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Music worth leaving the house for 

Contributors: Bennett Campbell, Rick Cornell, Grayson Currin, Rich Ivey, Kathy Justice, Chris Parker, Chris Toenes

Thursday, July 26

Blag'ard, The Cave

Led by ex-Capsize 7 singer/guitarist Joe Taylor, this Chapel Hill duo creates windy, yet catchy, indie guitar rock similar to Taylor's old band. It's punchy, propulsive, drenched in distortion and obliquely angled, combining the lattice-work guitar churn of slide-rule rockers with infectious, oddly-shaped hooks. The steely attack of "Horse" recalls late '80s alternative acts such as the Volcano Suns, while the noisy, off-kilter "730," is like Pavement after a colonic, or the Swirlies coming down. $5/ 10 p.m. —CP

The Foundry Field Recordings, Un Deux Trois, Barghest, Nightlight

A sweetly dreamy, sometimes weepy four-piece from Columbus, Mo., Foudry Field Recordings are the latest in a lineage to graft the textural skin of shoegaze—submerged piano, Ebow guitar, chords given room either to float or drown—to autumnal, gentle melodies. They turn the noise down and the feelings up, at best winking through a sweet sadness haze, maybe like what Wayne Coyne would have sounded like if he approached maturity like most American songwriters. Un Deux Trois is bouncy and vibrant, and the 150 perfect seconds of "45rpm" should make the room's mood more seasonally appropriate. Barghest and Shadowplay open. $6/ 9:30 p.m. —GC

Bibis Ellison, Carol Bui, Blend

Carol Bui and Bibis Ellison take cues from mid-'90s femme-rock, somewhere between the respective reigns of Lilith and Hole. Ellison follows in the poetics of Sarah McLachlan, wistful piano-guitar and soprano torch songs built on love and loss. Bui rocks a little more, mixing guitar snarls and stringent violin bits into bits of atmospheric rock inspired by Throwing Muses. Chapel Hill's Hammer No More the Fingers meets the retro-fitted bill well, classic indie rock mixed with a healthy dose of Weezer's humor-heavy hooks (check their sunny hit about hallucinogens, "Mushrooms"). 9 p.m. —KJ

L'il Brian & the Zydeco Travelers, Blue Bayou

This Houston quintet got started in the early '90s, and quickly broadened their Clifton Chenier-based skiffle to include greasy Southern funk and Stax-style R&B. Though he started as just a member, accordion player L'il Brian took over the frontman role, leading them through four albums. Their energetic sound and versatile blend of styles is effortlessly appealing and approaches the insistent ass-motoring rhythms of P-Funk with a gentler, roots-based vibe and more pop melodicism. 8:30 p.m. —CP

Jonathan Byrd, Shannon O'Connor, Cat's Cradle

Like fire and ice, sultry country-rock siren Shannon O'Connor and folksy strummer Jonathan Byrd represent opposing ends of the roots divide. From the rambling bluegrass of love-longing "Low" to the free-wheeling resilience of "Ride," O'Connor's songs sweat passion and breathe hope as they race ahead of days gathering behind. Byrd's as cool and stolid as marble, forging folk-blues with the ballast of tradition leavened by his light touch. There's a friendly, supple drift to his songs whether cracking wise about his generation or rhapsodizing about the sunshine of his love. Byrd also performs Friday as part of the Bynum General Store Front Porch Series. $12/ 9 p.m. —CP

Friday, July 27

Sleepsound, Eyes to Space, Local 506

Borrowing heavily from the sounds of Sigur Rós and combining them with melodic piano-rock, Sleepsound's name aptly describes the vibes its songs emanate. The dreamy hooks push Sleepsound away from several Chapel Hill traditions. This is the band's CD release show. Eyes to Space is another appropriate name for a new wave, keytar-employing band. This is its last show. Red Collar brings a bit of raw punk energy to the set. Also, The Pneurotics. Free/ 9:15 p.m. —BC

Saturday, July 28

Black Skies, Cough, Volume 11 Tavern

Two Richmond bands with a propensity for crust-punk and sludge-metal crossover, the heavy lead of Stifling and Cough benefit from slightly psychedelic coloration. Stifling's a rambunctious two-piece, leaning on Nick Crabill's colossal and chaotic bass to transition between rapid-fire melodies and improvised hums of feedback and brood. Cough fucks with time and texture, charging through straightforward slam sections tempered by unorthodox guitar ideas before emerging through the thick fog (or smoke) amid titanic, slow-moving tones. Our own more straightforward Black Skies headline, with Howard's Dilemma in the one-spot. 8 p.m. —GC

The Comas, Great Northern, Local 506

The sweet, sweeping shimmer and majesty of the Comas' indie pop arrangements suggest a Smashing Pumpkins-size canvas, with colors courtesy of the Jesus & Mary Chain. While grandiose and dramatic, the fuzz-drenched tunes' icy aloofness or distance is echoed lyrically in frontman Andy Herod's futuristic and/or fantasy settings. To follow up 2004's thrice-recorded breakthrough break-up album, Conductor, Herod had to overcome writers block and the insidious enticements of New York. At last, their Vagrant debut, Spells, is leaner and more concise, representing a greater group writing together in a bigger studio. Cali psych-poppers Great Northern's hazy dream-folk recalls the cosmic country of Beachwood Sparks with less twang. $10/ 10 p.m. —CP

Regina Hexaphone, Ghosts I've Met, John Harrison, The Cave

The respective leaders of kindred bands Regina Hexaphone and North Elementary, Sara Bell and John Harrison share the common desire to take their good songs and paint them better with interesting bands: With Hexaphone, Bell does so via banjo, drums, keyboards and strings, adding a lenient grace to her Southern stories. Harrison once shared Hexaphone violinist Margaret White, but lately his songs—elliptical, purposefully elusive pieces of wandering lyrics—have gathered more risky guitars, electronics and clangorous rhythms. Here he settles back to basics, but—with White's new Brooklyn band Ghosts I've Met arriving in Chapel Hill for this—perhaps he can expect some help. 10 p.m. —GC

Magic Babies, Bull City, Slim's

The classic part of classic rock is all perspective anyway, right? Durham's Bull City pulls more from the updated, stateside interpretation, playing lean, hooky guitar pop a la Chape Trick, with edges as crisp as fresh laundry on the line. The Magic Babies, though, go across bodies of water both east and south, pulling from the loose, communal vibe of decades-old Brazilian psychedelic heroes and, simultaneously, the irresistible swagger and charm of the dudeful Badswinger. $3/ 10 p.m. —GC

The Degenerettes, Robo Sapien, Blend

Queer-positive rock comes in many forms, and here are three distinct outfits matched in spirit only. The Degenerettess are a Baltimore garage trio; Pariah Piranha's pace varies, but they sport a guitar charge like a car battery hooked to coat-hangers; the local party-wrappers in Robo Sapien seem to have a dare going with the crowd: If you can have as much fun as them, you win. —CT

The Vibekillers, The Nevers, The Pour House

You're in from NYC to sort of open for Night Ranger early-ish on a Saturday with an incarnation of your much-beloved, hardcore-honky-tonking former band. What's a rocker to do with the rest of his evening? If you're Chip Robinson, you gather the members of your much-beloved current band and rock The Pour House, right across the street. And pop-rock perfectionists The Nevers know how to get things started. $7/ 9 p.m. —RC

Sunday, July 29

Young Ladies Rock Camp, The Cave

Girls rock camp fever appears to be spreading, and that's a very good thing. Velvet's Jane Francis is the headmistress for this west-of-the-Triangle edition, housed at New Century Charter School in downtown Saxapahaw. She's joined by four other female musicians from the community. Three week-long sessions are being held for girls 10-15, with classes on women in rock and self-assertion accompanying the formation of bands, culminating in a rock 'n' roll recital at The Cave. Donations/ 7 p.m. —RC

Monday, July 30

Pelican, Clouds, Priestbird, Cat's Cradle

That's it: Fire up the bong. Priestbird is coming to town, and it's time to celebrate. In Your Time, the latest from the New York trio (nee Tarantula AD), is an advanced exercise in psychedelic dexterity, its Technicolor wingspan canopying dramatic space operas, spiritualized Sabbath grooves and nigh-classical string arrangements. It is, for most intents and purposes, some next-level shit. Hydra Head Records newcomers Clouds is compositionally unequivocal, but its sonic assault is similarly impressive. Pelican headlines. $10/ 9 p.m. —RI

Giant, Des Ark, Cantwell, Gomez & Jordan, Bull City Headquarters

Appropriately named, the sound of the Triad's Giant sprawls well beyond its five members, pushing the boundaries of metal with the same operatic conceit and conceptual enthusiasm that have given bands like Isis, Neurosis and Oxbow growing clutches. Working especially from the monolithic and pretty criteria of such models, Giant is at its best when it collapses from thundering heights into mid-range, low-motion guitar atmospherics. Similarly, their burgeoning roar and political didactics should test the constraints of BCHQ. Cantwell, Gomez & Jordan and Des Ark—most excellent locals always worth attendance—are also on the bill. 9 p.m. —GC

Tuesday, July 31

Stan Ridgway, Cat's Cradle

It's one of early-MTV's most indelible images: Wall of Voodoo's Stan Ridgway quaking and quirking his way through "Mexican Radio." Ridgeway's post-WOV career has been characterized by what can best be described as musical pulp fiction, with compositions so cinematic that they inspired a collection of short films by 14 different filmmakers, released in 2005. $18-$20/ 9 p.m. —RC


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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, …

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