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Music worth leaving the house for

For the week of Nov. 15 through 21


Contributors: Grant Britt, Rick Cornell, Grayson Currin, Rich Ivey, Kathy Justice, Robbie Mackey, Chris Toenes

Thursday, November 23

Pro-L (Topless Dancer), DMVB, Kings

Longtime Pro-L beatman Nick Whitley ducked out of Raleigh temporarily, so the L took its vibe—an all-encompassing hip-hop pastiche of real-life blues—and stuck it on another handle. These days, they're calling it Topless Dancer, but they'll rhyme under the Pro-L banner once again for their fourth annual Thanksgiving jam at Kings. DMVB, another band of Pro-L guitarist Viswas Chitnis, opens. Turkey is better baked, you know? 10 p.m.—GC

Friday, November 24

Kelley & the Cowboys, Hideaway BBQ

Folks on the Yahoo music group guitartown are a friendly lot, but they have opinions and aren't afraid to post 'em. Mount Airy's Patsy-voiced Kelley Breiding, her vintage-twanging Cowboys, and their just-the-facts take on real country all got a collective real big thumbs up from that tough crowd after the band's inaugural trip to Hideaway BBQ. ("No showboating or corny shtick, just honest presentations" went one learned assessment.) I'm sold. $5/ 9:30 p.m. —RC

Endless Mic, Social Memory Complex, Addictive Nature, Cat's Cradle

Basing their aesthetic on unification and some chuckles between the beats and rhymes, this lineup has come to define the Chapel Hill hip-hop sound. Trekky Recs troupe EM emigrated to Greensboro of late; while SMC holds it down alongside the Common Ground collective. $7/ 9:30 p.m. —CT

Beach House, Nightlight

If beautiful music in 2006 sounds anything like Beach House (it does), sign me up for a lethal dose. The Baltimore duo of Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand exhale slow, sultry and sad sighs, warm textures from slide guitar, organ, accordion, drums, and Legrand's blanket of a voice somehow simultaneously warming and chilling the same atmosphere. "Apple Orchard"—a song that set the indie Internet aglow earlier this year—feels like love. Or maybe dying. Or maybe a nap. Either way, it feels final, perfect and ultimate, which—as Beach House goes—is par for a pretty fantastic course. They're joined here by The Tourist, Over the Atlantic and Adrian Orange. $5/ 10 p.m. —GC

Pico vs. Island Trees, The Physics of Meaning, Lincoln Theatre

This show marks the prodigal Pico's boys return from their L.A. pop odyssey. Once purveyors of Guster-like mellow sing-alongs and doe-eyed John Mayer acoustic-anthems, the boys' first release, 2004's just waiting, showed promise and left fans, well, waiting. Now the rock trio has been schooled by L.A. producer David Kershenbaum and apparently, Pico's got themselves a brand new bag. Or at least they've upgraded to a Marc Jacobs. The new song "Open Doors" rocks solid with smooth hooks and steady, polished harmonies. It looks like the wait might be over. Also, The Physics of Meaning. $8-$10/ 9 p.m. —KJ

Saturday, November 25

PKM Reunion, Rob Watson, Lincoln Theatre

To those who know, PKM stands for Pee Wee, Kenny and Mike, the much-loved hard rock group that emerged from Raleigh group Nantucket. Both were borne of the good-time bands of the day; Nantucket became the first commercially viable outfit from North Carolina, touring with KISS and AC/DC in their primes. Check out PKM's party-boogie strut this holiday weekend. $12/ 9 p.m. —CT

Tony Rice Unit, Donna Hughes, Cat's Cradle

In the '70s, Tony Rice helped shape the sound of newgrass with his innovative guitar work alongside J.D. Crowe and David Grisman. His folky Bluegrass Album Band defined '80s bluegrass. Currently fronting the Tony Rice Unit and featuring the jazz-influenced spacegrass that's become his trademark, Rice seems to take bluegrass to its outer limits. $20-$22/ 8 p.m. —GB

The Original Ramblers, The Cave

When Bill Hicks, Jim Watson and Mike Craver got together to play the Festival for the Eno in 2001, it was a long-time-in-coming reunion of three of the four original Red Clay Ramblers (the late Tommy Thompson being the fourth). They enjoyed it so much that they make a point of getting together at least once a year for a night of fiddle tunes, string band staples, lively harmony singing and everything else that made the Ramblers special in 1973 and just as welcome in 2006. $5/ 8:30 p.m. —RC

Sunday, November 26

White Rook, The Cave

This Chapel Hill quartet veers from dirge-like dark rock shapes to slithery snake guitar windings. They're still in their infancy but come from locals who know their stuff, including drummer Eddie Sanchez of Fin Fang Foom. 10 p.m. —CT

Tuesday, November 28

Cinemechanica, Alvarez Painting, Amish Jihad, The Wetlands

Cinemechanica is like your annoying little brother: better than you at algebra, unable to sit still for more than two seconds and always making racket. You can't help but love the fidgety brat, though. The Athens quintet draws heavily from math rock bands of yesteryear while keeping things fresh by adding an especially youthful vigor to their well-polished chops. 9:30 p.m. —RI

Anathallo, Page France, Cat's Cradle

The Sufjan Stevens comparisons Anathallo receives are expected, even if lazy. After all, the 10-plus-member big band comes from, of all sacred Stevens states, Michigan, and they write complex songs about things other than girls. What's more, plaintive, earnest and pretty vocals soar over instrumental melodies sprawled across a few dozen instruments. But the comparisons aren't quite right: Anathallo has been doing this for years (though their popularity has certainly been on the post-Michigan rise), and, compositionally, they seem to muster a risk and variety Stevens can't quite command. Opener Page France offers clever turns of phrase above simple pop songs. Maybe you'll giggle or hum along. Then again, you may just be getting ready for Anathallo to lose its collective mind in songs about sovereignty and psalms and bugs and stuff. $8/ 8:30 p.m. —GC

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