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The guide to the week's concerts 

This week's guide contains:

YES, PLEASE: The Alcazar Hotel, Pipe, Waumiss, Lady Marcia Griffiths and Tanya Stephens, David Dondero, Active Child, Lightning Bolt, Evil Wiener Wiener Roast, Make, Wizardry, Bezoar, Hog, Don Rigsby & Friends and Jess Klein

VS.: Sleigh Bells vs. Terror

CELEBRATING...: Weese-Fest



With muddy Mississippi blues slathered with garage-rattling fuzz, Alcazar Hotel blasts through primal stomp 'n' boogie with blistering leads and rumbling rhythms as unhinged frontman Will Dawson howls with maniacal delight. Wood Ear's rustic roots tunes match singer/ songwriter Nate Tarr's slight twang, earnest lyrics and acoustic strums with a bevy of tasteful accents. Tallahassee's Only Thieves—a roaring, no-bullshit rock 'n' roll machine fueled by meaty riffs and raucous shout-along vocals—splits the locals. $5/ 9 p.m. —Spencer Griffith


The best Thursday of your Summer? At this free, all-ages bash, Waumiss' pop quirk comes cemented by members of local heavy powerhouses Caltrop, Monsonia, Horseback and Ruscha. Joe Romeo adds his solid country-soul, while Pipe blasts out of hiding to play another of its rare, suds-soaked shows. Michael Holland's new crew, The Band of Oconeechee, headlines. Listen for the sounds from the parking lot stage behind The Station. Free/ 7–11 p.m. —Grayson Currin


Marcia Griffiths earned her "Queen of Reggae" title courtesy of her musical output and the regal fingerprints that she's left all over the Jamaican music timeline. Early on, Griffiths recorded at the legendary Studio One and its rival, Trojan. She teamed with vocalist/ songwriter Bob Andy as Bob and Marcia before joining Rita Marley and Judy Mowatt to form the Bob Marley-backing I-Threes. And her dance number "Electric Boogie" gave the world the Electric Slide. But it's her whipped-caramel voice, never better than when interpreting Nina Simone's "Young, Gifted, and Black" or Al Green's "Here I Am," that makes her truly throne-worthy. Lady in waiting Tanya Stephens opens. $25–$30/ 9:30 p.m. —Rick Cornell


He's wild like the west wind, blowing aimlessly across the landscape for nearly 20 years, overturning rocks and makeshift shelters to expose the scattering creatures they hide. David Dondero's among the finest lyricists of his generation. He's penned paeans to the highway engineers, Rothko Chapel and the lonely, dispossessed dreamers that litter our world. He's The Transient (his fine 2003 album) heir to Townes Van Zandt and Leonard Cohen and progenitor of Conor Oberst, who adopted his warbling croon in the early '90s when Dondero was fronting South Carolina rockers Sunbrain. He's supporting his seventh solo album, #Zero With a Bullet, fueled by a soul beyond weathered and an attitude "too far out past jaded," as he confesses on the title track, the product of a lifetime spent grappling with undeserved anonymity. Do yourself a favor and show him some love. With Ye Olde Shoppe and Skylar Gudasz and the Ugly Girls. $6/ 9:30 p.m. —Chris Parker

click to enlarge Active Child - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE BAND


The pan-everything pop of Islands was once playful and blithe, brimming with the same energy that made the band's old mainland, Unicorns, so appealing. But the Montreal big band's only grown overstuffed, overly stiff and incredibly awkward throughout its three LPs, turning its songs into willful, forced attempts at integration. Brooklyn's Steel Phantoms, on the other hand, are forgettable for their elemental, limp indie rock. Their tunes occasionally twist and turn like an art project, though, in the end, it feels just like another act rolling down the interstate. Active Child, the first of three bands here, is worth all of your attention tonight: Los Angeles choir veteran Pat Grossi has an arresting falsetto that he lifts and bends over beats that skitter and crush—think Phil Collins drum pads, awash in glitch and synthesizer and graced by Grossi's textural harp runs. His proper debut, the Curtis Lane EP, is one of the year's essentials. Bigger stages await. $10–$12/ 8 p.m. —Grayson Currin


The downside to the healthy traditional venue scene in the Triangle is how hard it is to find a good house show. At least for one night, that sweaty, rebellious vibe occupies Local 506. Faithful to their roots in Providence's basements and warehouses, Brians Gibson and Chippendale avoid stages. The underground showspace vibe may be a bit Dollywood, but there are no better tour guides. The absence of an artist/ audience barrier, coupled with the Bolt's terrifying live volume, is what makes this duo's tightly wired noise-metal-thrash-spazz sets the stuff of ear-buzzed legend. With locals In the Year of the Pig (a band well worth the admission on its own) and Clang Quartet. $8/ 9:30 p.m. —Corbie Hill


Is there a more American combination than grilled meats and parking lot parties, local curiosities and neighborhood gatherings? Don't forget tradition. Undoubtedly, The Cave's Independence Day soirée (the ninth starring the house band Evil Wiener) will deliver on all counts, beginning with an early-evening weenie roast in the basement bar's back parking lot and followed by a rare musical performance from the long-running and perennially novel Chapel Hill outfit. In the years since Evil Wiener's proper heyday, leader Billy Sugarfix has busied himself with a songwriter-for-hire business and the recording of last year's solo debut, Summer Tempests. But the keen eye for detail and knack for transforming humdrum happenstance into poetic grist are skills he honed with Evil Wiener. Contrasting the introspective bittersweet of Sugarfix's solo set, these tunes are usually funny and often touching odes to every day occurrences—like renting videos or playing in marching bands. America, bless Evil Wiener. —Bryan Reed


Nightlight promises—and will likely deliver—the "heaviest holiday in the Triangle" with this four-band brew of metal as dense and sticky as July air. New York imports Bezoar and Wizardry carry, respectively, a murky psychedelic crawl, like Sleep drowning in a dream, and a hard-rock slog, like Judas Priest applying the brakes. Locals Hog and MAKE, respectively, heat-fuse High On Fire's old-school stomp to the dynamic brutality of early Mastodon and spread muscular tentacles across Isis' post-metal panoramas. Together, the four promise not only heavy sounds, but songs that stick like sweat-soggy T-shirts. 3 p.m. —Bryan Reed


A handful of area house concert vets carry the memory of a Pine Hill Farm show from Don Rigsby where the gifted bluegrass tenor and mandolinist lined out "Amazing Grace" in the Primitive Baptist style for an old-fashioned sing-along. But you don't have to be among that living-room lucky few to appreciate Rigsby's artistry. With any luck, you've caught the Kentucky native in Longview, the Lonesome River Band or the Bluegrass Cardinals, or you've latched on to solo records like the gospel powerhouse

The Vision. Among the friends supporting Rigsby are locals Tommy Edwards, John Wade and Matt Hooper. Should-be Americana star Jess Klein opens. $15/ 8 p.m. —Rick Cornell


click to enlarge Sleigh Bells - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE BAND


From: Brooklyn
Since: 2008
Claim to fame: Contributions to M.I.A.'s new LP before releasing an LP of their own

Kids on the Internet have given Derek Miller, the guitar-and-beats half of New York duo Sleigh Bells, more than his share of grief for his heritage. Miller used to play in Poison the Well, the Florida post-hardcore band that, without him, still works to push hardcore forward by warping it with weirdness. But those same kids likely have a hard time shaking the hooks of "Infinity Guitars," "Crown on the Ground" and "Tell 'Em," the triptych of singles that anchors Sleigh Bells' tantalizing debut, Treats. Miller's fuck-all beat blasts and roaring guitar are as loud as hardcore, pushing everything into the red to suggest that the speakers are already busted. It's impossible to imagine these songs landing as well without their trunk-rattling bombast, and it's impossible to think of that obsession with loud as anything but, well, a post-hardcore tendency. With Nerve City and PO PO. At CAT'S CRADLE. $10/ 9 p.m.


click to enlarge Terror - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE BAND


From: Los Angeles
Since: 2002
Claim to fame: Slam-dancing into three Billboard charts with 2006's Always the Hard Way

Kids, so long as they're growing up and angry, will forever make hardcore punk, or something like it—emotional aggression funneled into aggressive music, loud and spirited enough to wake the world and maybe scare the neighbors, too. Note well the "something like it" bit, though: There's nothing post- or progressive about the straight-ahead hardcore of California quintet Terror. Rather, they trash and bash like they learned it from records, with guitar distortion, rhythmic bludgeon and vocal serration that sets mission control squarely on the last two decades. So, while punks are busy laughing at Sleigh Bells' Derek Miller for fleeing to indie pop, and indie kids pick on his hardcore past, Miller's found something somewhat new—and is electrifying new audiences with it. Terror will continue to find new audiences, too. After all, pissed kids are a top target market. With Gravemaker, Down To Nothing, Foundation and Naysayer. At THE BREWERY. $12/ 6 p.m. —Grayson Currin


click to enlarge Gray Young - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE BAND

07.02–07.04 WEESE-FEST 31 @ THE POUR HOUSE

Not one to take another year for granted, Benton Weese celebrates his 31st birthday in grand style, expanding celebrations to a full weekend of guitar-heavy rock. Five acts perform nightly, including swirling psych-proggers Left Outlet each night, while Magician Michael Casey adds his sleight-of-hand trickery on Saturday. Friday also features A Rooster For The Masses' dub-washed post-punk, Bright Young Things' rootsy indie rock, The Trousers' scorched boogie and Skullbuckle's hard Southern anthems. Saturday's slate includes working-class heroes Red Collar, fist-pumping riff potency from The T's and Richard Bacchus, plus Patty Hurst Shifter. Steamrolling garage-blues duo The Loners, post-rock twisters Gray Young, sleazy bar rockers Ghosts of Saturday Nite and a secret local favorite round out Sunday's lineup.

Those in attendance two years ago watched the portly Pour House doorman commemorate by hopping onstage alongside American Aquarium's BJ Barham to count off "Clark Ave." before drunken mayhem ensued. Try your best to keep up with Weese for three debauched nights by purchasing a weekend pass for $20 or paying a $10 cover nightly. Friday and Saturday's shows start at 9 p.m. with Sunday's finale beginning at 7 p.m. —Spencer Griffith


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