<"And around July 3, 2005, I started a birthday party," Benton Weese jovially slurred in a video interview several years ago, "about me! Because I got a big ego." Since then, the annual celebration of, by and for the local music personality and occasional doorman has sprawled and shifted, moving from The Pour House to Big Boss Brewery and, this year, to the Lincoln Theatre, Slim's and Kings. It's also more than a chance to soak up some summer suds these days: Weese's father has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease, so each bash is a fundraiser for the Raleigh chapter of the ALS Association.
This year's festivities begin Friday at the Lincoln Theatre with an excellent undercard of locals—the folk-pop of The DeBonzo Brothers, the boundary-threatening country of Old Quarter and the Southern-soul shimmy of Jack the Radio—supporting the reunion of Lustre. In the mid '90s, the Zebulon trio was strangely poised to become the next darling of alternative-rock radio, with a song on the Empire Records soundtrack, a deal with A&M and a debut that suggested a Southern take on Dinosaur Jr with a bit of polish on top. "You never know what's going to happen," frontman Will Marley told The Music Paper nearly two decades ago, "so I think that all three of us try not to think about [success] too much." Indeed, Lustre soon faded into oblivion and other projects, but they're reuniting for, at the least, this one gig.
On Saturday, Weesefest shifts to Slim's for Goodbye, Titan's instrumental sprawls, plus Djingis and Törpor. The party ends on Sunday at Kings, where post-rock condensers Gray Young share the bill with Absent Lovers and The Feed. —Grayson Currin