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Enter the Haggis, The Grappling Hook, Maria Taylor, Don Dixon & the Jump Rabbits, Killer Filler, more

The guide to the week's concerts 



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This week's guide contains:

YES, PLEASE: Enter the Haggis, Pieta Brown, The Accelerators, The Grappling Hook, Bear in Heaven/ Firewater, Major Stars

EH, WHATEVER: Maria Taylor

VS.: Don Dixon & the Jump Rabbits vs. Killer Filler

INTRODUCING: The Huguenots

SONG OF THE WEEK: Chuck Prophet's "Freckle Song" and "Always a Friend" with Alejandro Escovedo



YES, PLEASE

06.12 ENTER THE HAGGIS @ THE BERKELEY CAFE

Similar to but more appetizing than various meat parts boiled together in a sheep's stomach, Enter the Haggis ties disparate musical genres together seamlessly within a Celtic rock framework. Pop friendlier than the Dropkick Murphys, the Canadian band resolves any tensions between ska and bagpipes or fiddle tunes and Latin grooves. Wild! $12-$15/ 8 p.m. —Andrew Ritchey

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06.13 PIETA BROWN @ THE ARTSCENTER

Last year's Just One More turned out to be a gathering of Browns, with cult-fave singer-songwriter Greg Brown and his daughter Pieta among those paying musical tribute to author Larry Brown. Pieta's contribution, "Another Place in Time," positioned her as a chip off the dual-Brown block—its message direct, the words smartly chosen, and the sound that of country-blues and folk-rock intertwined, like the fingers on the hands of father and daughter. $15-$17/ 8:30 p.m. —Rick Cornell

06.13 THE ACCELERATORS @ SADLACK'S

While old bands, like generals, may be in the process of fading away, the fact they're not dead yet is cause for celebration, particularly in the case of Gerald Duncan's Accelerators. For a quarter century, he's led his roots rock soldiers into the fray, guitars blazing rockabilly and countrified Southern rock. Tonight, they cruise with The Buzzkills. 7 p.m. —Chris Parker

06.14 THE GRAPPLING HOOK @ BULL CITY HEADQUARTERS

The Hook belts out dramatic, fantastical rock. The band's name gets it: This unit is an ingenious device used by superheroes (like the Torch Marauder) or villains to launch themselves skyward. Bigger than indie rock or life. With Hazerai and The Travesties. 9 p.m. —Chris Toenes

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  • Bear in Heaven

06.15 BEAR IN HEAVEN, FIREWATER @ LOCAL 506

Red Bloom of the Boom, last year's debut from Brooklyn four-piece Bear in Heaven, was a massive expanse of guided sound, built of unequal and overlapping parts textural bliss and lyrical vagaries. The atmospheres came alternately as vast expanses and claustrophobic vacuums, sucking sound in and breathing it out in wide, glowing exhalations. Think of Swans bending Michael Gira's dark colors of choice through a prism painted with muted fluorescents. If a slow Can or an edited Pink Floyd interests you, Red Bloom of the Boom is a beautiful wormhole. Headliner Firewater makes mildly vaudevillian rock, shot through with folk sonics and punk semantics. $10/ 9:30 p.m. —Grayson Currin

06.17 MAJOR STARS @ NIGHTLIGHT

Early in the decade, Massachusetts's Major Stars had Triangle ties through Squealer Records, the out-music imprint that used to take quarter here. But Squealer is gone, and the former four-member configuration of Major Stars has since given way to the sextet formation of last year's Mirror Messenger. Messenger largely forgoes the occasional folk quiet of the old Major Stars and folds the free jazz frollicks into garage rock songs that go straight for the throat. Three guitars scratch at each other like nails, and frontwoman Sandra Barrett vents ire and triumph with her over-everything barnburners. Also, SONS* and Everthus the Deadbeats. $6/ 9:30 p.m. —Grayson Currin


EH, WHATEVER

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06.16 MARIA TAYLOR @ CAT'S CRADLE

Welcome back to Club IndieLite, where Garden State still holds a special place and where it's perfectly acceptable for "independent music" to sound like an "interesting" version of the big, bad mainstream: Maria Taylor and Jonathan Rice—both attractive young songwriters with plain voices that do curtsies down the center lane—respectively add "art textures" and "rock guitar" to their unimaginative, detail-deprived songs. But, at the base, Taylor sounds like any boring, brooding balladeer, and Rice sounds a little like Fastball. Opener Nik Freitas is new to Conor Oberst's Team Love, and sunny with clouds in a Randy Newman way. The thin curlicue of his voice could eventually help him float above the aforementioned Alt. Adult Contemporary abyss. $8-$10/ 9 p.m. —Grayson Currin


FRIDAY, JUNE 13

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DON DIXON & THE JUMP RABBITS

From: Ohio (by way of South Carolina and the UNC campus)
Since: the early '70s
Claim to fame: Among other things, helping with that Murmur record

Look for wisdom and wit in the words of Arrogance co-mastermind turned in-demand producer turned Southern jangle-pop elder statesman Don Dixon. Early on, Dixon's songs explored high school dances and romances with true been-there perception, and, perhaps most famously, he made insect spousal-cide sound deep. Backing these insights was a sound that respected equally the lean and catchy rock of Nick Lowe and the country-soul of Percy Sledge and Arthur Alexander. Befitting the passing of years, Dixon has moved on to even weightier topics, continuing to demonstrate a knack for writing from a variety of perspectives as well as zero tolerance for inertia. At THE BERKELEY CAFE. $15/ 9 p.m.

VS.

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KILLER FILLER

From: Hillsborough
Since: 2004
Claim to fame: Among other things, refusing to even murmur on record

Look for wisdom and wit in the wordlessness of surf/soul/so much more instrumental quintet Killer Filler, led by S.C.O.T.S. sideman turned Bandelerium host turned band leader Chris "Crispy" Bess. Crispy and company (including Pressure Boys and Secret Service vets) mix cheery and occasionally leering relics that have been waiting impatiently in used record stores for rediscovery with originals that manage to sound like they've been waiting impatiently in used record stores. Takes some depth, huh? You'll coax some words out of Killer Filler only at sloganeering time, but cleverness is also afoot there: "Lyric-free since 2004," they claim. Fellow mum travelers the Weisstronauts open, along with Dom Casual. A competitive bout for sure, but what can I say? I like words. At LOCAL 506. $6/10 p.m. —Rick Cornell


INTRODUCING...

06.16 THE HUGUENOTS @ LOCAL 506

Something about Chapel Hill four-piece The Huguenots is invitingly familiar, as warm and fuzzy as your favorite sweater or treasured vinyl crackling underneath a needle's touch. Part of that familiarity comes from the band's thirst for short, accessible, guitar-driven gems—the 3.5-minute pop song, naturally. The band's quick bursts of energy give it plenty of charm. They've got tightly coiled energy to offer, too: A little like big city bands The Strokes and The Libertines, The Huguenots' spring-loaded riffs and artful come-ons translate into well-played, sonic sloppiness that turns those pop sing-alongs into would-be riots. Should be fun. With The Modern Skirts and Weinland. $8/ 9 p.m. —Kathy Justice

  • Enter the Haggis, The Grappling Hook, Maria Taylor, Don Dixon & the Jump Rabbits, Killer Filler, more

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Thanks for the note, Amy. We've adjusted the text.

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