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The guide to the week's concerts 

This week's guide contains:

YES, PLEASE: Hog, The Bronzed Chorus, Self-Evident, Brett Harris, Luego, Jack The Radio, Beloved Binge, Ponchos From Peru, Andrew Weathers, Khristian Weeks, Cedric Burnside and Lightnin' Malcolm, Pentagram, Black Tusk, 9th Wonder Label Showcase, Band Together

VS.: Anberlin vs. Superchunk

VS.: The Small Ponds vs. The Swell Season



YES, PLEASE...

05.20 HOG, THE BRONZED CHORUS, SELF-EVIDENT @ THE PINHOOK

The trouble with Minneapolis trio Self Evident is that they actually predate most of the trends they sound like, so the usual comparisons have to be reversed. Jazzy, mathy post-punk, then, sounds a lot like Self Evident. Thirteen years and nine releases in, Self Evident delivers bright splashes of color and melodic, belted vocals. The Bronzed Chorus will debut material that's more danceable than the euphoric instru-pop of their first two records and incorporates 4-bit video game sounds. Durham's HOG—formed from the ashes of metal kings Tooth—contributes its own brand of jackhammer dentistry to the evening. $5/ 9 p.m. —Corbie Hill

05.20 BRETT HARRIS, LUEGO, JACK THE RADIO @ TIR NA NOG

Brett Harris' hushed tenor sidles in understated but dapperly attired, sporting hooks as strong as a bear trap. Well-schooled by Paul McCartney and Brill Building pop, Harris moves with suave, winning assurance on his full-length debut, Man of Few Words. The light funk sway of tracks like "Perpetual Motion" suggests that the early '70s would be Harris' preferred domicile, before the era's warm pop-rock grooves transitioned from soft as cotton to soft like a baby's head. Moody folkies Luego favor a more minor-key presence, though tracks like "Held Up" demonstrate an alluringly slinky, soul-tinged strut. 10 p.m. —Chris Parker

05.20 BELOVED BINGE, PONCHOS FROM PERU @ THE RESERVOIR

In their own words, Wilmington's Ponchos From Peru are "unrecognizable from the last time. Shedded a keyboardist and with her, most of their folk-ish melodic rock. Now go for uber-concentrated quick math rock power trio." Indeed, the newer "High Fructose Corn Syrup Poisoning" rides for the claim, its fuzzy indie rock verses tied to craggy, crooked guitar doodles. But change suits Ponchos, as it does Durham duo Beloved Binge, this evening's headliner. Beloved Binge seems to have made a mission of motion. Rob Beloved and Eleni Binge swap melodies and instruments, making their slim roster seem capable of much more than it ought to be. Actual Persons Living Or Dead play a warm-up set before their CD release party two days later. For more on Actual Persons, see page 34. 10 p.m. —Bryan Reed

05.20 ANDREW WEATHERS, KHRISTIAN WEEKS @ NIGHTLIGHT

A triptych of subtlety and slow movement: Andrew Marino and Andrew Weathers are both Greensboro sound artists on the label Full Spectrum. A Great Southern City, Weathers' first LP released under his own name, is a marriage of atmosphere and activity, built primarily from short spaces that glow with sound like the light or the wind pouring from the mouth of a cave—and then advance. Tonight, Durham's Khristian Weeks partners with University of Mississipi professor John Latartara for their collaborative project on the Visceral Media imprint. Given that label's output, expect restless hums somewhere between wintry drone and the sputtering warble of a broken chord organ. $5/ 9:30 p.m. —Grayson Currin

click to enlarge Cedric Burnside and Lightnin' Malcolm
  • Cedric Burnside and Lightnin' Malcolm

05.21 CEDRIC BURNSIDE AND LIGHTNIN' MALCOLM @ PAPA MOJO'S

"Some people say they read about the blues, been reading about it for a while," intones drummer Cedric Burnside on "I Don't Just Sing." "Well, I don't have to read about the blues, cause I've been living it since I was a child." The line speaks as much to Burnside's personal blues as it does to his pedigree. Burnside was only a young teen when he started touring with his grandfather, the late, great bluesman R.L. Burnside. Playing alongside guitarist Lightnin' Malcolm for the past few years, Burnside has picked up the mantle of Mississippi blues much like fellow heir Luther Dickinson. Funky drums kick back, mixing with fuzzed-out, swampy guitar, creating a force to shake the floorboards. $15/ 9:30 p.m. —Andrew Ritchey

05.21 PENTAGRAM, BLACK TUSK @ VOLUME 11 TAVERN

Maryland metal dudes Pentagram have been working through various lineups for nearly 30 years, and, longevity excepted, their most remarkable quality remains relentlessness. With a rhythm section that, at best, thickens Zeppelin and Sabbath maneuvers and guitars that are more interesting for general tone than specific riffs, they still won't blow your mind, but they'll certainly bang your head. Savannah's Black Tusk will kick the shit in: The band's Relapse Records debut, Taste the Sin, is a series of barked marching orders and tunes bludgeoned into a bloody mess. With guitars thick in the mids and bass that loves to ride shotgun, the trio's thick Georgian roar sticks somewhere between Kylesa and Weedeater—layered but loose and ultimately ready to lean in a little too close. $15–$20/ 8 p.m. —Grayson Currin

05.21 9TH WONDER LABEL SHOWCASE @ THE BREWERY

Is 9th Wonder the Glenn Beck of hip-hop? We haven't really seen the coveted producer crying in any of his "De Blog Jam" postings on YouTube, but in the video for Actual Proof's stainless single, "Genius," we do find the coveted producer, sharply dressed, scribbling the names of classic rap acts like Run-DMC, Slum Village and EPMD on a chalkboard, like the leader of a rogue preservation á la Beck. 9th's new Jamla movement is a call to rigid hip-hop traditionalism that we can, for now, call right-wing rap. These monthly showcases have been reoccurring only slightly less often than Tea Party rallies, too, and like those, the frequency of these showcases may be outpacing the amount of substantive material being presented. The important lesson is that 9th and Co. are trying to reunite a struggling Triangle rap republic. Come show your patriotism. Tonight's bill includes Big Remo, Rapsody, Actual Proof, Cesar Comanche, K-Hill, Kourvioisier and Thee Tom Hardy. 9 p.m. —Eric Tullis

click to enlarge Michael Franti and His Spearhead
  • Michael Franti and His Spearhead

05.22 BAND TOGETHER @ LINCOLN THEATRE

Next year will mark a decade for Band Together, the music-loving, money-attracting collection of locals who combine money from ticket sales and corporate sponsorships to contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars to disaster relief and generally benevolent charities each year. The organization has already generated nearly $400,000 in funding for StepUP Ministry, the faith-based organization that works to train better citizens through general education and courses in lifestyle, and that's before Michael Franti even takes the stage. Unequal parts dance-party ringleader, motivational speaker and cultural critic, Franti and his Spearhead headline tonight's benefit, with the lavish rock of Durham's The Old Ceremony and the earnest mix of acoustics and electronics, adult-contemporary pop and techno textures from London's One eskimO. Holy Ghost Tent Revival gets rowdy and righteous indoors with an after-party. $22–$25/ 6 p.m. —Grayson Currin


FRIDAY, MAY 21

click to enlarge Anberlin
  • Anberlin

ANBERLIN

From: Winter Haven, Fla.
Since: 2002
Claim to fame: Making faith synonymous with toothless modern rock

If talent were a battle of wits, Anberlin would be the defenseless dudes backing into the handicapped spot. They make training-wheels rock with big hooks and loud guitars that would sound threatening to the Footloose denizens of Elmore City, Okla., or those who recently graduated from High School Musical. As humorless as a funeral and with even less entertainment value, their perspective is so hopelessly nave that you suspect grifters to troll the shows for easy marks. The only redemptive aspect of their Christian emo-pop is that most of their fans will eventually outgrow it and discover the real light. With The Story of the Year and Terrible Things. At LINCOLN THEATRE. $16–$18/ 8 p.m.

VS.

click to enlarge Superchunk
  • Superchunk

SUPERCHUNK

From: Chapel Hill
Since: 1989
Claim to Fame: Making the Triangle synonymous with great indie rock in the '90s

Superchunk digested the lessons of their punk forebears to create some of the best music of the '90s. From Hüsker Dü they cadged big, ringing, distortion-drenched guitar, while the Buzzcocks inspired a bristling, tuneful churn. Frontman Mac McCaughan's adenoidal vocals seemed to lift a page from the wavering melancholia of artists like Dinosaur Jr. If that's too reductive (and it is), it's illustrative of how they coalesced the finest elements of the prior decade into a chunky, passionate rumble whose anthemic songs perfectly capture 20-something feelings of self-doubt ("Cursed Mirror"), heartbreak ("Like a Fool"), yearning ("Cast Iron") and disgust ("Slack Motherfucker"). Calling this a crucifixion is in bad taste, huh? With Ryan Gustafson. At CAT'S CRADLE. $14/ 9 p.m. —Chris Parker


FRIDAY, MAY 21

THE SMALL PONDS

From: Raleigh
Since: 2009
Claim to fame: Born from a love hangover

The Small Ponds are the Triangle version of The Swell Season. Both feature the male-female vocal dynamic. Both traffic in a moody, slow-build sound, which seems to dwell in that far corner of relationships where the deepest and most dangerous emotions get swept and which makes the carefully planned crescendos that much more goose-bumpy. The principals in both bands met interestingly: The musical partnership of the Ponds' Caitlin Cary and Matt Douglas began after they sang together at the 2009 Love Hangover show. One difference: The Small Ponds are better suited for Shoot Out the Lights covers. Fellow locals Luego and BJ Barham round out the bill. $8/ 10 p.m. At THE POUR HOUSE.

VS.

THE SWELL SEASON

From: Ireland
Since: 2005
Claim to fame: Well, there was that whole movie and Academy Award thing

The Swell Season is the international version of The Small Ponds. Both feature the male-female vocal dynamic. Both traffic in a moody, slow-build sound, which seems to dwell in that far corner of relationships where the deepest and most dangerous emotions get swept and which makes the carefully planned crescendos that much more goose-bumpy. The principals in both bands met interestingly: The musical partnership of the Season's Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglov began when the former was busking and the latter selling flowers (or was that the movie?). One difference: The Swell Season is better suited for Astral Weeks covers. Free–$30/ 8 p.m. At the N.C. MUSEUM OF ART. —Rick Cornell

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