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The Guide to The Week's Concerts 

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This week's guide contains:

YES, PLEASE: RWAKE, Brian Walsby, Anders Parker, Scott Miller & the Commonwealth, Leslie

EH, WHATEVER: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Rocky Votolato, The Devil Wears Prada

VS.: The Brunettes vs. The Good Life


LAST WEEK'S PARTY: Charlie Haden & Hank Jones

SONG OF THE WEEK: Vic Chesnutt's "You Are Never Alone"


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Six Arkansas beasts converging in a thick, asphyxiating storm, RWAKE covers riffs and rhythms in brown Southern mud, their maneuvers of viscosity and velocity shaped by ferocious muscle and skinned by palpable grit. The vocals—serrated and sharp—cut through everything. Then they're ingenuously sampled and multiplied, turning the band's screeds into martial assaults. Voices of Omens is one of the best metal records of the year, and RWAKE's live set is as bludgeoning. With Total Fucking Destruction and Man Will Destroy Himself. $10-$12/8 p.m. —Grayson Currin


The night in Raleigh belongs to Blount Street: Local cartoonist and drummer Brian Walsby releases Manchild 3 with a party at Tir Na Nog. He'll drum for his band Double Negative and sign books. Meanwhile, Varnaline/Gob Iron man Anders Parker plays with Patty Hurst Shifter at The Pour House. 10 p.m. —Grayson Currin


Bottled in Virginia and aged in Tennessee, Scott Miller's sound is a patented brand of Southern guitar-joy that's the product of a history major's curious mind and a shy country boy's notion that you need to rock to be heard. Think mid-'80s Nick Lowe with more Jack than bitter. $15/ 9:30 p.m. —Rick Cornell


South Carolina stomp rockers Leslie are three shaggy dudes channeling twang, crash and thump through bluesy, ball-busting rock. No frills: Leslie's hyper guitars and sweaty choruses burn up the stage with a retro, rootsy grit that's Southland savvy, like chasing skirts and chugging Beam. $3/ 10 p.m. —Kathy Justice


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A band of second-rate imitators who occasionally land a potent melody, San Francisco's majors-for-life Black Rebel Motorcycle Club is most notable for swiping the essential tropes of psychedelic, shoegazer and blues-based garage rock and turning them into the safest bombast this (Indie-Lite) side of late U2. You'll totally get lifted by volume and likely brought down with some dreamy, druggy acoustic shambles, but you can do just as well (and cheaper) with a half-pound of Pixy Stix and an armload of thrift-store vinyl. $16-$18/ 9 p.m. —Grayson Currin


Rocky Votolato's voice has long sported the sort of natural wear that gives the confessional acoustic songs he's written for five albums a core of lived-in believability. The fire beneath the flicker, though, has dimmed over his last two albums, and his latest, The Brag and Cuss, plods with a near-vicarious somberness. These days, he seems more a reader than a feeler, settling now into mellow. With American Princes; Portugal, The Man; and The Great Depression. $10-$12/ 9 p.m. —Grayson Currin


Don't expect originality from a band that cadges its name from a chick-lit bestseller. Epic Christian metalcore sextet The Devil Wears Prada lacks the nuance and texture of an Underoath, indiscriminately blasting their drop-tuned death metal breakdowns over horror-movie synth fills, the melodic singing saved for revelatory nuggets like "Salvation lies within." Zinger! Headliner Chiodos flushes better stuff than DWP. $15-$17/ 7:30 p.m. —Chris Parker


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From: Auckland, New Zealand
Since: 2003
Claim to fame: Hair

Clever Kiwis' Jonathan Bree and Heather Mansfield dated for a time, and the band that followed, The Brunettes, carries the chemistry of an act of former lovers who still bear sparks. That is, with dulcet harmonies and winking interplay, The Brunettes sing songs like former lovers should. The orchestration is remarkably accomplished, too, sometimes subtly unorthodox and sometimes hyperbolically smart. "Stereo (Mono Mono)" puts Bree and Mansfield in separate channels, singing about how propinquity makes their harmonies better. Over a minute span, they converge around a sexual unison of "Yeah." If the cute boy/girl thing has worn thin for you (The Mates of State, The Postal Service, The Rosebuds, etc.), The Brunettes' execution manages to eclipse the idea. With Ferraby Lionheart at LOCAL 506. $10/9 p.m.


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From: Omaha, Neb.
Since: 2000
Claim to fame: 2004's self-proclaimed album of the year

Formerly just the side project for Cursive frontman Tim Kasher, The Good Life takes a more resigned approach to the same consistent relationship fretting that's long fueled Cursive's melodrama. Help Wanted Nights is the band's second concept record in a row, and it's ensconced inside the dusky country sound at which the band has long hinted. Here, the sound fits the story of an outsider stranded in a small town after his car breaks down. He starts looking for meaning in what was to be another city limits sign. A week (or nine songs) later, he's asking, "So what are you really after? Who are you trying to fight? Why are you so hard on yourself? It's only life, and it's only tonight." Fair warning: Idea is better than execution here. With Erie Choir and Luke Temple at CAT'S CRADLE. $10-$12/9:30 p.m. —Grayson Currin


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There isn't enough leg room in the average Annuals song for guitarist Kenny Florence to get comfortable, even if the band's protracted, protean reach might suggest otherwise. On Be He Me, the Raleigh post-buzz collective's Ace Fu debut, Florence is one part of a maximalist whole. But in the sister band he shares with his Annuals cohorts, Florence calls every shot. Doesn't get more comfy than that.

But where Annuals frontman Adam Baker is a vibrant, unhinged force, Florence shines a more subdued light with Sedona. The showcase here is his impressive guitar chops. Judging from the band's forthcoming Terpsikhore debut, Toy Tugboats, Florence is often confident and capable behind his guitar. From the buttery, somersaulting Kinsella lines of "Oregon" to the prog-y, Sam Ash phase-a-thon of "And The Faceless...," Florence demonstrates the same searching heart that beats within Annuals. He manages to reel the mania in a bit, though, or at the very least focus it for a few fantastic hammer dulcimer leads. With Future Islands and Lonnie Walker. —Robbie Mackey



Duke Performance's Following Monk series continued to dazzle, as jazz legends Hank Jones and Charlie Haden played old spirituals and Monk tunes before a packed Reynolds Theater. At 89, Jones was the definition of cool in his crisp gray suit, playing the keys and evoking a full gospel choir with small, deliberate motions. Haden was ebullient, joking between songs, storytelling with his bass. They played without much rehearsal, finding the music as they went. Like the audience, Jones and Haden didn't want the magic to end: As they played encore after encore, it even seemed the night would last forever. —Mosi Secret

  • RWAKE, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Sedona, The Brunettes, The Good Life, Vic Chesnutt, more


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