How do you get to Illyria? Start in Moscow in 1999, hang a right in New York for the 2003 VOX Festival and head South for two years. That's been the trajectory thus far for composer Joel Feigin's Twelfth Night, a work commissioned by the Opera Studio of Moscow Conservatory. The Russkies stage the world premiere of the complete work in 2006; Long Leaf Opera presents the chamber version's world premiere tonight at 8 p.m. Additional shows are Saturday, Oct. 8 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 9 at 2 p.m. The composer will give a pre-show talk one hour before each performance. For tickets, call 560-3030 or visit www.longleafopera.org. --Byron Woods
Southern Culture on the Skids
In drive-in movie terms, a Southern Culture on the Skids show is a Roger Corman-Russ Meyer film festival. In food terms, it's a homemade picnic table overstuffed with bowls of banana pudding, Little Debbie snack cakes, a couple cases of The Champagne of BeersTM and, of course, greasy piles of take-out fried chicken. Most importantly, in music terms, it's Link Wray meets Dale Hawkins meets Wanda Jackson meets Slim Harpo. Tickets are $12 in advance and $14 the day of the show. The music starts at 10 p.m. --Rick Cornell
Is the glare of a computer screen making your face pale? Does your back need to rest against something other than your desk chair? Do you try to save your work even though you're using an actual pen and paper? You need to get outside, and Frog Hollow can help. On Oct. 7, they'll hold their last Intro to Kayaking Class of the season, and it will cover strokes, nomenclature and "wet exits." The next day, those familiar with wet exiting may want to enroll in the River Kayaking Class, which tutors in river reading, eddying and ferrying in stable recreational kayaks. For a real adventure, try the Nighttime Paddle trip on Oct. 7. Visit www.froghollowoutdoors.com or call 949-4315.
Sign up for this, and not only will you be able to say you were helping the Contemporary Art Museum before it was cool, but before it even existed. At least eight photographers--including Tony Pearce and Isabel Chicquor--donate their time to CAM on Oct. 8 and 9, hosting 30-minute portrait sessions at the museum's headquarters on West Martin Street. The cost for each session is $100, and proceeds benefit CAM, now in the process of developing a 20,000-square foot warehouse space downtown. For info or to sign up, call 836-0088 or visit www.camnc.org/exposuretime.
World Beer Festival
Historic Durham Athletic Park
This year's world-famous World Beer Festival sports 300 beers from 130 breweries, coming from as nearby as Chapel Hill and as far away as the Czech Republic. Free henna tattoos, lots of food and a zone of children's entertainment ("Mommy, what's that taste like?") are a perk, as are the bands playing this year's festival. With Run of the Mill, Hank Sinatra and County Farm playing from noon to 7:45 p.m., you can cry a tear into your beer over something-like-country music. That is until Yo Momma's Big Fat Booty Band hits the stage at 8:15 p.m., making you forget about the cold heart that dumped you and move the hot thang yo' momma gave you.
Tokyo's Mono is a staple of the Austin/New York powerhouse Temporary Residence Limited, a stable quickly establishing itself as the vanguard of forward thinking post rock, be it through metal-leaning instrumental grind, ambient dream-states or the horizon-event catharses of Explosions in the Sky and Mono. Mono's latest, Walking Cloud and Deep Red Sky, Flag Fluttered and the Sun Shined, is a breakthrough, taking the usual score of instrumental influences and tones and moving well beyond, garnering ambience, gorgeous tones and way-deep soul-searching and soul-baring, and delivering it all as a complex, convoluted document that is at once an unexpected rapture and deliverance. Fellow TRL band Bellini--ex-Don Cab, Girls Against Boys and Uzeda members--follows local openers Monsonia. This 10 p.m. set is a bargain at $8. --Grayson Currin
This ongoing electronic music night soldiers on with some of the best danceable music spinning on a Sunday night. DJ Madcow and associates dig out house, drum and bass, ambient, even the Ibiza fist-pumping numbers. These folks know what they're doing, having thrown many a theme party through the years. Drop in at 9 p.m. after your Sunday TV. It's free for members, $1 for guests. --Chris Toenes
That Metric's second long player, Live It Out, wasn't released by a major label speaks volumes either to the aural ignorance of the high-rise juggernauts or to the independent ethic of the Toronto/Oakland/Los Angeles/London quartet. The latter is the safe bet, as Emily Haines' songs speak against conformity with a clarity that suggests she practices what she preaches. It's no stretch to imagine these songs--punk poetics amped up on anthemic guitars, careful synthesizers and an explosive rhythm section and sung with Haines' dynamic, sweet-and-soft savageness--grabbing hold of several demographics, from sweet-faced high school girls to bearded Southeastern United States fraternity boys. Warner, you signed Rilo Kiley? Oops! Metric is the new yardstick, just because it's much "more adventurous." Fellow Canucks and Arts & Crafts associates Most Serene Republic open. The show starts at 9 p.m. and costs $8-10. --Grayson Currin
Matt Pond PA
Matt Pond PA is led by Matt Pond, a New Hampshire native who moved to New York and found his band, or what you could rightly suppose is his PA. As such, Pond's band helps him carry the weight of his words: Brian Pearl's chiming guitars and simple lines make his sentiments resonate and linger, and the rhythm section is driving and inventive, text painting on the motif of Pond's need for whim and the unexpected. But it's the strings that build much of the ballast, helping transport the songs into unexpected heart palpitations about embarrassing, enlightening or endearing memories. If you like Death Cab for Cutie but have always felt it was a bit anemic, or if you like Coldplay but have always felt it was a bit obvious, Matt Pond may be the undecided, unbound friend you need. This guy sounds so comfortable, you'll need a sweater and some time to get lost. $8 for a 9:30 p.m. show. --Grayson Currin
England's Muse is one of the biggest bands in its land, but its success translates only moderately in America; transatlantic success for Ireland's The Frames has been more of a struggle. Their songs are as big as they are, or at least in Ireland, where they headlined the Lisdoonvarna Festival for 30,000 people in 2003. Their stateside failure given Muse's recent ascension is especially troubling, as The Frames does something like Muse, just better, with more heart, more oomph, more authenticity. While it sounds as though Muse spends days planning the dynamo of their bombast, The Frames take the simplest ideas and spontaneously launch them toward great heights, violin, arpeggios and feedback culminating in big-brained, big-souled beauty. Josh Ritter, an Idaho native, has had a similar Irish success story, but it's time for America to reclaim him: Suave, poised and subtle, he's what an American bard rarely has been but certainly should be. Get in for $12 at 9:30 p.m. --Grayson Currin