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Music worth leaving the house for


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

Thursday, June 14

Red Elvises, The Pour House

From Russia (and other Soviet states) with love: Founding members Igor Yuzov and Oleg Bernov and their fellow Elvises also come with horns, accordions, a bass balalaika, and the kind of energy that you used to get at rock shows when rock shows were rock shows. Yes, triple rock and triple show—let it be known that, in the world of the Jerry Lee- and Chuck Berry-idolizing Red Elvises, such does not represent redundancy. $10/ 10 p.m. —RC

Hammer No More the Fingers, The Tourist, Future Kings of Nowhere, Reservoir

Young but lifelong Durhamites, Hammer No More the Fingers borrow from Merge bands back when the label had its home on the other end of U.S. 15-501 (some Superchunk, maybe a little of Polvo's sinews). They braid it with a laid-back, groove-born feel, though, as post-Sublime as it is Grateful Dead. Similar things could be said of the excellent Future Kings of Nowhere, who pin Shayne O'Neill's detail-rich songwriting to a piano/guitar/drum/bass template not unlike that of mid-'90s alt.rock. The Tourist—graceful, elegiac arches of love swept above subtly permutated acoustic progressions—is one of the most promising bands in this state. Free/ 10 p.m. —GC

Friday, June 15

The Moaners, Jimmy & the Teasers, Adult Film Makers, Local 506

The Moaners
  • The Moaners

Tonight's tripleheader is made for the Local 506, whose shadowy, gritty atmosphere amplifies the acts' garage rock vibrations. The chunky, garage-punk throttle of Adult Film Makers is keyed by Clif Mann's gutter-grime guitar and Bad Checks drummer turned frontman Rock Forbes. Long partners, they combine for a punchy, catchy sound, an Americanized The Damned of sorts. Jimmy & The Teasers are a rockabilly hot rod that cops the trashy aesthetic of a grease monkey pin-up calendar. The evening's topped by The Moaners, whose garage-blues throb and slinky funk sticks with you like a deep bruise. $6/ 10 p.m. —CP

Hobex, The Nevers, The Pour House

One wishes more country-inflected acts would take up soul like Greg Humphries did when he started Hobex, after Dillon Fence broke up in 1995. We're running a national surplus on twang, while the coffers are largely depleted on balmy, organ-fueled R&B, the stuff Hobex has perfected. Listening to last year's Enlightened Soul is akin to a stiff drink in La-Z-Boy recliner, pure comfort-producing potential. $6-$8/ 10 p.m. —CP

Tennis & the Mennonites, Sleepsound, The Cave

In a music scene that's small and fertile like the Triangle's, younger upstarts like Tennis & the Mennonites and Sleepsound can co-exist underground, in the confines of The Cave, even though they twist the catch-all "indie pop" phrase into vastly different results: Sleepsound has high aims, their piano-based pop rooting upward through minor-key melancholy and toward grand, heart-on-the-sleeves statements like those of Top 40's The Fray or the trans-Atlantic Coldplay. Tennis, on the other hand, scrabbled and strung nearly 20 songs together on its debut LP last year, frontman Jerstin Crosby offering different melodic fragments every 45 seconds or so. Different visions, same homestead. Free/ 10 p.m. —GC

Rosie Ledet and The Zydeco Playboys, The ArtsCenter

Ledet gained notoriety first as a talented woman in the male-dominated arena of Zydeco music, but her soulful delivery and accordion finesse soon led her to territory where only a woman could take this music—a bluesy burn delivered in saucy Creole French. $16/ 8:30 p.m. —CT

Saturday, June 16

Unknown Hinson, Hideaway BBQ

Unknown Hinson
  • Unknown Hinson

Unknown Hinson fancies himself a 400-year-old vampire who can and will kill you with his teeth, his gun, his near-satire tales of heatbreak from the "womens" and his prickly guitar licks. Indeed, Hinson—like GWAR for the country music set, just without the silly string and with a nice suit—takes shtick to the level of necessary, singing about his alleged time in prison, his string of murder charges and his bloody past like that's actually all he is. But he has a monster of a voice, and his hillbilly delivery—dropped vowels, w's that have become r's, a dip-and-drawl—is killer. Those were awful puns, right? $15/ 9:30 p.m. —GC

The Ramblers, ArtsCenter

With roots traceable to the music parties held at Bobby and Tommy Thompson's place off Randolph Road in Durham and a fondness for what they affectionately call "the old stuff" (the works of Charlie Poole and Martin, Bogan and Armstrong for starters), the Ramblers have been at it for 35 years. Original members Bill Hicks, Jim Watson and Mike Craver are still going strong, with clawhammer banjoist Joe Newberry sitting in the late Tommy Thompson's seat. $12/ 8:30 p.m. —RC

Asylum Street Spankers, Mad Tea Party, The Pour House

Austin's Asylum Street Spankers and Asheville's Mad Tea Party were destined to perform together. The two bands share musical mettle, from their seamless blend of vintage ragtime, Tin Pan Alley and roots-rock to their good-humored harmonies. Both bands come on like bulls in china shops, tearing up old musical structures and gluing the pieces into a form that's strangely familiar but invitingly new. Still, watch out for the Street Spankers, who turn old-time tunes into dirty ditties about sex, booze and misbehavin', like a good kid gone wrong. $10-$12/ 10 p.m. —KJ

Megafaun, Barghest, Will Donegan and the Apologies, Nightlight

Raleigh trio Megafaun pushes the boundaries of traditional folk into elevated sonic textures, mixing harmonies with skittering electronics and acoustic roots, all blurring and whirring into gorgeous crescendos. The slinky sounds of Barghest, a new addition to the Trekky label featuring the solo work of Castanets member Jessie Ainslie, push the envelope further with moody guitar drone and noise loops. Other Trekky newcomers Will Donegan and the Apologies form literary parables above acoustic guitars and breathy vocals, reflecting the intimacy of Vetiver. $5/ 10 p.m. —KJ

Will Kimbrough, Forty Acres House Concert

On last year's Americanitis, Will Kimbrough—former leader of Will & the Bushmen and the current anything-with-strings go-to guy for most of Nashville's underground—let his political flag fly high. The record was a blues-rooted state of the nation (the verdict: we're in a pretty sad state). The musical highlight was "Everyone's in Love," as questioning as the other songs but a pure-pop wonder that recalled Elvis Costello in full-on Get Happy!! mode. Message with a melody, and for a ticket. 8 p.m. —RC

Monday, June 18

The Winter Sounds, The Nothing Noise, The Cave

An enticing blend of indie pop elements, this Athens, Ga., quintet have an airy, lilting sound aided by beautiful backing vocals underlying a tendency toward dream-pop grandeur. This predilection is eased by a nice guitar churn that recalls early emo acts such as Rainer Maria or even the Anniversary, anchoring the act's more fluttery moments. Their debut, Porcelain Empire, hits stores June 26. $5/ 10 p.m. —CP

Tuesday, June 19

Peelander-Z, Eyes to Space, Local 506

Japanese act Peelander-Z bills itself "action comic punk," which is a surprisingly apt description. As interested in participatory performance art as rock concerts, the band comes out in red, blue and yellow jumpsuits like Power Rangers engaging in all manner of hijinks. The music's loud, heavy and abrasive, while the stage show is like a cross between The Banana Splits Adventure Hour and Rocky Horror Picture Show. Goofy, keytar-wielding local Eyes To Space are a complementary opener, with bouncy synth-driven melodies and nerdly wit worthy of Devo. $8/ 10 p.m. —CP

Wednesday, June 20

Great Northern, Local 506

They're from California, so there's definitely a sun-kissed quality to their graceful indie pop. Lavishly conceived without weighing down the arrangements, they're abetted by Rachel Stolte's sweet vocals. The busy precision of tracks such as "Home" and "Telling Lies" from their Trading Twilight for Daylight debut suggests Garbage, though they deliver several epic, piano-driven tunes that ape cross-Atlantic mopesters like Snow Patrol and Coldplay. Elsewhere, their added crunch and power-pop swerve work better. $8/ 9 p.m. —CP

I Hate Sally, I Am Ghost, Misery Signals, The Brewery

Kingston, Ontario's I Hate Sally distilled and articulated its punk-and-metal bleedover ideas better on 2006's Don't Worry Lady, and it's a look that works well for them. Speaking of looks, if I Am Ghost had received anywhere near the same mainstream push as My Chemical Romance, they'd be just as, if not more, successful. Instead, they relied on positive word of mouth, landing them a spot on the Warped Tour. Also, Misery Signals. —BC

Joe Buck Yourself, Lamb Handler, The Cave

The rowdy rebel Joe Buck was the backbone of the Legendary Shack*Shakers for the first two albums, playing guitar, arranging and even producing their 2002 album, Cockadoodledon't. From there he jumped to Hank Williams III's backing band, manning the double bass. His versatility will be on full display as his solo project is just that: Buck on guitar, vocals and kick drum, delivering dark, anxious country rawk reminiscent of the Cramps. Tune titles: "Hillbilly Speedball" and the autobiographical "Evil Motherfucker from Tennessee." $5/ 10 p.m. —CP

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