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The guide to the week's concerts 



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This week's guide contains:

YES, PLEASE: Goner/ Megafaun, The Infamous Stringdusters/ Tennessee Jed, Suburban Sweethearts, Barack the Cradle benefit, Lian Finn/ The Veils, Boss Martians, National Product, The Ettes

EH, WHATEVER: Does It Offend You, Yeah?, Tokyo Police Club

VS.: The Loners vs. Black Skies

INTRODUCING: Rongorongo



YES, PLEASE

09.05 GONER/ MEGAFAUN @ BULL CITY HEADQUARTERS

Who dosed The Band? Megafaun's pie-eyed shambling roots veers freakward at times, past finger-picked acoustics and willowy harmonies. This trio's not above getting noisy, like stoned teens fucking with a four-track. Unlike Califone, whose blend of traditional and modern styles is made to sound seamless, Megafaun clatters and bangs beneath the Appalachian twang like inebriated bulls in a Sharper Image. Formed from the remnants of DeYarmond Edison after Bon Iver's departure, it's more inventive and idiosyncratic than the fare of the over-hyped former mate. Keyboard-centric Raleigh rock band Goner loosens the ties on its third album, Rock'N'Roll Always Forgets, infusing the proceedings with pulsing upbeat attitude. $5/ 9 p.m. —Chris Parker

09.05 THE INFAMOUS STRINGDUSTERS/ TENNESSEE JED @ BERKELEY CAFE

The Infamous Stringdusters plays bluegrass with the braggadocio of country rock and the freeness of jazz. The band formed in Nashville two years ago around six accomplished sidemen. With the reins let loose, each instrument gallops to the front with an intensity that burns to stay out of the shadows. But the dobro, guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin and upright bass don't race just to leave each other behind: Instead, the chemistry between instruments, even during frequent fervent solos, gives the band enough horsepower to distinguish itself as a group. Cary-based Tennessee Jed opens with its fusion of twangy bluegrass structured around rock hooks. $10-$12/ 9 p.m. —Andrew Ritchey

09.05 SUBURBAN SWEETHEARTS @ SLIM'S

Raleigh's Suburban Sweethearts takes root in retro rock outfits The Bleeding Hearts, The Greatest Hits and The Cherry Valence, so it should come as no surprise that its boozy garage rock—don't worry, it's raw, not kitsch—is in the same vein. Help out a worthy cause too, as this show is a benefit for the American Cancer Society. $3/ 10 p.m. —Spencer Griffith

click to enlarge Caverns
  • Caverns
click to enlarge Hammer No More the Fingers
  • Hammer No More the Fingers

09.06 BARACK THE CRADLE @ CAT'S CRADLE

Five endorsable acts, one for each of Sarah Palin's (supposed five) kids: Hammer No More the Fingers is the forerunner in the Triangle classic indie rock revival, slinging its anthems off of Joe Hall's jagged guitar lines. Tooth's Southern metal menace should roll onto the big stage like a tank brought to a fistfight—aggressive, ostracizing and curious, especially for this crowd. Similarly, Kaze spits harder and leaner than perhaps any other Triangle rapper, while Mosadi Music's relaxed soul lounge vibe puts the nimble lyricism of Shirlette Ammons in an appropriately hazy spotlight. Be mindful of D.C.'s Caverns, whose sizeable ambition is to embed post-punk turmoil within post-rock 'scapes. They're like a vote for change or something. $8-$10/ 9 p.m. All proceeds go to Obama for America. —Grayson Currin

09.07 LIAM FINN/ THE VEILS @ LOCAL 506

Cast in the shadows of their musician fathers, Liam Finn and The Veils frontman Finn Andrews nonetheless uphold the DNA of their dads, Neil Finn (Split Enz, Crowded House) and Barry Andrews (XTC, Shreikback). Finn's jangling, harmony-soaked debut, I'll Be Lightning, shares his family's affinity for hooks, fashioning catchy pastoral pop that draws on the classic '60s pop of Love, The Kinks and the Beatles. A reconstituted Veils emerged from label and intraband turmoil with 2006's Nux Vomica, a grand dramatic pop album like the lovechild of Rufus Wainwright and Nick Cave fueled by Jeffrey Lee Pierce's unhinged passion. $10/ 9 p.m. —Chris Parker

09.08 BOSS MARTIANS @ SLIM'S

Seattle's Boss Martians wedged itself between the gears that drive Buzzcock-ian punk-pop and direct power pop long ago, and they haven't faltered much since. While the Martians name is often present when the garage-punk bell gets rung, its brisk tempo is a few beats too fast for The Sonics but about right for '70s joke-punkers The Dickies. Those constant nods to punks of yesteryear paid off when Iggy Pop provided vocals on a song for a new album, which the aliens are touring now. With Chapel Hill's Stratocruiser, who has a new record out of its own (see page 57). 10 p.m. —Chris Toenes

click to enlarge 1997 - PHOTO BY MATTWYSOCKI.COM

09.09 1997/ NATIONAL PRODUCT @ THE BREWERY

Chicago sextet 1997 corrals the pop-punk that isn't cheesy: Clear, bright female vocals entice you just before you'd have them pegged as another Victory Records band-of-the minute. Think Dashboard Confessional with less whine, as sporadic, choral shouting comes interspersed within graceful, slow-motion singing and accompanying keyboards. If Brand New was 10 years younger and added a talented female frontwoman, you'd get something like this. Unfortunately, 1997 is merely opening: Headliner National Product stays true to its name with upbeat fare straight out of the Warped Tour Factory. 7:30 p.m. —Elizabeth Lilly

09.10 THE ETTES @ LOCAL 506

The Ettes, a female-fronted garage trio, recalls the Raveonettes, blending rudimentary '60s girl pop, surf-inspired rave-ups and grimy guitar strut. Singer/ guitarist Lindsay "CoCo" Hames' coquettish coo is more Runaways than Holly Golightly, but the sound is pure sinew, like Jim Diamond concocted it with Detroit alley grit in an oil drum of ragged bar blooze rumble. Don't miss spacey, visceral psych-metal duo Mr. Gnome, led by the shredding guitar vixen Nicole Barille. $10/ 9:30 p.m. —Chris Parker


EH, WHATEVER

click to enlarge 09.03mushearingaid_doesitof.gif

09.06 DOES IT OFFEND YOU, YEAH? @ LOCAL 506

No, no, "offend" is the wrong word. Frustrate, vex, irritate, nettle, irk, gall, rankle, mortify, humiliate, burden, exasperate, annoy, distress, trouble, make the stomach sick, make the skin crawl, bother or hassle: Any of those will do, I think. Does It Offend You, Yeah? just came off of a stint of dates with Nine Inch Nails, which makes little sense for anyone involved really. The English quartet attempts to spice its neophyte electronic-rock raves with shit- and sex-talk, epitomized by their attempt to induce worldwide hara-kiri, "Let's Make Out." A quinessential new instance of major labels trying to crash-land a new trend that hopefully never happens. Raleigh's Ex-Monkeys opens. $10/ 9:30 p.m. —Grayson Currin

09.09 TOKYO POLICE CLUB @ CAT'S CRADLE

Maybe everybody really enjoys docile indie that's harmless, but life just seems too short for bands pouring sweetened old ideas into recycled Starbucks cups. Ontario's Tokyo Police Club inspires indifference or empty glee, its sloganeering just elliptical enough to convince smart folks they're listening to something provocative and just polished enough to get everyone singing and believing. If Ben Gibbard was Doug Martsch's kid, and they started a high school band with The Arcade Fire's sidemen, it would sound like this. Luckily, though, time is a continuum, and bands like TPC are only its bland results. With the sloppy Stones seconds (or fourths) of The Whigs and Toronoto's The Coast. $15/ 8 p.m. —Grayson Currin


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 6

click to enlarge PHOTO BY REX MILLER

THE LONERS

Since: 2000
From: Raleigh
Claim to fame: Guitarist Eddie Taylor sounds like Billy Zoom strangling Jack White with his own guitar strings

Some skills are so ingrained, you never forget or outgrow them. Eddie Taylor's crackling garage-abilly blues duo is a lot like David Wells' curveball: As with Wells' uncanny ability to place a bender on the plate's outside corner into his mid-40s, one imagines Taylor could still rock your ass to rubble well into dotage. The Loners has been loitering around the comeback trail since returning from a three-year hiatus on Kings' final night last year, making more frequent appearances and rounding back into rock 'n' roll shape. In this case, that shapes a squiggly trapezoid, which—despite the sharp corners—still rolls on quite efficiently. At SADLACK'S for free at 7 p.m.

VS.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY MARK REIDY AND KARLI STEPHENSON
  • Photo by Mark Reidy and Karli Stephenson

BLACK SKIES

Since: 2005
From: Chapel Hill
Claim to fame: Rose from the ashes of The Man, Dzubak-less, though singer/ guitarist Kevin Clark got to keep the rooster shag 'do

No one wants to see Black Skies, as its lumbering metal quake doesn't just spell trouble: It pounds it out in Morse code. Riding on the beefy shoulders of Sabbath and the Melvins with competence if not innovation, the foreboding vibrations shatter your chest cavity and rattle your heart like a pneumatic paint shaker. Kevin Clark's throaty distorted growl is as dark and gritty as old motor oil, powered by the rhythm section's nuclear hum. They're supporting a new EP, Hexagon, heavy enough to give The Sword dagger envy. Go for an evening of rock with The Loners early, and end the night with this heaviness. At SLIM's for $3 at 10 p.m. —Chris Parker


INTRODUCING...

click to enlarge 09.03mushearingaid_rongo.gif

09.09 RONGORONGO @ RESERVOIR

Like a late-night aperitif from the restaurant at the end of the universe, Rongorongo has a shadowy, exotic flair, couched within surging waves of menacing drone guitar, blustery noise curlicues, and scattershot rhythm flurries. The Chapel Hill quartet met in local schools, eventually coming together last spring while working with a changing line-up of improvisers and experimenters called Cumberland County Mean Gang.

Things clicked from their very first jam, and they still play the songs that evolved from it, according to Morgan Friedman, who primarily plays keyboards and drums in the instrument-swapping outfit. He and Ellis Anderson cite Can as one of the band's "common denominator" influences.

"Kraut rock has been the foundation," says Friedman. "We use a lot of repetition in our music ... [and] a lot of sound techniques creating big noisy distortion and walls of sound typical of shoegazer music like Spacemen 3. Song to song it changes, but those two in particular have been very influential."

While they recorded four songs at Track & Field last year, the focus of late has been on booking shows. "The four of us have very different musical ideas, and making those work within a set can provide a variety of sounds," Friedman says. "We've played with dancier new wave electronic acts to country songwriters. It's fun to cater to those different atmospheres." Tonight, they play a free show with SNMNMNM at 10 p.m. —Chris Parker

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

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