Those who complain that there's nothing different to enjoy in the Triangle in live music need look no further than the Friday, Aug. 31 performance of Brother at Carrboro's Cat's Cradle. The Australian ensemble offers four guys in kilts blending rock guitars with bagpipes and the aboriginal didgeridoo. As seen in a cameo on NBC's ER, Brother uses their exotic instruments to create everything from power pop and alternative rock to world and folk music. Believe us: You haven't seen a high energy, highly entertaining band quite as novel as this. For details, call 967-9053 or go to www.catscradle.com. --Art Menius
It's the Local 506 Farewell Bash--the last time you'll see Dave Robertson and Monica Swisher behind the bar together (they'll be relieved by "guest bartenders" so they can get their party on with everyone else). The bash will feature the fabulous Zen Frisbee, who played a greatest hits set that left everybody happy at last Saturday's Cat's Cradle 15th anniversary party for owner Frank Heath, proving that--on a good night--they tap into the soul of the Chapel Hill rock experience. Also on the bill is a special one-off show by wild-card rock vixens Rubbermaid, featuring the return of Jessica Spangler. You can also see Grand National, Lud and Marsha. The music will start at 9 p.m. this Friday, Aug. 31. Call 942-5506 for details.
Local goth-twang swamp rockers Trailer Bride, have been on the road touring for their new Bloodshot Records release, High Seas. But taking longtime guitarist Scott Goolsbie's place is none other than Zen Frisbee/Shark Quest muso Laird Dixon. Although there's no photo of the new lineup (see drawing by Dixon), you can catch this version of Trailer Bride at a just-added show at The Cave this Saturday, Sept. 1. Call 968-9308 for details.
The Plea for Peace/Take Action Tour rolls into town next Wednesday, Sept. 3 the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro. Sponsored by Sub City Records and Asian Man Records, the tour offers a super-sold lineup ranging from Alkaline Trio and Radiohead-influenced epic Boston post rockers Cave-In to post-punk heavies Hot Water Music, Zero Zero and scrappy rockers the Selby Tigers, who hail from St. Paul, Minn. (Minneapolis' ugly stepsister). The PPF/TA tour benefits the Kristin Brooks Hope Center Hopeline network, a suicide prevention hotline available at 1-800-SUICIDE. Call 967-9053 for details and showtime, because with all these bands, it's bound to start early.
Middle Earth dwellers, rejoice! Although local prog rock kingpin Peter Renfro decided to call it quits after last year's ProgDay, the two-day salute to the music pioneered by such visionaries as Genesis, King Crimson, ELP and more, shall go on after a group of volunteers and investors stepped forward to take over the fest. Promising a "tasty assortment" drawn from the genre's world stage, the fest offers a rare chance to see bands like Sweden's Pain of Salvation and The Flower Kings, as well as Ars Nova, YETI, Polydactyl and Sigmund Snopek III. Merchandise will also be for sale--from hard to find new and classic progressive discs to prog rock 'zines and publications. And the prog folk are gentle, easygoing sorts who nod agreeably along to the arcane lyrics and inscrutable time signatures. The fest will take place at Storybrook Farm this weekend, Sept. 1 and 2. Call 968-1181 or visit email@example.com for details. --Angie Carlson