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The guide to the week's concerts 



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This week's guide contains:

YES, PLEASE: The Loners/ Pinche Gringo, Annihilation Time, Hayes Carll/ John Evans Band, O'Death/ Megafaun/ The Prayers & Tears, The Loners/ The Rosebuds, Savage Knights

VS.: Reggae vs. Pop

RE-INTRODUCING: Blankface



YES, PLEASE

11.29 THE LONERS/ PINCHE GRINGO @ SLIM'S

Back-to-basics garage, rockabilly and blues: Both acts saddle the primal beast, riding bareback with a whoop like Slim Pickens atop an A-bomb. Pinche Gringo's fueled by the vein-peeling rumble of singer/ drummer/ guitarist Josh Johnson, abetted at times by the willowy vocals of a Lovely Sarita. A survivor of The Spinns, Johnson's garage-psych heart is clogged with resin, but it sputters on persuasively. Raleigh duo The Loners roars like a muscle car deprived of its muffler, serenading the entire neighborhood with its hungry growl. Just keep your hands away from its slobbering maw, as it's been know to bite. $3/ 10 p.m. —Chris Parker

12.01 ANNIHILATION TIME @ VOLUME 11

If the members of Birds of Avalon still played their Black Flag singles nearly as much as their Blue Öyster Cult LPs, they'd be the bicoastal brethren of Oakland's Annihilation Time. The California quintet rides the same duel guitarmonies that Raleigh rock purists cut their dope to but does so with the punk 'tude of a 16-year-old kid swiping his dad's favorite bottle of scotch. Annihilation Time's new full-length is out on TeePee Records—home to Witch, Earthless, The Warlocks and Drunk Horse, if you need creds of cred—and it thunderously pledges allegiance to the rotting corpse of Phil Lynott. With Double Negative, Tooth, Logic Problem and Sir Arthur & His Royal Knights. $8/ 9 p.m. —Rich Ivey

12.02 HAYES CARLL/ JOHN EVANS BAND @ LOCAL 506

Artists build careers on three or four chords that turn into songs about whiskey, women and broken hearts. Like McDonald's, those tunes have served a billion. Texas country singer/ songwriter Hayes Carll draws liberally from the legacies of Townes Van Zandt, John Prine and Merle Haggard, succeeding simply thanks to his scruffy slacker charm and a keen ear for a hook or a witty line. He hits his pace on third release Trouble in Mind, lamenting the competition on "She Left Me For Jesus," copping to his simple ambitions on rawking rave "Bad Liver and a Broken Heart," and digging his parched twang into Tom Waits' "I Don't Want to Grow Up." What's the hurry? $10-$12/ 9 p.m. —Chris Parker

click to enlarge O'Death
  • O'Death

12.03 O'DEATH/ MEGAFAUN/ THE PRAYERS & TEARS @ LOCAL 506

New York quintet O'Death distills the grim malevolence of an Appalachian murder ballad, downing it with shots of bluegrass punk and clattering cabaret swing. It's manic like the Legendary Shack Shakers, haunted by 16 Horsepower's Pentecostal spirit, with the rough, unpolished flavor of Will Oldham. Since forming in 2003, they've built a reputation for unhinged live shows. Megafaun is a fine aperitif for O'Death's mountain moonshine. They share an appreciation for traditional sounds but aren't bound to those earthy constraints, either, disappearing off into folk's more expansive regions with a moody ramshackle gait. This show also features Perry Wright in a new version of The Prayers & Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers. In the previous incarnations, Wright fashioned elegant, richly conceived pop that goes from minimalist acoustic fragility to production-enriched symphonies. Yet whatever the scope, there's a tender aching intimacy at its core. $10/ 9:30 p.m. —Chris Parker

12.03 THE LONERS/ THE ROSEBUDS @ THE POUR HOUSE

Some 19 months ago, I watched Ivan "Rosebud" Howard—a guy who's generally taller than the rest of the room—sing and smile and jerk his head to the sounds of the first Loners show in three years. Indeed, the crowded last night of Kings sparked a new beginning for one of Raleigh's finest ever, The Loners. So, if there always has to be a silver lining, count the duo's reunion that night. But both The Rosebuds and The Loners are better than they were then. The Loners owes its improvement to a renewed intensity, which stiffens and shocks its garage rock middle with a ferocity pulled from the tight lashes of hardcore. And Life Like, the new one from The Rosebuds, feels like an unconscious arrival at the middle of anything the band's ever done right. The hooks are perfect and the textures are correct and comfortable, making for a record that pulls everything (disco, country, early indie rock) back into the Buds' Merseybeat center of gravity. $8/ 9 p.m. —Grayson Currin

12.03 SAVAGE KNIGHTS @ MARVELL EVENT CENTER

The out-bound jazz of Raleigh's Savage Knights slinks through dark alleys with a Can T-shirt on, shaking hands with the ghosts of Rashan Roland Kirk and Charles Mingus on the way to a record store that treats Zorn and Ribot like best-sellers. The spectral creation of Mike Isenberg and Crowmeat Bob is a bit less free and frantic than one may expect, but it delivers on charts that slink and melodies that simmer across all burners. New York's two-women Aquila makes snappy psychedelic stomp, like KARP in a compact. Raleigh's Burning Rays sound like a theatrically and melodically deprived KISS. $4/ 9 p.m. —Grayson Currin


Friday, Nov. 28

click to enlarge 11.26mushearingaid_vs_cruci.gif

REGGAE

From: Jamaica, as syndicated through Durham and Raleigh
Since: The mid-'60s; here since the mid-'90s
Claim to fame: Influencing a million dorm room poster decisions and a legion of electronic, hip-hop, pop and rock descendents

Social anxieties come tempered by calls for solidarity and the vibe-based musical ease of Crucial Fiya, Dub Addis and Jamrock Reggae Band, three area acts devoted to presenting roots and reggae live regularly in the Triangle: Tonight, a spree of Triangle reggae standbys—like Donovan Carless and Junior P—will assist the keyboard-heavy Crucial Fiya. Dub Addis is pleasantly unpolished, its mix of reggae and African polyrhythm percolating through heavy fills and rumbles. Look for Jamrock to be a fitting, light aperitif. At Lincoln Theatre. $10-$12/ 9 p.m.

VS.

click to enlarge 11.26mushearingaid_vs_procl.gif

POP

From: Wherever you are, there it is
Since: The 17th century, some claim; these takes reflect mostly the last 50 years
Claim to fame: Influencing hearts, advertising strategies, puns and a legion of descendents

Anxious hearts shape the founts of Hammer No More the Fingers, The Proclivities and Prabir & the Substitutes, three fine pop bands that sculpt and handle their melodies with disparate though related approaches: Durham's Hammer aims for reviving its indie rock idols with streamlined guitar casts that dangle sharp, immediate hooks. Proclivities frontman Matt Douglas eases his words out with distant eyes, a technique that adds a playful air to the emotional battles therein. Tightly wound and punchy, Richmond's Prabir pops real hard and fast, like The Strokes, with love. At The Pour House. $8/ 9 p.m. —Grayson Currin


RE-INTRODUCING...

click to enlarge 11.26mushearingaid_blankfac.gif

11.28 BLANKFACE @ LOCAL 506

Chapel Hill mid-'90s punk rock heroes Blankface rode out in a blaze of glory before frontman Jared Draughon—the last member of the quartet to graduate from Orange High School—moved to Italy after his senior year: "It was the only time we played and actually sold out the Cradle," remembers bassist Al Jacob, who's spent time in Sound of Speed and Sixty Cycle in the decade since the breakup.

Jacob now operates Warrior Sound Studio in Chapel Hill with former guitarist/ vocalist Mitchell Marlow. "It was awesome," remembers Marlow, who has played with Sound of Speed, He is Legend, Glassjaw, Classic Case and '90s alt.rock hitmakers Filter since the split. "Like half the kids at the show got up on stage with us and were singing with us." Manning the intersection of pop-punk and second-wave emo, Blankface was the classic high-school favorite, and its energetic anthems regularly packed the now-defunct Lizard and Snake. Blankface drummer Sean Husick joined Milemarker and moved to Chicago, but a reunion of the four has been in the works for years. This gig was planned around Thanksgiving in hopes that long-ago fans, friends and family would be in town. "I definitely know it's not going to be the same, but I hope to get those good times back ... relive the old days," says Jacob.

Former Beloved frontman/ Classic Case guitarist Josh Moore and current Chapel Hill pop-punkers I Was Totally Destroying It, both Warrior Sound clients, open at 9 p.m. Pay $6-$8. —Spencer Griffith

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