This week's guide contains:
YES, PLEASE: des_ark/ Tubers, Kaze & L.E.G.A.C.Y., Terry Adams Rock 'n' Roll Quartet, Black Lips, David Wilcox, Waumiss/ Polynya, Ruby Suns
VS.: A Place to Bury Strangers vs. Sons & Daughters
SONG OF THE WEEK: Liam Finn's "Second Chance"
03.13 DES_ARK, TUBERS @ BCHQ
Whether it's with a sole banjo or a full band (tonight, it's the former), Aimee Argote always leaves a bruise, tenderly hammering her gospel to dumbfounded faces, delivering every note as pained and pretty as the beautifully fucked-up worlds of her songs. And fresh off a month-long European tour, her Durham-based des_ark returns to the Triangle with Bakery Outlet labelmates Tubers and Environmental Youth Crunch. Both from St. Augustine, Fla., Tubers' wonderful (tw)angular stomp harkens back to guitarist Rich Diem's previous band, Twelve Hour Turn, while sister group EYC yells drunk pop-punk anthems about cops, camping and cows. $5/ 8 p.m. —Rich Ivey
3.15 KAZE & L.E.G.A.C.Y. @ LOCAL 506
For nearly a decade, Chapel Hill's Kaze has grappled with hip hop's lurking undertow while giving N.C. and the rest of the hip-hop nation a most consistent wave-run. Finally, he gets some due: The famed, late '90s Rawkus Records hip-hop stable is seemingly "back" in business, and on its second big-time industry run, it chose to sign fellow N.C. lifetimers Kaze and L.E.G.A.C.Y. for its new "Rawkus 50" re-emergence project, wherein the label will release 50 albums by 50 deserving, undiscovered emcees. For these two, persistence was rewarded, hard work paid in part. Tonight, their hard beats-n-rhymes will mos def be in the building. $7/ 10 p.m. —Eric Tullis
03.15 TERRY ADAMS ROCK 'N' ROLL QUARTET @ BERKELEY CAFE
If you've ever seen NRBQ, then you know how crazy talented keyboard king Terry Adams is—part Jerry Lee, part jazzman, part Jagger. And the guy wrote "I Want You Bad"! It's more of the same in the Quartet—eclectic guitar/ bass/ drums/ keys fun, but with even more Terry. Bonus for Figgs fans: The Quartet's bassist is Pete Donnelly. $15/ 9 p.m. —Rick Cornell
03.16 BLACK LIPS @ LOCAL 506
Atlanta, Ga., flower punks Black Lips made Carrboro a regular tour stop these past few years, but their shows at the Cat's Cradle always fell a little short. Room's too big, stage's too tall, tequila's not to be found. Local 506 hosts this time: Get yourself good and liquored up for what may be the dirtiest, most raucous rock show in the Triangle this year. For more on openers Quintron, see page 39. With local allies The Gondoliers. $10/ 9:30 p.m. —Rich Ivey
03.16 DAVID WILCOX @ THE ARTSCENTER
Asheville transplant David Wilcox's breathy baritone and easygoing folk stylings harken to James Taylor, with a similarly soothing aesthetic touched with an earthier vibe. Wilcox's latest, Airstream, is his first studio release to forgo the band in favor of the solo acoustic sound he brings live. $20-$23/ 8:30 p.m. —Chris Parker
03.18 WAUMISS, POLYNYA @ HELL
This incestuous bill finds four interconnected local bands exploring various facets of lo-fi. Waumiss features Clarque Blomquist (The Kingsbury Manx, Shallow Be Thy Name) and Caroline Blomquist (also of Shallow). They play weird-pop with samples, drum machines and homely instrumentation, and plan to present an extended version of a song by Clarque's late '90s metal band Goat Thrower. Mike Myerson, formerly of Shallow, performs with Impossible Arms, which shares a member with Bow Hunter, an act empploying digitally assisted viola. Polynya's silvery indie-rock rounds out a bill that's got a little shimmy, a bit of rock, a splash of drone, and a lot of unvarnished sass. Free/ 9 p.m. —Brian Howe
03.19 RUBY SUNS @ LOCAL 506
Using New Zealand's North and South islands as harbors for travel into Asia and Africa, California native Ryan McPhun formed the trio Ruby Suns in 2004. His music centers on a wistful pop core that's scattered into impressionistic glory by ethnic influence and experimental playfulness. This year's Sea Lion, out now on Sub Pop, is like a deep sleep in a hammock, smiling and dreaming, drunk on unknown cocktails. With headliners Le Loup, a D.C. band more crafty on record than on stage, and Chapel Hill openers The Busy World. $8/ 9 p.m. —Grayson Currin
A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS
From: New York, N.Y.
Claim to fame: "The loudest band in New York" produces loud buzz in the press
A Place to Bury Strangers' Oliver Ackermann left his Virginia dream pop outfit Skywave in 2003 for New York. His reputation as a bandleader followed that as an audio engineer, as his Death By Audio pedals have been used by musicians including Wilco's Nels Cline. Applying those pedals to a shoegazer trio, Ackermann and the resultant APTBS built a reputation for pummeling. While they're certainly loud, the volume and its distortion only obfuscate songs that have been done better, creating lackluster textures impressive only through submission. If you don't visit indie rock's fringes, enjoy this "wild" ride. If you do, you know there's better punishment. Holy Fuck and Red Collar are live spectacles well worth your time, but the bill's other third is as fulfilling as the press's empty revivalist praise. At LOCAL 506. $10-$12/ 9 p.m.
SONS & DAUGHTERS
From: Glasgow, Scotland
Claim to fame: Every band name should be that universal
These four Glaswegians make bounding pop music that bounces, catches and lures, laying out tight little hooks in mostly straightforward drum-guitar-bass-keys arrangements. But Sons & Daughters moves with an outer edge of toughness that's mostly absent in bands with this much appeal. Slightly subversive and slightly more dangerous, the band adds a hint of foreboding and anxiety to songs that are instantly singable. "Darling," from the band's fantastic new album This Gift, punches straight ahead with a jagged guitar line that's always a short step in front of a jolly tambourine-and-snare beat. But Adele Bethel's superficial cheer comes undercut by the feeling that she's staring into a wicked crystal ball, looking at a marriage that kills the husband. A synthesizer whirs like the wind. See this one. With Bodies of Water at CAT'S CRADLE. $10-$12/9:30 p.m. —Grayson Currin
You may recognize the names Kuki Kooks, Sandee Kooks, Ryan Lee and Mike Walters from any number of bands that have called the Triangle home during the last decade: Lee spent time in Cities and The Rose Marie; Walters was a Jett Rink staple and a Dexter Romweber sideman; both Sandee and Kuki were in Fashion Design.
But the four now call New York home, and frontman Lee says things are going well for the transplants, whose nervy, skittering tunes split the difference between retro New York New Wave and Brooklyn circa '00 post-punk. They play often, and their New York draw has already eclipsed their Chapel Hill draw.
"It was kind of a dive off a cliff, but it's worked out so far," says Lee, who lives with the Kooks siblings in the same Brooklyn space in which they practice. Walters was already in New York before the trio arrived, and he hopped right in with his synthesizers. "This isn't a hobby. This is something we want to do for real, and the best way to get discovered or for people to hear you is to go where they are." Fan-Tan returns this week for a local show with Max Indian and The Love Language. $6/ 10 p.m. —Grayson Currin