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Music worth leaving the house for


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

Thursday, May 3

Bull City, Pontiak, Pneurotics, Reservoir

Former Ashley Stover Jim Brantley's been working on Bull City for three years, and their first proper relase, Guns & Butter, pays waiting-game dividends. Brantley brings a range and finesse to his songwriting uncharacteristic of freshman efforts, capitalizing on sharp, guitar-forged hooks and tastefully built harmonies. Like Cracker sharpening Countrysides to a not-ironic gleam or—better yet—an album-rock suckler whose sense of song and like of jangle survived a career as an indie rockist, Bull City gets smart, efficient pop about right. It's not hard to conceptualize Bull City as the Connells or Roman Candle of, yeah, the Bull City. Free/ 10 p.m. —GC

Kittie, Lincoln Theatre

While Kittie may be metal's answer to the Runaways, singer/guitarist Morgan Landers is no Lita Ford, whatever the dye job says. The Canadian quartet are undoubtedly clown-boxing fodder for a lot of prepubescent Canucks, but musically they'll have you longing for Jani Lane, because their "Cherry Pie" is bland enough to be store-bought. At least Kittie has more artistic credibility than the Pussycat Dolls, Suicide Girls or Fergie. $14.50-$18/ 7 p.m. —CP

Friday, May 4

The Old Ceremony, Thad Cockrell, Cat's Cradle

Triangle expatriate Thad Cockrell used to abide by the motto "Putting the hurt back in country," but that was always a little didactic and limiting for what he does. In a gentle and confiding voice capable of melting the hardest of critical hearts, Cockrell lays his hurt on the line with slight twang but major grace. He's in the middle of making a new record, so it'll be nice to hear what's in the works in his two Triangle dates (also May 2 at Lincoln Theatre). Django Haskins' big band The Old Ceremony sports some big influences (namely, McCartney, Cohen, Waits and Newman), and their stage show—practiced, precise and, by show's ebullient end, perspiring—meets the challenge with po(m)p and circumstance. $8-$10/ 9:30 p.m. —GC

Rod Stewart, RBC Center

A performer whose career will actually MAKE YOUR HEAD EXPLODE with but little thought, Rod Stewart's too-good husk has consistently aligned him with several of the most important bands in rock history. He was almost a Kink but became a Face instead, leading perhaps the greatest soul-rock band of all time for a four-year period that—though ending in 1973—continues to inspire dozens of imitators annually. He's had some moments since (if you count the cover of Sing it Again Rod ... twice), but he went too far last year, lending his name to schmaltz covers of Dylan and The Pretenders in one steaming pile. Oh, ass (who still sings very well, thanks). $55-$125/ 8 p.m. —GC

Saturday, May 5

Send a Kid to Camp Benefit, Down Yonder Farm

This is year No. 12 for this gathering that benefits Send a Kid to Camp. With singer/songwriter Janet Stolp, playwright/actress Ashley Lucas, bassist/baker Bambi Linzsey and Outlaw/bluesman Harvey Dalton Arnold, it'll be a talent- and slash-packed evening. Down Yonder Farm is on Lipscomb Grove Church Road in Hillsborough. Call 919-452-8873 for details and directions. Contribute what you can. 8 p.m. —RC

Jon Shain Trio, Broad Street Cafè

The new Army Jacket Winter from former Flyin' Mice/WAKE guy Jon Shain is his best yet, and there hasn't been a thing shabby about his previous releases. It has a warming, late '70s folk-rock feel: "Silvertone," for instance, would have been a perfect fit between Steve Forbert and Elliott Murphy on your FM dial in those more adventurous days. Shain's amiable voice somehow combines Randy Newman's Louisiana-bred rhythms with Donald Fagen's East Coast prep school stylings. $8/ 8 p.m. —RC

Sunday, May 6

Jello Biafra, Blend

Do what? A nice summery Sunday night in downtown Chapel Hill, and one of West Coast punk's loudest mouths is gonna do some gabbing? Well, it's not like Biafra doesn't have plenty of fodder with our country's present state, so expect some creative wordplay and a little venom dipped with the ink. $15/ 8 p.m. —CT

The Gourds, Cat's Cradle

Twang-rock lives on in the hearts, souls and livers of Austin's staple hillbilly humorists The Gourds. So does lyrical insanity. Their latest, Heavy Ornamentals, takes on deadpan hillbilly humor with no apologies: The Southern-boy confessional "Burn the Honeysuckle" finds Russell balancing a plate of bacon and a banjo on his knee while reminiscing about killin' panthers with guitar strings. $10-$12/ 9 p.m. —KJ

Monday, May 7

Dedringers, Downtown Events Center

Texas roots-rockers The Dedringers aren't scared to make a ruckus: Their twang-infused rock hits its mark with big basslines, squalling guitars and clattering drums that collide squarely against a clenched Southern drawl like rocks hitting pavement. Jason Eady opens. 10 8 p.m. —KJ

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Cat's Cradle

Maybe you thought they were already at the crossroads, but here come the syllable choppers, no Flesh or Slim in tow. $25-30/ 9 p.m. —GC

Tuesday, May 8

Grave Blankets, Blend

Grave Blankets are a solid new-ish group from that Columbus, Ohio, dirty-rock nexus that begat Cheater Slicks, Gibson Brothers and a lot of misanthropic dudes listening to nasty bands who used to dress like waiters (see Sonics). Their new EP is right dark, especially on the Cramps-ian scale. With Red Rockets and Calico Haunts. 10 p.m. ­­—CT

Wednesday, May 9

Dr. Dog, Local 506

With a name that's just one "g" short of being the ultimate rapper name and a sound that suggests Sparklehorse and Lambchop (Sparklechop?) remaking a Beatles album on your back porch, Dr. Dog is built to intrigue. The band's fellow Philadelphians Hoots & Hellmouth and The Teeth open, the former content to deftly (and melodically) play the roots-revivalist card, and the latter more pleasantly subtle than its name would suggest. $10/ 9 p.m. —RC

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