Memphis' Jay Reatard has been in and out of a half-dozen bands over the past decade, but last year's Blood Visions on In The Red Records finally saw him put his own (adopted) name on an album. Bouncy, hooky and dirty, Reatard's solo jams are the sort of thing that sticks to you after one listen. Just before a pre-CMJ touring pause, Reatard will play a last-minute show at Raleigh's Downtown Event Center (which booker Mike Dillon is calling Downtown Music Hall these days) on Martin Street Saturday, Oct. 13.
'90s Chapel Hill beast COBRA KAHN reunites after 10 years for two shows this weekend: They'll play Friday in Greensboro at Two Art Chicks and Sunday in Chapel Hill at Hell with EL SUCIO, another heavy Chapel Hill band that hasn't seen the stage in years. Caltrop (which contains two-thirds of El Sucio) will open the Greensboro show, while Auxes (a double-drummer sextet featuring Ben Davis and Mike Triplett) opens the Chapel Hill show.... Raleigh's ANNUALS will release its second album next spring on Canvasback Music, an imprint of Columbia Records. The album will be co-released by Ace Fu Records, the New York-based independent who released the band's 2006 debut, Be He Me. Annuals play Cat's Cradle Saturday, Oct. 27 with Manchester Orchestra, its new labelmate at Canvasback and a band to whom Annuals has often been compared. An online-only EP of Me B-sides, Frelen Mas, is available now through Ace Fu (acefu.com).... This year's music issue of the OXFORD AMERICAN is recommended for Triangle music fans: Duke's Sam Stephenson has the cover story on THELONIOUS MONK (whose 90th birthday is Oct. 10), and it includes quotes from Don Dixon and a history of Raleigh's late jazz club, The Frog & Nightgown. Another piece discusses popular music Web site Pitchfork Media (www.pitchforkmedia.com) and the ascension of young bands through online buzz. And, wouldn't you know, the focus of the story is Annuals. —Grayson Currin
Sophiline Cheam Shapiro received a standing ovation for her classical Cambodian dance interpretation of Mozart's penultimate opera, The Magic Flute, Friday night in UNC's Memorial Hall. After the show, she said she based her re-write, entitled Pamina Devi, on her childhood under the Khmer Rouge. "Extreme ideology and rhetoric leads to disaster," she told the audience at Memorial Hall. In her play, an all-female cast of dancers—supported by a mesmerizing 10-piece orchestra—held each other in fleeting embraces, condemning spiritual and physical bondage. Noreak (Mozart's Papageno), a pining bird-catcher, declared of the opera's namesake: "Even a person with an evil nature can become compassionate when he hears this music." —Matt Saldaña