This week's guide contains:
YES, PLEASE: Turpentine Brothers/ Spider Bags, Murder by Death, Ettrick/ Chest Pains/ ITYOTP, Caleb Caudle, Mallarme Chamber Players with Nnenna Freelon, Woven Hand & The Whistlestop, American Princes/ American Aquarium, Tiger Saw
VS.: Kenny Roby vs. Transportation
VS.: Gov't Mule vs. Holy Ghost Tent Revival
INTRODUCING: Edmund II
SONG OF THE WEEK: Jason Collett's "Papercut Hearts"
04.10 TURPENTINE BROTHERS/ SPIDER BAGS @ THE CAVE
Like lust, good garage rock should be hot and sticky. Beantown's Turpentine Brothers features members of notorious rockabilly punks Kings of Nuthin' and a similar riotous, wetnap-needing attitude. Dispatching bass for an organ, the trio "96 Tears" through grimy "Dirty Water" boogie, bits of Stooge-ish proto-punk, and even "Roadrunner"-worthy garage-psych raves, such as "Get Your Mind Off Me." While the band packs heat, it delivers on the hooks, too. Shambling country-psych locals Spider Bags are the mint julep to the Bro's Harvey Wallbanger, the foreplay to a headboard-shattering good time. $5/ 10 p.m. —Chris Parker
04.10 MURDER BY DEATH @ LOCAL 506
Murder By Death's cellist and penchant for big canvases (two consecutive concept albums) align the band with mid-period Cursive and Tim Kasher, who also delights in ambitious dramatic set pieces. Frontman Adam Turla's haunted, black-clad baritone leads a parched, apocalyptic country sound, like 16 Horsepower's gothic twang with a spaghetti-Western kink. However, Turla boasts a better sense of humor on tracks like "Spring Break 1899," whose desperate, age-old, beer-goggled pursuit is rendered both comic and poignant. With the humid rock of Thunderlip, the barnstorming O'Death and Kiss Kiss. $10-$12/ 8:30 p.m. —Chris Parker
04.11 ETTRICK/ CHEST PAINS/ ITYOTP @ BCHQ
High quanity and quality and volume: San Francisco visitors Ettrick are a righteous sax + drums, sax + sax, drums + drums duo, building alternate pyramids and smears of sound with minimal but mastered blocks. Chest Pains peels scabs on old wounds every time it plays, the band's rudimentary punk dicta pumping like blood from defiant hearts. With two drummers, two bassists, a guitarist and vocals that sound like hyper-extended intestines, Chapel Hill's In the Year of the Pig is the sonic equivalent of asking to be sodomized and not being disappointed. So great. $5/ 9 p.m. —Grayson Currin
04.12 CALEB CAUDLE @ THE CAVE
With a weathered voice that belies his 20-something years, Caleb Caudle's Red Bank Road mines the charts of Stranger's Almanac, hitting the sweet spot between alt.country and roots pop. Backed by the Bayonets, as he will be tonight, Caudle's been known to borrow from the catalog of George Jones, too. Gambling The Muse follows. 10 p.m. —Spencer Griffith
04.13 MALLARME CHAMBER PLAYERS WITH NNENNA FREELON @ DUKE'S PAGE AUDITORIUM
World-renowned jazz vocalist Nnenna Freelon has always had a penchant for great literature. For instance, she once wrote and performed a one-woman show based on the work of Langston Hughes. Here, the Durham resident partners with her frequent collaborators—the Durham-based Mallarmé Chamber Players, accompanied by pianist Brandon McCune—for a song-cycle drawing on poems from acclaimed writer Mari Evans. The concert will also include Concertino by Erwin Schulhoff and Serenade for Mallarmé, an early Mallarmé commission written by Pulitzer Prize-winner Robert Ward, another longtime Durham resident. Ms. Evans will be in attendance and will also give a separate free public reading Monday, April 14, at 2 p.m. in the Auditorium at North Carolina Central University's School of Education. Tickets for Sunday's concert are $20, $5 for students. 3 p.m. —Chris Toenes
04.13 WOVEN HAND & THE WHISTLESTOP @ THE POUR HOUSE
Led by former 16 Horsepower frontman David Eugene Edwards, Woven Hand is like a low-burning flame constantly flickering toward cleaner air. Edwards is a Christian but a questioner, blending various folk traditions in music that looks for affirmation, not evangelism. Intense and powerful, Edwards is like a narrow, dutiful translation of Swan Michael Gira. Meanwhile, The Whistlestop is the bright new Raleigh duo of Rob Watkins and Mike Roy, multi-instrumentalists and sweet-voiced countrymen with romantic hearts and real lives. They invited Edwards to town. A conflicted but interesting bill. $10/ 9 p.m.—Grayson Currin
04.15 AMERICAN PRINCES/ AMERICAN AQUARIUM @ LOCAL 506
On a Yep Roc roster heavily stocked with music vets who've been around the block, American Princes is one of the exceptions that proves the rule: This Little Rock, Ark., five-piece is just getting to the block. And these boys arrive with melody, thump and an edgy sense of urgency. Fellow Americans of the Aquarium share the bill. Also, SNMNMNM. Free/ 9 p.m.—Rick Cornell
04.15 TIGER SAW @ NIGHTLIGHT
The last time I saw Massachusetts' Tiger Saw play Nightlight, the band turned the used book store into a metaphorical campfire, using its slow-motion, major-chord songs like open embraces. That night, the band's anthem, called "All My Friends Are Right Here With Me," worked like a two-way salve for crowd and company: Chronicling the hardships touring musicians experience by keeping close friends in distant cities, the song acted like an invitation to sing along, to embrace empathy and—most importantly—to appreciate the moment and the new friends each one offers. This band is sad-eyed, but its music is like steady-burning life fuel. Sing away. With Bibis Ellison and Cathy Catholic. 9:30 p.m.—Grayson Currin
FRIDAY, APRIL 11
From: Clemson, S.C., to Raleigh, N.C.
Since: Early '90s
Claim to fame: Frontman for Six String Drag
Roby began in a hardcore act before discovering alt.country in what became SSD in the mid '90s, spending time on Steve Earle's label. When that ran its course after two albums, Roby moved his name out front and put together a new backing band, following much the same blueprint. With Roby's third solo release, The Mercy Filter, he downshifts the Americana, exploring classic songwriter pop, soul and rock in the vein of Randy Newman and Elvis Costello. It's a fine decision given alt.country's recent ubiquity, and Roby's ability to switch up combinations makes him a fine contender. With Jon Shain at BROAD STREET CAFE. 8 p.m.
From: Amherst, Mass., to Chapel Hill, N.C.
Claim to fame: Best band in Chapel Hill that still hasn't released a goddamn album
Transportation alternates hooky British Invasion melodicism with a '70s FM radio vibe that's as sweet and promising as a warm summer night at the drive-in. The Chapel Hill trio's lulling Laurel Canyon lope and dulcet melodies offer egress to another time, mixed with joyous, jangling pop-rock nuggets bouncier than a super ball in zero gravity. Tracks like "All Around the World" find the intersection of power pop and '70s soft rock, like a Prozac-popping Joe Pernice channeling Big Star, and manage to skirt cloying with earnest hopefulness. Transportation's unaffected trigger for pop charms slays all comers. If only it took the canvas more frequently. ... With Juan Huevos in HELL at 9 p.m. —Chris Parker
SUNDAY, APRIL 13
From: New York, N.Y.
Claim to fame: Southern heirs
Warren Haynes, an Allman Brother for parts of the last three decades, took three years off in the late '90s to focus on Gov't Mule, his side-project-turned-main-gig with Dickey Betts drummer Matt Abts. The two valiantly carried on the Southern rock/ jam band torch even after bassist Allen Woody (also of the Allmans) passed in 2000. Unfortunately, this tour is behind Mighty High, an ill-advised reggae/ dub platter The Mule released last year. The Greyboy Allstars, however, stuck with their strengths on What Happened to Television?, a boogaloo stew of acid jazz and hard funk stirred by Karl Denson and Robert Walter. Luckily, their LINCOLN THEATRE performances are ticketed separately. Save some dough (the Mule costs $25-$30 at 5 p.m.) and stop by for Greyboy ($15-$20 at 10:15 p.m.) if you're in the mood for some late night jams.
HOLY GHOST TENT REVIVAL
From: Greensboro, N.C.
Claim to fame: Tar Heel princes
High-energy, horn-backed folkies Holy Ghost Tent Revival is the band to see tonight. Imagine The Avett Brothers and the Squirrel Nut Zippers getting drunk together on a roadtrip to Mardi Gras, and you'll land somewhere near the sound found in Holy Ghost's merry riot. Asheville's Mad Tea Party follows the Zippers' gypsy swing path as well, but slather on the kitsch too thick to make its entire set bearable. Concord-via-Brooklyn anti-folk Avett pal Paleface has a scratchy voice full of potholes and patch-ups. It distracts from songwriting that can run from fine to fatuous, but it's distinguished nonetheless. Pay $10 at 7 p.m. for this BERKELEY CAFE winner. —Spencer Griffith
04.11 EDMUND II @ SLIM'S
When the cello, drums and guitar of Utah! the band left Michigan the state for North Carolina the other state in 2001, the trio had three years and one LP at its back. Eddie Pellino, Mickey D'Loughy and Anne Polesnak released one album and a seven-inch in North Carolina before calling it quits in 2005. Pellino played occasional solo shows. D'Loughy joined the late Nola. Polesnak moonlighted with The Physics of Meaning.
But now, a decade after forming Utah!, they're back at work as a quartet, playing different songs under the new name, Edmund II. Pellino says the new material brings a certain dark tint to pop songs, much like Utah!, though it foregoes much of Utah!'s time-and-key-shifting complexity. Polesnak made the jump from cello to keyboard for Edmund II, and Josh Young adds bass.
"I quit my job so I could finish my songs. I wanted to just focus on the thing that I really love for a bit, really sink my teeth into it," says Pellino, noting many of these songs had been sitting half-finished for a while. "It's also a good way of getting our asses off the couch. We just miss playing." Edmund II plays with Proof at Slim's at 10 p.m. Cover is $3. —Grayson Currin