This week's guide contains:
YES, PLEASE: Deadstring Brothers, Richard Bacchus, Charanga Carolina, Colossus, Thunderlip, Demon Eye, Colleen Green, Plateaus, Phil Cook & His Feat, The Weather Station, Ryan Gustafson & Josh Moore, Arborea, Tommy Edwards & Carolina Lightnin'
VS.: Wrath of the Godz: Rapper Big Pooh, Jozeemo & more vs. Slick Rick
08.29 DEADSTRING BROTHERS, RICHARD BACCHUS @ CASBAH
Someone needs to give Deadstring Brother Kurt Marschke a break. Though he's recorded some Stonesy country-soul albums that would make even local Keith acolyte Michael Rank jealous, he lost sexy harmony singer Masha Marjieh after releasing 2010's Sao Paulo, and now the rest of his band is gone, an apparent casualty of his move to Nashville. He's forging ahead as a one-man band, though it's hard not to feel sad seeing such a fine songwriter hoofing it on his own when he could be enjoying Lucero-level success. Somebody hook this guy up with Dan Auerbach or Jack White. The rugged, hooky rumble of Richard Bacchus & the Luckiest Girls opens. $7–$10/9 p.m. —Chris Parker
08.31 CHARANGA CAROLINA @ AMERICAN TOBACCO CAMPUS
In a nod to musical diversity this year, the Back Porch Music on the Lawn concert series at American Tobacco set aside three dates in its 2012 calendar for "Jazz on the Lawn"—about time. NCCU Jazz Ensemble and John Brown's Groove Shop rang in the new programming earlier this year; now Charanga Carolina delivers a Latin twist. This Cuban-style dance orchestra combines flutes and violins with horns and an Afro-Cuban rhythm section. Whether airing Nuyorican salsa or Havana timba, rural merengue or the cosmopolitan cha-cha-chá, this ensemble of professionals and UNC students is one of North Carolina's most distinctive and exciting Latin bands. No coolers are allowed, but blankets and chairs are welcome. Free/6 p.m. —Sylvia Pfeiffenberger
08.31 COLOSSUS, THUNDERLIP, DEMON EYE @ SLIM'S
Since its inception seven years ago, Colossus has maintained a self-aware sense of humor, gleefully celebrating heavy metal excess and speculative-fiction fandom. This gig celebrates the release of the band's fine third effort, And the Sepulcher of the Mirror Warlocks. That same sense of fun-loving trad-metal revivalism persists through this triple bill: Wilmington's Thunderlip reimagines Judas Priest as a cousin to Lynyrd Skynrd, while Raleigh's Demon Eye aims for the darker edges of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. From their headlining position, Colossus mounts this bill's summit with momentum drawn from a thunderous, galloping low end, soaring three-part harmonic guitar leads and operatic vocals. $5/9 p.m. —Bryan C. Reed
09.01 COLLEEN GREEN, PLATEAUS @ THE PINHOOK
Churchkey Records' monthly series of free gigs has thus far been a stellar showcase of locals-only rock 'n' roll. Though this pair of Golden State acts marks the first out-of-town bill of the First One's Free series, both suit Churchkey's garage-leaning sensibilities just fine. Los Angeles' Colleen Green merges the Ramones' punk simplicity with C86 lo-fi, recalling Black Tambourine or Best Coast but using her own sardonic approach to songwriting. See the snotty stinger "I Wanna Be Degraded," from Green's recent Milo Goes to Compton EP. San Diego's Plateaus derive hooks from familiar punk and pop sources, then coat them with grit and scuzz. Free/10 p.m. —Bryan C. Reed
09.02 PHIL COOK & HIS FEAT, THE WEATHER STATION, RYAN GUSTAFSON & JOSH MOORE @ THE FARM
Nestled in the outer reaches of Orange County, at 3702 Arthur Minnis Road in southern Hillsborough, is an old farmhouse that recently has played host to some pretty cool big-house-concert-style shows. The latest is on Sunday, as Megafaun side-project Phil Cook & His Feat headline a bill that also features Toronto singer-songwriter Tamara Lindeman's outfit The Weather Station (in a pre-Hopscotch appearance) and Durham roots-rocker Ryan Gustafson, who recently resurfaced after an extended hiatus and will be accompanied by Josh Moore. $10 suggested donation/5 p.m. —Peter Blackstock
09.04 ARBOREA @ MOTORCO
Solemnity is a gift that Buck and Shanti Curran of the Maine folk duo Arborea possess in spades. A classic husband-and-wife pair in many regards, the Currans present a distinct combination of ghostly intuition and rigorous folk discipline. In spare blends of guitar, banjo and harmonium, Arborea's music communicates a far-carried warmth, as if they have come from a place much more distant than Maine. It is a place accessed with the purchase of a warbling suitcase turntable and an LP copy of last year's Red Planet, or through a visit with the Currans at one of their shows. California singer-songwriter Mariee Sioux opens ($7/8 p.m.); both acts also play Wednesday, Sept. 5, at the Nightlight in Chapel Hill, with local opener Sarah Shook ($10/9:30 p.m.). —Jesse Jarnow
09.05 TOMMY EDWARDS & CAROLINA LIGHTNIN' @ KOKA BOOTH
Tommy Edwards is best known as the co-founding guitarist of Bluegrass Experience; like any folk musician worth his salt, however, he's been involved in a plethora of collaborations and projects. Carolina Lightnin' finds the flatpicker flanked by the songwriting duo of bassist Alice Zincone and banjoist Rick Lafleur, who've co-written with Rhonda Vincent and played in local outfits including The Grass Cats and New Vintage. Fiddler Matt Hooper—formerly of Kickin Grass Band and The Hotwires but currently part of Don Rigsby & Midnight Call—sits in. This begins Koka Booth's Pickin' in the Pines bluegrass series, a monthlong run of Pinecone-sponsored events that are family-friendly and easy on the wallet. $5/5:30 p.m. —Spencer Griffith
FRIDAY, AUG. 31
WRATH OF THE GODZ: RAPPER BIG POOH, JOZEEMO & MORE
From: Virginia and the Carolinas
Since: Early 2000s
Claim to fame: Seasoning hip-hop reps with hardcore raps and controversy
Charlamagne Tha God has been stirring up controversy ever since his days as a popular shock jock on Columbia, S.C., station 103.9-FM.But he's reached new heights in infamy as one of New York's Power 105.1-FM "The Breakfast Club" radio personalities.In his short time there, Charlamagne has infuriated both Busta Rhymes and Nelly, been punched in the head on camera by embittered thugs, and provoked rival station Hot 97 to launch a campaign against him. Strangely, he's not even hosting this roundup of Triangle rap giants.Instead, up-and-coming Durham comedian Bishop Omega will do the honors, while Charlamagne gets to kick back and enjoy N.C. hip-hop at its finest.
Unless Charlamagne starts some drama, the biggest story of the night should surround Durham veteran emcee Jozeemo's imminent retirement from rap to full-time Alamance Community College student and father of seven children. He'll be leaving with pride, thanks to his most recent LP, the peppery True Identity, and passing the baton to the next generation of Durham roughhousers, Wreck-N-Crew. Triangle anchorsRapper Big Pooh and Kaze help headline; Pooh is continuing his solo march with the upcoming Fat Boy Fresh Vol. 2 project, while Kaze (aka "Black Kennedy") is taking his top-shape grind to the next stage. At CASBAH. $15–$18/10:30 p.m.
From:The Bronx via London
Claim to fame: Monopolizing the look of a cocky, British-accented rapper with an eyepatch and an unbelievable display of jewelry
It seems like every time a hip-hop legend performs in these parts, the show is a piece of an "old-school" lineup attached to an African-American festival.(This one's a pre-event party for the African American Cultural Festival, which takes over downtown Raleigh on Saturday and Sunday.) Everyone is wearing Malcolm X hats and daishikis, someone's hocking $5 fried-fish trays, 25 different vendors are selling bootleg Obama T-shirts and more often than not, Frankie Beverly and Maze are somehow involved.Also, Doug E. Fresh is probably hosting the damn thing ...
Actually, we could use Doug E. Fresh at this show, for he and Slick Rick's classic "La Di Da Di" jam.That would make it more official, but it's not like Slick Rick the Ruler doesn't have a bunch of hits that he can handle himself. There's "Children's Story," "Teenage Love," "I Shouldn't Have Done It" and "Sittin' In My Car," not to mention his guest spot on Outkast's "Da Art of Storytellin'."
Regardless, it's our duty to buy a ticket and show pioneers such as Slick Rick our appreciation. It's not like rap legends have pensions or million dollar royalty checks these days, and it'd be a shame if Uncle Ricky had to cash in all of his thick gold chains to stay solvent. With Urban Sophisticates, plus DJ Casper's tribute to Soul Train's Don Cornelius. At LINCOLN THEATRE. $15–$25/9 p.m. —Eric Tulllis