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This Week's Best Bets

For March 15 through March 21

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In should-be-famous

The Joggers
  • The Joggers

If you read what follows and deem THE JOGGERS possibly worthy of your time and money but need to convince a friend to go along for the show, said friend will probably ask you one question: "Who are The Joggers?" You should reply that they are an indie rock quartet from Portland. But your friend is no fool: Just because it's left coast indie rock, it's not necessarily cool (thanks for flubbing that one, Rogue Wave). This friend, no doubt, needs to know what The Joggers sound like. Try this in phases. Phase 1: "They sound like The Strokes, if The Strokes sounded as interesting as people like to think they do." Friend hates The Strokes? A good friend; Phase 2: "They sound like they're a young rock quartet from Brooklyn, without the homogenous Brooklyn band complex." Friend not into paradoxes? Phase 3: "Imagine Robert Pollard, Stephen Malkmus and Doug Martsch spending a month in a cabin with mid-level pot and loads of cheap beer and making some of the most interesting music of their lives." Friend not down with indie idols? Phase 4: "After lead singer Ben Whiteside broke down on tour for the band's debut Solid Guild, they took a break, lost a guitarist and returned like a band on a mission to shed its Brooklyn-band comparisons. It's quirky indie rock full of songs about girls and the government, with exasperatingly clever key, chord and time signature changes throughout." Friend an idiot? Well, I'm all out of words, but hey, good luck! Tell your friends: The Joggers are awesome, and they play Local 506 on Wednesday, March 22 with Malt Swagger and Dirty on Purpose at 9:30 p.m. for $8. --Grayson Currin

In metastatic fundamentalism

God's Man in Texas
  • God's Man in Texas

It's a theatrical target as broad as the side of a barn: the Baptist megachurches whose day care, schools and colleges (and singles groups, bowling alleys and dinner theaters) seek to cater to--and insulate--parishioners, cradle to grave, from our dangerously sinful world. Still, one gets the nagging feeling that playwright David Rambo should have learned more from his two years of studying fundamentalism, Texas-style, than what we see in GOD'S MAN IN TEXAS, now at Playmakers Rep at UNC's Center for Dramatic Art. But performances this compelling--including Kenneth Strong's journeyman preacher seduced by Big Religion, and Sean Hennigan's Hugo, a good ol' boy of an audio technician, trying to rise above his checkered past--leave us with a lot to think about. The rest of our review is on page 31. The drama runs through March 26. Visit www.playmakersrep.org. --Byron Woods

In dissenting opinions

Love him or hate him, there's no filmmaker better at starting high-brow arguments than Michael Haneke. The Austrian filmmaker is notorious for his eviscerating studies of bourgeois anxiety, from the family terrorized by sadistic killers in Funny Games to the violent self-loathing of The Piano Teacher. With Caché (Hidden), Haneke resumes his obsessions in what may turn out to be his most commercially successful film. Suffused with dread and interrupted by shocking violence, Caché is a thriller that will keep viewers talking long after its final, mysterious shot. (It's not for everyone: See Godfrey Cheshire's take on page 57.) Opens Friday in select theaters. --David Fellerath

In markets, fresh

Farmers' Markets
  • Farmers' Markets

There are a few things--like, say, the midnight creaking of a Southern Chorus Frog--that tell you spring is here. But few spring harbingers are as bountiful as the early farmers' markets. Yup, the violets and crocuses aren't the only things opening this week. Carrbororators will see their Carrboro Farmers' Market--just off Main Street near Town Hall--open Saturday, March 18. Kale yes there'll be greens, along with goat cheese, eggs, greenhouse tomatoes and more. Elsewhere, the year-round state farmers' market in Raleigh (I-40 and Lake Wheeler Road) is having its Spring Craft Fair Friday through Sunday as well. But stay tuned--markets in Cary, Hillsborough, Durham and Fearrington Village are set to open in April. For details, see the Farmers' Market listings in our Spectator calendar starting on page 33. --Kirk Ross

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