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The daily guide to local live music

Eight Days a Week 

The daily guide to local live music

Chapel Hill
James Hatfield & The Marmalade
Local 506

If the surname or the initials sound familiar, they should. James Hatfield is indeed the brother of indie crooning legend Juliana Hatfield, and he doesn't shy away from it: She handles the harmonies on both of his efforts with The Marmalade, and he spent the past few weeks house-sitting for her while she toured. James, a balding guy in black-rim glasses, has a sound apart from that of his sis', though. Fuzzy, gray and warm, he pleads earnest pop songs, quilting aural blankets for bleak days. --GC

Snatches of Pink, Universal Joint, The Greatest Hits
Martin Street Music Hall

Stumbling, double-visioned, Stonesy-swagger with a rebellious rock roar; scabrous, calloused guitar slipping through the hole in their melodic pocket and trailing behind like a series of dysfunctional relationships. The glam is gone but the dream isn't, as singer/guitarist Michael Rank's retrofitted Snatches returns as a four-piece, jettisoning the textured explorations of Clarissa, and re-engineering the early hard-rocking crunch into a hungrier, open-mawed bite of riff-heavy, fist-in-the-air rawk that makes the New York Dolls look like a bunch of cross-dressing momma's boys. --CP

David Childers & the Modern Don Juans, Monsonia

Once a year, Mt. Holly, N.C.'s David Childers rolls out an album that mixes early rock, songwriter country, and various sneaky-wise intangibles of his own design, and not enough people buy it. A half-dozen times a year, Childers plays the Triangle--sometimes solo, sometimes with like-minded comrades the Modern Don Juans--and not enough people show up. Come on out. Buy the records. That is all. --RC

Will Hoge, Nathan Davis Band, Jason Adamo, Evenfall
Lincoln Theater

Hardcore Live, brainchild of video busyman David Figueroa, is presenting its first showcase. Auditions for next season will begin at 8 p.m., followed by performances from past winners Jason Adamo and Evenfall. Charleston's Will Hoge headlines, but local guitar-wieldin', blues-singin' soulman Nathan Davis is the one to watch. --GC

El Pus
Go! Room 4

"You better pull your pants up," sings Cufi on the joyously anarchic "Suburban Thuggin'," demonstrating in their Fishbone-worthy, snap-crackle-rock just how misguided rap-metal is. The crunchy guitar and pummeling rhythms echo the possibilities of a mosh pulse in service to a hip-hop bounce. --CP

Iris Dement
Cat's Cradle

On her first record, Americana sweetheart Iris Dement made us wax philosophic on "Let the Mystery Be" and--okay, I'll admit it--cry with "Mama's Opry." Since, she showed sides both feisty ("Wasteland of the Free") and randy ("In Spite of Ourselves," a duet with John Prine). She's been off the radar for a few years, but whatever she comes back with is bound to be wonderful. --RC

The Minders, North Elementary
Go! Room 4

There's a reason it's called timeless pop, and whether you trace the antecedents to the Beatles or more obscure progenitors like Left Banke, the constituents are the same: elegant easy-going melodies, tight harmonies and infectious choruses. Originally a part of the Elephant Six collective (Apples in Stereo, Olivia Tremor Control), The Minders' sunny, Brit Invasion sound bears traces of Guided By Voices. --CP

Chapel Hill
Frank Jordan
Local 506

The layered arrangements and ringing, textured guitars have a richness worthy of British shoegazers like Ride, though the ambling melodies squirt in unexpected directions like wet soap. There's a captivating heft to the California three-piece's swelling, sonic swoon, and singer/guitarist Mike Visser's strong, winning vocals have a supple grace that ever so gently recalls Sting, or a less piqued Thom Yorke. --CP CARY Jonathan Byrd, Ed Snodderly Six String Cafe -- More than a singer/songwriter, Byrd is a fine finger-picking folk player whose compositions have a light gossamer grace with touches of Appalachia, bluegrass and country. He sings with a strong, clear tenor and works in a bit of wit alongside his frequent ballads, such as the Percocet-popping, ex-con from the title track of his second album, The Waitress. --CP

Axis of Change Benefit with The Smittens, The Snow Fairies

If it's true you catches more flies with honey than vinega, then the latest Axis of Change billing--a homegrown political organization rallying behind an "Anybody But Bush" platform--makes perfect sense. The Smittens may be the prettiest pop band ever to emerge from Burlington, Vt., with stoic vocals and puns with pounds and pounds of Prozac. Philadelphia's Snow Fairies paint splendid gossamer portraits of love. --GC

Chapel Hill
Local 506

Rene Escharcha is Elvis--at least in his own mind. The Charlotte-based Filipino Elvis impersonator who goes by the name of Renelvis combines the King's originals with his own material inspired by Presley, as well as The Beatles done Presley style. Escharcha's motives are not as self-serving as other would-be Elvises. The gate goes toward the medical bills for his autistic daughter, who also has Down's syndrome. --GB

Dillon Fence, Hobex, The Never
Cat's Cradle

When his band broke up in '96, Dillon Fence's Greg Humphreys felt he was beating his head against the wall because so many bands copied them and made more money. Now he's back, touring with a two-CD set due out Sept. 7. --GB

Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers
Durham Armory

Don't be fooled by the name. Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers are no bunch of backwoods thumpers. The eight-piece swing band with vocalist Smith features musicians who've worked with the biggest names in jazz, blues and r&b--from Duke Ellington to Big Mama Thornton to Dr. John. Smith's sassy, sultry delivery of jazz and swing standards on Everybody's Talkin 'Bout Miss Thing on her own Fat Note Record label got her a four-and-a-half-star review from Downbeat. --GB

Chapel Hill
Rocketfire Red, The Maybellines, The Lil Hospital, The Smittens
Local 506

The Rocketfires of Durham self-released a great CD last year that mixed the crackle of pop-punk with swooning lo-fi fun numbers. This gig finds them matched with very like-minded souls in a trio of bands visiting the Southeast for the Athens Popfest. Denver's The Maybellines, bubblegum bandits The Smittens (who describe themselves as not lo-fi but fi-curious), and The Lil Hospital all share the same love of sugary melodies and innocent glee while inserting a few pop hooks to keep things bouncing along. This is great summer fun for a Sunday night on the Hill. --CT

Chris Smith, Scott Phillips

Sure, they both can write. "Yeah, Mama says you're welcome/And you can smoke out on the porch," offered Smith on Patty Hurst Shifter's debut Beestinger Lullabies, while Dollar Movie, the most recent release from Phillips' Goner, was nostalgia presented so accurately that it stung. But let's put the two guys in front of a Sadlack's Sunday evening crowd, sans bands, and then we'll see how tough they are. -- RC

Allison Moorer
Cat's Cradle

While most of her peers put out pop slush, Allison Moorer favors classic country--not covers, but originals that sound like '60s country. Finally out from under the shadow of older sister Shelby Lynne after Robert Redford was so impressed with her "A Soft Place to Fall" that he gave her a part in The Horse Whisperer, Moorer vows to have commercial country success her way. "I want to be remembered as somebody who stuck to their guns, and did their own music, and followed their own path and did something that meant something," she says. " Not necessarily to everybody else, but to me."-- GB

The Skeptix, D.O.C., Antagonizers, Neonmaniacs
The Brewery

Is or is not punk back at The Brewery? Maybe. After months of predominately metal showcases mixed in with cheesy gimmicks and upstart hip-hop nights, Britain's The Skeptix will hit the historic Hillsborough Street stage on a U.S. tour that has included stops at CBGB's, Emo's and Slim's in San Fran. These guys have been around since '78, but they're kicking out the socio-political jams once again in this, an election year, a time for punk.-- GC

Jolie Holland
Go! Room 4

Former Be-Good Tanya Jolie Holland just may be the premiere chanteuse of the newfangled left-field folk movement, writing ukulele, piano and guitar songs about "my immortal home" and "my lonesome lover" from a "poor girl's blues" purview in a quaking, occasionally iconoclastic Appalachian vernacular. Holland isn't some typical neo-beatnik singer/songwriter, though. She has this voice, this voice so warm, so unorthodox and so suggestive that it is able to tell as much of the story from her chords as by her words, moaning with the faint, stunning beauty of Billie Holiday and exaggerating one lonesome syllable into one warbled word like old-hat Tom Waits. -- GC

Chapel Hill
John Harrison, Zeno, Reid, Scott Phillips, Ryan Pound
The Cave

Five songwriters--all in rock bands, all markedly different, all worth hearing--peregrinate from the three corners of this Triangle for the late show at The Cave. Acoustic guitars will abound, accordions will slink in, and the occasional bad joke will creep up, but the lyrics will shine brightest at this indie take on Songwriters in the Round. --GC

Wednesday next
Death Jazz with Crowmeat Bob
Bickett Gallery

The newest member of Cold Sides and a veteran of local free-form groups The Micro-East Collective and Defenestrator, Crowmeat Bob is Bob Pence, the liberated improviser in the orange ball-cap who maintains he doesn't play any instrument very well but instead uses a few different ones to achieve a John Coltrane/Sonic Youth/Ornette Coleman-inspired "aleatory insanity." Expect collaborations at this weekly trip. --GC

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