1.10 ~ 1.16 | Best Bets | Indy Week
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1.10 ~ 1.16 

In complimentary introductions (1.12)

This five-band bill likely won't be the best or most efficient introduction to local music this year, but, 12 days into a cycle that's likely to offer a lot, it's certainly a start. Organized by John Harrison and Maria Albani—musicians and the creators of Chapel Hill's new Minus Sound Research art collective—the free show at the Cat's Cradle comes high on variety of the indie rock ilk. Albani's Un Deux Trois snaps with top-down, electric-guitar jangle, while Schooner reshapes TV Personalities hooks for the Nada Surf crowd. Headliners North Elementary have spent the last several years taking their cues from The Flaming Lips, Wilco and Whiskeytown, but now—under the increased confidence and direction of frontman John Harrison—the band seems to be settling into its own. An unreleased album recorded last summer with Alan Weatherhead (Sparklehorse, Hotel Lights) finds them mining the softer edges of sharpened centers, while their new live structure has a redefined center of gravity that's more O'Rourke than Tweedy. Audubon Park and The Heist and the Accomplice open the Friday, Jan. 12 blast. —Grayson Currin

In missing Monet (1.11 ~ 1.14)

There are just two more events left before Monet leaves North Carolina. But, the only way to see the North Carolina Museum of Art's Monet in Normandy is through a ticket scalper—the exhibit is sold out. Good luck! In a culminating event, the Carolina Ballet is performing a work titled Monet Impressions. The performance is a compilation of new works featuring choreography by Robert Weiss and Lynne Taylor-Corbett. The event is being held at the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium. Show times are at 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 11-Saturday, Jan. 13 with matinee showings at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 14. Tickets are $16-$55 depending on time and seating. For more information, call 719-0900 or visit www.carolinaballet.com. (See this week's story "For love and Monet.") —Iesha Brown

Monet in Normandy
  • Monet in Normandy
In tiara donning (1.11)

Jill Conner Browne, aka the Sweet Potato Queen, will read from and sign copies of her new novel, The Sweet Potato Queens' First Big-Ass Novel: Stuff We Didn't Actually Do, But Could Have, and May Yet, Thursday, Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. at the Regulator Bookshop in Durham. After publishing five bestselling nonfiction books, Browne now releases this highly anticipated fiction work. Join her fans, the SPQ Wannabes, as they show their jubilation with tiaras, gumption and, as always, humor. For more information, call 286-2700 or visit www.regbook.com. —Megan Stein

Sweet Potato Queen
  • Sweet Potato Queen
In long journeys (1.15)

Durham's Regulator Bookshop is no stranger to visiting authors, but hosting their protagonists is something else altogether. Valentine Achak Deng is one of the Lost Boys of the Sudan, a group of some 20,000 young men and boys who fled their villages in Ethiopia during the country's civil war of 1987. Deng's individual story within this tragic history is told in the pages of author Dave Eggers' (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius) newest novel, What is the What. Deng comes to the Regulator on Monday, Jan. 15, where he will speak firsthand about his experiences, read from What is the What, and take questions. For more information, see the Regulator's Web site at www.regbook.com. —Jack McDonald

Valentino Achak Deng
  • Valentino Achak Deng
In the name of love (1.13 ~ 1.15)

Parades will fill the streets of Raleigh and Durham this weekend to celebrate the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday. Durham's parade begins Saturday at noon at the corner of Fayetteville Street and Lakewood Avenue. The route passes the Hayti Heritage Center and NCCU. Free choral and dance concerts and a children's book fair at Hayti follow from 2 to 5 p.m. (see www.durhammlkparade.com for details). On Sunday, Andrew Young speaks at 3 p.m. at Duke University's Duke Chapel. Young was with King in Memphis when the civil rights leader was shot; he went on to be a congressman from Georgia, mayor of Atlanta and ambassador to the United Nations. At 4:30, Durham's Walltown Children's Theatre performs the original play Waiting for Martin at Duke University's Bryan Center. Both events are free. (For more information, call 684-8030 or visit www.mlk.duke.edu.) Monday morning, festivities at the State Capitol Building in Raleigh start at 10 a.m., with the 26th Annual Martin Luther King Memorial March kicking off at 11 (www.king-raleigh.org). —Fiona Morgan

In silence (1.12 ~ 1.27)

When noted regional actor Jordan Smith told his Ghost & Spice colleagues last July that he'd lost the ability to project his voice, they changed their season—and found three one-acts in which a silent character plays a crucial role. Silence by the Masters includes Samuel Beckett's Rough for Theater II, A Slight Ache by Harold Pinter, and the August Strindberg classic The Stronger, with a cast featuring Smith, Lenore Field, Rick Lonon, Rus Hames and Rachel Klem. Silence begins Friday night at Common Ground Theater in Durham, and runs through Jan. 27. Reservations: 888-239-9253.—Byron Woods

Silence by the Masters
  • Silence by the Masters

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