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Once you hear her lyrics and her voice, you won't need a psychologist to explain why Lucy Kaplansky gave up the couch profession for the stage. That the charming Kaplansky ended up on the CBS "Early Show" analyzing "Survivor" episodes merely suggests how far her star has risen since touring in the Cry, Cry, Cry package with Dar Williams and Richard Shindell. As a singer and a songwriter, Kaplansky ranks among the most powerful artists to emerge during the 1990s. She performs at the ArtsCenter in Carrboro at 8 p.m. Friday. Admission is $14 for the general public; $12 for ArtsCenter friends. For information, call 929-2787. --Art Menius

DiamondDiamondDiamondThough local alt-country musicians and fans have been singing this guy's praises for years, Greg Hawks and the Tremblers have remained one of the Triangle's best-kept musical secrets. (They won't stay a secret for long--look for their Yep Roc-released debut album early next year.) Hawks (pictured) and his crack band, including former Backslider/Whiskeytown member Danny Kurtz, bring their smokin' roots rock to Fowler's in Durham for an outdoor show this Friday. (Cover is $5.) Hawks can croon like Willy Nelson--he's a soulful singer who wrings every last drop of feeling out of his tunes. Whether he's covering a mournful classic like "Long Black Veil" or spinning one of his tales about love gone wrong ("Get Back in the Car" is a personal fave), Hawks' straight-from-the-heart vocals never fail to raise a chill. Get there early to hear $2 Pistol leader John Howie's acoustic set of old-style country. The wine/beer bar opens at 7 p.m.; the music goes from 8-11:30 p.m. --Angie Carlson

DiamondDiamondDiamondHey kids, "the crew" is alive and kicking. One of the last of the old-guard hardcore/punk bands, 7 Seconds returns to its roots with a 26-song live album of career "hits," Scream Real Loud (Live). With three original members (Kevin Seconds, his brother Steve Youth and drummer Troy Mowat) it's still very much the band that ruled the early-'80s hardcore circuit. Although there was a "new wind" blowing through the band in the latter half of the '80s (they went melodic, alienating scads of fans), the group returned to its original BYO-era sound for its first Side One Dummy release, Good to Go in '99, following it with the live disc (recorded at the Hollywood Troubadour with buttloads of audience participation and yell-alongs). Fear not, their stellar cover of Nena's "99 Red Balloons" (wery, wery super scawy!) is included. The band appears Oct. 1 at the Brewery; tickets are $10. Call 834-7018. --Angie Carlson

DiamondDiamondDiamondA native of Panama, pianist on-the-rise Danilo Perez has discovered fascinating ways of blending music from all the Americas into his own brand of distinctive jazz. This Thursday (Oct. 5) at 8 p.m. at N.C. State's Stewart Theatre, you can hear Perez mix and match Panamanian tamborito, Cuban clave, Brazilian samba and all kinds of cool North American flavors. He is especially fond of heroic composer-pianist Thelonious Monk, the Rocky Mount native whom Perez honored with the award-winning Panamonk (Impulse! CD). Perez's brand new album, Motherland (Verve CD), is less jazzy and more multi-culti, pitting myriad voices and the pungent violin of Regina Carter against rhythms that have traveled up from south of the equator. The repertoire is eclectic yet danceable, as you'll discover in Raleigh (Tickets: $21, $17, $13.50, $10, $6; call 515-1100). Joining the pianist on Thursday will be tenor sax sensation Donny McCaslin, among other Young Lions. Check out www.verveinteractive.com for more information. --Joe Vanderford

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