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Monday 8.24 

click to enlarge Cory Branan - PHOTO BY HIDEOUS KINKY PHOTOGRAPHY

Chapel Hill
Magic Monday

Local 506—The magician of the Triangle indie rock scene, "Magic Mike" Casey showcases his brand of hocus-pocus at an event he describes as a "transcendental-psychokinetic-mind-reading affair." Casey has again invited a trio of his favorite songwriters to play this extravaganza. Cory Branan flies in from Austin to share his blend of alt-country and heartland rock 'n' roll, which swings from sensitive finger-picked ballads to rowdy honky-tonk carousels. Matthew Schwartz masterminds Pacifico, a Greensboro guitar pop unit that jangles and soars. Wilmington bedroom pop folkie Andy Bilinski goes on first when the free show starts at 9 p.m. Visit —Spencer Griffith

Chapel Hill
Crackow Now!

The Cave—Crackow Now! was born from a classified ad: Soon after moving to the Triangle, drummer Chris Burzminski happened across a listing from Tom Merrigan—another recent transplant—on Craigslist. "Tom wanted something minimal to complement [his] Rhodes [organ] and I had never really heard of a Rhodes, so I responded out of curiosity," Burzminski says. It wasn't the first such pairing for Merrigan, who was half of The New Rags—another Rhodes/drums duo—in New York. "

I am addicted to the idea of a minimalist duo with Rhodes and drums," he declares. "I've tried playing in bands where there is guitar and bass and all and don't really see where I fit."

Burzminski and Merrigan convened at Durham's West Village for their first practice, but it lasted just a half hour before a security guard stormed in and halted their session. Despite the interruption, he and Merrigan gelled. "I was looking for someone who was more than just a drummer: someone to help write and edit ideas," Merrigan states.

That's what he found in Burzminsk: "Tom usually brings something to me that's mostly unfinished, then I'll completely change it with 10 different directions." Indeed, Crackow Now! veers from dirty blues to soulful pop within the same song, the shifts in genre and dynamics held together by the skronky tone of Merrigan's Rhodes. The duo has been recording demos to Merrigan's four-track and hopes to release a full-length in 2010. But tonight, they play with Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun at 10 p.m. —Spencer Griffith

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