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Music worth leaving the house for

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Thursday, March 9

Marissa Nadler, Mount Moriah, ZZ, Nightlight

Marrissa Nadler sings from another place altogether, invoking distant spirits with an ethereal, austere beauty that manages to be simultaneously fragile and resilient, something like Joni Mitchell if she had recorded her hits in a rural, autumnal cabin, just she and a guitar. Nadler's Songs about Living and Dying is one of the overlooked gems of the new-folk wave, her haunting stuck somewhere after dusk and before dawn, played out over her careful fingerpicking. Not to be missed. $5/ 10 p.m. --GC

En Garde, Erie Choir, Late Night Television, Grammar Debate, Duke Coffeehouse

Witness a new permutation of the rock enclave surrounding local favorites Sorry About Dresden, Strunken White and The Scaries in new troupe En Garde and steady-rolling EC, with PA travelers Grammar Debate. $5/9:30 p.m. --CT

GoGoGo Airheart, The Jai-Alai Savant, Subtitle, Kings

All three of these acts represent the Gold Standard Laboratories label, perhaps best known for launching The Mars Volta and the side-projects that continue to spin off of it. The GSL logo isn't a brand, though, so don't expect flamboyant prog-punk: Instead, both GoGoGo Airheart and The Jai-Alai Savant mix elements of dub and reggae into their straight-ahead punk (more Television than Ramones on both counts) to slightly skewed ends. The best act on the bill, though, may be Subtitle, a rare GSL hip-hop act making complicated, sub-dural murky beats accented by slinky horns and melodic ingenuity. 10 p.m. --GC

Asobi Seksu, Edie Sedgwick, Fashion Design, Local 506

In the week's zaniest show, Edie Sedgwick--a star of Andy Warhol's films who did in 1971--returns to life through Justin Moyer, whose name may be familiar from his former dance-punk Dischord act, El Guapo. He dresses up like Edie (the look isn't that convincing) and sings irreverent, ironic songs about debauched celebrities and their ways, all set to an iPod. Asobi Seksu's long-gaze, overdriven guitars and crystalline vocals may be one of the big rock stories out of New York this year, but I'm holding my judgment until seeing their live set.--GC

Friday, March 10

Patty Hurst Shifter, Slim's

Aren't married couples the sweetest? Skillet Gilmore promises that he and the rest of Patty Hurst Shifter will conclude their punchy and progressively poppy guitar anthems in plenty of time for folks to walk a couple blocks and catch the Tres Chicas CD release show. The one with the violin is his darling, Caitlin Cary, but you knew that. Free/8 p.m. --RC

John Cowan band, The Greencards, Cat's Cradle

Although the band had other high profile members including Sam Bush and Bela Fleck, as far as fans were concerned, John Cowan represented the sound of The New Grass Revival. Bush was the singer until Cowan sang one in practice. Upon completing the tune, Bush broke the ominous silence by announcing that from then on, Cowan would be doing the singing. He's still at it with his own band, with the most distinctive voice in blue or any other grass. $15/9 p.m. --GB

The Old Ceremony, Maxwell/Mosher, Spottiswoode , Local 506

The OC (had to be said) have little of the bubblegum sheen their foreshortened name might imply; instead they run smoke rings around a midnight train pulling in its wake murder ballads, bad seeds and maudlin cafes. Look for M/M, former Squirrel Nut Zippers, to add to the dark overtones. $6/9:30 p.m. --CT

Saturday, March 11

Shannon O'Connor w/ Ann Humphreys' Sweet By & By, The Cave

Indy Music Awards double winner Shannon O'Connor brings her sultry Americana ("sexy roots rock" just doesn't have the same ring to it) to the Cave for the early show. Haven't heard Carrboro's Ann Humphreys yet, but her band's name has got me thinking she might be sipping from that same Americana spring. $5/7:30 p.m. --RC

Children of the Horn, Bio Ritmo, The Pour House

Raleigh's Children of the Horn (3 horns, organ, drums) hit the funk heavy on their rendition of the JB's "Pass the Peas." 'Bonist Robo Jones takes a tasty solo in the spirit of Fred Wesley without copping him note for note and James Lane adds some ripping trumpet that JB himself would have been proud to sweat to. They do tasty soul jazz and world music too, complementing headliner Bio Ritmo's salsa. $5-7/10 p.m. --GB

Group Sounds, Benzos, Lincoln Theatre

I Can't Believe It's Not Dance Punk! The four city boys in Group Sounds are on the fast track. They grind on that carefree NYC party rock, appealing to geek scribes at Spin and shooting videos that air on Fuse while play super-sized venues. Must be doing something right. Meanwhile, their crosstown buddies in Benzos brood instead of bark, and hush instead of hop. Comparisons to Radiohead come a dime a dozen, and these guys have a lot of dimes. $7/10 p.m. --RM

Sunday, March 12

gutbucket, gray young, local 506

This pairing of hard-consonant bands is intriguing, as Cary's Gray Young goes the way of acoustic pop, though Brooklyn's Gutbucket goes the way of angular jazz with guitar, drums, saxophone and bass, mustering terms like skronk and skree with fleet, prickling compositions. They're rock-obsessed guys inspired by the notion of stepping outside of any axiomatic box, and their Cantaloupe debut (that's the same label that boasts So Percussion and Bang on a Can) is one of the year's more adventurous outings. --GC

Roger Marin Band, The Scott Nolan Band, The Pour House

While Roger Marin is just a consonant away from being a home run hero, his job for most of his young musical life has been that of hired gun guitarist, playing alongside Willie Nelson, Delbert McClinton and kindred Canadian spirit Fred Eaglesmith. Marin's now fronting his own band and playing his own kind of country songs. Scott Nolan--in a nice bit of symmetry, he's a member of Marin's band--opens. $10/7 p.m. --RC

The Rogers Sisters, Celebration, Gerty!, Local 506

The Sisters work from familiar N.Y. idioms of heads that talk, punks after they shaved their Mohawks and became artists and started reading theory, pulling off their own, if milder, capsule approximation. Please remember local new wave cheerleaders Gerty! have an exclamation point in their name; it's their last show as Gerty! $8/9:30 p.m. --CT

Monday, March 13

The Rocket Summer, Blackpool Lights, Big City Rock, The Brewery

Sometimes it ain't pretty, sometimes it's a bit too garish and bummed-out-after-gym-class honest, but Bryce Avary's pathos gets the job done. The Rocket Summer's songs are sad, simple candy-rock trinkets devoted to good days, bad days, and cheering up 13 year old girls. No, it's not earth changing, but Avary sure means it more than Chris Carraba does. $10-12/8 p.m. --RM

portable folk band, tv knife,
bickett gallery

Indie rock shouldn't get free passes, so it's worth noting that--at times--Pennsylvania's Portable Folk Band sounds about as corny as Jason Mraz spitting his platitudes, making quasi-raps full of clichés about being live from the studio and how awesome the word "fuck" is, especially when it's part of a bad rhyme. On that note, they're a pretty great band when not sounding like Mr. A-Z, making scatterbrained melodic hairpins, maybe like Beck covering Abbey Road and sounding just lo-fi enough. TV Knife makes fuzzy, cutely atonal pop with heavy keyboards and fuzzy guitar tones. They've improved in leaps and bounds, and they finally seem to have their sound down. 10 p.m.--GC

Tuesday, March 14

A Northern Chorus, Bickett Gallery

If Mogwai leaves your ears aching after Wednesday's set at the Cat's Cradle (it will), another international (well, Canadadian) rock band pulls into town to do something reminiscent of vintage Mogwai, especially the cold-and-gray reverie that defined tracks like "Cody." Sonic Unyon's A Northern Chorus escalates high-plains hums and drones into booming crescendos, directed through corroded open-heart/dead-weight poetry. $6-7/10 p.m. --GC

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