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Kiva Benefit with The Physics of Meaning at Bickett Gallery; The Tourist and Dakota Darling at Downtown Events Center; Spoonful of Soul at Blue Bayou Club; more

Music worth leaving the house for 

Contributors: Rick Cornell, Grayson Currin, Rich Ivey, Kathy Justice, Chris Parker

Thursday, April 26

Tartufi, Noncanon, Erie Choir, Mason Dixon, Reservoir

San Francisco two-piece Tartufi doesn't land every punch they throw, but—over the course of their first EP and LP—they throw a glorious lot of punches: If they're not building monumental male-females harmonies, they may be splintering off into prickly math-rock or wandering through halcyon instrumental passages. At some point, they'll hit their stride, and it will be great. Raleigh's Noncanon is one of the most interesting bands in the capital city right now, led by Danny Vaughn's silly-putty-finger guitar playing and unorthodox song structures. Chicago-ish in a late '90s way, but not aping anything, either. Erie Choir and Mason Dixon finish an intriguing bill. Free/ 9 p.m. —GC

Friday, April 27

Nikki Meets the Hibachi's Spotlight Showcase, The Cave

Chapel Hill's longstanding folk rockers Nikki Meets the Hibachi have issued invitations to artists they know from back in the day as well as newer acquaintances, leading to, in the words of Nikki's Elaine Tola, "a night where we get to showcase our friends and hopefully introduce our fans to some amazing music they may not have heard before." This inaugural installment features all-female stringband the Sweet By & By as well as four guys—Matthew Brookshire, Mike Garrigan, Snuzz and John Svara—who flavor their singer/songwriter pop with varying strengths of rock and folk. $8/ 8 p.m. —RC

Kiva Benefit with The Physics of Meaning, Bickett Gallery

Tonight's The Physics of Meaning set will offer a first look into new songs from its forthcoming second album, now being recording on a weekend-by-weekend basis with Mark Paulson in Raleigh. Physics frontman Daniel Hart organized this show as a benefit for KIVA, a foreign aid bank that allows individuals to make small loans to entrepreneurs in third-world countries. They'll emphasize the more orchestral side of their work tonight, with harpist Lucy Davis joining the band. Viswas Chitnis and DuJour Presents open. $6/ 9 p.m. —GC

Port Huron Statement, North Elementary, Slim's

Two Triangle bands with heaps of potential yet to actualize into great records, Port Huron Statement and North Elementary have been on the perpetual bands-to-watch list for five years. PHS can build melodies as solid as steel and concrete, broad-but-controlled pop gems betraying Flaming Lips' allegiance and a wry sense of humor. North Elementary leans to the Lips, too, but there's a pastoral grizzle shaping and surrounding their small city inclinations. Free/ 10 p.m. —GC

Saturday, April 28

Nathan Asher and the Infantry, Lincoln Theatre

Words to live (and play) by for Nathan Asher seem to be that bigger is better, as in big sounds, big ideas, big energy and big band. This leads to a wall of sound with folk-rock on Red Bull at its core that falls just on the right side of over the top à la—and here are some suitably big names—Springsteen and U2. Indie-rock singer/songwriter Val Emmich opens. $7-$9/ 9 p.m. —RC

The Tourist, Dakota Darling, Downtown Events Center

Doe-eyed, shaggy-haired and oh-so-sincere, Hunter MacDermut looks like your average coffee house troubadour singing breathy meditations on life and love. But MacDermut's vocals pack a potency and edge that belie guy/guitar stereotypes and nudge him into the realm of Ben Folds and David Bazan poetics, where lyrical intensity links hands with catchy pop. Sublime and carefully subtle, his best songs are like staring at leaves scatter over an empty parking lot in the cold of winter. Raleigh pop-rockers Dakota Darling open up the set. 9 p.m. —KJ

Spoonful of Soul, Blue Bayou Club

If Spoonful of Soul's Saturday night-approved mix of R&B and funked-up rock doesn't get you, then this 10-piece (including four lead vocalists and a four-man horn section) might win you over on numbers alone. And that configuration is perfectly suited for tackling the works of Al Green, Otis Redding, and, as it should, Tower of Power. $8-$10/ 9:30 p.m. —RC

Monday, April 30

Deerhunter, Six Parts Seven, A Is Jump, Local 506

The buzz band of choice for people who like "weird indie rock" without having to hear anything that's actually weird at all, Atlanta's Deerhunter actually knows its way around a texturally bleeding hook ("Strange Lights," "Spring Hill Convert"). But their art-damaged, often-sophomoric interludes muddle even the finest moments of Cryptograms, their Kranky debut, with dilettante proclivities and suspect motives. Still, one supposes they're "stubbornly innovative," in a prole-relative fashion. Ohio's Six Parts Seven walks a fine line between thoughtful ennui and post-rock dramatics gracefully. $10/ 9 p.m. —GC

Tuesday, May 1

Spider Bags, Selmanaires, Local 506

While many alt.country rockers focus more on their pompadours than their songs, Spider Bags frontman Dan McGee arduously conducts his Chapel Hill country-punk choir with a refreshing degree of passion, humming and hollering hymns of lost love, Southern grit and cough syrup hangovers. The group's forthcoming debut on Birdman Records may land them in a venerable home on the range, but lord knows they'll be more comfortable passed out in your garage. 9 p.m. —RI

Wednesday, May 2

Hot Rod Circuit, Limbeck, The Forecast, Cat's Cradle

Headlining a nice cross-section of acts, Hot Rod Circuit's improved in the last decade and their latest, What We Believe In, purveys punk-pop catchy enough to suggest there might be life after Blink-182. I can't imagine how much more popular Limbeck would be with a decent name. There isn't even a Limbeck in the band, but their bouncy power pop and slick harmonies are charming aplenty. The Forecast boasts winning boy/girl vocals and a chunky Midwestern rock sound somewhere between Poster Children and Get Up Kids, flavored with a dash of twang. $10-$13/ 7:30 p.m. —CP

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Don't forget about Terra Cotta Army playing at Cat's Cradle on Monday, July 16th!! That band is awesome!! By far, …

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i think you're wrong about dirty on purpose. they're fucking great and know how to be soft and how to …

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