Beulah (pictured), the San Francisco seven-piece that blends '60s pop with a dash of Malkmus, is pure manna for fans of the Elephant 6 collective. Their third full-length, The Coast is Never Clear, has truly disturbing lyrics--"he would never take a bullet for you"--over sunny, upbeat melodies: always an irresistible combination. The album features a lengthy roster of guest musicians who contribute bursts of Moog, horns, strings, vibes and a determined-sounding flute, adding to the effervescence. Beulah, led by mastermind Miles Kurosky, bring it to Carrboro's Go! Room 4 this Wednesday, Oct. 3. Call 969-1400 for details.
Le Tigre, that girl-powered, danceable, punk-electronica trio on Durham's Mr. Lady Records, comes to Kings in Raleigh this Saturday, Oct. 6. Featuring Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill) on vocals and guitar, and implementing synth and drum machine sounds you haven't heard since the '80s, the group's multi-media show and interactive audience banter are unapologetically PC in a world where it's becoming increasingly fashionable to be a jaded, cynical f**k. And the tunes are catchy to boot. Call 831-1005 details.
Join Judy Woodall and Muletrain to celebrate the release of their new album, Black Pony, at a CD release party this Saturday, Oct. 6, at the Carrboro ArtsCenter. The album was recorded--with "help and inspiration" from such area noteworthies as Jimbo Mathus and Katherine Whalen (Squirrel Nut Zippers), Jon Shain, and African-American old-time fiddler Joe Thompson--at Woodall's 120-year-old farm house. Besides being a fixture on the local coffeehouse scene, Woodall has been an advocate for local women's groups and serves on the task force for Orange County's Project Homestart. Backed by Muletrain, Woodall draws on her Appalachian heritage and Baptist gospel-singing background to create a new "old" sound. Call 929-2787 for details.
Since disbanding Crowsdell, Shannon Wright's obliquely colorful lyrics and percussive guitar playing have brought the emotive vocalist a new set of admirers. For her third solo outing, Dyed in the Wool, Wright assembled a studio cast ranging from members of the Rock*A*Teens and The Glands to The Rachels, resulting in lusher arrangements (strings, natch), with Wright's gorgeous voice still at the forefront. Live, Wright is prone to forget there's an audience, physically throwing herself into performance with a singleness of purpose that's almost religious. She opens for Neko Case and Her Boyfriends. (Canadian Amp, Case's new CD, was recorded in her kitchen). Potential converts, head to the Cat's Cradle this Monday, Oct. 8. Call 967-9053 for details. --Angie Carlson