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The daily guide to life in the Triangle

Eight Days a Week 

The daily guide to life in the Triangle

Wednesday
Raleigh
Dale Watson
The Pour House

My dad had a name for a certain flavor of country and western. "Shit-kicking music" he called it, with great affection. He never defined the sound, but I knew it when I heard it. Still do. There's a genuinely rowdy, last-call-ignoring feel to it, with pedal steel and a twanging lead guitar elbow to elbow. I regret that I never played any Dale Watson records for my dad, because they would have earned (emphasis on that last word) the "shit-kicking" label. Popabilly trio Jem Crossland & The Hypertonics opens. Music starts around 10 p.m. and $8 gets you inside. --Rick Cornell

Thursday
Chapel Hill
Dodd Ferrelle & the Tin Foil Stars
Local 506

Georgia songwriter Dodd Ferrelle kicked around Athens a half-dozen years after leaving the band Rags, first going solo and then assembling a backing band, The Tinfoil Stars. His solo work evidences a twangy rock vibe that recalls CCR and Neil Young, and his first album with the Tin Stars offered some Celtic overtones. But his latest, The Murder of Love, brings the rock aspect of his roots rock sound more to the fore. The highlight is Ferrelle's rich, resonant voice, which is capable of sinewy low-end and a gorgeous upper range, approaching the elegance of The Waterboys' Mike Scott, a major inspiration. Tickets will run you $7, and the music starts at 10 p.m. --Chris Parker

Friday
Raleigh
Lost and Found
Bickett gallery

The Bickett welcomes three local artists into the cozy, three-room gallery. The show includes photography by Luke Miller Buchanan and Nicole Welch and installations by Amanda Micheletto. Buchanan blends painted landscapes, wood sculptures and found objects in his landscape jumbles, while Micheletto uses steel, silk and human hair in her sculptures. All three artists are Triangle-based, and Buchanan and Micheletto have gone through the Artspace Emerging Artist-In-Residence program. The opening show starts at 6 p.m. --Jon Ross

Cary
Rob Watson
Six String Cafe

A former bandmate of Rob Watson's tried to convince me that Watson had the best voice in the Triangle before I even had a chance to hear it. By the time I saw Watson perform months later, I had used the time to shake the conviction and shirk the bias. What a waste of time: Rob Watson's voice--cute like a teenage crush, smiling like a best-friend memory and sincere like a parent's confidence--is something worth cherishing. This listening-room setting may challenge fans of his recent downtown rock shows, but it should serve to put his delicate, graceful songs and voice just where they belong--front 'n' center. --Grayson Currin

Saturday
Cary
Kenny Rogers
Koka Booth Amphitheatre

Kenny Rogers--the king of rotisserie, the master of reasonably priced sides--graces the stage with the North Carolina Symphony. He's sure to load the set list with tons of ultimate hits, and fans may get a chance to hear songs like "A Love Song," "Love Will Turn You Around" and "Share Your Love With Me." Maybe the sentiments will be more subdued, but here's hoping "The Greatest" makes the set list. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door. --Jon Ross

Raleigh
Underpants
Thompson Theatre Studio

Steve Martin has a split personality. On the one hand, Martin is the incredibly funny SNL alum who recorded terribly hilarious albums in the '70s. And he played a mean banjo. The other Martin sold his soul to the devil and Hilary Duff in order to make Cheaper by the Dozen. Underpants, originally a turn-of-the-century German work, has since been revived by Martin's first personality, and is pumped full of American vitality and witticism. Underpants will be performed regularly on the N.C. State University stage through the end of the month. Tickets are $8-$15. The laughs start at 8 p.m. --Jon Ross

Sunday
Raleigh
Mark Ambrose
Sadlack's

Incumbent name-dropping: Mark Ambrose's latest, Put the Hammer Down, was recorded in RCA Studio B with surefire duo Gillian Welch and David Rawlings playing and producing. Important essence: Ambrose's latest is one of the best country-leaning songwriter albums you'll hear, and its strength lies not in production and playing, but in the songs. He conjures an easy Delta drawl through songs about God, phantoms, heroes, devils and lore, and they strike images--of characters, scenarios and the details that constitute life--so vivid that they seem like the trade itself, not just the tool. Mix Time Out of Mind and Slow Train Coming, and you get right with Amrbose. The jar gets passed at 6 p.m. --Grayson Currin

Monday
Carrboro
Teenage Fanclub
Cat's Cradle

Fifteen years after their brilliant debut A Catholic Education, Scots Teenage Fanclub have returned with Man-Made, their first release on Merge and their first produced by Chicago staple/Tortoise mastermind John McEntire. Sun-soaked pop that recalls the old familiar referents reinvented with bright new ideas. Similarly enough, The Rosebuds are touring for a month with their fellow Mergers. Reid Johnson has replaced Schooner bandmate Tripp Cox on guitar two, and Ticonderoga/Balance multi-instrumentalist Wes Phillips is back behind the kit. Expect lots of low-key surprises on the band's sophomore effort, Birds Make Good Neighboors, due in September. The return will run you $15, and The Rosebuds hit the keys at 9:15 p.m. --Grayson Currin

Tuesday
Chapel Hill
Susan Alcorn, Tatsuya Nakatani, Audrey Chen
Temple Ball

Texas pedal-steel player Susan Alcorn transcends all notions of her instrument. Incited by hearing Coltrane in her childhood, Alcorn has spent over 30 years performing and redefining the sound spheres, which peel like stardust from her amplifier. Usually a solo performer, Alcorn is touring with percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani and cellist Audrey Chen. A masterful tone crafter and improviser, Nakatani can suspend golden sheets and rainbow arcs through a single gong or bowed cymbal. His recent Raleigh duo with Chen brought envious cold sweats to the musicians in the room. A rare trio not to be missed. $10 gets you into the 9:30 p.m. show. --Eric Weddle

Wednesday next
Raleigh
2 Skinnee J's
Lincoln Theatre

The 2 Skinnee J's latest tour, The Five Nights of Fury, is a bit of a misnomer. This quasi-rock, heavy rap, medium headache ensemble has booked six nights instead of five. Raleigh should have been the second stop on the tour but, due to a numerical mishap, the Triangle gets third billing. The group--very distant cousins to other rock/rap outfits like 311--will make its first appearance in Raleigh since a 2003 breakup. The show begins at 9 p.m., and for $15, how could anyone miss it? Here's hoping the Lincoln crowd remembers these guys are billed as music revolutionaries and treats them accordingly. --Jon Ross

  • The daily guide to life in the Triangle

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