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The Fiery Furnaces, The Hidden Cameras, Cat's Cradle, Thursday, Oct. 28 A top-notch bill of adventurous outfits. The Furnaces are brother/sister duo Matthew and Eleanor Friedberger, an Illinois act whose oeuvre defies categorization because of their wildly variegated, kitchen-sink approach to recording. Soft, noodly pop abuts warped, staggering, off-beat rock tripping over a rush of loops and samples, before being sucked down a garage-folk-blues drain clogged with Captain Beefheart albums. The Hidden Cameras' music is easier to encompass, falling squarely within the synth/orchestral pop ring drawn by Magnetic Fields and Belle & Sebastian, spinning unabashed anthems suffused with wit and gay themes from golden showers to the random rendezvous in a bathroom stall. --CP New Town Drunks, Regina Hexaphone, Local 506, Thursday, Oct. 28 A combination of acts that recalls the stereotypical good girl/bad girl identities assumed by competing sisters, Regina Hexaphone are all sweetness and light, their gentle folk meets dream pop lilt keying textures and a sophistication that's very Barney's. New Town Drunks are the loutish, smart-mouthed one, strutting about in a halter with no bra, swinging their ragged country-tinged rock hips above thigh-high boots with a sex-kitten soulfulness built around singer Diane Koistenen's rough alto warble that's half faux-innocence and half come-hither-with-me-into-this-utility-closet. --CP Michelle Malone, Six String Café, Thursday, Oct. 28 Fifteen years Malone's been on this journey, and if she doesn't make it to the top, everyone who's seen her will have to admit it's been one helluva ride. Discovered by Clive Davis when Malone was just out of high school, the megadeal didn't work out because Malone was more rocker than crooner and soon went her own way. While she's dabbled with folk and even backed friends the Indigo Girls, Malone's true calling is down-home, Southern-fueled rock. --CP Chatham County Line, Kenny Roby, the Pour House, friday, Oct. 29 Kenny Roby used to be in the band Six String Drag, their sound a meeting of rock energy, bluegrass harmonies and gospel passion. He's got a rock record due out soon (made with Charlotte's Houston Brothers), but my fingers are crossed that he sits in with CCL for a go at ³Gathering Flowers for the Master's Bouquet.²--RC Trout Fishing in America, ArtsCenter, saturday, oct. 30 Six-foot-nine guitarist Ezra Idlet and bassist Keith Grimwood learned how to work successfully for food as street performers: don't sing sad, introspective songs, or people will walk away as fast as they can. Since then, the duo known as Trout Fishing in America has dedicated their professional career to being funny as well as entertaining. --GB Afternoon Nap House Concert, Kevin Gordon Band, saturday, Oct. 30 forty acres house concert, Stacey Earle & Mark Stuart, Saturday, Oct. 30 Calling this the Battle of the House Concerts is a little too WWF for these fellowship-filled living room gatherings. However, house concert-goers do have two choices in Chapel Hill on Saturday night as, Afternoon Nap presents Kevin Gordon and his band while Forty Acres hosts wife-and-husband team Stacey Earle & Mark Stuart. The editors of No Depression think enough of the Lousiana-bred Gordon to have made room for him and his rugged roots rock on the No Depression: What It Sounds Like compilation. Earle (yes, there's a reason that last name looks familiar) is more folk-leaning. Stuart's low-key guitar heroics make him the perfect musical partner. Check out www.afternoonnap.org and www.fortyacres.org for details. --RC David Thomas & Two Pale Boys, Local 506, Saturday, Oct. 30 Apparently, since his last whiskey-sippin', scowling-at-the-crowd-in-half-mock-irritation appearance at Kings with the reformed and legendary Rocket from the Tombs, David Thomas decided to hang on, no, expound upon his inner freak. That's a good thing--his new album, 18 Monkeys on a Dead Man's Chest, with trumpeter Andy Diagram (also of U.K. act Spaceheads) and guitarist Keith Moline is an exhilarating exploration of terrifying grooves and well-placed skronk. Moline and Diagram (who, incidentally, reworked a disc's worth of Pixies songs with Frank Black on his new release) prove appropriate sonic foils to Thomas' high-pitched meditations on various distressing topics. No drums anywhere on the record, and apparently none live, so this should be interesting. --FC Hellzapoppin', Basement Studios, Saturday, Oct. 30 Basement Studios is in the alley behind Clark Art, 300 Glenwood Ave., in Raleigh. The show by artists David Rose, C. Zurat-Marshall and Staci Sawyer opens at 2 p.m., with music by Primum Mobile, Kolyma, The Greatest Hits, Continent and The Kick Ass at 4 p.m. Snmnmnm, The Cave, Sunday, Oct. 31 Call it Geek Rock for the marching band set or call it indie prog pop, but just don't call late because you'll be sorry you missed them. Using an unusual tuba-accordion-guitar-drums lineup, with occasional trombone and additional guitar, the Chapel Hill by-way-of Rochester/Los Angeles quartet has been at it for almost eight years. --CP Caribbean Island Hurricane Relief Benefit with Mickey Mills & Steel, Dub Addis, Jam Rock, Cat's Cradle, Sunday, Oct. 31 No one suffered more from hurricanes this year than the Caribbean Islands, and local bands in waterlogged North Carolina are painfully aware of this. Look for a night with the sounds of reggae, the African Diaspora, soca and percolating grooves. --CT

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