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File under: Don't come a-knockin' if the van's a-rockin'. Neolithic SoCal heavy dudes Fu Manchu (pictured left) will swing through Chapel Hill to play the Cat's Cradle Wednesday, March 22, supporting their latest CD King of the Road. Eschewing the terms "dude rock" and "stoner rock" for "desert rock," (kind of a bogus Castaneda-tinged "soar with the hawk" weed trip?), they've rebounded from a lineup change with a relentless slab of tuneage. King of the Road celebrates the heyday of bitchin' custom vans, where a dude's rad van is his castle ... a shag-carpeted castle with a fat 8-track system where you can invite sweet young tube-top-wearing nubiles to smoke a fatty and listen to Spectres. Fu Manchu may be retro, but they're also the closest to space truckin' as you're gonna get in 2000. Call 967-9053 for details. --Angie Carlson

DiamondDiamondDiamondIf you ever venture out to Sadlack's in Raleigh, you will likely find, amongst the various regulars, Gerald Duncan holding court. He's subtle about it: Duncan is not the kind of guy to try and force people to pay attention to him. But there's not doubt that when Duncan, like E.F. Hutton, speaks, people listen. On record and on stage, though, he is not subtle. With his band The Accelerators, he plays jangly Southern pop-a-billy with all the punch of a beer bottle to the back of the head. His is a path that people like Nick Lowe have been treading for years. Duncan's been on that path at least as long, working and playing and slaving to his musical master for nigh on 20 years. This weekend we can all celebrate the fruits of his labors with two CD release parties, Friday, March 24, at Local 506, and Saturday, March 25, at Humble Pie in Raleigh. Check out the CD, catch the band live (their true element, really), and stop by Sadlack's some time to buy Duncan a beer and pay homage to one of the classiest musicians in these here parts. --Karen A. Mann

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