This week's guide contains:
YES, PLEASE: Dynamite Brothers, Weisstronauts, Deleted Scenes, Modern Skirts, Wembley, Javelin, Jeff the Brotherhood, Vinyl Records, Showcase, Horse Feathers, Infamous Stringdusters, Tramples by Turtles
EH, WHATEVER: The Cult, The Black Ryder
VS.: Doc Watson vs. Scott Miller vs. Scott H. Biram vs. Old Crow Medicine Show
RE-INTRODUCING: Shark Quest
11.11 DYNAMITE BROTHERS, WEISSTRONAUTS @ THE CAVE
New Englander Pete Weiss keeps busy, whether he's center stage or behind the glass. In the latter capacity, he's produced records by Willard Grant Conspiracy, Moe Tucker, Charlie Chesterman and locals the Two Dollar Pistols. That first role has found him out in front of Pete Weiss & the Rock Band, the ever-adventurous Sool and the instrumental group the Weisstronauts. Their latest EP, The Weisstronauts in Memphis, soaks both the classic ("Ode to Billie Joe") and the knowingly titled ("Exit Sandman") in Ardent Studios goodness. Jimmie "J.J." Walker's potentially favorite indie soul-rock band, the Dynamite Brothers, shares the bill. $5/ 10 p.m. —Rick Cornell
11.11 DELETED SCENES, MODERN SKIRTS, WEMBLEY @ CASBAH
Textural, hooky indie rock is the game here; all three bands are clear winners. Deleted Scenes' name suggests a lack of cinematic virtue, but the D.C. quintet cuts dramatic anthems that build to grand payoffs. Veteran Athens quartet Modern Skirts have come into their own with freewheeling, futuristic pop that's heavily flavored with '60s psychedelia, creating a remarkably wonderful marriage of The Flaming Lips and The Beach Boys. Hillsborough foursome Wembley is a worthy opener for the out-of-towners, serving up brilliant bits of aching, perfectly orchestrated indie pop. $6–$8/ 8 p.m. —Spencer Griffith
11.11 JAVELIN @ KINGS
Javelin doesn't fit indie-tronic pigeonholes very neatly. It's funkier than chillwave, and their debut LP, No Más, lacks the requisite lo-fi dust that accompanied 2009's Jamz n Jemz. But Javelin's tempos are too sedate, its attentions too fleeting and its scale too understated to fit in alongside the Hot Chips and Ratatats. It has its occasional glitchy moments and even attains a certain grandeur reminiscent of Caribou, while pursuing a decidedly more downbeat approach. Javelin demonstrates lasting affection to '80s analog new wave, old-school hip-hop and pop-soul without feeling beholden to any of them. It's alluring but coy, and a party every time. With Reptar and Rain in My Face. $10–$12/ 9 p.m. —Chris Parker
11.12 JEFF THE BROTHERHOOD @ DUKE COFFEEHOUSE
Nashville's JEFF The Brotherhood is indeed two brothers (Jamin and Jake Orrall), joining forces to kick out the sort of infectious garage pop that'd be the envy of most bands twice their size (and age). Though both Orralls are no older than 23, they've done time in plenty of tour vans with plenty of groups (most notably Be Your Own Pet), and the tunes on their most recent album, Heavy Days, speak to that experience. Bubblegum melodies get baited with fuzzed-out guitar solos and big-bottomed drums. Though this sort of thing's been done time and time again, JEFF makes it sound like the best music in the world. —David Raposa
11.13 VINYL RECORDS SHOWCASE @ THE PINHOOK
Vinyl Records—the UNC student-run label that introduced the Triangle to Lafcadio, Lake Inferior, Apollo and My Boy Rascal last year—shows off a trio of its new favorite student bands. Fingerpicked guitars wind around the breathless vocals and biting lyricism of imaginative folkie Jacquelyn Lee. It Is Rain In My Face offers dreamy, undersea electronic adventures for gently swaying coeds. Former Lafcadio frontman Ryan Dowdy, ex-WXYC music director Montgomery Morris and experimental musician David van Dokkum are the abrasive noise punk trio Los Naturales, which headlines. $5/ 10 p.m. —Spencer Griffith
11.16 HORSE FEATHERS @ LOCAL 506
Images of fair-voiced men with beards and sonorous falsettos generally indicate music that mopes—or, at the very least, has quiet and still moments. Recently, consider Iron & Wine, Bon Iver and maybe Ray LaMontagne. But especially on Thistled Spring, his third LP as Horse Feathers, there's a wonderful lilt to the voice of Portland's Justin Ringle, giving his music a comforting grace that such measured indie folk can gravely forsake. What's more, this latest incarnation of Horse Feathers adds violin, saw, banjo and other tools of Appalachia with the counterpoint and layering of erudite composers. With Anais Mitchell. $9–$11/ 9:30 p.m. —Grayson Currin
11.17 INFAMOUS STRINGDUSTERS, TRAMPLED BY TURTLES @ CAT'S CRADLE
This tour, dubbed "Fly Palomino" after the titles of both the Infamous Stringdusters' and Trampled By Turtles' 2010 albums, seems like an odd pairing. After all, the Dusters are from the bluegrass bedrock of Nashville and play polished (though hardly traditional) acoustic tunes that demand technical virtuosity. The Turtles, on the other hand, hail from the unconventional bluegrass base of Minnesota and thrash away at their instruments, delivering ragged, raging 'grass-rooted howlers. "To be honest, I don't really know how the seed got planted," Turtles frontman Dave Simonett told No Depression when asked about the tour. "But we're very happy it's happening." Agreed. $15/ 8 p.m. —Spencer Griffith
11.14 THE CULT, THE BLACK RYDER @ LINCOLN THEATRE
Like a dumpy dude fresh from a manicure and a high-end clothing store, The Cult got help from Rick Rubin in 1987 on the breakthrough Electric that they haven't replicated since. Ian Astbury's gruff, Morrison-biting croon's all reverb and overworked affectation, and it's only gotten worse. With his own band, the lyrics aren't much more than Viagra-vating come-ons of a lecherous old man; he ruined four great jams by Japanese metal lords Boris this year with his overwrought wail. Astbury lacks the Jagger-ed swagger to pull it off. Guitarist Billy Duffy remains the Cult's single redeeming aspect, employing gritty glam-metal riffage and slashing hard rock leads. If we were talking $10, then, sure, but $30–$35 is a sin. 8 p.m. —Chris Parker
FRIDAY, NOV. 12
From: Deep Gap, N.C.
Claim to fame: Being Doc Watson
Doc Watson playing "Black Mountain Rag": That's a recording that needs to be in outer space voyaging along with Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode." An intricate arrangement of an old fiddle tune, it showcases the wonders Watson can coax out of an acoustic guitar. His version of "Tennessee Stud" from Will the Circle Be Unbroken also would be a worthy orbiter. "Country Blues" flies, too. Just prepare for an invasion of intergalactic flatpicking fans in Wilkesboro during some upcoming April. With David Holt. At MEYMANDI CONCERT HALL. $20–$35/8 p.m.
From: Knoxville, Tenn.
Since: Early '90s
Claim to fame: Being a tuneful smartass
Scott Miller singing "Sin in Indiana": That's a recording that needs to be at the center of the currently fictitious record Songs Inspired by the Late, Great Roger Miller. The number has wit, melody, and smarts—a trifecta of traits shared by the work of both Millers. "Mary" from the V-roys' All About Town would also fit well. "Napoleon" from Miller's pre-roys days makes sense, too. Just prepare for tears when this Miller covers that Miller's "Old Toy Trains." Jeanne Jolly opens. At BERKELEY CAFE. $15/ 9 p.m.
SCOTT H. BIRAM
From: Austin, Texas
Since: Early '00s
Claim to fame: Being a dirty, old, one-man band
Scott H. Biram growling "Blood, Sweat & Murder": That's a recording you should use to introduce someone to Biram's trademark stomp and snarl. It sounds like an ancient blues tune hopped up on punk attitude and broadcast nationwide on a CB radio. "Raisin' Hell Again" also would be an effective howdy—part signature concoction, part mission statement. "Still Drunk, Still Crazy & Still Blue" works, too. Just prepare to imagine John Lee Hooker as a hillbilly singer. With The Alcazar Hotel. At CASBAH. $10–$12/ 8 p.m
OLD CROW MEDICINE SHOW
From: Nashville, Tenn.
Claim to fame: Being a musical medicine show
Old Crow Medicine Show covering "Deportee": That's a recording at the heart of the various-artists collection Songs of America. The performance showcases the group's expert touch when it comes to vintage songs and sounds, be it Memphis blues, string-band tunes, primal bluegrass or, in this case, a Woody Guthrie classic. The Louvins' "The Great Atomic Power" also would have been a good fit. "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime" fits, too. Just prepare to be entertained no matter the style. At MEMORIAL HALL. Sold Out/ 8 p.m. —Rick Cornell
11.12 SHARK QUEST @ THE CAVE
Shark Quest hasn't released a proper album since 2004's beautiful, languid Gods & Devils; the slinking, serpentine instrumental quartet hadn't played a show in almost that long before they hit a Carrboro stage last month. When asked to explore their catalogue for the fifth-anniversary concert for local visual arts organization Minus Sound Research, they agreed.
"We stopped for various reasons. I went back to school, you know. And Chuck [Johnson, guitarist] went back to school several years ago," says multi-instrumentalist Sara Bell. "We took a breather."
Shark Quest wasn't inactive during the breather, at least. When asked to score the Rocaterrania, a documentary about eccentric artist Renaldo Kuhler, the band tweaked its writing process and allowed each member to start songs and pass the pieces to the rest of the group for additional parts. The work took more than a year, and the results are the only bit of the Shark Quest discography that the new band—which replaces Johnson with guitarist Kevin Dixon—has yet to explore. Though those pieces weren't written for the stage, Bell hopes this new Shark Quest will not only try them but write new material, too. After all, starting again seemed so easy.
"It had been six years since we played our last show, and we were all a little nervous," she says. "But it didn't take that much time to fall into it and remember everything." —Grayson Currin