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Thursday 6.18 

click to enlarge Double Dagger: 277 times heavier than hydrogen - PHOTO COURTESY THRILL JOCKEY RECORDS
  • Photo Courtesy Thrill Jockey Records
  • Double Dagger: 277 times heavier than hydrogen

Durham
Double Dagger

The Pinhook—How heavy can a drummer, a vocalist and a bassist be, anyway? It would be best not to roll into this appearance of Double Dagger—a Baltimore trio of art-school kids obsessed with typography (hence, the name, early lyrics and consistently intriguing graphics) and highly amplified sociopolitical reckoning—with that attitude. These dudes will damage your feelings and your ears. More, the band's third LP and debut for Chicago's Thrill Jockey, shocks the rotting carcass of Fugazi with defibrillating paddles and resuscitates it by breathing fuel into its lungs. Certainly capable of bellicose hard-charges that enter, aggravate and exit in three minutes, the Double Dagger of More goes for increased dynamics and complexity, both qualities that boost the urgency and unsettling air of its best tunes. Yes, that's right, tunes: Double Dagger isn't just fire, brimstone and Dischord follow-through, as singer Nolan Strals howls melodically, fortifying his rants into anthems that might make you stronger, too. "There's no way we're going to die tonight. If we shout loud enough, they can't turn out the lights," he concludes triumphantly on "Vivre Sans Temps Mort," the confession of a death-obsessed kid who's finally given up on, well, giving up. They join Armored Uprise at 11 p.m. for $5. —Grayson Currin


click to enlarge Sarah Dessen
  • Sarah Dessen

Raleigh
Sarah Dessen

Quail Ridge Books & Music—Readers suffering from writer's block, please try to not hate Sarah Dessen. Just a year after her eighth novel, Lock & Key, was published—and after giving birth to her first child—the Chapel Hill-based author has another book out this week, the young-adult novel Along for the Ride.

Dessen remains modest about her prolific output. "With my last few books, people had all these expectations for me to keep producing. But suddenly everybody just left me alone because I had this little baby."

The time constraints of having an infant helped Dessen become more productive when she sat down to write. "I would come home, and I would have an hour, and I would just sit down and write," she said. "I'd have had all day to think about what I was going to write, so I'd just jump right in. It was actually really good for my writing—it took away a lot of that obsessing I just didn't have time to do any more. Plus, I was able to write about a character who was a new mom and channel a lot of what was happening with me on the page."

Along for the Ride concerns Auden, an awkward, insomniac teenager. Over a summer, Auden deals with her stepmother, who's recently given birth to Auden's half sister, connects with Eli, a fellow loner, and finally learns to ride a bike. The story is set in Colby, a fictitious North Carolina beach town Dessen previously used in her novel Keeping the Moon. "I loved going to Emerald Isle in the summer, and I love the idea of that summer where you go away from home and everything changes," Dessen says.

She's "very, very early on" in her next novel, but she assures us that between promoting Ride and tending to her daughter, "I'm not going to have another book out this time next year, trust me." Dessen appears at Quail Ridge Books & Music at 7:30 p.m. —Zack Smith


Durham
Shen Wei Dance Arts

Durham Performing Arts Center—The acclaimed Shen Wei dance company returns to the American Dance Festival to again raise the bar high for fellow dance troupes. Having performed at the Ferst Center in Atlanta in April, the troupe presented "Rite of Spring" and Re-(I). At the festival, Shen Wei will unveil Re-(III), a piece making its world premiere that was specially commissioned by ADF. Shen Wei's performances will mark the first time that the Re-cycle will be performed in its entirety (hitting our own backyard before a perfromance at that mecca of the performing arts, Lincoln Center). According to the ADF Web site, the RE cycle will "explore the relationship between individual and community," as well as notions of individuality within American and Chinese communities. The performances, opening tonight and running on the following two days, will be the warm-up before Shen Wei takes its act on the road for a three-continent tour. For more information, visit www.americandancefestival.org. —Sarah Ewald

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