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Music worth leaving the house to hear this week

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Thursday, November 17
The Quarantines, Can Joann
The Cave

Can Joann lands sharpened hooks in thankful ears on their debut, The Aiden Grace EP, writing about girls in perplexed phrases and convenient chords. The Quarantines now sport Jeff Haswell behind the kit, and their sound seems to have brightened a bit in the past few months. But it still sports a blatant, sizable nervousness in delivery, coming off like life comes out: 2005 post-punks who like Television as much as they dislike service jobs. --GC

Snatches Of Pink, The Greatest Hits
Slim's Downtown

This a meeting of glam and grime, but, hard consonants aside, it's all rock 'n' roll. The Greatest Hits are a new Raleigh band relative to the back-from-the-'90s leanings of Snatches of Pink, who never fit that whole Chapel Hill stereotype anyway. The Hits pummel with a smoky, not-so-sober take on the beer-fisted brethren of the blues, and--in Slim's and opening for the skewed anthems of Snatches--it all should sound right at home. --GC

Friday, November 18
Nathan Asher & The Infantry, The Close
Kings

By now Asher's anthemic blues-rock shouldn't be a surprise, but their new album, Sex Without Love, is a revelation. His passionate, hopeful bar rock is a stirring wake up call for too-cool-for-school indie rockers. Openers The Close may be less familiar (despite last year's split 7" with the Rosebuds), but the quintet's boy/girl vocals and textured '80s-style indie pop have earned them a "Best Local Rock Band" distinction from Atlanta's Creative Loafing. This show marks the premiere of Asher's "Turn Up the Faders" video. --CP

The Rachel Nevadas, Tennis & The Mennonites
The Cave

Richmond's The Rachel Nevadas actually sound like two Chapel Hill bands of yore working on a demo together: Imagine, if you can, Mac McCaughan fronting a band held together by Darren Jesse and Robert Sledge--that is, Ben Folds Five. Pop-heavy irritation, mostly about girls. Nervous and timid, Tennis & The Mennonites plea, not proselytize, no matter what the name suggests. --GC

Slaid Cleaves, 40 Acres
House Concert at The Trails Clubhouse in Chapel Hill

Folk-leaning singer/songwriter credentials don't get much more impressive than Slaid Cleaves'. The New England-bred, Austin, Texas-based Cleaves won the New Folk competition at the Kerrville Folk Festival in the early '90s, he records for Rounder Records, and his mentors include Gurf Morlix (probably best known for his work with Lucinda Williams) and Ray Wylie Hubbard. See www.fortyacres.org for complete details on the concert. $15/8 p.m. --RC

Voltage, Dan Friel, Cantwell Gomez and Jordan
Nightlight

Chicago's Voltage covers ground somewhere between the post-something instrumental territory of slow-build and release, but with a home-crafted sensibility. Their pal Dan Friel, playing solo here, tweaks the rhythmic region with Parts and Labor. Arrive promptly for our own flies-in-ointment CG and J. $5/10 p.m. --CT

Saturday, November 19
Austin Freeman & South of Town, Brothers Grim
The Cave

To steal the tag line from their Web site, the vaguely rootsy, well-voiced guitar rock of Austin Freeman & South of Town is more by your side than in your face. Meanwhile, the music of the Brothers Grim wants to be both Neil Young and John Mellencamp when it grows up. If the sound and energy of these, its unruly teen years, are any indication, it's well on its way. $5/10 p.m. --RC

Sunday, November 20
Valient Thorr, Piedbald, Hot Rod Circuit
Cat's Cradle

Valient Thorr's keeping pretty good company. Hot Rod Circuit released a pair of fine albums of Get Up Kids' style rock for Triple Crown before heading to Vagrant. While their Vagrant debut was a little disappointing, 2004's Reality's Coming Through delivers a mature, tougher-edged sound. Piebald's boisterous punk-pop features wit and heft absent from their peers. Raleigh madmen Valient Thorr's theatrical metal-inflected southern rock is as fun as it is over-the-top. $11-13/7:30 p.m. --CP

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
Cat's Cradle

Former Chisel frontman, Citizen's Arrest and Animal Crackers sideman and The Spinanes collaborator, Ted Leo has split his musical life between New York City and Washington, D.C. He's not a Dischord dude or a cool cat from the Lower East Side with nice hair, and his music--Kinks-style hooks with a punk's attitude and a true songwriter's eye for imagery--is the true beneficiary of that transient scene indifference. Also, "Biomusicology"--with lines like "Chasing seafoam dreams around another dirty old town"-- is anthem for the hopefuls on the borderline of being dejected. --GC

Monday, November 21
The Earlies
Local 506

Elf Power had to cancel, but that's no reason to stay at home. West Texas meets Northern England in The Earlies, one of the latest additions to the Secretly Canadian roster. It's a bit like The Flaming Lips and Dan Snaith of Caribou hanging out together for a decade, listening to Big Star and Brian Eno and hording up the world's sunshine in a Canadian studio. That is, this is good, sunny, complicated pop with the power to make you smile, sing and--Who knows, Chapel Hill?--shake? --GC

Tuesday, November 22
Against Me!, The Epoxies
Cat's Cradle

Rousing, anthemic Gainesville, Fla. folk-punk quartet Against Me! are like Billy Bragg, Propagandhi and The Circle Jerks united in a blender. Their dusty punk recalls the wide-open sound of The Minutemen, while singer/guitarist Tom Gabel growls blistering cultural critiques. The Epoxies are dyed in wool nostalgists featuring a swirling, '80s synth-rock groove with a dash of punk rock verve. $12/7:30 p.m. --CP

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