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When founding Minutemen/fIREHOSE master-of-the-"thud-staff" Mike Watt blew through town on his Contemplating the Engine Room tour back in '98, he was joined onstage by former fIREHOSE guitarist Ed Crawford for--what else--a greased-lighting version of Blue Oyster Cult's "The Red and the Black." (Watt covered the song back on the Minutemen's Project Mersh LP.) It was the first time Watt and Crawford had shared a stage since their "pissin' in a bottle," 200-shows-a-year van days. In another historic first, these two venerable road hounds--Crawford with his band Grand National and Watt doing his power trio thing--appear on the same bill on Oct. 17 at Kings in Raleigh (along with esteemed Ohio rockers Cobra Verde). Road addict Watt is calling this the "Enough of the Piss Bag Tour" in reference to his recent surgery. Don't be alarmed--as an audience member, you'll be allowed to piss at your own discretion. Call 831-1005 for more info. --Angie Carlson

DiamondDiamondDiamondOne of the most buzzed-about local releases in memory, the Comas' A Def Needle in Tomorrow hit the streets yesterday. The second Yep Roc release by the mixed-gender four-piece is a heady dive into sound exploration as the band members--led by producer Brian Paulson--maximize their varied talents: violin, keyboards, guitars, harmonies and samples. On the new disc, the Comas' unaffected, post-pop melodies get led through a wonderlandish series of studio adventures to emerge into the sort of sonic underground pioneered by the Stone Roses. Live, the band incorporates samples and cool noise to build their wall of sound. The Comas (pictured) head to New York for CMJ later this month; they'll join New York City's Versus for a string of Southeastern dates this November. Meanwhile, local fans can check out the band at their Cat's Cradle CD-release party this Saturday. Portastatic opens, so get there early. Tickets are $6. Call 967-9053 for details. --Angie Carlson

DiamondDiamondDiamondScrew Kevin Bacon. See Clok-Lok and Ashley Stove at Go! Studios this Saturday, Oct. 14, and you too can play "Six Degrees of Mike Kenlan." Back in the day, the guitarist helped found influential Chapel Hill punk-rock band Pipe (as well as Small). More recently, Kenlan resurfaced as a member of venerable Raleigh wobble-rock group Ashley Stove.

Meanwhile, his old bandmate Ron Liberti traded his spot as Pipe's lead seether for a multi-instrumental role in the sometimes-quiet, sometimes-loud, Yo La Tengo-informed Clok-Lok. If early returns are any indication, Liberti, Amelia Burch, T. Colin Dodd and Jenny Scheitler are onto something really special. Local guitar wizard Chuck Johnson has begun recording what should become the band's debut record, and this promises to be one of those exciting shows where you can see the songs taking shape and the ideas evolving right before your eyes.

Clok-Lok will also play the following day at CD Alley on West Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, along with Kingsbury Manx, 2nd 3hird Party, Annexia, Chuck Chuck Goose and others. --Gavin O'Hara

DiamondDiamondDiamondIs power-pop a bad word? And hell, is it one word or two? Hyphen or no? You be the judge this weekend, as Raleigh's Kings nightclub hosts The Shindig, a three-day, 25-band festival celebrating this sometimes-maligned musical flavor. Terry Anderson and The Rosenbergs highlight the Friday lineup. The Spongetones, Richard X. Heyman and The Greenberry Woods (reunited with ex-Gladhand Doug Edmunds on drums) play Saturday, while The Accelerators and The X-Rayons lead the Sunday matinee. Call 831-1005 for more info. --Gavin O'Hara

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