The Teenage Prayers, Deer Tick, Hymns
Slim's—In an ocean of digital downloads, self-righteous bloggers and Vampire Weekend cover stories, there is no place in the American independent rock 'n' roll industry for The Teenage Prayers. The Big Apple outfit is, for the most part, a classically misfit R&B group. It worships the same Stax Records singles as those of the most outlandish and earth-changing rockers of the '60s, but its noticeable lack of MacBook and/ or soundtrack spot means the group probably won't get its due in 2008. It's a good thing Slim's doesn't care about that stuff, though, as The Teenage Prayers is an absolutely solid rock group, set to ooze its sweat and soul all over your ones and zeros. With Deer Tick and Hymns at 10 p.m. —Rich Ivey
Berkeley Cafe—Jason Isbell demonstrated strong songwriting chops during his six-year tenure in Drive-By Truckers, but judging from the quality of his solo debut, Sirens of the Ditch, he's better served on his own, releasing more than a handful of songs every couple years. Sirens exhibits a broader palette than he showcased in the Truckers, ranging through soulful piano blues to jangly, finger-picked folk back to his country rock roots. All the tracks are well-realized, bolstered by Isbell's narrative powers that deliver the familiar shotgun weddings and devil-addled nomads in a reedy, guileless rasp with cliché-defying skill. The 9 p.m. show costs $13-$15. —Chris Parker
Shuffle Launch Party
Jack Sprat—Guitar-and-drum atmospheric The Bronzed Chorus; grandiose, nod-able Love Craft; and dark and tight Monsonia kick off The Shuffle Magazine Launch Party Weekend at Jack Sprat tonight.While this weekend's festivities have a proclivity for Carolina-based indie rock, the new Charlotte-based music magazine covers North and South Carolina music of all genres. (Indy music editor Grayson Currin and freelancer Chris Parker contributed to the first issue.) Check out the first issue online at www.shufflezine.com for stories on Band of Horses, The Avett Brothers and Merge Records.
Pretty-ugly (and awesome) Bellafea continues the party tomorrow night along with the light and pop-sensible I Was Totally Destroying It and the laid-back Embarrassing Fruits. Each night's cover is $5-$9. —Andrew Ritchey