Defending the Caveman
Fletcher Hall, Carolina Theatre—Rob Becker spent three years writing a solo show that would explore the relationship between the sexes based on his study of anthropology, history, psychology, sociology and mythology. After opening his show in San Francisco during the George H.W. Bush administration, the phenomenon spread and spread. Now, the hardwired neurochemistry of the male homo sapiens has been ardently defended in more than 30 countries, to the delight of millions. If you go to Vegas, there's a show every night, as sure as the slot machines will take your money.
The show promises us that it will have "both sexes roaring with laughter and recognition. Affectionate nudging between audience members occurs during the performance as they recognize themselves in the stories being told on stage."
So, can it be any good? If you haven't had an opportunity to find out, or if you're a Caveman groupie, you've got two opportunities to catch it, Friday night and tonight at 8 p.m. at the Carolina. Visit www.carolinatheatre.org for more info. —David Fellerath
A Rooster for the Masses, Rat Jackson, Arizona
The Cave—Broken Era, the newly released full-length from Raleigh's A Rooster For The Masses, follows in the vein of debut EP Gallo Rojo with throbbing bass pulses, dance-floor beats and slanted hooks. Franz Ferdinand and The Killers are certainly contemporaries, but Rooster delivers its slinky grooves with social consciousness—"Chinese Guitars" waxes political on American consumerism, while "No Party Downtown" pines the loss of Oak City hotspot King's Barcade. This triple bill also conjoins Rat Jackson, who avoid neo-garage rock clichés by playing like it's got a pair, and Asheville's Arizona, whose dreamy pop charms have the breeze of an Appalachian home and the sun-baked feel of a Southwest namesake. Makes sense, right? Donate kindly at 10 p.m. Arizona also plays Raleigh twice on Friday: 5:15 p.m. at Schoolkids and 10 p.m. at Slim's. —Spencer Griffith
- Ralph Stanley
Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Boys
Garner Historic Auditorium—During Ralph Stanley's 60-year career as a banjo picker, songwriter, singer and at-large historical conduit, there's been perhaps no better photo of the octogenarian than that snapped Nov. 9, 2006. With a smiling George W. Bush to his left and Laura Bush to his right, Carter stands in the Oval Office, pricelessly without grin, his arms straight at his sides, and the thick-ribboned National Medal of Arts hanging dutifully around his neck. A year later, Carter endorsed Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards. Following Edwards' defeat, Stanley held his endorsement until October, when he told his fellow Virginia natives, "I think I know a little something about the families around here. We all need a change." Perhaps his passionate endorsement of Barack Obama helped turn Virginia blue for the first time since 1968. While Stanley advocated for political change, though, his music has luckily remained fairly constant, sitting at the edges of bluegrass and country, preservation and entertainment. In preparation, find a copy of The Legendary Stanley Brothers Vol. 2, and notice the rough-edge charm that follows the brothers from a Shenandoah Valley Bowl performance in 1958 out to the other coast to their glorious Hollywood shows in 1962. Enjoy "Little Bennie" at 8 p.m. for $30. —Grayson Currin