strauss--along with fellow travelers like David Childers and Rick Spreitzer--are part of a gifted group of Charlotte-area songwriter/musicians who play on each others' records and dispense folk, rock and country in appropriate combinations and doses. Good to see that they're now traveling in pairs. 8 p.m./$8 --RC

Yasmine White and Her Band
Afternoon Nap House Concert, Chapel Hill

The latest invitation to hang around Tim Kimrey's living room and listen to some tunes coincides with a visit from singer/songwriter Yasmine White, whose take on folk music welcomes gospel, jazz and alternative rock into the room. Anthony Neff, a Raleigh guy with a Texas troubadour heart, opens. See www.afternoonnap.org. 8 p.m./$12 --RC

Saturday, April 30
Prefuse 73, Battles, DJ Nobody
Local 506

Don't expect to leave this one with your head on straight: Don Can-offshoot Battles counts out the math, alternating between guitar-fueled ferocity and electronic eargasms, while Prefuse 73--one-man of glitched-out eclecticism--is perhaps the most interesting, innovative and enterprising "hip-hop" producer in this land, crafting all three of his LPs as instant classics with guest appearances from RZA, Ghostface, MF Doom, Aesop Rock and nearly every other hip-hopper now mattering. Brilliant hybrids all. 10 p.m./$10 --GC

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Downtown Live

BBVD cashed in with three albums in three years right after a stint as Swingers, Doug Liman's house band, then hibernated until 2003, returning with a rejiggered sound for Save My Soul. The Vegas schmaltz has been subsumed in a swampy, Crescent City bounce that's more Dirty Dozen Brass Band than Dean Martin. The Latin rhythms of Virginia sextet Bio Ritmo are the right ass-shakers to get the party started. 3 p.m./Free--CP

Sunday, May 1
Carrboro Day Festival
Carrboro Town Hall

The musical line-up for this year's Carrboro Day festival, ranging from bagpipes and reggae to big-band jazz and one-man acoustic country (courtesy of the Zeus-voiced John Howie), is as eclectic as the town's populace. The Village Band kicks things off with marches and traditional band music. See the full schedule at www.carrboro.com/carrboroday/2005music.html. 12:45-6:45 p.m./Free --RC

Steve Poltz
Pour House

No matter what else he does, Steve Poltz will be remembered as the guy who discovered Jewel. Their collaboration "You Were Meant For Me," became the longest running song on Billboard's top 100. Poltz is now busy leaving his imprint on his own imprint, 98 Pounder records with songs like "I Killed Walter Matthau." 7 p.m./$10 --GB

Patty Hurst Shifter
Sadlack's

Thanks to their comfort level at this Hillsborough Street haunt, Patty Hurst Shifter can claim home-stage advantage. Not that the quartet needs an edge: The ease with which they unleash their guitar-rock anthems shows they've reached Top of Their Game status. As for the status of their upcoming second album, drummer Skillet Gilmore says, "It's always almost done." 6 p.m./Free --RC

Monday, May 2
Captured by Robots, Eyes to Space, Clang Quartet
Local 506

Metal machine music freaks and instrument inventors at large populate 506 tonight, though only half of them would actually make it into a US census. Disqualify 8 of them, all robots created by Jason Vance, a thirty-something ska expatriate who set out to form an automated band before the metal brains turned and bound him in chains. Other odd sights-to-sounds: Jay Cartwright's Eyes to Space keytar and Scotty Irving's Clang Quartet percussion contraptions. 10 p.m./$7 --GC

Tuesday, May 3
The Forty Fives, Cherry Valence, The Bleeding Hearts
Local 506

Volu-mmme! These three blurt out heavy amp-age to shake the walls and knock a few more holes in eager front row's collective cochlea. Hot-lanta's Forty-Fives gnaw on just enough bubblegum to keep their riff romps poppy and toe tapping. The Valence recently tweaked their membership, so expect a juiced set. More Capital City goodness from the r n' r of the Bleeding Hearts kick it off. 10 p.m. --CT

Wednesday, May 4
The Dirtbombs, The Spinns, Vicious Guns
Local 506

The perfect distillation of Sixties soul and hammer-down guitar attack, The Dirtbombs are making some of the most reverent rock today. Main offender Mick Collins' equal parts John Lee Hooker and Otis Redding slip into the band's electric boogie like whiskey into chicory coffee. 10 p.m. --CT

Redbelly Band
Pour House

Started almost seven years ago when the principals were in high school, they only became serious in the past year with a lineup change and the addition of keyboardist John Watkins. With the change they grew from a folk-tinged rock act to something deeper, with a solid soul feel to abet the roots/blues/rock playing and delivering a vibe similar to The Band. 10 p.m./$5--CP

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