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Music worth leaving the house for 


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Contributors: Rick Cornell, Grayson Currin, Kathy Justice, Chris Parker

Thursday, June 28

Mighty Zorgon, Mansions, Amateurs, 305 South

A Chapel Hill trio that cites customary rock influences indicative of their age (Zep, Floyd, Primus) alongside the current indie rock influence of John Vanderslice (a Pacific Northwest songwriter with an ear for rich production and a knack for love songs in dismal circumstances), Mighty Zorgon leans more on its former set of icons, playing hazy, lonely rock and occasionally mixing in a goofy outlier, a la Primus and Ween (like an anthem for "Mister Blowerman"). Some interesting ideas and smart guitar playing here, though. Mansions exposes wrists and feelings alike, but smartly and surprisingly dresses those barbs in accomplished pop cloth. $3/ 8 p.m. —GC

Friday, June 29

The Disco Biscuits, Umphrey's McGee, The Lincoln Theatre

Pointing out similarities between Chicago's Umphrey's McGee and Philadelphia's The Disco Biscuits isn't complicated; both bands cater to fans of Jam Nation, filling concert halls and cup-strewn dance floors with their trance-fusion funk. But putting descriptors to their differences is important, too: Disco Biscuits sets come on slow and steady as they build electronic beats and jolts of percussion into a steady orgasm of rock-rave anthems, while Umphrey's McGee jumpstarts the party with trippy jewels of jam-rock ecstasy, equal parts metal, dance and nasty dual-guitar riffs. One thing remains the same: Both bands know crowd (out of) control. $27-$32/ 5:15 p.m. —KJ

The Breaks, Killer Filler, The Cave

Unearth your skinny tie, because Pittsboro's The Breaks will take you back to those halcyon days when Nicholas Cage was just a punk from Valley Girl, Robin Zander wanted you to want him, and David Hasselhoff was still young and restless. The quintet's catchy, tuneful rock ranges from gentle synth-fueled new wave bounce ("Hotel Rockefeller") to power-pop with the fiery melody-gilded rush of The Records ("All Girled Out"). Former SCOTS keyboardist Chris Bess leads Killer Filler though hip-shaking R&B that goes back to Booker T & The MGs. $5/ 10 p.m. —CP

Jonathan Byrd, Shakori Hills

Folky flat-picker Jonathan Byrd rambles in the realm of a true-to-life Southern poet as he grasps at the filament of working man woes, heart-thumping love affairs and the dirty deeds of family secrets, weaving their words and worries into Dylan-esque ballads of life in the American heartland. One of North Carolina's most promising singer-songwriters. $5-$8 donation/ 7 p.m. —KJ

The Cadillac Stepbacks, Carolina Inn

Unpolished and full of grassy swagger, The Cadillac Stepbacks possess the musical chops to transport your soul back to a time when bluegrass was wholly a raw affair. Their hot licks and winding harmonies speak in the tongues of the bluegrass greats. Free/ 5 p.m. —KJ

Dakota Darling, Yearling, 305 South

Post-emo lives in the streets of Raleigh and thrives in the bleeding hearts of two of the Capital City's newest bands. On the Firefly label is Dakota Darling, a rock trio with a heart of gold, singing songs about lost loves and lust over circular guitars and crunching bass lines. Lyrical kin, Yearling (on the Tragic Hero label) are sentimental poets languishing in the sweet spot of heartache, all thumping drum beats, raging murmurs of guitar and heart-on-sleeve anthems. $7/ 8 p.m. —KJ

As-Is Ensemble, Chris Boerner Quartet, Downtown Event Center

A night of acid jazz to groove and shake to takes over the Downtown Event Center (formerly Raleigh Music Hall) as Michael Bellar's As-Is Ensemble orchestrates the tremolo of the Wurly, pounds of piano and rich thumps of percussion into a mixture of pop-savvy tunes and whimsical jam-jazz. Raleigh's own Chris Boerner Quartet (featuring Matt Douglas of the Proclivities and guest vocalist Shirlette Ammons of Mosadi Music) plays it slow and steady, building on bop basics to reach crescendos of horn-laced acid jazz and thundering bass lines with a sweaty Zeppelin edge. 10 p.m. —KJ

Saturday, June 30

Leon Redbone, ArtsCenter

Seeing Leon Redbone on Saturday Night Live as a kid, I had the same somewhat confused reaction as when I saw Randy Newman on the same program: Who is this guy? Some 30 years down the road, it's still a tough question to answer, given the mists of mystery that seem to surround Redbone. This much is for sure: He's one of the best interpreters of early-last-century jazz, ragtime, country blues and standards around. And he gets to close out this year's American Roots Series. $27/ 8:30 p.m. —RC

Joe Swank & the Zen Pirates, Sadlack's

To get a feel for Joe Swank's music, consider a typical set from his WCOM radio show, which might gather the Bottle Rockets, Dwight Yoakam and Lucero under one segment. He and the Zen Pirates like their rock country-seasoned and their country rocked-up. And to connoisseurs like Swank and his listeners (over the airwaves and in the clubs), those are two pretty different things. 7 p.m. —RC

Sunday, July 1

A Sunny Day in Glasgow, My Teenage Stride, The Cave

click to enlarge A Sunny Day in Glasgow
  • A Sunny Day in Glasgow

An odd bill for the underground Cave: A Sunny Day in Glasgow is bright and sunny and fun and precious indeed, but—more notably—they hit a short stride of blog buzz late last year for their Scribble Mural Comic Journal. A 506-ish show, just a few doors down? Either way, their debut found them, not altogether unlike Animal Collective, treating a melody like a springboard, a cause for celebration and emancipation (see the excellent "C'mon") rather than a sound worth settling over. Brooklyn's My Teenage Stride plays it closer to the hip, a Sarah Records/Cure beat bouncing beneath glitzy guitars and the sounds of harmony zealots articulating growing pains. 9 p.m. —GC

Two Cow Garage, Hideaway BBQ

A Columbus trio of shit-talking road warriors with roots in twang, hearts in vintage pop and souls in rock, Two Cow Garage, at its best, manages the same guitar-heavy, wide-open hooks that our own Patty Hurst Shifter perfects every time it steps onstage. Garage occasionally washes up a bit forcefully, as if it's trying to convince you it cares, but—when the band leans back and lets the guitars do the applicable arguing on behalf of strident hooks—Two Cow Garage is worth hearing. $8/ 8:30 p.m. —GC

Monday, July 2

Antique Curtains, The Cave

This angular post-punk quartet from Memphis has listened to their fair share of The Fall, Pere Ubu and Wire, fashioning hot, shrieking slices of bleak, post-modern guitar despair. Songs such as "No Perfect Ending" and "Spy Song" move in stabbing spasms, with a mechanical disjunctive rhythm recalling Devo and harried squealing lyrics devolving into gang-like shouts. While the clean guitar sound has a D.C. feel, the overall atmosphere is more experimental and post-apocalyptic. $5/ 8 p.m. —CP

Wednesday, July 4

In The Year of the Pig, Inspector 22, The Bramble Ramblers, Nightlight

Mimetic maybe of the sound of your brain sucked from the cranium with a big bendy straw, In the Year of the Pig are a skull-trephining mindfuck of the first degree, fueled by acid-wash freakouts and buzzing, distorted tsunamis designed to level your consciousness. Songs such as "I Dreamt I Didn't Hate You But Then I Woke Up" lope like the Melvins on Quaaludes, interspersed with moments of lucid hardcore. Other songs are similar (read: noisy) yet completely different (read: there are a lot of ways to skin a god damned cat). Inspector 22 is the moniker of Todd Emmert, whose squirrelly, shambling folk recalls Mark Linkous and Damien Jurado. $6/ 10 p.m. —CP


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Don't forget about Terra Cotta Army playing at Cat's Cradle on Monday, July 16th!! That band is awesome!! By far, …

by MichelleA on Music worth leaving the house for (MUSIC: Get Out)

i think you're wrong about dirty on purpose. they're fucking great and know how to be soft and how to …

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