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The guide to the week's concerts 

This week's guide contains:

YES, PLEASE: I Was Totally Destroying It, The Loom, Jolly; Goodbye, Titan; The Neil Diamond All-Stars, The Infidels, David Heartbreak, Kingsbury Manx, Jeffrey Lewis, Guardian Alien

VS: Gross Ghost vs. Jack The Radio vs. Hammer No More The Fingers



YES, PLEASE...

11.17 I WAS TOTALLY DESTROYING IT @ TIR NA NOG

For the second in a series of album-spanning shows, Durham power pop maestros I Was Totally Destroying It perform 2008 and 2009 EPs "Done Waiting" and "The Beached Margin" in their entirety. Darker than the debut's chirpy pop-punk, the two discs were a great leap in IWTDI's songwriting maturity, in both arrangements and lyrical content. Occasionally flirting with emo epithets and reminiscent of a more aggressive Eisley, seven-piece Greenville outfit The Ethnographers fits nicely into the opening slot. As with IWTDI, its dramatic, spunky pop-rock is a treasure trove of both ebullient choruses and boy/girl harmonies, traded among the band's multiple vocalists. Free/ 10 p.m. —Spencer Griffith

11.17 THE LOOM @ THE PINHOOK

If you're interested in what it might sound like to witness the disgustingly pervasive term Americana implode, here's a bill for you: The Tender Fruit is the most bedrock stuff tonight, setting Christy Smith's perfectly country voice against a backdrop of alternately bouncy pop and devastating drift. At points, though, the sound surges, and her voice pierces forward, unafraid and unrestrained. You'll hear those same strains in The Loom, a big Brooklyn band that puts a pair of voices above a web of surprising music. Post-rock collides with murky blues, and bluegrass pairs to indie pop. Cat Martino, who you might've seen on stage with Sharon Van Etten, adds a sweet voice to quixotic songs. Her surreptitious charmers no longer wait in the wings. 9 p.m. —Grayson Currin

11.18 JOLLY; GOODBYE, TITAN @ VOLUME 11 TAVERN

Raleigh's Goodbye, Titan exhibits remarkable dynamism, alternating between tiptoed delicacy and fantastic crescendos within each epic. Allen Palmer and Tilson play like two halves of the same guitarist, often finishing each other's melodic phrases. Bassist Matt Cash and drummer Cameron Purser lend the band remarkable immediacy, with the latter's love of acts like Atreyu affording Goodbye, Titan an additional oomph. These post-rock survivors are prepping their debut record, Real Life Awaits Us, for a January release. New York's Jolly mixes the vocal approach of early Incubus with Deftones' White Pony-era trip-heavy trip-hop. With Bad Circus, Laser Blades and Casualty. $8/ 8 p.m. —Corbie Hill

11.18 THE NEIL DIAMOND ALL-STARS, THE INFIDELS @ CAT'S CRADLE

Before there was a Boss, there was a Diamond, singing with similarly overwrought sentimentality (if less poetry) about solitary men, blue jean-clad lovers, red wine and girls approaching womanhood. Neil Diamond's ornate Brill Building pop shines with a Rockwell-like inner light that befits the son of immigrants singing from the heart of American promise. This crew of talented locals has helped reclaim Diamond from his kitsch corner and revitalize his classic pop with affectless energy, led by appropriately named (and besotted) frontman Jack Whitebread. Over the years, their work has gained a certain well-earned reverence for the overwhelming, fun-loving good-time spirit. $10/ 9 p.m. —Chris Parker

11.18 DAVID HEARTBREAK @ KINGS

Discovery Dance Party returns this month with David Heartbreak, a Brooklyn-based DJ famed for lacing the decks with a wide array of world-oriented flavors. Heartbreak's electronic dance sets flow Dutch house into dancehall into kuburo, the music of Angola in the '80s. Inspired by distinctive beats and fond of clever edits and slow-burning builds, Heartbreak's also found his groove in the burgeoning moombahton genre—a sound that strikes at the oddly arresting nexus between Dutch house and reggaeton. He hits the stage tonight with a host of others. 10 p.m. —Ashley Melzer

11.19 KINGSBURY MANX @ LOCAL 506

With much of today's popular indie pop either buried in fuzz or obscured with reverb, the unfettered craftsmanship of Chapel Hill's Kingsbury Manx feels more refreshing than ever. Tight collections of keys, guitars and shuffling rhythms meet warmly, allowing easygoing melodies to bubble through effortlessly. The words hit harder for the pristine production, allowing the band's team of writers to tackle quarter-life crises with deft strokes. Their songs are clean because they have nothing to hide. Lilac Shadows open, and their booming psychedelics build '60s pop melodies into grandiose salvos that enhance, not obscure, the band's tunefulness. $5/ 10 p.m. —Jordan Lawrence

11.19 JEFFREY LEWIS @ DUKE COFFEEHOUSE

As prolific as he is divisive, anti-folk-turned-folksinger, songwriter and illustrator Jeffrey Lewis doesn't walk a fine line between clever and cloying so much as he completely obliterates it. On his albums, up to and including this year's A Turn in the Dream-Songs, moments of eloquence and grandeur sit side by side with moments of sheer unintentional hilarity. That said, even the most curmudgeonly listener can admit Lewis' candor and fearlessness (along with his genre-blind musical eclecticism) is admirable. And when the sounds actually do align, it's very easy to forgive his shortcomings. $5/ 9 p.m. —David Raposa

11.19 GUARDIAN ALIEN @ SLIM'S

Greg Fox didn't write any music while a member of the current lightning rod of American heavy metal, Liturgy, but situated behind a surprisingly economic drum kit, he did drive it. Fox's match of rhythmic narrative with physical endurance pushed Liturgy to instant, ecstatic heights. Guardian Alien, Fox's new project, takes a much different route to those same feelings of pure lift. Like Bardo Pond getting thick or Ash Ra Tempel getting tough, Guardian Alien steadily amasses a dozen long tones—clipped electronics, whistling guitar, hiccupping bass, circling percussion, whispered mantras, momentary shrieks—into brilliantly slow blasts of sound that take the wildest turns. With The Last Tallboy and The Dreebs. $5/ 9 p.m. —Grayson Currin


FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18

GROSS GHOST

FROM: Chapel Hill
SINCE: 2008
CLAIM TO FAME: Gnarly, lo-fi pop nuggets

Gross Ghost is a near-perfect appellation for the duo of Mike Dillon and Tre Acklen, who've cleaned up their blasts of hazy garage rock to focus more on songs than noise, while incorporating bits of punk and jazz within their skewed take on classic pop. Openers Museum Mouth bring flashes of fuzzy brilliance via Southport, while members of Embarrassing Fruits and Butterflies conjure sparse, haunted folk-rock in Spaghetti Western. Lachi & Meridian Gold offer a worthy warm-up in the early show at 7:30 p.m., as the amiable melodies of songstress Lachi come backed by Meridian Gold's adventurous arrangements. At THE CAVE. 10 p.m.

VS.

JACK THE RADIO

FROM: Raleigh
SINCE: 2005
CLAIM TO FAME: Bluesy, Southern-flavored indie rock

With swampy slide guitar riffs and bluesy grooves, Jack The Radio brings braggadocio to its smart rock 'n' roll, informed by modern indie rock sensibilities. Splitting vocal duties, A.C. Hill and George Hage—a pair of sharp singer-songwriters—bring their own personal touches to the project, which remains cohesive in sound despite the versatility to jump from the retro-pop breeze of "Shatterday" to jangly shuffle "Already Done" and roaring rocker "Outlaw." Wilmington quartet Onward, Soldiers offers an Americana blend in the form of bouncy roots ditties and gothic-tinged slow-burners. At SLIM'S. $5/ 9 p.m. If you miss them tonight, the pairing plays Saturday at The Pinhook, too.

VS.

HAMMER NO MORE THE FINGERS

FROM: Durham
SINCE: 2006
CLAIM TO FAME: Inventive, addictive alt-rock anthems

While nodding to the past through both the indie rock heavyweights and more mainstream alternative icons of the early '90s, Hammer No More The Fingers crafts hooky, fist-in-the-air anthems customized with quirky lyrics, bulging bass lines and relentless guitar shredding. Lonnie Walker's frantic, folk-tinged rock sputters alongside frontman Brian Corum's unending lyrical fount, setting the course by which the band navigates electrifying twists and turns. Durham's Free Electric State is a hulking four-piece monster of driving guitar-rock anthems. Nightlight's monthly Mid-Century Modern Dance Party follows, with DJs Craig Powell and Montgomery Morris spinning jams from the '50s and '60s. At NIGHTLIGHT. $6–$8/ 9:30 p.m. —Spencer Griffith

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