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The guide to the week's concerts 

This week's guide contains:

YES, PLEASE: Wigg Report, Mangum & Company Shout Band, The Ettes, Dex Romweber Duo, The Love Language, Reigning Sound, Last Year's Men, Chris Pureka

INTRODUCING: The Bulltown Strutters

REMEMBERING: General Johnson Memorial



YES, PLEASE...

click to enlarge Wigg Report - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE BAND

01.13 WIGG REPORT @ CASBAH

Durham's Wigg Report is DIY in the most rough-and-tumble sense. Crude, shambling power chords push the strings of an acoustic guitar close to their breaking point. A meager drum kit, barely standing on wobbly legs, is punished until it falls over, and saxophone lines punch through with a power pop zing. Singer Steve Mullaney, stimulated by the off-the-cuff spirit, attacks with a vigor that makes memorable moments out of the most commonplace gigs. It's a true Bull City treat, one that anyone who wants to say they know Durham has to have seen. The Bastages and The Pinkerton Raid also play. $4/ 9 p.m. —Jordan Lawrence

01.14 MANGUM & COMPANY SHOUT BAND @ THE ARTSCENTER

Rooted in the traditions of the United House of Prayer For All People, shout bands exalt at the Dixieland intersection of brass bands and spirituals. Charlotte's Mangum & Company Shout Band is one of just a handful of groups that recorded on a 1999 Smithsonian Folkways compilation documenting the style, and this performance provides the rare opportunity to experience the power of the massive troupe—its numbers can reach into the 20s—live. Imagine a blaring choir built from a wall of trombones, sousaphones, baritone horns and percussion—along with, of course, plenty of explosive gospel exaltations. $10-14/ 8 p.m. —Spencer Griffith

01.15 THE ETTES, DEX ROMWEBER DUO @ THE POUR HOUSE

Female-led Nashville trio The Ettes add "Cherry Bomb" bluster as they shimmy and shake like a private investigator trying to lose a tail. Singer/ guitarist Lindsay "Coco" Hames' vocals have graduated from saucy sneer to actual singing at times, especially on the band's third full-length, 2009's Do You Want Power. The Reigning Sound's Greg Cartwright (a bandmate of Hames in side project The Parting Gifts) produced the LP, giving it a crunchier, crackling rumble. Like going from electric to gas, the heat's almost immediate. Though Dexter Romweber's most recent work explores moody balladry, perhaps the Ettes will bring out the feral garage-abilly ferocity of Romweber's Flat Duo Jets days. With 1-10s and Redheaded Stepchildren. $10–$13/ 9 p.m. —Chris Parker

click to enlarge The Love Language - PHOTO BY D.L. ANDERSON

01.15 THE LOVE LANGUAGE @ CAT'S CRADLE

The Love Language started as songwriter Stuart McLamb's necessary distraction from a series of bumbles and missteps—band breakups, romantic dissolutions, arrests, service industry gigs, approaching 30 and moving in with his parents—that had become his life. In the past three years, though, The Love Language has become a reminder of the power a perfect line can have when enough oomph is added. Across two albums, The Love Language has thrown a wall of sound behind a few brilliantly winking hooks—"I'm no sailor/ I want to rock the boat"—and watched rooms all across the country sing along. New Raleigh indie rock band Cellar Seas open. The show starts at 9 p.m., and we strongly recommend arriving early. $10–$12 —Grayson Currin

01.16 REIGNING SOUND, LAST YEAR'S MEN @ LOCAL 506

Greg Cartwright's been an Asheville resident since 2004, but the music he creates with The Reigning Sound has its roots in the band's birthplace of Memphis. Their combination of rough-and-tumble R&B and old-time rock 'n' roll creates timeless tunes that sound more at home coming out of the speakers of a rundown jukebox than a pair of headphones plugged into an MP3 player. And while the albums sound pretty great on record, it's when Cartwright and friends hit the stage that the Reigning Sound becomes a force to be reckoned with. Last Year's Men—adherents to Cartwright's pop-rock magic plan—open. $10/ 9:30 p.m.—David Raposa

01.18 CHRIS PUREKA @ LOCAL 506

By definition, Chris Pureka's a New England folkie. The intimacy and emotional urgency of the Connecticut-born singer's music rivals Joni Mitchell, only minus the delicacy. There's something rugged and dusky in her throaty alto that dovetails nicely with the androgyny she cultivates. Her five ambling acoustic-based albums lean toward the rough-hewn country-folk of Neil Young, flecked with bursts of down-home Appalachia. It's an austere sound that amplifies her soft-spoken intensity. While prior releases possess stark atmospheres that are more about vibe than texture, her latest, How I Learned To See In The Dark, increases the sonic detail without compromising the affecting starkness. With Nicole Reynolds and Humble Tripe. $12/ 8:30 p.m. —Chris Parker


INTRODUCING...

01.18 THE BULLTOWN STRUTTERS @ PAPA MOJO'S, DURHAM

The Bulltown Strutters bring percussive New Orleans street jazz to Durham. In a New Orleans parade, official participants make up the main line, followed by dancers and revelers, which are known as the second line. Acknowledging the 800-mile gap between cities, Cathy Kielar says, "We jokingly call ourselves a third line band." Kielar teaches participatory drumming at Music Explorium and helped pull The Bulltown Strutters together this past October for the Hillsborough Handmade Parade. Her husband plays clarinet, and there's also trombone, trumpet, tambourine and melodica. About a dozen members strong, it's a ramshackle conglomeration of jubilation, complete with a fourth line of strutters waving umbrellas.

The group is as much a community celebration as a community band. The show tonight is an open jam where "When the Saints Go Marching In" transforms into "When the Beer Begins to Flow," and everyone ends up dancing. "We had somebody that came last time with an accordion and she joined us on a number that she knew," Kielar says. If you want to become a part of The Strutters, e-mail her at 2playmore@gmail.com. "My favorite thing," Kielar says, "is the joy that I feel from playing music with other people." Free/ 7 p.m.—Andrew Ritchey


REMEMBERING...

click to enlarge Chairmen of the Board - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE BAND

01.15 GENERAL JOHNSON MEMORIAL @ LINCOLN THEATRE

When General Norman Johnson passed away in October, his death reverberated on an international level. His songwriting skills had landed him hits with numbers like "Patches," a tune made famous by Clarence Carter, and with the band that became his home, Chairmen of the Board. His name alone sounded commanding (his given name was indeed General), but it was his voice that led the infectious "Give Me Just a Little More Time," the 1970 staple for the Chairmen, an outfit birthed by the hit factory of Holland, Dozier and Holland.

Johnson was born in Virginia, but he and the Chairmen found their livelihood and core community in the beach music scene, especially in North Carolina. The group continuously toured throughout the area, and landing regularly in places like Raleigh's Longbranch and beach music clubs lining the coast. This weekend, the Chairmen's remaining members—along with beach legends The Embers and contemporary group Jim Quick and Coastline—pay tribute to the man, his music and the warmth among the fun-loving beach music community. $12–$15/ 8 p.m. —Chris Toenes

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