This week's guide contains:
YES, PLEASE: Whoarfrost, Small Ponds, Birds and Arrows, Fan Modine, L in Japanese Dance Party, The Psychedelic Furs, Richard Bacchus, Young Antiqes, Dash Rip Rock, Phatlynx
VS.: Phantom Glue vs. Jimbo Mathus & the Tri-State Coalitions
VS.: Sam Coffey and the Iron Lungs vs. Arbouretum
07.06 WHOARFROST @ NIGHTLIGHT
The name of Baltimore guitar-bass-drum trio Whoarfrost might suggest death metal iconography, and that's not altogether incorrect; the band's got songs called "Devil's Breath" and "The Youth Are Sniffing Shit," both of which seem custom-built for Florida heshers. You'll find traces of that darkness in the band's lyrics, but guitarist Jon Lipscomb presents them not in his best Cookie Monster growl but instead in a perfectly anxious whimper, as if Steve Albini were more obsessed with barking than biting. The band itself skitters through songs that suggest a marriage of free-jazz ambition, Naked City irreverence and, indeed, heavy metal's attention to tone. Think about No Wave taking simultaneous turns for the technical and absurd, and you'll get close to Whoarfrost. Kolyma and Rumplestiltsken finish the bill. Whoarfrost also plays at Slim's Friday, July 8, at 9 p.m. That show is $5. —Grayson Currin
07.09 SMALL PONDS, BIRDS AND ARROWS, FAN MODINE @ MOTORCO
And here come the harmonies: Small Ponds' music is defined as much by the absorbingly minimalist instrumentation as it is by the well-schooled duets of Caitlin Cary and Matt Douglas. But where Small Ponds reaches in, Birds and Arrows reaches out. The Chapel Hill folk-pop trio is built around songwriting team and couple Pete and Andrea Connolly, and their harmonies strike a more conversational balance. Fan Modine applies Eno-inspired synth textures to sparkling pop that moves with the spirit of kids playing tag. The band shares a carefree, often celebratory attitude with Birds and Arrows, even when Small Ponds are musing introspectively. $7/ 8 p.m. —Corbie Hill
07.09 L IN JAPANESE DANCE PARTY @ LOCAL 506
L in Japanese is Peter Daye's electro splash project. He's a DJ who spins melodic webs that will capture you with their sticky appeal. L in Japanese traverses the lines of R&B, electronica and hip-hop, but remains consistently danceable. Daye cites musical influences ranging from Neil Young to J Dilla, if that gives you an impression of the sort of variety you will encounter. The dance party he hosts tonight at Local 506 has been promoted as "21 and younger" because no alcohol will be sold at the venue on the night of the event. Whether this deters or encourages you, be warned. $10/ 9 p.m. —Nina Rajagopalan
07.09 THE PSYCHEDELIC FURS @ CAT'S CRADLE
The Furs are a bridge between punk and the subsequent synth-driven, Roxy Music-biting neo-romantic movement. Formed in 1977, the band reinforced an old-school spirit with jagged guitars and an early use of sax, which tended more toward noisy skronk than soothing ooze. Landing somewhere between Public Image Limited, Joy Division and the Cure, they were at once bristling and creamy, though success in the American market pulled their late-'80s albums toward shimmery dance pop. The Furs broke up in 1991, but they have reunited on several occasions since the millennium without releasing a new studio album. Their current tour includes a rendition of catalog highlight Talk Talk Talk in its entirety. $25–$28/ 8 p.m. —Chris Parker
07.09 RICHARD BACCHUS, YOUNG ANTIQUES @ SLIM'S
This night could get wild: Rowdy Atlanta crew Young Antiques play straight-ahead rock 'n' roll with a gusto that's inspired by booze, sweat and testosterone. More Ramones than Replacements, more George Thorogood than Sleigh Bells, they treat irony and artifice like anathema, letting it all hang out on tracks like "Nothing At All" and "Fucked Up in Public." What they do isn't for everyone, but they're good at what they do. The same applies to Richard Bacchus, a former New York glam rocker who now leads his bands with the menacing conviction of a badass who has just peeled himself from a motorcycle seat. $3/ 10 p.m. —Grayson Currin
07.09 DASH RIP ROCK, PHATLYNX @ BERKELEY
Rowdy, hat-waving Big Easy cowpunks Dash Rip Rock play Delta roots music with fervor and irreverence. Though the trio's lineup has changed many times in the last quarter-century, frontman Bill Davis and his colleagues remain true to their boot-stomping, good-time ideal. There's a bar band looseness to these songs that dovetails nicely with their devil-may-care attitude. Whether pledging allegiance to "Beer Town, USA," turning "At the Hop" into "(Let's Go) Smoke Some Pot" or forging a redneck version of Dante's Inferno, you can count on Dash Rip Rock for enthusiastic high-energy sonic hijinks. With rotund Link Wray tribute band Phatlynx. $10–$12/ 9 p.m. —Chris Parker
SUNDAY, JULY 10
From: Allston, Mass.
Since: Late '00s
Claim to fame: Stoner Doom Metal
Led by Matt Oates, former frontman of Boston's (not the Triangle's) The Huguenots, this Massachusetts quartet moves with deliberate intensity. Though the malevolently throbbing guitar indulges its share of fleet fingers, it's the deep-seated grooves and indefatigable bottom-heavy boogie that predominates. This cornerstone compensates for the muddy roar and the not-quite-Cookie Monster vocal growl, thankfully threatening to make their self-titled debut interesting. It can't make good on the threat, though, too often failing to find new territory or interesting ways to invigorate this increasingly familiar formula. Its appeal lies with genre fans but is too narrow to reach far beyond that. With Hog and Bitter Resolve. At CASBAH. $5–$8/ 9 p.m.
JIMBO MATHUS & THE TRI-STATE COALITIONS
From: Mississippi, the Triangle
Since: Early '90s
Claim to fame: Ex-Metal Flake Mother member who leads Squirrel Nut Zippers
Jimbo Mathus has led a colorful career focused on an eclectic range of American roots forms. With the Zippers, this meant jazz and swing; since going solo, though, he's spent his time primarily exploring the blues from a grimy Hill Country perspective. It's little wonder that he's worked with the Dickinsons (Cody , Luther and the late Jim) and some of their protégés to re-create the primal rhythmic rumble and loose-limbed spunk of the region. Mathus sounds at home amid the ramshackle. His latest, Confederate Buddha, is his first solo release written with a band in mind, blending his country-blues fascinations with a greasy Southern rock swagger. Phantom Glue may be louder, but Mathus' rock is heartier, hookier and much more convincing. With Gasoline Stove. At LOCAL 506. $10–$12/ 8:30 p.m. —Chris Parker
WEDNESDAY, JULY 13>
- Photo courtesy of the band
- Sam Coffey and the Iron Lungs
SAM COFFEY AND THE IRON LUNGS
From: Ontario, Canada
Claim to fame: Straddling the line between ramshackle and sloppy
As garage rock bands go, Sam Coffey and the Iron Lungs represent the best and worst of what that world can offer. As their self-titled debut is eager to show, these guys are well-versed in the ways of Bob Seger's preferred sounds—you know, the same sort of stuff the Sonics and Kingsmens of the world were trying to ape—and they can definitely make their tunes sound like they were put to tape back in the '60s. But, at least on record, their enthusiasm far outstrips their skill; here's hoping their live show frames them in a more forgiving light. With The Music Box and The Bamfs. At THE PINHOOK. $5/ 10 p.m.
- Photo courtesy of the band
Claim to fame: The best kind of strange brew
On the other hand, even if you're not predisposed to radio-friendly psychedelic rock, it's easy to tell that Arbouretum do that thing as well as anyone. On this year's The Gathering, everything's working correctly. The bass lines are nice and thick. The guitars are loud and scuzzy. The drums are big and booming. Even the vocals convey a sense of dramatic poetic portent. The album was supposedly inspired by a Carl Jung book, but thankfully there's no need to do any homework in order to get with these grooves. In this battle between two sounds of the '60s, Arbouretum's definitely the group you want to know. With Free Electric State and STAG. At CASBAH. $7–$10/ 9 p.m. —David Raposa
07.08 LIZH @ CAT'S CRADLE
Dominican by birth, a New Yorker during childhood and currently a North Carolinian, Lizh has lived the hodgepodge of cultures that she brings to her music. "All cultures are different ice cream flavors; peanut butter ice cream and strawberry ice cream are really different but they're still ice cream," she explains. "Music is beautiful because it takes all those styles and all those forms and makes a tutti-frutti out of them."
Lizh's music crosses borders just as her background does. A given track may draw upon blues, jazz, Latin funk, pop and all of the above. "Tra," for instance, showcases spicy chanted lyrics and a musical melding of American and Latino tradition that's reminiscent of Yerba Buena. The soulful "Bent" features pining vocals, plunging piano and a screaming guitar solo. "Don't You Worry Mama" is an über-bluesy number that Lizh wrote upon her move to North Carolina. She came seeking an artistic environment that offered a comparable caliber of talent without the feeling of being "lost in a wave of people" that can swallow a person whole.
A poet, singer and multi-instrumentalist, Lizh wants to share her ideas and experiences through art. To her, art is vitality and the ultimate form of communication. "It's the ability we have to express our moral system, our emotions and the way we perceive the world," she says. "Art spans culture, time, everything, regardless of what form it takes."
After being awarded the title of Latin Poet of the Year by N.C.'s National Poetry Awards in 2010, and having earned a spot in the Women's Empowerment Expo at the RBC Center, the evidence keeps tumbling in: Lizh is worth hearing. With The Balance. $7/ 9 p.m. —Nina Rajagopalan