Save the Arts Benefit
Trotter Building—This all-local all-star bill—stocked with four of Durham's mightiest and one of its most tender upstarts, Tea and Tempests—could come close to filling the biggest rock clubs in the Triangle, with each of these bands producing fine sophomore releases last year. Midtown Dickens' Lanterns, for instance, not only expanded the band's sonic and emotional range but also their ability to match the two, so that the light songs make you giggle, the sad songs break your heart a little bit and the moments of resolution and triumph—like the gorgeous, soaring "The Road Pt. 2"—balloon the spirits. The Beast pushed the dexterous musicianship behind its detail-driven, socially progressive lyrics, even incorporating a full salsa band into one tune. Hammer No More the Fingers' debut LP, Looking for Bruce, offered prepossessing indie rock with surprising harmonies and agile, winding guitar lines, and—speaking of harmonies—Megafaun bathed its second record, Gather, Form, & Fly, in them, allowing the fraternal earnestness of their voices to anchor their wonderfully corrupted, carefully integrated traditional and experimental impulses.
This is more than a rock bill, though: The $10 cover goes to support arts programs at Central Park School for Children—adjacent to the Trotter Building, as it were—and at other Durham schools. Also on tap for the benefit of the schools: silent auctions, limited-edition art and local food and beer. The Trotter Building is at 410 W. Geer St., and the show starts at 6 p.m. See cpsfcsaveourarts.weebly.com. —Grayson Currin
Looking for Mrs. l Locklear
Fearrington Barn—One of the best film-festival ideas to emerge around here was the Sustainable Cinema series at Chatham Arts. The focus is on films that were produced in the vicinity of the Triangle.Tonight is a special fundraising event for Chatham Arts, and accordingly they've programmed a popular recent documentary, Looking for Ms. Locklear, a film by Lillington Internet comedy duo Rhett & Link, in which they search for their beloved first-grade teacher. Last fall, Indy contributor Marc Maximov wrote in these pages, "The pair's low-key humor and pluck, with just the right balance between low-budget, DIY production and professional competence, make for a winning hour of film." The 7 p.m. screening will be followed by a Q-and-A and musical performance by Rhett & Link. Tickets are $10, proceeds go toward the development of a youth documentary arts program. Visit chathamarts.org. —David Fellerath
The Break/s: A Mixtape for Stage
Memorial Hall, UNC Campus—Marc Bamuthi Joseph takes you on a one-man "multimedia trip through Planet Hip-Hop" in the break/s, a look at his "public identity as a spoken word artist and his private identity as a young man coming of age in our globalized, multi-everything era." In this "mixtape for stage," Joseph performs a call-and-response with turntablist DJ Excess and beatboxer/ percussionist Tommy Shepherd (aka Soulati), with video projections by Eli Jacobs Fantauzzi. He explores his multiracial, multiethnic identity, moving through the history of his life, career and relationships.
The Washington Post says the break/s is a "one-man show (that) isn't just one man's show; it's a thunderous, expansive and deeply felt wrestling match with being an American in the 21st century." Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $20 or $10 for students. Visit www.carolinaperformingarts.org. —Zack Smith
Nevermore Fundraiser with The Dark Crystal and Army of Darkness
Carolina Theatre—Ahhhh, good times. To help raise money for its annual Nevermore Film Festival, the Carolina Theatre is putting on one of the great trauma-inducing films of my childhood and one of Bruce Campbell's finest cinematic triumphs in a rip-roaring double feature. At 7 p.m., it's Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal, the puppet-heavy fantasy where a couple of tiny Gelflings must restore the shard of the Dark Crystal before they're devoured by the Garthim hordes of the Skeksis. In English, this means there's a ton of scary-ass monsters and fantasy babble, and it's awesome. At 9:30, blast back to the past with Army of Darkness, the high-fantasy follow-up to Evil Dead 2, which was in itself a comic remake of the original Evil Dead. Bruce Campbell's Ash has been sucked through a time portal to the Middle Ages, and he alone can fight the Deadites with a metal hand, spells that don't quite work and his "boom stick." The subject of about 900 DVD rereleases, this film helped seal Campbell's reputation as the King of Cool for generations to come. Hail to the King—see two films and help a good cause, all for a mere $8. Visit www.carolinatheatre.org. —Zack Smith
Killer Filler, Blood Red River
The Cave—Who needs a singer when the music's so choice? That's the spirit as former Southern Culture on the Skids keyboardist Chris Bess leads his five-piece Killer Filler through an instrumental blend of surf, swing and Memphis soul. Reverb will ring as dangling hooks waver over shoulder-shimmying grooves, as inviting as Caribbean beaches sound this time of year. Killer Filler's versatility ensures there's something for everyone, as evidenced on 2008's debut LP Filler Up! Durham's Blood Red River favors a '50s-rock and surf-focused set with infrequent vocals. Their mastery of The Ventures and Duane Eddy's oeuvre is graduate level, so expect a dissertation on tasty licks and rad curls. Listen in at 10 p.m. See www.caverntavern.com. —Chris Parker
The Pour House—It's hard to imagine there's anyone paying even the slightest attention to the Triangle music scene who hasn't already seen American Aquarium a time or two through the years. See 'em again: After playing several hundred shows over the last few years, they've evolved into a tight Americana unit that melds love for Lucero and Springsteen with long-held allegiances to Wilco and Whiskeytown, scoring BJ Barham's intensely personal narrations with a rowdy blend of alt-country and heartland rock. Martha Ann Motel fills its indie-informed roots with compact harmonies, chiming guitars and soaring choruses. Motion Pictures opens the show at 10 p.m. Tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the door. See www.the-pour-house.com. —Spencer Griffith