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

Thursday, July 19

Ten Penny, The Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers, Shakermaker, Blend

This is the public debut of Ten Penny, the band formed to support the songs of Chatham County graphic designer and photographer John Dixon. Dixon's warm tenor is romantic and longing, perfectly suited for his songs, which seem to detail a romantic disappointment he's been waiting for all of his life. The Prayers & Tears continue to work on the follow-up to their near-perfect 2005 debut, a rich study into what it means to fall in love with the wrong things, or for the wrong reasons. With Shakermaker. 10 p.m. —GC

Chatham County Line, Doris Duke Center Gardens

Whether singing about 30 years of hard time or the misadventuring spiritual kin of Huck Finn, Chatham County Line suffuse their music with an infectious, light-hearted zest that practically begs you to kick up your heels. They'll range from hot-stepping bluegrass to waltzing, folksy twang, while the lyrics of guitarist Dave Wilson are wistful and longing without being tears-junkies. $10/ 7 p.m. —CP

Friday, July 20

Arrogance, Cat's Cradle

It's a common sight whenever Arrogance reunites: a 50-year-old parent with a mid-teen or later child in tow, the look on the face of the former saying, "What do you think? This is what I used to pay $3 to see back in the day." What they saw (and what they still see) is an amalgam of '60s-era rock 'n' roll abandon and '70s-era singer-songwriter crafting spiked with a strong shot of R&B. $16-$18/ 8:30 p.m. —RC

Gigi Dover, Shakori Hills

As the founding member of the alt.country outfit The Rank Outsiders, Gigi Dover honed her sultry vocal chops into a sound thick with the bitter salt of twang, rendering a delivery as emotive as Loretta Lynn. Still, it wasn't until Dover pushed past her twang-rock roots that she hit stride, unleashing her Southern snarl on cuts of reggae funk and smoky jazz tunes that allow her voice to show its own rightful power. Come see her solo. Pass the hat/ 7 p.m. —KJ

Saturday, July 21

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Gravy Train!!!!, the Ex-Members, Cat's Cradle

Gravy Train!!!! combine dancey, alluring new-wave bounce with a campy, juvenile sex-addled sense of humor suggesting the B52s if Peaches replaced Kate Pierson and started dating My Life With Thrill Kill Kult. The smutty, over-the-top humor (particularly on debut album tracks like the size-matters ode "Titties Bounce" and "You Made Me Gay") provokes a smile, though less frequently on the recently released All the Sweet Stuff. Formed from the ashes of Gerty, The Ex-Members play synth-driven darkwave winners. $8/ 9:30 p.m. —CP

The Clarks, Sons of William, Lincoln Theatre

Pittsburgh's The Clarks have long struggled to move beyond the kudos of their hometown. Still, even as their popular currency continues to plateau, the band maintains melodic stamina, their golden pop-rock and sugary hooks certainly fitting the bill for any mid-'90s acoustic alt-rock fan. Openers Sons of William look to the present as their muse, crafting fresh-faced Southland rock with a Black Crowes bent from bass, electric guitar and drums. $12-$14/ 9 p.m. —KJ

Jamie McLean Band, Stoll Vaughn, Hideaway BBQ

The guitarist of New Orleans' Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Jamie McLean has digested Dixieland into a series of funky guitar squalls. But McLean's appetite for rock wasn't satiated until he broke free of those jazz roots, suddenly exercising his new sound of roots-inflected Southern guitar and electric blues. McLean's found plenty of room to breathe on his own, and 2005's This Time Around is a new slant on Southern rock. Springsteen and Van Zandt student Stoll Vaughn opens. $10-$12/ 9:30 p.m. —KJ

Pink Motor Monsters, Ear Pwr, Blend

Fun game: Try to keep up with the lyrics when Pink Motor Monsters and EAR PWR come together with their funky electronic Molotov cocktails of sound. See if your head explodes. Match one comes from Asheville's killer EAR PWR via the intro to "Jack and Jill": "You're beautiful (You're full of shit)/ Jesus cross, cotton candy!" This will be a wild one. With Culture Prophet. $5-$7/ 10 p.m. —BC

Sunday, July 22

Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Doris Duke Center Gardens

It's a sound divine when the high and lonesome meets the on-high and you shall never be lonely. Doyle Lawson and his band are among the best around when playing secular music, with harmonies and bluegrass picking that are twin pillars of impeccability. They truly soar when they turn to gospel, though. Expect to hear bluegrass that can move both heaven and earth. $10 (children under 12 free)/ 7 p.m. —RC

Sara Bell, The Monologue Bombs, The Cave

This evening features solo turns by a couple of terrific mainstays. Monologue Bombs is the moniker of Scott Phillips, singer/keyboardist for Raleigh indie rock trio Goner. His solo debut, Beverages & Ghosts, finds him switching between accordion, piano and guitar, fashioning sharp AC pop reminiscent of Josh Rouse. Sara Bell's lovely voice and charming presence anchors Regina Hexaphone (labelmates of the Bombs, now readying a new album), which serves a sterling blend of handclap-enabled pop awash in textures and slowcore shimmer. A talented, veteran musician on her own (Dish, Angels of Epistemology), it should be entertaining to hear the pocketsize rendition. 9 p.m. —CP

Monday, July 23

Colossus, Towers of Hanoi, Reservoir

Towers of Hanoi takes a mildly punk approach in creating clean-sounding but intriguingly dark rock. The effects of both are amped by vaulting female vocals. It's an interestig choice, pairing them with Colossus, a sprawling, reverently disobedient metal band that's got attitude and a fleet of fast riffs. 10 p.m. —BC

Tuesday, July 24

Hazerai, Dr. Powerful, New Brutalism, Soldat Brut, Reservoir

These four bands come from a far away land: a place where the national anthem is played in 6/8, the economy is built on Polvo seven-inches and cheap booze, and "G-O-D" is spelled "A-L-B-I-N-I." All aboard the bullet train to 1995. Free/ 10 p.m. —RI

Reckless Kelly, Hideaway BBQ

If the jangly guitars, two-step rhythms and smatters of lap steel don't clue you into Austin-based Reckless Kelly's credo, then maybe their piss-and-vinegar attitude will. Their 2006 album Reckless Kelly Was Here, recorded live at La Zona Rosa, plays out like the best of the Southern rock operas, the band sweating out cowboy blues over fat bass lines and squalls of electric guitar. There's enough amphetamine-fused swagger mixed with garage-rock chug here to make even the most stone-cold-country fan get a little rowdy. $12-$15/ 8:30 p.m. —KJ

The Box Social, The Cave

This Madison, Wis., quartet is the best new power pop act I've heard in the past 18 months. The trilling synth offers a vaguely Weezer feeling, and you can hear the Superdrag trailing closely behind. The jangly guitars offer a rootsy aspect that meshes nicely with singer-guitarist Nick Junkunc's Plimsoul croon, though they aren't afraid to rock out on "Hold The Phones," which sounds like Blur's "Song #2" after hitting "Hash Pipe." Their tight musicianship and sturdy melodies suggest years beyond their newness: After all, they just released their debut full-length, Get Going. $5/ 10 p.m. —CP

Detroit Cobras, The Willowz, Cat's Cradle

Wouldn't it be great if American Idol produced artists like the Cobras, who recognize a timeless tune when they hear it and are savvy enough to know how to get out of the way and let the material do its magic? Sexy, one-time exotic dancer Rachel Nagy wraps her sultry alto around slabs of classic, forgotten R&B and soul like a lioness guarding her cubs, exuding passion and fury, while guitarist Maribel Restrepo plays her guitar-clad sidekick. Their fourth album, Tied & True, is another winner. The Willowz moody, swooning garage-psych has the parched, dirty texture of Dead Moon, and features the seductive moan of bassist Jessica Reynoza. $8-$10/ 9:30 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, …

by MichelleA on Music worth leaving the house for (MUSIC: Get Out)

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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