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Wednesday 6.17 

click to enlarge John Vanderslice
  • John Vanderslice

Chapel Hill
John Vanderslice

Local 506Emerald City, the sixth album from West Coast songwriter and sonic auteur John Vanderslice, was, for me, an exit: I love the sense of musical plunder on Vanderslice's earlier works and his brusque, overemphatic delivery. His fifth, the devastating Pixel Revolt, presented chills with its stark reflections on death, psychosis and remembrance, but Emerald City seemed weighted by its attempts at simplicity, Vanderslice trying to distill his charms into an orderly whole. His latest, Romanian Names, is where I get back on: Meticulously crafted and elliptically written, it might be the definite Vanderslice album. Reflective of his growth as a subtle vocalist and writer, No. 7 blurs the seams between the lithe pop of "C&O Canal" and the lonely acoustic title lament. Here's guessing he'll have the same balance down by the time this long tour reaches Chapel Hill, home to his mother and brother. With The Tallest Man on Earth at 9:30 p.m. for $10. —Grayson Currin


click to enlarge Sylvia
  • Sylvia

RALEIGH
Sylvia

Kennedy Theatre at Progress Energy Center—A.R. Gurney's play about a dog and the couple who adopts it was first produced in 1995 with Sarah Jessica Parker and Blythe Danner. Parker played the dog. In this play, the dog, Sylvia, is represented by a young woman, which makes the divide she causes between the couple all the more ... unusual. In fact, Sylvia communicates her feelings not in barks, but in words, including the occasional rendition of Cole Porter. Hot Summer Nights at the Kennedy brings this oddball tale from the author of Love Letters to the stage for a production that runs through June 28. General admission is $22, $18 for students, seniors and military. For more information, visit www.hotsummernightsatthekennedy.org or call 633-6038. —Zack Smith

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