Wilmington trio Weedeater winds back into North Carolina early next week after a month-long tour that took the band up and down both coasts and into the opening slot for a series of five shows with Southern Lord labelmates Sunn O))) and Earth. Headlining a free show with Minsk and Lair of the Minotaur at Chicago's Empty Bottle Monday night, Weedeater was practically perfect, hammering out the vitriol from its upcoming third album, God Luck and Good Speed, with a playful swagger and a drunken maul. Frontman and bassist Dave "Dixie" Collins has one of the country's gruffest real voices, singing about pot and unkind mankind like he just took a hit from a whiskey-burning pipe and carrying the band's melody and motion with meatpaws just clawing and scratching at the bass. See these guys as soon as you can.
ARETHA FRANKLIN has passed on the Triangle for the third time in as many years. Carolina Performing Arts announced Monday that Franklin has canceled her Sept. 13 engagement at UNC-Chapel Hill's Memorial Hall. Franklin's performance was set to open the series, though the date will now be taken by AL GREEN. Tickets go on sale July 23 for the series, which also includes performances by Bang on a Can with Glenn Kotche and Lee Ranaldo, Joshua Bell, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Edgar Meyer with Sam Bush and Jerry Douglas. The Queen of Soul canceled her headlining dates at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre at Regency Park in 2005 and 2006....THE HANDSOME FAMILY will perform Sept. 14 at UNC-CH as part of a special symposium on murder ballads with music critic GREIL MARCUS. The event will include an hour-long performance by the band and an hour-long conversation with Marcus....Durham trio MEGAFAUN has announced its first nationwide tour. They'll join New York trio AKRON/FAMILY and Vermont improviser GREG DAVIS for 24 dates starting in September. Surprisingly, the tour makes its only Triangle stop at The Pour House before continuing north through Canada and back down to New York. Megafaun self-released its debut LP, Bury the Square, in April. Akron/Family will be supporting its second full-length, Love Is Simple, due on Michael Gira's Young God Records on Sept. 25.... Brian Walsby's Manchild 3 will include a copy of early unreleased Melvins demos entitled Making Love.... CASEY BURNS was among the artists represented at Flatstock 13, the semiannual gathering of poster artists that usually happens at South by Southwest. The artists gathered for the Pitchfork Music Festival over the weekend (see page 42). Burns created a special poster for SONIC YOUTH's Friday performance of Daydream Nation, depicting a young girl riding a horse and wearing headphones. To see the poster, visit www.caseyburns.com.