Local 506—You may be wondering if Vancouver's Black Mountain takes its name from the North Carolina peak you climb into Asheville, or the long-closed college there that once welcomed Merce Cunningham, John Cage, Buckminster Fuller and Elaine de Kooning. So is the band. Frontman Stephen McBean has alternately told journalists that the name came to him in a dream, that it's a geographical feature of Canada and that he thought of it during an all-night drive when he was high on trucker speed. The rest of the band accepts any or all of these explanations. And, of course, there's Wikipedia's answer: The band is named for a black pile of hashish. These guys play spacy, stoner rock, you know?
Actually, no: Black Mountain's been reductively batted around the stoner rock arena since its debut (naming a song "Druganaut" probably has something to do with it), but the term's often been used to disparage some of the better playing and arranging done on a rock record this year. Though typical stoned-and-slurred referents like Neil Young, Black Sabbath and The Rolling Stones apply, the band's second album, In the Future, is way more accomplished than your last trip. It even makes the band's fine self-titled debut irrelevant, despite its hot/cold critical reception. In 2005, they were a three-piece who happened to invite a keyboardist and a bassist into the studio; in 2007, following more than 100 dates behind the debut that included an opening amphitheater gig with Coldplay, they were a five-piece band using keyboardist Jeremy Schmidt as a conduit to new textural heights. McBean makes big riffs seem like casual affairs, and Amber Webber's vocals roll out like flames through thick smoke. Blood on the Wall opens at 9:30 p.m. for $10. —Grayson Currin
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Legends Nightclub—Hedwig is parading her fine feathers again—this time at Legends. Produced by the Raleigh Ensemble Players, Hedwig and the Angry Inch features Stephen Trask's beloved music and John Cameron Mitchell's tale of Hedwig's quest for acceptance. For more info, visit www.realtheatre.org, or call 832-9607. —Megan Stein