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Music worth leaving the house for 

Wednesday, March 1

Ester Drang, The Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers, Kapow! Music, Wetlands

Ester Drang has taken their post-rock too post-grad of late, as evidenced by the recent Rocinate, a not fully functional affair that seems more concerned with clever titles--"Proustian Moments" and "Hooker with a Heart of Gold"--than with actually elevating the songs above the territory of dreamy poptopian thinkscapes with layered electronics in a subdued rock context. A primary strength of local opener The Prayers and Tears, however, has always been frontman Perry Wright's ability to balance his penman penchant with a superb sense of song. $7/10 p.m. --GC

DeYarmond Edison, Bickett Gallery

In earnest, here begins DeYarmond Edison's four-month residency at their unofficial Raleigh performance home, Bickett Gallery. Expect 20 minutes of a repeating phase pattern from four keyboards and a computer, 20 minutes of spirituals sung high and low, 20 minutes of The Freedom Principle actualized, and 20 minutes of oft-neglected antediluvian blues laments. In short, 80 minutes seeing a band become more than itself. $6-7/10 p.m. --GC

Thursday, March 2

Maxwell/Mosher, The Wigg Report, Duke Coffeehouse

Ken Mosher and Tom Maxwell used to keep shop in a little Chapel Hill band called The Squirrel Nut Zippers. Those of you who were American and alive (and not running scared from all things that sounded remotely like Brian Setzer) back in the mid-'90s might remember their kooky waltzes and devil lounge cigarette breaks hitting it big with the disillusioned MTV set. Nowadays, two of the band's principal songwriters make up the alliteratively monikered Maxwell/Mosher, who'll take a break from gigging Borders Books all over the state to play a few murder ballads at a much more self-respecting coffee shop/music venue. The Wigg Report opens. $4/9: 30 p.m. --RM

Cities, Texas Governor, Spader, Future Islands, Nightlight

The April Yep Roc debut from Chapel Hill's Cities doesn't establish the band as the crest of any new tide of Triangle indie rockers who may (or may not) be emerging, but it does offer both the nervous hand-folding and Chris Martin-like melodic theatrics that should grab hipsters and the Greek-letter lot alike. Also: Touring openers Texas Governor need to work with Phil Ek. Future Islands recasts members of the erstwhile Art Lord & The Self-Portaits, so it's fitting Art Lord's dance-punk peers Spader open. --GC

The Subways, The gunshys, Local 506

Not the most original band to come down the pike, but--like early '70s Mick Taylor Stones--just because it's much copied doesn't deny its power. A liberal mix of Oasis-worshipping Britpop is redeemed by snotty-nosed rock that bites the jagged hormonal crunch of Supergrass and Ash. Their debut, Young For Eternity, is as glossy and overproduced as something from The Vines but better written (thankfully, because we could be hearing a lot of this). $8/9 p.m. --CP

The Spider Bags, Fuse

Swaggering garage-y twang and roll may not be what one expects when entering the clean lines and Asian styled watering hole Fuse, but that's whatcha get. Drink rye whiskey instead of a PBR tonight for these Chapel Hill misanthropes. 10 p.m. --CT

Friday, March 3

The Capulets, conshafter, billionaire boys club, Kings

As I prepare to leave for a good job in Cleveland, if there was one new band that I could take with me to watch grow, it would be Tybalt and Juliet's brethren, The Capulets. With a bit of new wave shimmy (to replace the soon-to-be-departed Jett Rink) and stylish Bowery-brewed garage sneer, their crisp delivery and straightforward pop feel makes me think of The Rosebuds ghostwriting for The Strokes. --CP

Peelander-Z, A Rooster for the Masses, Local 506

New comic book's first frame: Young Japanese men wearing contorted faces and superhero outfits circa Ultraman press themselves onto a stage and play their version of punk music. Second frame: One bead of sweat falls from the forehead of a girl in the audience. Third frame: The show ends, a giant lizard robot eats the city, the world ends. $8/10 p.m. --CT

Beppe Gambetta, The ArtsCenter

Flat-picking isn't a playing technique associated with Italian musicians, but Gambetta makes such an impression his birthplace is of no real consequence. His acoustic guitar work moves in romantic and sweeping gestures, punctuated with the heart and charm one expects from a Genoa native. Part of the American Roots series. $16/8 p.m. --CT

Little Windows, Open Eye

Not only has the coffee shop undergone a makeover, but they've been bringing in better acts (i.e. Regina Hexaphone just last week). Though they might be better appreciated out of town than here (who hasn't been there?), locals Little Windows mix the well-meshed traditional sounds of Appalachia and Ireland with tight boy/girl harmonies, achieving a blend worthy of a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup commercial. 8 p.m. --CP

Sunday, March 5

Sun Dried Opossum, The Pour House

From the name, you'd expect yet another bunch of good-ol'-boy, back-porch plunkers with a penchant for road kill. But Virginia's Sun Dried Opossum stomps around with a big-foot beat, sounding like the Black Crowes' Chris Robinson fronting Skynyrd, especially on 'possum original "Spend My Money." It might be a bit jammier than old-school Southern rock, but, after a few beers, you won't care: This stuff rocks. Free/10:30 p.m. --GB

Tigersaw, Sunday, Nightlight

Sing! That's the title of the new Tiger Saw album and the first word out of Tiger Saw maindude Dylan Metrano's mouth on the disc's first track, "Sing!"--a 16-line beauty that uses the word sing 32 times in two minutes. By the end of the band's last set at Nightlight, everyone in the room was singing along to "Postcards & Letters," a keep-traveling, keep-smiling, scraggly chorus-borne number for the beatific under-40 bunch spreading their art across the country's highways. This is redemptive. Real Fun Funeral opens at 10 p.m. for $5. Bibis Ellison--the intonation of a mischievous cherub--opens the band's $5 Duke Coffeehouse show Monday, March 6 with Dan Blakeslee and The Balance. --GC

Wilco, Memorial Hall

Wilco: For some, the most far-out band they've ever heard, capping great songs penned by Jeff Tweedy and nailed by a crack band capable of swinging high into soul peaks or low into country valleys with nonsensical, somehow transcendent releases of white noise and percussive improvisation; for others, the most traditional stuff they still listen to, a band that indulges its need to plunge into the depths of cathartic indeterminacy and, eventually, reign it into a song. For that varied appeal, these shows sold out instantly. But you can still put your finger in the air and beg. They play Sunday and Monday at 8 p.m. --GC

Tea Leaf Green, Hobex, Local 506

If the name Tea Leaf Green doesn't tip it off, here's the less-than-subtle approach: Their record collections run long on '70s album rock, and they deliver it in a somewhat jammy amalgamate syndicated from San Francisco. To wit, their "Rapture" opens like "Stairway to Heaven," pays homage to Hornsby-era Dead with slick piano rolls, and stamps it all to Stones-Lite swagger via ham-fisted attempts at Dylan's delirium and Hunter's cosmos. Nothing about Tea Leaf Green is bad at all, but--then again--very little about the band is invigorating or inspiring. Hobex will move your ass, though. $10/ 9 p.m. --GC

Tuesday, March 7

Sarah Harmer, Josh Plaskett,
Cat's Cradle

Sarah Harmer's last album, All of Our Names, was recorded at her Canadian house, a place that's purportedly filled with instruments and recording gear and open to traveling bands for a night's rest. Sounds nice, but All of Our Names sounded stiff and overproduced for a homemade record by a writer with a gift for unraveling the truth nice and easy. Oddly enough, her new album, I'm a Mountain, was recorded in a studio after a by-foot musical tour of the Niagara Escarpment in Southern Ontario. The studio sound--bare, beautiful ebullience--fits Harmer like a comfortable glove. Great stuff. $12-15/8:45 p.m. --GC

Wednesday, March 8

Barn Burning, The Cave

The New England-based moody-roots outfit Barn Burning constructs its wall of sound out of acoustic guitars, dobros, banjos and violas and then surrounds the weathered stones with the kind of mist and mystery that characterized early R.E.M. and Guadalcanal Diary. That certainly befits a band that shares its name with a Faulkner story. 10 p.m. --RC


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