Music on the Eno
The 34-year-old Festival for the Eno admirably continues to recognize the changing faces of the cities that surround it, booking bands that not only speak to potential ticket buyers but also speak of this region itself. This year's two-day lineup (Thursday and Saturday only) flips from the blues of wizened masters such as John Dee Holeman to the rock 'n' roll update of the Dex Romweber Duo, from the a square dance featuring the Five Points Rounders to sets by young updaters of tradition such as Mipso, the Morning Brigade and the charming new Loamlands. The African American Dance Ensemble shares a stage with pop-rock impresario Chris Stamey, while Saturday mixes the laser-etched narratives of the Mountain Goats and the bar-side heartbreak of country master John Howie Jr.
For a complete schedule and ticket details for one of the best years of the Festival for the Eno in a decade or more, visit enoriver.org. Thursday, July 4, and Saturday, July 6, at West Point on the Eno. $10–$25
Studying a master can be a task fraught with both peril and reward. Massachusetts guitarist Glenn Jones, for instance, has spent a large portion of his life exploring and analyzing the work of John Fahey, the go-to reference for finger-style guitarists and an important source of musical hybridization. He was a key driving force, for instance, behind Your Past Comes Back to Haunt You, a masterful 2011 box set documenting Fahey's early work. Jones' work, though, embraces all the loaded emotionality and personal vulnerability as Fahey's without at all aping him. Sure, Jones is a solo guitar (and banjo) picker, but his work is traced by an approachable affability that was often unfamiliar to Fahey. For instance, Jones' wonderful new LP, My Garden State, stems from time he spent caring for his mother in his New Jersey childhood home. It's sweet, sad and ultimately expressive, the sound of an instrumentalist liming a clear emotional center with every note. With Ezekiel Graves. Sunday, July 7, at Nightlight. $7/8 p.m.
The songs of Philadelphia four-piece Creepoid suggest a waking dream, with electric guitar saturating the air like a jungle haze and the listless co-ed vocals casually trying to communicate truths from behind that scrim of humidity. Horse Heaven, their gorgeous 2011 full-length LP, suggests at once the rag-tag refinement of early Smog records and the unquantifiable elegance of grandiose Elephant 6 outfits such as Elf Power or Olivia Tremor Control. That is, with fairly simple instruments, Creepoid suggests symphonies, with majesty lurking just beneath a drift and an unexpected jolt situated among their seemingly infinite jangle. With Ben Carr of Last Year's Men playing solo and Wake Up. Thursday, July 4, at Chateau Moby Dick. 5 p.m.
Blessed be the five Mondays of this July, as Neptune's—the subterranean bar two floors down from Kings—puts a hold on its dance-club routine to welcome acid-trip improviser and open-to-all composer Eugene Chadbourne for a weekly residency. Oboist Carrie Shull, cellist Chris Eubank, bassist David Menestres and violist Dan Ruccia join Chadbourne to revisit pieces from his daunting and long-running Insect & Western series, in which the Doctor pulls various strands of jazz and rock music into a roots music framework in a musical attempt to illustrate the lives of insects. If you're worried about the rest of the week paling in comparison, welcome to Chadbourne's general aesthetic, where nothing ever sits still for very long and where no idea seems quite deliriously strange enough. Monday, July 8, at Neptune's. 8 p.m.
Tim Daisy, Jeb Bishop, Carrie Shull
About a year ago, well-traveled North Carolina native Jeb Bishop returned to live in Chapel Hill. Back in Chicago, Bishop had risen to prominence within the cities deep fre jazz scene, but he found that his old Tar Heel haunts offered less in the way of improvising opportunities. "It's a question of making it happen, but it's been a question of making it happen for 20-some years," he explained in an interview. Indeed, since Bishop's re-arrival, he has made it happen, it being gigs with traveling and local free players alike. Tonight, he links with brilliant and patient Chicago drummer Tim Daisy, traveling the Midwest and Southeast on a short solo tour. Carrie Shull, now in the midst of a residency with Eugene Chadbourne (see No. 4), joins the group. Wednesday, July 3, at Marsh Woodwinds. 7 p.m.
The first several cuts from Tracks—the debut album from Chapel Hill six-piece New Hill—suggests that the area might have a new pop darling at hand. Sonically, these tunes bounce around with the sort of pogoing interests as the Animal Collective, but the band clutches close to the cores of these songs, too, leavening the musical tricks they can turn within these songs with old-fashioned principles of narrative, progression and presentation. Feltbattery, the ingenious nature-scrambling project of sound artist Benjamin Trueblood, opens and plays with New Hill, while the arching indie rock of Butterflies and the soulful surrender of singer Josh Moore share the top of the bill. Friday, July 5, at Nightlight. $5/9 p.m.
After emerging as favorites of this year's Savage Weekend festival of curios, Providence duo Humanbeast returns in advance of the release of the very promising Venus Ejaculates into the Banquet. Led by Maralie Armstrong, a singer whose curlicue voice can flip from a moan to a wail and from a hook to a harangue in an instant, their darkened pop flirts with noise and generally fucks with structure. The songs of opener Russian Tsarlag drift in and out of time, muted melodies emerging beneath a veil of ennui. Wednesday, July 3, at Nightlight. $6/9 p.m.
Tomorrow's Lost, the third LP from Toronto heavy metal classicists Cauldron, is a gyre of reverence, with textbook examples of NWOBHM and thrash, early doom and lighters-up ballads aligned into choose-your-own-adventure patterns. They're touring with Richmond's Volture, a sizzling quintet that makes metal of an unabashedly enthusiastic vintage. Victorious anthems for pedestrian conquest, Volture can be a joy to behold. Saturday, July 6, at The Maywood. $5/7 p.m.
Despite the limited size of bass-and-drums duo Huge Pupils, the pair manages big, burly, two-minute blasts of atavistic indie rock. By routing a bass through a web of amplifiers and by handing over vocals to a drummer who sings to beat pizazz into his hooks, they use their size like an excuse for added pugnacity. New York's nervy and fetching Butter the Children opens, along with Stronghold Crvsader and Death Rides a Horse. Wednesday, July 3, at Slim's. $5/9 p.m.
The Bronzed Chorus
The Bronzed Chorus is Adam Joyce and Hunter Allen, nominally a Greensboro guitar-and-drums pair that makes filmic instrumental music. But the best songs that Joyce and Allen create are their own movies, with rising action and shifting scenery and sharp exits encapsulated with five minutes or so. The phrase post-rock suggests that they're beyond being a rock band, somehow over it, but The Bronzed Chorus is only a rock band without words, able to translate energy and emotion without the semaphore of lyrics. With Revisionist. Friday, July 5, at Kings. $6/10 p.m.
Carolina Music Awards
As the name suggests, the 6-year-old Carolina Music Awards delivers awards to various musical acts in the Carolinas. But that's really about all there is to say: Each year, the prizes fall to a strange swath of musicians in the area that, more often than not, don't seem to be emblematic of the stuff coming out of this region. These are the Carolina Music Awards simply by virtue of there being little else to challenge the article. Saturday, July 6, at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. $29.85–$41.15/8 p.m.
The Hands That Thieve, the recent LP from New Jersey ska-punk hybridizers Streetlight Manifesto, ratchets up the band's mix of genres, incorporating thrash metal build-ups and emo-whisper breakdowns into the usual mix of horn-abetted rock. But they add atop an unstable foundation, with songs built of hooks and themes that seem haphazardly thrown together, as though the band's three-year spread between albums forced them to rush along with uncertainty. Tuesday, July 9, at Lincoln Theatre. $17–$20/8 p.m.