This week's guide contains:
YES, PLEASE: The Wading Girl/ Jokes&Jokes&Jokes, Yo Majesty, Newton & Turner, Felix Obelix, Kevn Kinney Band, Chairmen of the Board
VS.: The Duhks/ Tennessee Jed vs. The Rosebuds/ Megafaun/ The Love Language
SONG OF THE WEEK: David Karsten Daniels' "Martha Ann"
01.22 THE WADING GIRL/ JOKES&JOKES&JOKES @ RESERVOIR
This is what small rooms were made for—rocking folk/folksy rock as well suited for a bonfire as a bar by bands borrowing folk's rustic simplicity, punk's something-to-say impetus and the DIY traditions of both. Roanoke, Va.'s Wading Girl lounges in Southern tropes—religion, small-town America and the freedoms/confinements of both. Wading Girl's got three records out, all of which are offered for free on the band's MySpace for your pre-show pleasure. Local duo Jokes&Jokes&Jokes relies on similar themes for its own parables driven by frontdude Owen FitzGerald's observational tomes. Donations/ 10 p.m. —Bryan Reed
01.23 YO MAJESTY @ THE BREWERY
After a cascade of buzz behind the 2006 Yo EP, Florida female hip-hop trio Yo Majesty suffered a setback when co-founder Shon B split with fellow emcee Shunda K. But, Domino Records deal in hand, Shunda K soldiered on with another B named Jwl, bringing the same swagger, reverse chauvinism and crunkish anthems to the stage and last year's Futuristically Speaking ... Never Be Afraid LP. Yo Majesty's strongest material remains its oldest, but "Club Action" (if you listen to hip-hop via Girl Talk only, that'd be the song with the "Fuck that shit/ fuck that shit" refrain) is still as perfect as the day Yo Majesty first got noticed. That is, the beats pound, the verses maul, and—tonight—this party sweats. With Floetry's Natalie Stewart. $8/ 8 p.m. —Grayson Currin
01.23 NEWTON & TURNER @ PAPA MOJO'S ROADHOUSE
Chambers fill up with heavy breath, reeds bend and wail, and high lonesome notes pierce the air as Bill Newton and Chris Turner challenge each other to a shiv fight with their harmonicas. Playing locally for 30 years, Newton faces Turner, himself with more than 40 years under his belt and currently based out of Rhode Island. Rock, folk, blues—each combatant possesses a well of experience to haul out virtuosic licks with ease. Newton and Turner breathe their harmonicas into life, vibrating them like vocal chords. The winner of the duel is anyone who pays $7 to hear the 9:30 p.m. show. —
01.23 FELIX OBELIX @ THE ARTSCENTER
Perhaps the most interesting and certainly the most enduring idea for a concert in recent memory, tonight's bill comprises a number of auspicious occasions: It's the live premiere of Felix Obelix, the band of former Eyes to Space bassist Wendy Spitzer, now mixing the repetitive diatonic pulses of early Philip Glass with the spirited sense of adventure heard in Deerhoof. The band's first EP—all about memory, death, life and the way they skate into one another—sees limited-edition release tonight, too. To commemorate the show and, as Spitzer puts it, "this transition period in American history," Spitzer has linked with The Preservation Society of Chapel Hill to stuff a time capsule during tonight's show. Everyone's invited to bring an object for the capsule, which will be opened in 2059. A video confessional booth will also be available to capture the post-Obama-inaugural thoughts of attendees. $5/ 8 p.m. —Grayson Currin
01.24 KEVN KINNEY BAND @ THE POUR HOUSE
Surrounded by bandmates in rootsy crunch-rockers Drivin' N' Cryin' or the more recent, even more eclectic Sun Tangled Angel Revival, Kevn Kinney is clearly the engine that makes the enterprise fly courageously. But when the spotlight's directly on him, he's channeling Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie and, on the epic "Broken Hearts and Auto Parts" (his solo high mark), Bruce Springsteen at his early, storytelling best. Here, Kinney soars even higher. And take the non-Brothers Smith away from Patty Hurst Shifter for a night, and they achieve flight with their own brand of rugged grace. $10-$12/ 9 p.m. —Rick Cornell
01.24 CHAIRMEN OF THE BOARD @ LINCOLN THEATRE
The Chairmen of the Board party train just keeps on rolling: Over its decades-long career in soul and beach music, the Chairmen's become an institution with staples like "Carolina Girl," entertaining the shag dance circuit and party-goers up and down the Eastern seaboard. And while many a beach music band strives on, the Chairmen truly is king. Beach music lovers will be there singing along, and you first-timers should join 'em. With The Executives. $10-$12/ 9 p.m. —Chris Toenes
01.24 LUEGO @ BROAD STREET CAFE
Haste almost got the better of Luego, the band of Durham songwriter Patrick Phelan. "I rushed the last [tour] and went out for about eight or nine months, and lost money pretty much every night," admits Phelan. "That's the quickest way to break up a band."
Sure enough, it did, and Phelan almost threw in the towel. Then Peter Holsapple, sometime player in The dB's, R.E.M. and Hootie and the Blowfish, talked him out of it. "Peter keeps telling me he wants to take a back seat, but he's been a real mentor and friend to me," says Phelan. "He came at the right time."
Since adding multi-instrumentalist Holsapple last fall, Luego has also earned some extra power with drummer Rob DiMauro and Roman Candle/ Max Indian members Nick Jaeger and Jeff Crawford. Phelan says there's a revival of rock classicism in Chapel Hill, citing Max Indian and The Old Ceremony as peers. In turn, this new Luego has traded its orchestral dabbling for a rock solid foundation in Neil Young-type roots rock, Comboland pop and even a touch of T. Rex swagger. "I feel like we're on to something pretty big," Phelan offers. He'll be giving out free two-song CD samplers of the bigness found on Luego's forthcoming LP tonight. Free/ 8 p.m. —Bryan Reed
SATURDAY, JAN. 24
THE DUHKS/ TENNESSEE JED
From: Winnipeg, Manitoba/ Cary
Since: 2002/ 2006
Claim to fame: Polyrhythmic Worldicana makes The Duhks a Shakori Hills favorite
Where fiddle mingles with Latin drums, expect to find The Duhks. The high-flying Canadian five-piece is edgy in a folk sphere that doesn't encourage risks too often. "Sleepin' Is All I Want To Do," for instance, sees soulful Sarah Dugas doing her best Norah Jones immediately after unleashing a torrent of Spanish rhymes on "Magalenha" and breathing smoky French vocals over "Toujours Vouloir." From such disparate elements as Scottish reels and Brazilian rhythms, the band's latest, Fast Paced World, weaves a cohesive tapestry that's somehow challenging and accessible. Opener Tennessee Jed's comfortable acoustic tales come more directly with turns at alt-country, newgrass and folk. At BERKELEY CAFE. $12-$15/ 9 p.m.
THE ROSEBUDS/ MEGAFAUN/ THE LOVE LANGUAGE
Since: 2001/ 2006/ 2006
Claim to fame: Pop jangles, backwoods rambles and that T-Pain mashup
The Rosebuds continued its upward trajectory with Life Like, a home-brewed fourth full-length, by situating Night of the Furies dance pop amongst lushly arranged organic surroundings. While a preview of Megafaun's nearly completed sophomore album Gather, Form and Fly finds the trio embracing American Beauty and rooting themselves in song, it's impossible to tell in which direction those songs will go live—the untended path marked by gentle banjo strums may lead to squalls of feedback, clatters of percussion or gorgeous swells of fraternal harmonies. The Love Language's bright guitar-pop raves flash heavy Beatles influence. Pick your party tonight. At CAT'S CRADLE. $10-$12/ 9 p.m. —Spencer Griffith