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Family Violence & Rape Crisis Services of Chatham County have faced funding losses to the tune of $130,000, forcing them to cut back on their shelter staff and family counseling services. Help them out and see some great local talent (plus five guys from D.C. who call themselves The Beans) at a benefit concert Saturday, Aug. 4, at the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro. The bill also includes former Squirrel Nut Zipper Ken Moesher's new group, a nifty pop combo called The B-Sides, as well as Memphis and Vibrant Green. Call 967-9053 for details.

DiamondDiamondDiamondFor those of you still awaiting the long-promised new single, "Blistered," by John Howie and his band, Two Dollar Pistols (pictured), you can see what Howie and Co. (Scott McCall on lead guitar, Neil Spaulding on bass, and Mark Weaver on drums) have been conjuring up this Saturday, Aug. 4, at the Humble Pie in Raleigh. The local alt-country legends will be joined by Big Dixie. Call 829-9222 for details.

DiamondDiamondDiamondVarnaline, the brainchild of singer/songwriter Anders Parker, is having a CD release party this Friday, Aug. 3 at Kings in Raleigh. If you're unfamiliar with Parker's music, it's melodic, guitar-driven, emotive work featuring raw vocals and the kind of lyrics that have attracted fans of Jay Farrar (for whom he opened on a recent solo tour). Get there early to see Goner, purveyors of pop with a brain. Call 831-1005 for more information. --Angie Carlson

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