In speaking easy
Investigate the other side of the Carrboro-Chapel Hill axis for Sunday entertainment this weekend. THE SPEAKEASY at Tyler's Restaurant and Taproom offers a party from 3 to 8 p.m. on April 30 with some of Orange County's finest musical residents: Django Haskins and his THE OLD CEREMONY throw a trans-generational party with offerings of Piazzolla and Sinatra, while ROMAN CANDLE preaches pop melodies from atop a rock 'n' roll hilltop. JOE SWANK & THE ZEN PIRATES are a country bramble party in overalls, and SHANNON O'CONNOR's fiery songs about the difficult nature of simultaneously living and loving should have made her famous by now. CARTER GAJ starts the day off. Tickets are $8, but kids under 10 get in free. And, don't worry, no theme name will tax your senses. Well, I guess you could invent one. --Grayson Currin
In doing the hits
The courtyard of Durham's BRIGHTLEAF SQUARE has been redesigned, and it's now welcoming local musicians and fans for a free summer concert series. The new series starts this week on Friday, April 28 at 7 p.m. with Raleigh's oldies-but-goodies cover act THE MAGIC PIPERS, playing the hits and moving the feet. Potential billings for other dates in the series include Skeeter Brandon and Will McFarlane. A lunch-time series in the courtyard begins Friday, May 5 with a performance by Adam Sampieri.
Four nights means four major dance concerts this week, as three season closers in the capital city and a curated invitational in Cary scatter their shows over various nights between Thursday and Sunday. Local hero--and Urban Bush Women dancer and choreographer--Christal Brown puts her latest work on Peace College Dance Company Thursday at 7:30 (through Saturday, $5-8, 508-2333), before Robin Harris puts the Beaufort Hurricane Scale to dance when N.C. State Dance Company bows Friday at 8 p.m. (through Saturday, $5-12, 515-1100).
On Saturday at 2 and 7 p.m., Raleigh Dance Theater features Paquita with guests from Carolina Ballet at Fletcher Opera Theater ($10-12, 834-1058). Sunday at 7:30 p.m., the second N.C. Dances-curated invitational at Cary Academy leavens local artists with works by Boone's X Factor. Tickets are free (345-7742). --Byron Woods
In ill logic
The only one who can rightly say what to expect at a five-day LOGICAL SOUND DISCOVERY residency inside of SLIM'S, a downtown Raleigh bar, is the auteur himself, Rob Logic. But he's holding those plans close until the debut on Saturday, April 29. Expect to be entertained, but don't anticipate drab colors: Past LSD trips have involved DayGlo colors, bright face paint and zany wigs, and Logic's art is often confrontational and blunt, both thematically and for its brilliant risks with brilliant colors. The far-out residency runs through Wednesday, May 3. Each night's work starts at 10 p.m., except Monday, which begins at 8 p.m. --Grayson Currin
In historical hysteria with myths making maritime music
Nick Diamonds is funny: "I'm not ashamed of my accomplishments.... After the record comes out, there's a six-month grace period where I don't mind if people talk about the fact that we used to be in the Unicorns and bring it up all the time. But, after that, if I hear anyone incessantly making mention of it ... I'm chopping the heads off of the people in the front row." Bandmate J'Aime Tambeur references their outstanding want ad for a touring monitor engineer who doubles as a sniper capable of offing 13-year-old Unicorns fans on command. Oh, jokes: In 2003, Montreal's Unicorns became the buzz of the indie universe, but they broke up after a handful of cursory American tours, thanks to a massive rift between the pair of Tambeur and Diamonds and their bandmate Alden Penner. Tambeur and Diamonds stuck together and formed ISLANDS in time to play their first show at a festival after accepting Beck's personal invitation to open. As evidence by their debut, Return to Sea, there's no sniper required. Islands' sound--zany, orchestral, uber-eclectic pop centered on Diamonds' playful lyrics about death's constant knockin'--should win over most Unicorns fans in an instant. The live show, too, is as capricious as it is endearing. See it at the CAT'S CRADLE on Wednesday, April 26 at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $8-10. Kaleidoscopic anticon rockers Why? open, with Cadence Weapon in the one-spot. --Grayson Currin