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Promute, Tone Ghosting, Joshua James, mewithoutYou, Russian Circles, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Keller Williams, Yonder Mountain String Band, Alcazar Hotel, more

The guide to the week's concerts 



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This week's guide contains:

YES, PLEASE: Promute/ Tone Ghosting, Capleton, The Loners/ Rocket Cottage, Drunk Stuntmen, The New Sound of Numbers, Purple St. James (Yahzarah), Iris Dement, Silver Apples

EH, WHATEVER: Joshua James

VS.: mewithoutYou vs. Russian Circles

VS.: The Dirty Dozen Brass Band vs. Keller Williams/ Yonder Mountain String Band

INTRODUCING: Alcazar Hotel

SONG OF THE WEEK: King Khan & the Shrines' "I Wanna Be a Girl"


YES, PLEASE

06.25 PROMUTE/ TONE GHOSTING @ NIGHTLIGHT

Promute is Carrboro's Shaun Sandor, who manufactures electronic environments with static, noise, low frequency hums and creeping beats. His first EP, Rast Figment, communicated the destructive beauty and interlaces between nature and noise through charged ambient sound. D.C.'s Tone Ghosting, the project of Jeff Bagato (aka DJ Panic), opens. A sonic and technical rebel in the spirit of Christian Marclay, Bagato takes a hack saw to vinyl records with a microphone underneath, then loops and modifies the scrapes and squeaks, adding vocals and beats over top. Also, Darktide. 9:30 p.m. —Jordan Timpy

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06.26 CAPLETON @ THE LINCOLN THEATRE

Renegade Rastafarian Capleton's bombastic lyrics are fiery, taut and full of force and fluidity. And though Capleton makes fun dance numbers that cause dancehall floors to shake and creak, his songs are more than dance anthems: Occasionally, they're supreme testaments of faith from a Jamaican-born artist forging his own spiritual battle in Jah-themed tracks and social grimaces. With reggae veterans Jah Thunda, Kulcha Knox, Crucial Fiya and Unchained. $22-$27/ 9 p.m. —Kathy Justice

06.26 THE LONERS/ ROCKET COTTAGE @ TIR NA NOG

Good to know there's still room for dirty, daring and distorted rock bands like two-piece The Loners and three-piece Rocket Cottage in Raleigh's prim new downtown. In Rocket Cottage, Russ De Sena's skuzzy bass clears the briars for the sharp projectiles of Chris Nilsson's scabrous guitar and Nick Speaks' misdirecting drums. The Loners will make your GloSo four-piece feel like deadweight. Free/ 10 p.m.—Grayson Currin

06.27 DRUNK STUNTMEN @ BERKELEY CAFE

The Northampton, Mass.-based Stuntmen is an interesting lot: Its new State Fair features more Brian May-like guitar solos and prog-rock-keyboard echoes than one would expect from a band with a country-rock reputation and moniker, although twangy romps remain in the repertoire. $8/ 9 p.m. —Rick Cornell

06.27 THE NEW SOUND OF NUMBERS @ JACK SPRAT

Athens seven-piece The New Sound of Numbers plays jump rope with dissonance and consonance, using violins, guitars and monotone vocals to subvert orchestral pop with aberrations of sharps and flats. The latest batch of recordings from prolific Carrboro duo Opening Flower Happy Bird finds it in sunshine-pop mode, the light beams blurred by clouds of slight dissonance and saturated textures. Great bill. 10 p.m. —Grayson Currin

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06.27 PURPLE ST. JAMES (YAHZARAH) @ 202 LOUNGE

Strapped with a new brand of soulful, seraphim-funk, Durham's sultry songtress YahZarah—who now goes by "Purple St. James"—is done cocooning. She's finally decided to re-flower as a flossy archangel with a score to settle. After shedding the fluff of yesteryear's neo-soul cluster, the sista has a new moniker, new company, new spouse and new songs to "saing." South Durham's newest chic-spot, 202 Lounge, will play host to Purple St. James' The Prelude EP listening/ blossoming-party, which will bank on hopes of everyone leaving awash with love and late-night plans. —Eric Tullis


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06.28 IRIS DEMENT @ CAT'S CRADLE

Iris DeMent eased onto the country/ folk scene in 1992 with the release of the refreshingly plainspoken Infamous Angel on John Prine's Oh Boy label. "Iris has a voice I like a whole lot, like one you've heard before—but not really," said Prine at the time. Both that debut and 1994's My Life carry quiet but emotionally charged memories of family and small-town life balanced by moments that, as DeMent would say, know how to let the mystery be. She's released only two albums since then—2004's spiritual collection Lifeline being the most recent. But DeMent still has that familiar, mysterious voice that's easy to like a whole lot. With Jason Wilber. $28-$30/ 8:30 p.m. —Rick Cornell

06.29 SILVER APPLES @ LOCAL 506

If you like bands that like or reference the trinity of The Velvet Underground, The Spacemen 3 and Radiohead (how's that for inclusion?), you owe Simeon Coxe—the co-founder and sole survivor of New York's Silver Apples—your ducats tonight. The band's late '60s material parallels The Velvet's guitar-and-vox art with electronics-and-vox counterweights, preceding Kraftwerk's more rambunctious sound by several years. You'll hear Coxe's nervy drones reflected in the best Spacemen material, and the Apples anthem, "Oscillations," beat "Idioteque" to the punch by three decades. After breaking his neck in 1999, Coxe's tours have been infrequent. Don't miss this. With Savage Knights and Loto Ball Show. $8-$10/ 9 p.m. —Grayson Currin


EH, WHATEVER

07.01 JOSHUA JAMES @ LOCAL 506

Using tried-and-true clichés or plain bad metaphors, Joshua James and his band concoct a familiar folk recipe that blends a little too well into the not-wild pack of other guys with guitars. Sure, James' music is carefully formulated, meaning a couple of his melodies will seep into your brain. But as you hum his songs, you'll forget what it is you're humming about. On "You're the Cocaine" (some compliment, eh?), James informs us that he "broke (and) wrote a song/about our love and how it's strong." That oughta win her. $8-$10/ 9 p.m. —Kyle Rosko


THURSDAY, JUNE 26

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MEWITHOUTYOU

From: Philadelphia
Since: 2001
Claim to fame: Allegedly lived in Christian commune

mewithoutYou's association with Christian emo-core label Tooth & Nail and lack of significant music press hasn't prevented the Philly quartet from accruing a strong following. Underestimate them at your own risk: The band's sinewy arrangements pitch and twirl to a stormy post-rock churn as singer Aaron Weiss rambles wild-eyed, somewhere between Steven Jesse Bernstein and Roger Waters. Well-rendered sonic drama drives mewithoutYou's surprising third album, Brother, Sister, from moments of rootsy lilting beauty ("In a Sweater Poorly Knit") to anxious angularity and primal throb ("The Dryness and the Rain"). With Maps & Atlases and Telescreen at CAT'S CRADLE. $12-$14/ 8 p.m.

VS.

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RUSSIAN CIRCLES

From: Chicago
Since: 2004
Claim to fame: Botch/ These Arms Are Snakes ex-bassist Brian Cook

These Windy City instrumentalists pack a powerful wallop, but they don't unleash it all at once. Circling like a vulture above its prey, the trio builds like many of its brethren to rousing math-metal meltdowns. Second album Station attempts to break some from this predictability, adding texture and not driving up an incline every time. Unable to rely on steady increases in power and intensity to propel the songs, more pressure falls to the arrangements. And while the passages may be better rendered, the musical plot is not always as engaging. It's got heavyweight potential, but, without better footwork, it risks upset to less heralded vocal-based acts. With Daughters at LOCAL 506. $10/ 9:30 p.m. —Chris Parker


FRIDAY, JUNE 27

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THE DIRTY DOZEN BRASS BAND

From: New Orleans
Since: 1977
Claim to fame: Re-recording Marvin Gaye's What's Going On post-Katrina

Now in its fourth decade, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band is perhaps the most influential Big Easy brass band. Its infusion of funk, bebop and R&B into the brass band sound—not to mention collaborations with Dave Matthews, Elvis Costello and Widespread Panic—continues to make the sound that helped lead a resurgence for the genre. Dirty Dozen's stop in Raleigh comes as a one-off show in the midst of a brief run of dates supporting Modest Mouse, to whose Good News for People Who Love Bad News it contributed horns. Like the New Orleans funerals from which Dirty Dozen draws its roots, this show will be a celebration. Count it. With Afromotive at LINCOLN THEATRE. $13-$15/ 9 p.m.

VS.

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KELLER WILLIAMS/ YONDER MOUNTAIN STRING BAND

From: Virginia/ Colorado
Since: 1991/ 1998
Claim to fame: Continued fraternity and granola convergence

A one-man jam show, the freewheeling Keller Williams loops beatboxing, scatting and guitar slaps to form a loose, percussive backbone for funky, layered guitar tracks. The resultant quirky numbers come with quirky names like "Butt Sweat" and "Love Handles." Keller shares the headline spot with co-conspirators Yonder Mountain String Band, a highly improvisational progressive bluegrass outfit from the Rockies. Drained of the high-speed intensity of more traditional bluegrass, Yonder's relaxed acoustic stylings should mesh well with Williams' laid-back funk. It's perfect for the natural environment Cary's KOKA BOOTH AMPHITHEATRE provides. $27.50-$30/ 7 p.m. —Spencer Griffith


INTRODUCING...

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06.25 ALCAZAR HOTEL @ THE CAVE

Named after an abandoned hotel in downtown Clarksdale, Miss., Chapel Hill rock band Alcazar Hotel has seen many faces and places over the years. Its leader, Will Dawson, moved here in 2006 to play with a reunited Squirrel Nut Zippers, and he plays bass with Zipper vocalist Katherine Whalen in her new band, Lucky. But Alcazar got its start nearly five years ago in a small studio he rented inside that old abandoned hotel.

"It started out as a solo project that served as an outlet for whatever music I was making at the time. Sometimes it was carnival music, and I had other people playing with me," says Dawson. "I've also done it as a solo, naked-banjo performer when I was in Amsterdam. Now I'm doing it like a punk rock or straight up rock 'n' roll group."

See "Dig the Unified Theory," for instance, a song based on Stephen Hawking's all-encompassing science. In fact, ask for it by name when Alcazar Hotel begins its Franklin Street tour with a rehearsal show on Wednesday, June 25, at 7:30 p.m. at The Cave. Other dates include the Southern Rail on Thursday, June 26, at 10 p.m.; Mansion 462 on Friday, June 27, at 11 p.m.; and Hell on Saturday, June 28, at 10 p.m. —Kathy Justice

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