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This Friday, Dec. 15, music fans will get the chance to support some of their favorite local artists and raise money to benefit Chatham County's Family Violence and Rape Crisis Services (FVRC) at the Annual Redeye/Yep Roc FVRC Benefit at the Cat's Cradle. The bands, all playing for free, include up-and-coming honky-tonkers Greg Hawks and the Tremblers as well as rockified soulsters Hobex, with 100 percent of the take from the door going to the agency. Last year's benefit raised almost $2,000 for one of the group's emergency fund accounts, which provide housing and medical care for domestic and sexual abuse victims. So share the spirit and throw down to three very diverse sets by the cream of the local scene. Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets are $6. 967-9053. --Angie Carlson

DiamondDiamondDiamondDespite the simplicity of their economical band name, New York-based instrumentalists Drums and Tuba take the mighty tuba out of the beer garden and into the post-punk arena, bringing tears of joy and vindication to all the former band kids out there who had to suffer the uncoolness of playing in the brass section while their friends got to rock. Described thus by one scribe: "Imagine Cream with John Zorn instead of Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce switching from bass to tuba and Elvin Jones taking Ginger Baker's drum seat," the drums-tuba-guitar power trio recently finished opening their second tour for Ani DiFranco, bringing their sound to a whole crop of kids who'll be asking for tubas this Christmas instead of electric guitars. With reissues of their earlier releases now out on Chicago's My Pal God Records, and a new album, Vinyl Killer, slated for an early 2001 release, Drums and Tuba are hoping to raise their profile. Geez, I hope they play "The Adventures of Poo-poo and Pee-pee," or their song about Neil Hamburger. Catch the show Saturday, Dec. 16, at Go! Rehearsal Studios. 969-1400. $5. --Angie Carlson

DiamondDiamondDiamondSaturday offers a wealth of bluegrass and Americana music happenings in Chapel Hill. The best once-or-twice-a-year bluegrass band around--The Green Level Entertainers--makes their annual appearance at The Cave that night. Make sure you get there early enough to get in the 10 p.m. show, as those with the most sophisticated bluegrass tastes in the area never miss this group's rare performances. Admission is $5. For information, call 968-9308. The late show times out well for those enjoying the hot, young bluegrass and y'allternative music, not to mention the unlimited libations, from 2 until 8 p.m. at the second annual Southeastern Microbrewers' Holiday Beer & Bluegrass Festival. The event presents 1997's winner of the esteemed Merlefest Chris Austin Songwriter's award, David Via, and his band Corn Tornado (pictured), as well as the Steep Canyon Rangers at American Legion Post #6 in Chapel Hill. Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door ($5 for "designated drivers"). Call 969-8789. --Art Menius

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