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The guide to the week's concerts 

This week's guide contains:

YES, PLEASE: Christabel And The Jons, Nashville Pussy, Save The Scrap Exchange, Paul Thorn, Dark Water Rising, Butterflies, Jon Lindsay, Rock ’n’ Roll Devival, Ian Mclagan, Greg Trooper, Curren$y

VS.: The Bowerbirds vs. Sam Bradley

CONVOKING: Triangle Rhysing

INTRODUCING: Stella Lively



YES, PLEASE...

06.03 CHRISTABEL AND THE JONS @ CASBAH

Christabel and the Jons thrive in the space between Bob Wills' Western swing and Django Reinhardt's French gypsy jazz. Dancing fiddle, trumpet and accordion punch up the easygoing rhythm section, while Christa DeCicco stands in front of it all, leading her backing trio on guitar as a jazzy joy bubbles through her warm vocals. It's a timeless sound that somehow never existed. DeCicco's songs seem designed for movement, whether the shuffling six-count of East Coast or the Lindy Hop's driving swing-out. DJ Kristy Milliken spins interstitial music between the two sets to keep dancers on the floor. $8–$10/ 8 p.m. —Andrew Ritchey

06.03 NASHVILLE PUSSY @ CAT'S CRADLE

Soundtracking a backwoods kegger with irreverent arena rock rumble, Nashville Pussy is a Southern-fried answer to AC/DC. Metal-flavored guitars strut with impertinence behind the hoarse sandpaper growl of Blaine Cartwright, while guitarist Ruyter Suys rules the stage with pinup looks and dirty-dream moves. Nashville Pussy vacillates between thundering boogie and punky race-car rhythms while invoking the time-honored subjects of classic rock rebellion—"Piece of Ass," "Pray For the Devil," "I'm So High," "Hate and Whiskey." Their latest, From Hell to Texas, features the terrific "Lazy Jesus," who suffers his father's dismissive attitude. With Koffin Kats, Terry Anderson and the Olympic Ass-Kickin Team. $15–$18/ 9 p.m. —Chris Parker

click to enlarge NATHAN GOLUB

06.04 SAVE THE SCRAP EXCHANGE @ CASBAH

Check most any to-do or must-see guide of Durham during the last decade, and you'll find The Scrap Exchange, the Bull City's place to get previously used goods for projects on the cheap. Last month, though, a roof that collapsed after heavy rain sent both The Scrap Exchange and Liberty Arts Foundry scrambling for new homes. To aid the effort, 11 area bands—from the solo project of Megafaun member Phil Cook to the garage rock rescues of Thee Dirtybeats—play this all-day benefit. Be sure to check Midtown Dickens, who have a bevy of their best songs yet ready for their next record, and Sara Bell, the Shark Quest architect playing a rare solo show. $10/ 1 p.m. —Grayson Currin

06.04 PAUL THORN, DARK WATER RISING @ CAT'S CRADLE

Paul Thorn's unassuming nature inspires his music's understated charms. This Pentecostal preacher's kid and former boxer winds through swamp blues, sunbaked gospel soul and unvarnished classic rock, but there's sly wit lurking beneath his husky delivery. There's also a trace of adult contemporary fare in the way some songs sidle along, even if it's overshadowed by Thorn's sweaty vocals and earthy writing. The Mississippi native's songs are populated by an oft-amusing array of ornery, hard-living characters worthy of John Kennedy Toole. Despite a major-label jolt, he's generated props slowly, achieving his first significant breakthrough with last year's Pimps and Preachers, his sixth album. $15/ 8 p.m. —Chris Parker

06.04 BUTTERFLIES, JON LINDSAY @ THE CAVE

Butterflies and Jon Lindsay will no doubt deliver a night that's sifted through a sieve of sunshine: Charlotte's Lindsay, the literal son of a preacher man, can't shake the influence of the family business, despite rejecting it. His choirboy crooning pervades his electic pop, while religious themes trickle into various tracks. Butterflies have an upbeat, youthful air; scratchy, high-pitched vocals are paired with buoyant fiddle, ascendant guitars and driven drumbeats. 10 p.m. —Nina Rajagopalan

06.04 ROCK 'N' ROLL DEVIVAL @ KINGS

The Church of the SubGenius is a parody religion that, for the last 30 years, has (very) slowly been recruiting members through a liturgy of slacking, lounging, partying, rocking and rolling, all at the altar of nonexistent head honcho J.R. "Bob" Dobbs. Those ideals are the perfect tipping point for a rock show, or, in SubGenius parlance, a Devival. Tonight's Raleigh Devival is headlined by The Loners, a two-piece rock 'n' roll rumble pack of insurrection and invective. Also, The Hell No, Sound System 13, a burlesque show and the unerringly entertaining host, Tony Woodard. This Saturday night will deliver you to a new kind of Sunday morning. $6/ 9:30 p.m. —Grayson Currin

06.05 IAN MCLAGAN @ THE POUR HOUSE

He may be a grizzled rock vet, but Ian McLagan's music still shimmies with a hook-laden vibrancy that goes back to his British Invasion start. He specializes in a rock 'n' roll boogie-woogie deeply informed by Chuck Berry's hopped-up rhythm and blues. (Indeed, McLagan's backed Berry.) His biggest fame came in the mid-'60s and '70s as a member of U.K. mods the Small Faces and the Faces, but he's spent the last 35 years as an in-demand session player/sideman (Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones, Billy Bragg, Warren Haynes) while cultivating a solo career, too. His crisply infectious bluesy piano-soul inhabits a timeless corner of the rock canon. $10–$13/ 8 p.m. —Chris Parker

06.05 GREG TROOPER @ CASBAH

It's easy to get lost in the Americana singer/ songwriter shuffle when there are so many decks in play. But Greg Trooper's the type of artist whose talent startles when you first discover him, prompting wonder that, after three decades making music, he's not better known. After all, other songwriters have taken note—Vince Gill, Steve Earle, Robert Earl Keen and Billy Bragg have all covered his songs. Trooper's voice is soulful, though the music blends folk and blues fed by keen character sketches and homey front-porch reflections. There's a deep strain of The Band on his latest, Upside-Down Town, particularly the touching Hammond-driven ode to familial loss, "Bulletproof Heart." $10–$12/ 8 p.m. —Chris Parker

click to enlarge Curren$y - COURTESY OF THE ARTIST

06.08 CURREN$Y @ CAT'S CRADLE

Unlike Snoop, Devin the Dude or Wiz Khalifa—really all stoner stylists who've made careers out of wandering through their rhymes in a haze—New Orleans weed rapper Curren$y delivers his verses with reserved intensity. It's like he has seen a lot, but these days he prefers to just relax with a spliff and a rhyme book. His beats are warm electronic grooves that sound downright cozy in a live setting, while his spry raps focus on tiny details like the headphones he uses (noise-cancelling ones), the automobiles he prefers ('70s muscle cars) or the DVD he's currently watching (Marvin Gaye: Live in Montreux 1980). Most of the rest of the Jet Life crew pretty much perform like less nimble Curren$y soundalikes, but there's Fiend, a deep-voiced rumbler whose winter mixtape Tennis Shoes & Tuxedos is as compelling as Spitta's Pilot Talk series from last year, or April's Alchemist-assisted, soul-glitch slow burner Covert Coup. Also, Trademark, Young Roddy and Corner Boy P. $16–$18/ 9:30 p.m. —Brandon Soderberg


SUNDAY, JUNE 5

click to enlarge The Bowerbirds - COURTESY OF THE ARTISTS
  • Courtesy of the artists
  • The Bowerbirds

THE BOWERBIRDS

From: Raleigh, N.C.
Since: 2005
Claim to fame: Organic melodies with an environmental consciousness, an indie rock rarity

Formed in the Carolina woods when guitarist and lead vocalist Phil Moore tracked birds for the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, the Bowerbirds should be awarded honorary residence in Walden Pond. Moore and Beth Tacular (accordion, keys, drums, vocals)—along with a rotating cast of sidemen—strum about natural resources and heartbreak with equal passion, and they often write these songs from their wooded Pittsboro outpost. Despite the old-worldliness of their string-based folk, the Birds are hardly disconnected: Moore's day job now consists of co-designing websites with Tacular, and this gig sees the debut of new material in their first show since November and before they open for Arcade Fire in Virginia. With Mount Moriah. At MOTORCO. $8—$10/ 9 p.m.

VS.

click to enlarge Sam Bradley - COURTESY OF THE ARTIST

SAM BRADLEY

From: Vancouver, Canada, via London
Since: 2008
Claim to fame: Revitalizing folk for Twihards—and the rest of the world, maybe

Sam Bradley penned "Never Think," that acoustic slow burner on Twilight's 2008 soundtrack, meaning he is pretty well-connected to the world for a 20-something songwriter without a full-length release. (The former solo artist, now backed by his band, the Men, has several EPs.) Bradley's got teen girls and their moms playing his song on repeat, but he also has a poetic sensibility that'd grab non-Twilight fans just as well. Combining a concern for the environment with a cautious examination of love ("See blue on the horizon/ I can't feel blue for that much more," he ruminates), Bradley's lyrics sport the subtle turns of phrases and natural imagery that make you feel like folk music is still a frontier. With Holly Conlan. At THE ARTSCENTER. $12—$14/ 8 p.m. —Marissa Muller


CONVOKING...

06.02 TRIANGLE RHYSING @ NIGHTLIGHT

When Rhys Chatham, Glenn Branca or any other composer gathers several guitarists—from three to 1,000—in one space, the generally accepted term is "massed guitar symphony." But that phrase puts the guitarists in an unnecessary and incorrect box of polity and high society; indeed, though Chatham and Branca make precisely composed and arranged music, the same impulse that drives a teenager to buy a cheap six-string and plug into a cheap Peavey amplifier isn't so far removed from the impulse behind letting dozens of guitarists do the same. It's catharsis by volume, victory by overtone, glory by sound. To wit, the idea first occurred to Chatham after he saw The Ramones play in New York in the late '70s. Triangle Rhysing explores this idea with nearly two dozen local guitarists, including Birds of Avalon's Cheetie Kumar, In the Year of the Pig's Aaron Smithers and Curtains of Night's Nora Rogers. Organizers describe the event as a night of "shimmering ambient music for multiple amplified guitar mobs, cello, percussion and chance." Get ready to feel the sound. Les Rhinocéros opens. 8:30 p.m. —Grayson Currin


INTRODUCING...

06.02 STELLA LIVELY @ TIR NA NOG

It was just another Saturday at the Raleigh flea market when Ashley Carter found an old silver ID bracelet at the bottom of a box. Time had turned it completely black, but she could tell there was something inscribed. "The guy selling it wiped a polishing cloth over the top, and there was the name Stella Lively," she remembers. "I told him right then that it was going to be the name of my next musical project."

After seven years, Carter's finally made Stella Lively come to life. "This project was initially about finally setting loose a ton of songs that looked like they were destined to stay buried on a dusty four-track forever," says Carter. "Last summer, I decided it was time to do something with them, give them a little polish, see what's really there." Calling on the assistance of multi-instrumentalist and producer Dave Bartholomew, Carter quickly assembled a band and started realizing her sound—full-throttle rock with a storyteller's sensibility, pop melodies and plenty of attitude.

"I hope people have fun when they see us live. I hope they can tell we're having fun," says Carter. "I hope that my songs make them feel something." Free/ 8 p.m. —Ashley Melzer

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