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The guide to the week's concerts 

This week's guide contains:

YES, PLEASE: High on Fire, Touche, Kylesa, The Howlies, Mountain Heart with Tony Rice, Cuckoo Mash Costume and Dance Party, Clawform, Janzig, Tomahawks, Lonnie Walker, Houston Brothers, Del McCoury & Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Blonde Redhead, Pantha Du Prince, Marxtravaganza, Caribou, Veelee, Nile

VS.: Big Daddy Love vs. Gasoline Stove


click to enlarge High on Fire - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE BAND


With three marquee-worthy bands delivering distinct but uncluttered (and unhyphenated) metal, this promises to be 2010's best touring metal package. Plus, this will be the live incarnation of three of this year's more distinct heavy rock albums. High on Fire's Snakes For the Divine lays its riffs like horse hooves on the skulls of defeated enemies. Torche continues melding metallic heft to Cheap Trick hooks on Songs for Singles. And Kylesa wades through its murky, melodic Spiral Shadow with rarified conviction. $16/ 8:30 p.m. —Bryan Reed

click to enlarge The Howlies - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE BAND


Meet your scruffy, fun-loving Atlanta neighbors the Howlies. They live in a garage decorated with '60s arcana, including crisp guitars, sweet backing vocals and enthusiastic rhythms fueled by soda pop and junk food. There's a hint of psych in their hooky three-chord blasts, which generally chases a blend of Merseybeat chug and charm. The sound's a tad ramshackle but upbeat and catchy, like the Black Lips' hard-working brother. Their two-night Triangle run's accompanied by the resinous bluster of Rob Walsh's (Dirty Little Heaters, The Spinns) Bitter Resolve on Friday at The Cave; the shapely ringing garage-pop of Greenville's Gospel Years serves as the preamble on Saturday at Slim's. —Chris Parker


Clean, fast-paced bluegrass has the power to compel listeners into submission. Mountain Heart wields that power. Guitar shakes, fiddle darts, banjo reels. Over a traditional bluegrass base, the sextet combines country-rock vocals and jazz-tinged instrumental solos that can transform stiff shots of bluegrass into smoother extended jams. Playing alongside the band is flatpicking legend Tony Rice. No stranger to exploring and breaking the boundaries of bluegrass, Rice has unconscionable speed and melodicism that weave him a well-deserved crown. Show up an hour ahead of time for a talk led by Mountain Heart. $19–$28/ 8 p.m. —Andrew Ritchey


If the revolving cast behind WXDU's Who's Got the Cuckoo program had a DJ crest, it'd be an elevated EEG reading stenciled over a bed of strewn-about 45s and compilations. When a show specializes in garage, early rockabilly and other wonderfully primitive forms, the songs tend to last two minutes—lots of action, little time for straightening. To celebrate both the show's fifth year on the air and Halloween (the garage rocker's holiday of choice), Cuckoo DJs Xiane, Stephen and Nick will spin spooky tunes from the '50s and '60s between sets from Thee Dirtybeats and Link Wray devotees Phatlynx. Heart rates will soar. Free/ 9 p.m. —Rick Cornell


Here we have heavy metal played by a dude with a banjo, and it works? Yes, actually. Colin Booy's banjo blasts through a stack of amps, while thunderous metal percussion and frigid organ come from a laptop, lending Clawform black metal austerity with death metal intensity. As for the banjo itself, the instrument's percussive qualities and short sustain work well in heavy forms. So even if this one-man band is another extension of Durham's weird folk undercurrent, Clawform's music stands independently of the spectacle. This will be the first show for fellow Durhamites Janzig, an all-female Danzig tribute. Also, Corpse War. Free/ 10 p.m. —Corbie Hill


This stacked bill starts with Charlotte duo The Houston Brothers, who work overtime employing pedals and crafty techniques to sound like a four-man band. Far from a novelty, the siblings' relaxed, keyboard-centric pop is sharp and just slightly quirky. Speaking of quirks, Lonnie Walker's sputtering, mile-a-minute indie rock rambles have just the sort of twisted lyricism to match its winding guitars; their frenzied live sets feel as if they're always on the verge of losing control. In this case, that's a very good thing. The easygoing pop of Nick Jaeger-led local supergroup The Tomahawks emerges from a lo-fi haze with a bevy of persistent melodies. 8:30 p.m. —Spencer Griffith

click to enlarge Del McCoury & Preservation Hall Jazz Band - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE BAND


Fleet flatpicker Del McCoury is a bluegrass icon, though he's hardly allowed himself to be confined by the genre's conventions. After starting out alongside Bill Monroe, McCoury and his band have shared stages and studios with Steve Earle, Phish and The String Cheese Incident, gathering more than 30 IBMA awards and a Grammy along the way. McCoury recorded with New Orleans institution The Preservation Hall Jazz Band in 2008, and the chemistry between the two legendary acts led to a co-headlining tour. Though they perform together on brass band and bluegrass numbers, the biggest rewards come when the collaborators jam on gospel tunes common to both traditions. Both bands get full sets, followed by a joint finale. $5–$46/ 8 p.m. —Spencer Griffith


They've landed their hooks, sure, but Blonde Redhead's long been prone to floating tones and textured drift. For perhaps the first time, the New York trio's latest, Penny Sparkles, cuts the anchors too often. Even the charge of would-be anthems like the aptly titled "Not Getting There" loses to distractive indulgence. Hope they pull from their back catalogue. On the other hand, Black Noise, the latest from German producer Pantha Du Prince, finds a peerless intersection between wallpaper electronics and to-the-floor electronica. Subtle and slow-moving, Black Noise eases into its beats, allowing the meter to decorate wonderful streams of melody and textural accessories. What's more, his collaboration with Panda Bear, "Stick to My Side," puts one of the year's best pop hooks in a gorgeous granular-and-handclap haze. Expect to be moved, just enough. $20/ 9 p.m. —Grayson Currin


Less than three years since moving from Albany to Raleigh, musical man-about-town Mark Connor has taken to the local scene, and it to him. Connor, who bartends and books bands at Slim's, celebrates his 31st birthday by attempting a bass-thumping, suicide-mission marathon: Tonight's bill includes no less than five terrific pop-rock acts in which Connor holds down the low end. Bright Young Things conjure a splendid marriage of Wilco and Big Star, while The Tomahawks throw back to '60s sunshine pop. Mod meets garage in rowdy Raleigh quartet The Spring Collection, while Brett Harris and Luego give hook-crafting clinics. $5/ 4 p.m. —Spencer Griffith

click to enlarge Caribou - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE BAND


Caribou's last set in Carrboro was a bit chaotic, with a gaggle of uninvited fans climbing on stage to dance too close to the gear. Can't blame 'em, though: That show was also one of the year's most intricate and inspiring dance parties. The tunes from the kaleidoscope rhythm force's best record to date, Odessa, felt both elaborate and soulful from the stage. For a few years, the tunes of bandleader Dan Snaith, an Ontario mathematician, indeed felt a bit cold and clinical. Odessa, however, bounds and swings with smarts; ideas swiped from 20th-century composers and German innovators come spliced seamlessly with dashes of American R&B and island dub. Excellent, and likewise twisted, Carrboro pop duo Veelee open. $16–$18/ 9:30 p.m. —Grayson Currin


If you've got a mythology to explain, chances are there's a heavy metal band that wants to use it. Metal bands have roared and razed about it all, from Norse legend to Babylonian code and from Satan to Ra. Actually, Ra, the Egyptian sun god, is the specific domain of Nile, a South Carolina band that explores the ancient lords and ways of Egypt in its highly technical, agile death metal. During "Papyrus Containing The Spell To Preserve Its Possessor Against Attacks From He Who Is In The Water," from 2007's neck-stressing, Ithyphallic, frontman Karl Sanders not only mentions Ra and Amun but also drops lines like, "Drive away from me the lions of the wastes/ The crocodiles which come forth from the river." Heavy and epic, in the best ways. With Ex Deo, Psycroptic and Keep of Kalessin. $20/ 7 p.m. —Grayson Currin



From: Asheville (by way of Sparta)
Since: 2009
Claim: Spreading the love

Big Daddy Love is a band with some Band in its heart. For starters, file the quintet under Americana—a category that Robbie Robertson, Levon Helm and company invented, or at least perfected. (It just took about 40 increasingly subgenre-conscious years for the tag to become official.) Then there's the best-of-both-worlds ability to combine tight musicianship with an appealing loose-limbedness. And Big Daddy Love songs like "River Runs" and, well, half of The Band's early catalog sound like mountain-born soul music. By the way, this is also a costume ball. Why not dress like Garth Hudson? At THE POUR HOUSE. $7/9 p.m.



From: Chapel Hill (by way of Memphis (the Band))
Since: 2009
Claim to fame: Spreading the warmth

Gasoline Stove is a band with some Band in its heart. At its best, the quartet recalls Rick Danko, Richard Manuel and company's old, weird Americana, where rural rock, revival-tent soul, folk tales, hymnbook piano and Bob Dylan all hold hands on the way to the medicine show. Think Big Pink as a mobile home on the Haw River. Oh, and Gasoline Stove's founders are from the group Memphis the Band. Coincidence? Doubt it. Sharing the bill are Radar's Clowns of Sedation and, monikered appropriately for the season, Taz Halloween and her Kitty Box & the Johnnys. At THE CAVE. Pass the hat/ 8 p.m. —Rick Cornell


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