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Music worth leaving the house for

For the week of 4.18 ~ 4.25


Contributors: Rick Cornell, Grayson Currin, Kathy Justice, Chris Parker, Chris Toenes

Wednesday, April 18

The Flaming Lips, Stardeath, Disco Rodeo

There will be nun hand-puppets and fake blood and smiles and projections and fake animals and aliens and flying saucers and sing-alongs and possibly tears. I could go on forever, but there's really just this: If you've never seen The Flaming Lips in person, apologize to yourself and go now. $36-$39/ 8 p.m. —GC

Thursday, April 19

King Kong, Torch Marauder's Grappling Hook, Local 506

Let's see. You've got Drag City in 2007, so you've got Smog, Joanna Newsom and Six Organs of Admittance. Serious fare, right? So how does the 18-year-old King Kong—led by former Squirrel Bait/Slint bassist Ethan Buckler—fit into that mix while singing songs about a dog sniffing a tiger's ass, genealogy (Paul Oldham produced their latest, Buncha Beans) aside? Easy: At his most agitated ("Orange Ocean"), Buckler sounds like a Silver Jew trying to make the world's cataclysms simple, melodic and funny enough for punks, hipsters and kids to get. Didn't expect Booker T & The M.G.'s organs and Pavement's shambolic guitar wanderlust to meet on Drag City in 2007, did you? $8/ 9 p.m. —GC

Carolina Chocolate Drops, The ArtsCenter

Yes, we're lucky to live where we do. The Triangle area has Old Hat Records to unearth and share miraculous string-band recordings from the '20s and '30s. And it has the Carolina Chocolate Drops to bring those tunes to glorious life in shows that are equal parts eye-opening and foot-stomping, and in all ways celebratory. Proceeds from this concert benefit the Triangle Land Conservancy. $25/ 8:30 p.m. —RC

Thunderlip, Colossus, Black Skies, Ampline, Reservoir

Since Reservoir decided to go full bore on booking live bands, the spirit of the place has shone through in the meaty marrow of hardcore, metal and tuff rock bands like those featured here. Bands' rough exteriors sometimes belie a salty, if nearly jokey, swagger, like in the tail-chasing anthems of Wilmington's Thunderlip. Dudes like Colossus go big on Judas Priest-ly crunch, but acknowledge the fun (not just fury) that's involved. Free/ 10 p.m. —CT

Friday, April 20

  • Arbouretum

Arbouretum, David Karsten Daniels, Local 506

Arbouretum and David Karsten Daniels are responsible for two of the best albums of the year, even though critics seem to have glossed over the finer points of both. Dave Heumann's slightly shamanic lyrics provide a space-bound spark for Baltimore's Arbouretum, a loose, drifting rhythm section moving in free waves behind one of the best two-guitar attacks in the country. Heumann handles a solo as though the ghost of Charlie Parker lives inside Neil Young's Blackie, and, as such, I think he's telling stories with his fingers instead of pushing his chops. David Karsten Daniels' Sharp Teeth is an open-ended rumination on the burdens borne when hearts intersect, and its textures and his forlorn presentation can cut as sharply as Heumann's guitar. Also, Calico Haunts. $8/ 10 p.m. —GC

Weedeater, H.O.W., Broadslab, Husky, Volume 11 Tavern

Volume 11 is calling this Smokefest, which—on April 20 with a band called Weedeater headlining—is awesomely redundant. The same fortunate overkill applies to Wilmington's Weedeater, who dropped a record two years ago on Crucial Blast before inking with Southern Lord for an LP due this summer: Their sludgy metal motion comes courtesy of a ferocious rhythm section, their badass bassist/vocalist slamming his sweaty paws over his four strings like he's trying to break his stick while making it sound simultaneously like a thundering heard. There's some overdrive drone in the full-stack guitar, and there's a lot of whiskey and weed on the speaker's breath. This will be awesome. 9 p.m. —GC

Melissa Ferrick, Lincoln Theatre

Ferrick's honed her craft the last dozen years, putting distance between herself and her Lilith-spawned contemporaries. She's got a knack for bare-wire emotionality and a hard, canny edge. Her latest, In the Eyes of Strangers, continues to build on the limber roots rock of her 2004 release, The Other Side, blending bright folky strum with resilience. It's highlighted by "Closer," a catchy track in which Ferrick tries to exile worry in favor of a one-step-at-a-time sensibility, singing, "I imagine my mind looks like a carousel on fire." $14-$17/ 7 p.m. —CP

Mother Jackson, The Cave

Mother Jackson's sneering, Southern backwoods boogie combines disheveled garage punk grime with classic-rock crunch, like Richard Hell if he'd undergone A Clockwork Orange-style torture with fried chicken and Lynyrd Skynyrd's Street Survivors. The Athens, Ga., quartet is supporting their second album, Loud and Proud: The Soundtrack to Damnation, recorded with producer David Barbe (Drive-By Truckers, Southern Bitch). The big greasy riffs and swerving, Bowery-bound rhythmic strut are well-lit, which is to say there's a charming late-night stumble to their rambunctious rumble. $5/ 10 p.m. —CP

Saturday, April 21

Angry Johnny & the Killbillies, Honky Tonk Special, Hideaway BBQ

Taking the ethos of psychobilly to the extreme, Angry Johnny and his three backwoods ramblers make sleazy, Ritalin-fed country that twitches with a psychosomatic spurn. The scorching opener on their third album, Puttin' the Voodoo on Monroe, reels with the hot hate of a spurned lover drunk on revenge, interpreting that death-by-booze-and-mayhem attitude into lyrical aggression spit over blistering Mariachi horns. And when Johnny caterwauls, "I choose the gun instead of the Bible," you'd better believe him. High Point's Honkytonk Special opens. $8/ 9:30 p.m. —KJ

The Wigg Report, Beloved Binge, The Ex-Members, 305 South

Punchy, tweaked pop that exudes that overused term "excitable": The Wiggs are a trio that lines up perfectly with Beloved Binges's compact style of thoughtful, punk-informed folk. The K records camp comes to mind in both respective cases. The Ex-Members manifest braggadocio through crackle-quick-snap pop chops, and they make inspirational music—for dancing. 8 p.m. —CT

Monday, April 23

Dan Montgomery & the Professional Badasses, The Cave

With Rosetta, Please (A Love Story), Dan Montgomery made my favorite record last year in the category of The Best Roots-Rock Album That Not Nearly Enough People Heard. It's a concept album about an ex-con who falls for a prostitute, and Montgomery's next-barstool retelling is so unflinchingly detailed that, come record's end, your clothes carry the smell of cigarette smoke and desperation. $5/ 8 p.m. —RC

Gore Gore Girls, Local 506

Leather-booted, power-chord plying vixens built for speed, the Gore Gore Girls rip it up like a feral, sex-soaked version of Cheap Trick if, instead of old men, they were products of a teenage boy's wet dream. Their raw energy recalls L7, but they're from Detroit, not L.A. The Girls' thunder shimmies with garage soul crunch as well as luscious harmonies. There's a campy joy to their lyrics ("Fox in a Box," you know, she wants to rock...) that's a reminder of how songs used to be something other than an airing of grievances. $8/ 9:30 p.m. —CP

Tuesday, April 24

Mike Dillon's GoGo Jungle, The Pour House

Moving from sideman position into the spotlight requires mettle. And Mike Dillon's got mettle, or at least gumption. As a percussionist, he's been linked up with Les Claypool, Ani Difranco, Critters Buggin and Garage a Trois, threading his mellifluous vibraphone into jazz- and funk-laden melodies. But Dillon's efforts work best behind the scene, as the GoGo Jungle's first album Battery Milk sounds a little like jazz-tinged soul watered with Paxil. Still, slinky rhythmic tracks like "The Voyeur" and the R&B-infused "Hercules" whisper promises of a grittier live show. $5-$7/ 9 p.m. —KJ

Wednesday, April 25

Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers, Shurman, Hideaway BBQ

Former frontman of the Refreshments (the cheeky minor hit "Banditos," the King of the Hill theme), Roger Clyne reinvented himself with the Peacemakers in the late '90s, playing an amped-up blend of roots rock and power pop. Like an American cousin of Nick Lowe and Rockpile, Clyne has slowly migrated from the twang of his first couple albums toward a heartland rock sound that suggests John Mellencamp under tutelage of the Zombies. $15/ 8:30 p.m. —CP

We Landed on the Moon, Sleepsound, The Cave

Splashing around in Blondie's dirty bathwater and sudsing up with the Breeders' shampoo can make for a might pretty post-millennium female-fronted indie rock band. Baton Rouge quintet We Landed on the Moon soaks bits of Harry's saucy lyricism and Deal's rousty yowls into an indie-rock mix. But for every buzz-saw guitar riff and driving bass line, there's purity in lead singer Melissa Eccles' voice that belies the band's possibly rehashed '90s rock sound. Chapel Hill's Sleepsound opens. Free/ 10:30 p.m. —KJ

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