You will almost certainly have more fun than me this weekend, but that's OK. I'm behind the scenes. You are the scene. So, with envy, this is what I might do if I were you.
THURSDAY, SEPT. 9
Start early at Kings for 307 Knox's day party. Let PHIL COOK & HIS FEAT kick you over to Foundation for a fantasy cocktail and Merge's listening party for SUPERCHUNK's new record, Majesty Shredding. Now make it official at the Lincoln Theatre with festival openers and newly signed New West stompers PONDEROSA, who'll take you down to Muscle Shoals via the dirt roads, not the Nashville fast lane. Their 2011's looking bright, just as it is for home team OLD BRICKS. Once a two- and now a four-piece, watch them sparkle and scatter at The Hive before they sign to an indie major or something. LOCRIAN will now see you and split your head open at Kings. Meanwhile, half of Kings' ownership—Paul Siler and Cheetie Kumar—will be slicing with psychedelic riffs when their BIRDS OF AVALON play The Pour House. Pick your wound.
By now, Tir na nOg and Berkeley Cafe might be packed, and rightfully so. Cut back to The Hive for PATTERN IS MOVEMENT's circuitous, Roots-approved, white-dude Philly funk. They'll zap you into a bizarrely dope taping of Glee, if the Glee cast consisted strictly of two large, bearded men. Enjoy the whole episode, because fuck it, you're the only person in town who's gonna roll up to the Berkeley after FUTURE ISLANDS starts. Maybe your plan will be rewarded with a clear path inside, but maybe you'll just be shut out and miss the B'more soul cleansers' sure-to-be-hyped-as-an-I-was-there set before the sun rises on tomorrow's day parties. If it's the latter, ride a rickshaw to The Pour House and fly your other freak flag at AKRON/FAMILY's own bounce revival. Sleep tonight. You might not again.
FRIDAY, SEPT. 10
On weekends like these, the sunshine is nice, sure, though it's rarely as comforting as a bar where the rays don't creep beyond the front door. Slim's—perhaps Raleigh's truest watering hole-in-the-wall—has a day show winner with Golden Boy JOHN WESLEY COLEMAN III and mates providing the only light. Craving more warmth? Hometapes gives it to you at Friend Island, the Southern-fried extension of their already well-known SXSW day party. MEGAFAUN unveils their forthcoming Heretofore EP and COLLECTIONS OF COLONIES OF BEES swarms with the controlled chaos of a hive.
Fast-forward and you're toasty now, strolling into City Plaza for THE ROSEBUDS, BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE and PANDA BEAR trifecta—yes, smack in the heart of the tallest buildings. Wander out of Panda Bear with kaleidoscope eyes and stare down SPIDER BAGS with your best Dirty Harry glare. The heat turns into a radiant orb as SHARON VAN ETTEN provides the Baez-meets-Brooklyn slow roast. You may not yet know her gorgeous refrains, but you will soon. Leave glowing and inquire, "How do I want to keep this fire lit?" The choices from midnight forward are all burners. RAEKWON fillets the Lincoln over open flames; HARLEM turns Slim's into a sweating match; TREASURE FINGERS sears Five Star on two Technics platters. Still, if you can see FUCKED UP engulf the relatively small Berkeley Cafe, do it. The blaze will remain in your brain long after the smoldering amps have cooled.
SATURDAY, SEPT. 11
We're throwing a party on Hargett Street with the Raleigh Times Bar all day. Bring the whole family, then hop on the good foot to City Plaza (doors open at 5:15 p.m.) for THE LOVE LANGUAGE's fuzzy love, NO AGE's saturated post-punk and PUBLIC ENEMY's 20th-anniversary celebration of their timeless Fear of a Black Planet. And by timeless, I mean the Library of Congress chose to preserve the record for its National Recording Registry in what, essentially, is the most exclusive club for recording artists in history. Don't sleep on the live show—it's what's kept them legendary. Continue on the path to enlightenment with NOMO, who bends PE's big band funk to the Lincoln Theatre via the Midwest. BEAR IN HEAVEN follows in the same spot like tribal space invaders—just three endearing aliens looking for more friends with whom to dance. If you prefer grounded yet no less moving music, hit The Pour House for THE LIGHT PINES, likely the surest bet among Triangle bands to break big in the next 12 months. DUNGEN, everybody's favorite Swedish pysch warriors, paint it blue afterward, while KYLESA uses broad black strokes and two drummers at the Berkeley. This is where you might consider abandoning the grid all together, though, opting instead to dance the new-moon weekend into submission. KILL THE NOISE at Five Star will guide you home by the light of his turntables, even if you never, ever want it to end.