This week's guide contains:
YES, PLEASE: Mary Gauthier, Coffinberry, Randy Weston/ Kenny Barron, Monotonix
EH, WHATEVER: Le Loup/ Georgie James, Po' Girl, Robbers on High Street
VS.: Boris with Michio Kurihara vs. The Hold Steady/ Art Brut
LAST WEEK'S PARTY: 9th Wonder & guests
SONG OF THE WEEK: Wolves in the Throne Room's "I Will Lay Down My Bones Among the Rocks and Roots"
10.20 MARY GAUTHIER @ CAT'S CRADLE
"I don't like to write a song that's got no hope in it," Mary Gauthier once offered about her moody, soul-revealing work. "And if I can't find the hope thread, then usually it is because I am not looking in the right window." Or looking out the right window: The title track from Gauthier's new Between Daylight and Dark finds her staring through her windshield, contemplating lost love while searching for a kernel of hope. Working with producer Joe Henry, who continues to team up with every under-sung hero on my shelves from LaVette to Wainwright III, Gauthier has created more folk-rock that wallops with a whisper. $15/ 8 p.m. —Rick Cornell
10.18 COFFINBERRY @ NIGHTLIGHT
An exceptional, overlooked band from Cleveland, four-piece Coffinberry plays grizzly indie rock that leaves its laces unwound and frazzled and dirt wherever it lands. There's a Superchunk two-guitar clash, a hearty Archers thrum and an élan that could make believers out of Neutral Milk Hotel and Avett Brothers fans. Fucking remarkable, if you don't think about it. $5/ 10 p.m. —Grayson Currin
10.20 RANDY WESTON/ KENNY BARRON @ DUKE
A marquee event that ushers in the last week of Duke's monumental Following Monk series, this bill combines two living jazz piano masters who have never shared a stage. Weston and Barron—players with touch, knowledge, awards and reputations that are unbeatable—bring their trios to Duke, paying homage to their guide a week after his 90th birthday. $5-$38/ 8 p.m. —Grayson Currin
10.21 MONOTONIX @ LOCAL 506
This bass-less Israeli trio's grimy garage-metal rumble includes catchy Dinosaur Jr.-ish throb, chunky riff-driven hard rock and crashing proto-punk. The live show's fueled by a reckless disregard for their own safety (fire!). With Blag'ard. $8/ 9 p.m. At Slim's Oct. 22 with Table. $3/ 10 p.m.—Chris Parker
10.22 LE LOUP/ GEORGIE JAMES @ LOCAL 506
There's enough finesse and dynamic artiness tucked away inside of the debut from D.C.'s Le Loup to spare: It could make half of the banal indie rock records (read: Robbers on High Street, etc.) sound fresh again. Banjos and pianos mix with samples and electronic textures, and themes of damnation and apocalyptic upheaval unravel in smartly personal lyrics. Live, though, the band behaves like most other five- to seven-piece orchestral indie pop bands, shouting and shitting up inordinate sound, hoping something works. Buy the record, but give them two years before seeing them live. Capital brethren Georgie James is passable post-punk shocked with an Electric Pornographers bounce. With Sweater Weather. $8/ 9 p.m. —Grayson Currin
10.21 PO' GIRL @ HIDEAWAY BBQ
Over-affected folk-based melodrama imported from Canada courtesy of the Nettwerk label, Po' Girl's three female vocalists seem incapable of answering the "What are we?" question. This traipses through Jolie Holland ragtime and Ella Fitzgerald torch singing: Eclecticism is nice, just not when it hinders every single component from sounding convincing or ready. $10/ 7 p.m. —Grayson Currin
10.23 ROBBERS ON HIGH STREET @ LOCAL 506
The overheated hype that greeted these larcenous New Yorkers for their wiry, late-night, Bowery-swiped slink led them to overreach on their latest. Teaming with producer Daniele Luppi (Gnarls Barkley), their over-ripe/-written/-produced Britpop-driven stuff is at once busy and dull with the fetid stink of something grown stale in the studio. Headliner Great Northern is much better, playing dreamy, Grandaddy-ish folk-rock. $8-$10/ 9 p.m. —Chris Parker
BORIS WITH MICHIO KURIHARA
Claim to fame: Cashing in stateside on decades of heavy Japanese psychedelic music
Reviews of Boris' first Triangle appearance (September 2006) were mixed, with some hoping for more than the power-trio potency it delivered. No doubt this show will be just as polarizing: Boris' central strength is its flexibility, meaning the band can move from thick, textured drones to muscular, sharp thrash, making convincing stops at fuzz-tone psychedelic anthems and heavy-winged metal along the way. Rainbows, released in Japan last year and on Drag City domestically in May, is a collaboration with Ghost mastermind Michio Kurihara: Expect epic movements, guitar histrionics and volume slips from storm to silence. Ex-Galaxie 500's Damon & Naomi (Kurihara collaborators) open. At CAT'S CRADLE. $12-$14/ 9 p.m.
THE HOLD STEADY/ ART BRUT
From: New York/England
Claim to fame: Spreading hope to bastards everywhere who can't sing
Live reviews of The Hold Steady and Art Brut tend to be uniformly exuberant, as they both roll with electrified frontmen who look as if they could be selling you liquor or insurance, respectively. The Hold Steady's Craig Finn barrels into the microphone with his gruff voice, speak-singing lines like "Tramps like us/ And we like tramps" before going off microphone to yell at the audience, short arms pumping. His backing band—double-axes, keyboards, a snappy rhythm section confident in big rock gestures—is tight. Art Brut's foppish Eddie Argos—probably wearing a suit he'll steadily sweat through—tells slack-jawed crowds about bad sex, rock elitism and, at best, love for Emily Kane. At LINCOLN THEATRE. $16-$18/ 8 p.m. —Grayson Currin
10.20 KERBLOKI @ NIGHTLIGHT
Two names in Kerbloki's member list come expected: JB and Mike still keep the saddle hot for Kerbloki, the playful Chapel Hill rap act that's released two records since 2004. The names John Crouch and Murat Dirlik, though, may be a little less familiar for some Kerbloki fans. In their other band, Crouch and Dirlik comprise the rhythm section of metal juggernaut Caltrop.
"John and Murat make it a bit more aggressive," says JB, picking up a stack of pizzas before heading into Brian Paulson's studio on a Monday night to finish mixing the first five tracks from the band's still-untitled third release. "I hate to say aggressive, really, but for anyone familiar with Caltrop, just imagine there being that heavy sludge over what our rap thing is."
The quartet layers the instruments over the programmed beats, producing what JB calls a "new balance of Kerbloki's music." JB also says Paulson's influence over the work has been important because the idea is so nebulous. They've spent three to four days mixing each track, Paulson suggesting different cuts and mixes along the way. Kerbloki has released previous records on Raleigh's Bifocal Media and Chicago's Lucid, but they're scouting new labels for this one, out sometime next year. With Fighting Poseidon and Juan Huevos at 10 p.m. for $5. —Grayson Currin
LAST WEEK'S PARTY
10.10 9TH WONDER & GUESTS @ CAT'S CRADLE
From Eric Tullis' review of 9th Wonder's CD release party: "They all arrived in a cavalcade of three separate stretch limos, steppin' out onto a red carpet Hollywood-style, waiting to be photographed and interviewed. It looked like a scene you'd see at The Source Awards, and 9th Wonder executed the whole sequence perfectly.... The roster of performers was almost long enough for a weekend hip-hop festival. Sure enough, the role of seasoned overseer seems to be a role that 9th has pridefully adopted lately."