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Music worth leaving the house for

Thursday, February 9

En Garde, Ilya, The Actual, Goodbye Blue Monday, The Reservoir

Four bands, huddled underneath the "indie rock" genre umbrella, unite to smoke cigarettes and play a show at 100-F Brewer Lane--it's almost as if Go! Studios never closed down! On the real, though, L.A.'s The Actual and hometown boys En Garde twist and turn to toothache rock with big-boom choruses like emo-kid giants. San Diego's Goodbye Blue Monday remember Engine Down's post-hardcore dearly--and spit-shine it to a nice twinkle. But their touring mates Ilya are the standouts, as apothecary landscape-pop, smeared with 4AD-type melodrama, grasps for the chest like a disoriented Blonde Redhead. --RM

Girls on Film, Minutemaids, Eyes to Space, Local 506

It's all about computers and compacts, as Tallahassee-based "dancetronic glam wavers" (their description, not ours) Girls on Film meet up with Mr. Cartwright and company at the 506 this weekend. The Girls bounce a heavy Human League influence off of Devo artifice and Numan-like robo-swagger, while our precious Eyes rock the 1's and 0's, keytaring it all the way to the moon. Sam'iched in the middle are the precocious little bastards in Minutemaids, whose electronic Minutemen makeover you may remember from the We Jam Econo tribute show back in December. $6/10 p.m. --RM

H.O.W., End of Days, Slaves to Addiction, MarVell Event Center

H.O.W. meshes Triangle metal veterans from the groups Slugnut and Boneshelter and rockers Viva La Venus, testing out a new sound. The nihilistic End of Days and sludge peddlers Slaves to Addiction face off growls to start. $4/9 p.m. --CT

Friday, February 10

Kashmir, The Depot

Billed as "the complete Led Zeppelin experience," this N.Y. tribute group comes to newish Cary venue The Depot on East Durham Road. It's also the band's first N.C. gig, so they'll be testing their resolve here on true fans. The band proclaims their strong physical likeness--with a touch of Spinal Tap humor--comes "without really trying (no wigs or cucumbers)." $5/10 p.m. --RC

J.D. Crowe & The New South,
The Artscenter

Banjoist/bandleader J.D. Crowe is another musician from the bluegrass world who got an early start. But instead of getting his feet wet with Bill Monroe as so many other youngsters did, Crowe apprenticed with Jimmy Martin's Sunny Mountain Boys while in his teens. Crowe went on the push the boundaries of bluegrass in the '70s, with the likes of Jerry Douglas, Ricky Skaggs, Keith Whitley and Sam Bush passing through his New South lineup over the years. He's still pushing. $16-18/8 p.m. --RC

Shannon O'Connor, The Cave

Already into a second pressing of her debut Low In Paradise (a nominee for solo album of the year in the Indy Music Awards), O'Connor's enjoyed quite a year. She calls her brand of sinewy country "sultry Americana," and it moves with as much strut as Daisy Duke while speaking with a simple, unvarnished honesty appropriate to her old-fashioned country-blues sound. She also plays Saturday at the Pittsboro General Store.--CP

Another Tombstone Dream, The Miss Fits (Misfits Tribute), Slim's

Raleigh rockers ATD throw the hammer down in a heavy guitar onslaught, nodding to their influences from Iggy and up. It's appropriate, then, that a lady-led Misfits tribute matches up here, welding metalloid punk, made-up and Mohawk-ed. 10 p.m.--CT

Saturday, February 11

Mudboy, Yomul Yuk, Nightlight

Mudboy is edge-of-the-seat trance induction, repeating organ lines moving in modified sine wave time through nine-minute expanses of wonder. Noise moves in and out, tampering the main strain and making its exit with a synaptic ease that makes you question its presence in the first place. And that's where the anxiety encroaches. More sonically than compositionally interesting, I'm guessing Mudboy shows get pretty outbound. $5/10 p.m. --GC

John Prine, War Memorial Auditorium (Greensboro)

Grossly underappreciated, and arguably the best American artist to emerge from the '70s, Prine suffered in the shadow of Dylan. Like Mr. Zimmerman, Prine sings in a distinctive weathered tone, sharing deceptively simple, unsparing (sometimes humorous) portraits in a folk-flavored country-blues vein. To the uninitiated, Prine's songwriting skills are revelatory, if not paving the road, at least pointing the way for the alt-country movement. $39.50-55/8 p.m. --CP

The Old Ceremony, The Rachel Nevadas, Bibis Ellison, Local 506

The Old Ceremony goes 11 strong on record (and tries to get that many in the room for live shows) and calls on strings and horns to create orchestral pop that ranges from a delicate swing to a dramatic wall of sound. On the other end of the numbers scale, The Rachel Nevadas kick up quite the power-popping ruckus for a trio; delicate they ain't.
$6/10 p.m. --RC

  • Great shows for Feb. 8-15


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