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Music worth leaving the house to hear this week

Mike Uva

Cleveland songwriter Mike Uva skirts the line between DIY neo-folkie and quirky auteur. His kitchen-sink approach to confessional songs employs everything from tape loops to engaging piano/guitar ballads, in another step forward for home recording musicians. This should be an intimate, rewarding show. $5/9 p.m. --CT

Kentucky 31
Six String Cafe

Singer/mandolinist/songwriter Russell Johnson of the Grass Cats is never content to have just one band. In Kentucky 31, he's joined by vocalist and banjo player Julie Elkins (who played with Johnson in New Vintage in the mid-'90s when their cover of Lyle Lovett's "LA County" was No. 2 on the national bluegrass chart), the Lonesome River Band's John Wade on bass and Kickin Grass's Matt Hooper on fiddle. $5/8 p.m. --RC

Brother Sean
The Cave

Some of the songs may be a bit stiff, but Chicago's ambitious acoustic-cum-electro Brother Sean is worthy of notice. In fact, if this stuff is any indication, a payload stands in the fusion of age-old, plaintive blue-eyed pop and the entire electronic hemisphere. Synthesizers, glitched-out voices and found sounds hinge the nostalgia-borne work of brothers Sean and Kevin McPeak, who nestle aurally adventurous, emotionally earnest work between Richard Thompson smarts and Howie Day inebriation. Pass The Hat/Early Show--GC

Plunge, Brooks Wood Band
The Brewery

Mike Ruocco's big break came when he was asked to join RCA's SR-71 as their bassist, having opened for them some time prior with his band Plunge. But Ruocco didn't depart. How could he? Plunge is the band he formed with his friends when he got his first guitar at age 12. A decade later, having spent a year touring and recording with a major label act, Ruocco returns, leveraging that knowledge into a new album of catchy, high-spirited pop-punk. --CP

the Pour House

This bustling Britpop trio from Raleigh is preparing to release their debut full-length, Songs from the Imperial Hotel, sometime this month. Like the band's namesake (taken from the title of an early Blur album), Parklife favors bright, melodic rock with bits of sonic swirl and anthemic punch. Openers Honestly's debut album earned them an opening slot on Third Eye Blind's tour, which, honestly, says it all. $5/9 p.m. --CP

Ray LaMontagne, David Berkeley

LaMontagne has a hearty, soulful voice to deliver his intricate tales, nationally revered as examples of the art of storytelling kept vibrant. This installment of the ArtsCenter's American Roots Series should be stirring and poignant. $14/10 p.m. --CT

Abbey Road LIVE!
Cat's Cradle

That's right, all caps and an exclamation point. The members of Athens, Ga. bands Fuzzy Sprouts and Cosmic Charlie clearly mean business when they rock through Abbey Road, although it's more celebration than re-creation. And for their second set, they air out some lesser-known tunes from the Beatles' catalog. $8/9:30 p.m. --RC

Laura Blackley Band
Open Eye Cafe

"Roll 'n' roll that's in touch with its sensitive side" is how Laura Blackley describes her latest release, Liquid Courage. For those who call her country, that's OK too. "Rock, blues and country, they're all right there on the same spectrum. I could go out there and play a biker rally, and play a blues bar, and play a country bar, and I think people would leave feeling like they'd seen something and were happy." Free/8 p.m. --GB

David Olney
Six String Cafe

David Olney went about this whole fame thing backward. You're supposed to be the folk singer first, then switch to rock 'n' roll. But after only one album, Contender, with his group the X Rays, Olney went solo, writing songs like "God-Shaped Hole": "I can't get it right/ down in my soul/ when she left/ she left a God-shaped hole," prompting Townes Van Zandt to pronounce him as good as Mozart and Lightnin' Hopkins. $10/8 p.m. --GB

Cub Country, Honored Guests, The Strugglers
Local 506

Jeremy Chatelain's songs with his outfit Cub Country tell bittersweet stories that are somehow uplifting as well. CC is matched well with the gauzy pop of the Guests and The Strugglers' cracked folk for this local band triple shot. 10 p.m. --CT

The Know, The Rachel Nevadas

If there's an arena rock crown floating around the Triangle, a righteous new contender has stepped into the ring. After only a handful of shows, Raleigh's The Know has generated a hearty buzz downtown by matching the fire of Graham Fontaine's Sabbath-meets-Strummer sneer with a punk intensity focused into Judas Priest-shaped anthems. Somehow, Richmond's The Rachel Nevadas staple an ostensible hardcore youth to a Ben Folds pop buzz. $5/10 p.m. --GC

Cool John Ferguson
Blue Bayou

Every time I see that Pepsi commercial imagining a young Jimi Hendrix, I think of Cool John. It's not just that Ferguson plays an upside-down right-handed guitar left-handed, or Taj Mahal's declaration that he's one of the best guitarists he's ever heard. It's the thought of Ferguson, before the age of 5, playing a guitar professionally before huge South Carolina congregations. Simply put, there's no better electric blues player for hundreds of miles. 9:30 p.m. --CP

Steep Canyon Rangers, Big Fat Gap
the Pour House

Since the young-ish folk in the Rangers formed their bluegrass ensemble around five years ago while attending UNC-Chapel Hill, they have skyrocketed to national acclaim in the old-time music community. They hold tight to the roots of bluegrass, playing it feverishly, as it should be played. $6/10 p.m. --CT

Kapow! Music, David Karsten Daniels
Temple Ball

The Bu Hanan Records cooperative continues to grow, having welcomed fellow Texas expatriate John Ribo's Kapow! Music into their fold this summer. Like labelmate David Karsten Daniels, Kapow! Music plays songwriter pop that recalls the lo-fi rock of Sparklehorse and the haunted intimacy of Varnaline. Go Machine member David Karsten Daniel's solo work favors more minimalist electronic textures on his acoustic guitar compositions, and dips deeper into ambient pop experimentalism. $6/9 p.m. --CP

Stratocruiser, The Talk
Local 506

It's a mixed bag of power pop as Raleigh's Stratocruiser and Charlotte's The Talk offer vastly different takes on the familiar trope. Stratocruiser represents the classic form, drawing on '60s garage and British Invasion rock to hard-driving melodic rock in a tradition that runs from Badfinger through Big Star to Cheap Trick. That's where The Talk pick up, channeling the melodic snap, crackle and crash of power-punk bands such as Buzzcocks and The Jam. --CP

The Choosy Beggars
The Cave

Migrating east from Asheville, rhythm 'n' blues 'n' rock 'n' soul five-piece the Choosy Beggars now call the Triangle home, plus they're sporting a restructured line-up. One thing remains the same though: They're still your best bet if you want to witness a sizzling take on Sam Cooke's "Bring It on Home to Me." $5/10 p.m. --RC

The Kingsbury Manx, Bellafea
The Library

If you've been wanting to re-up on the Manx's nimble pop tones, here's a chance to catch them down on East Franklin Street, the section of Chapel Hill typically reserved on the social level for UNC students' bar-hopping. Cheap shows like this, part of The Library's Indie Rock Tuesdays, with dynamic duo Bellafea, thankfully mix up that equation. $2/10 p.m. --CT

Carbon Leaf
Lincoln Theatre

Although Richmond, Va.-based Carbon Leaf's music is heavy on mandolin at times, there's plenty of electricity involved as well. Though some have called it porch music, the mix of Celtic, bluegrass, folk, jazz, country and pop hooked up to a power switch make it more pop-oriented than most of their peers with their bare feet up on porch railings. $10/10 p.m. --GB

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