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In word-of-mouth duos

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They're not a duo, as the moniker suggests, but Belle and Sebastian is certainly as cute as the boy and dog from the Madame Cecile Aubry novel that gave the group its name. Led by Stuart Murdoch (who could just be indie-rock's answer to Rupert Murdoch), the Glaswegians have become something of a lightning rod for hipster-geek-cool musical culture. Despite (or perhaps because of) refusing to give interviews, tour extensively, or do the usual rock-band publicity thing, they have managed to develop an intensely devoted audience. Among other brilliant innovations, the group organized a summer-camp-type getaway festival in the U.K. a few years back, and during their recent summer shows in the States, they organized citywide treasure hunts before performances. Murdoch's lyrics can be tart and full of quips, or wistful and loaded with sadness; they summon into being a little world of lovable oddballs and hipsters, artists and losers. Musically, the group transforms instrumentation from some lost celestial Motown track--all violins, mechanical-age bass line, four-beat snare drum, and gorgeous melodies--into a soundtrack for modern bohemia. It all adds up to a joyous, festive, gentle brilliance, as heard on the group's latest CD, Dear Catastrophe Waitress, and chronicled on a new DVD retrospective, Fans Only. This is Belle and Sebastian's first appearance ever in the Triangle area. 8 p.m. Tickets for the show are $25, ad- vance purchase. For more information, call 919-560-3040 or visit www.carolinatheatre.org.

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