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The guide to the week's concerts 

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This week's guide contains:

YES, PLEASE: Jesse Malin/ Richard Bacchus, RTX, Microkingdom/ White Mice, Toubab Krewe, Ivan Howard/ Eddie Taylor, Meshell Ndegeocello

EH, WHATEVER: Limbeck/ John Ralston, Matt Costa

VS.: Dervish vs. Altan


SONG OF THE WEEK: The Swimmers' "Pocket Full of Gold"



Sure, go ahead and call it a D Generation semireunion if you want, with this show bringing together original members Jesse Malin and Richard Bacchus. But those second-generation glam days are almost 10 years gone, and both guys have established solid post-D credentials. Malin's Glitter in the Gutter from last year was his best solo effort yet, huge hooks spilling over into even huger choruses, including one that was sing-alongy enough to recruit a Springsteen guest spot. Bacchus' Bowery is now Raleigh, where he can be found blasting out his own glittery, guttery rock with The Luckiest Girls. Also, De Novo Dahl. $10/ 10 p.m. —Rick Cornell

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Jennifer Herrema opened up some scalps when she emerged with former partner Neil Hagerty and shaped Royal Trux into a debris-encrusted monolith of heavy rock. Now she's running the RTX show like a slithering female take on premium Axl Rose. The music's more accessible than ever, chained to classic rock pillars. Ironic that just last week, one of her likely hero bands, Blue Cheer, played the same room. Let it bleed, you could say. 10 p.m. —Chris Toenes


The personnel core of Baltimore's Microkingdom is Oxes guitarist Marc Miller and doctor of composition Will Redman. The personality core of the same band is one of unrelenting musical exploration, beamed through an improvised aesthetic: During the 20 minutes of the band's debut LP—one of the boldest, most breathless statements I've heard this year—the duo trigger-switches from counterpoint to spazz to skronk to near silence with élan and elocution. An unbelievably smart and ambitious corollary to The Freedom Principle. They'll probably bring collaborators with them; you'll likely leave a fan of them. The auto-destructive oscillators/guitars/drums trio White Mice, down from Providence and Austin-bound, will make your mind feel like Swiss cheese and your body feel very, very special. $5/ 9:30 p.m. —Grayson Currin


Don't worry, we understand your fears: "A jam band from Asheville that mixes African instrumentation and Appalachian instrumentation into Southern rock forms that sometimes stretch into psychedelic territory? How can this even be OK?" This Asheville quintet works because its members are as erudite as they are innovative. That is, they play both electric guitar and traditional kora, drumsets and African percussion with finesse (they've made several pilgrimages to the source). But the band's not afraid to bend those sounds to get the shapes it needs, either, though it (thankfully) avoids funk or groove connotations. If any jam band is poised to save this second-hand scene from itself, it may be Toubab Krewe. $10-$12/ 9 p.m. —Grayson Currin


The front faces of two of Raleigh's top bands play short solo sets as part of this month's First Friday: Eddie Taylor of The Loners mentions pedals and noise being involved in his set. The last solo set from Rosebud Ivan Howard in Raleigh featured several Night of the Furies tracks still in progress. Should be interesting. 8 p.m. —Grayson Currin

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A provocative conceptual artist, challenging writer and dynamic singer, the Berlin-born, D.C.-raised Meshell Ndegeocello asks questions of race, gender and personal identity in her rock/ funk/ rap fusions. Finally away from the majors, the bass player largely foregoes the vitriol that has defined segments of her career on her most recent work. Instead, she employees askance social critiques to search for something onto which she can latch. That said, don't expect her to mince words in front of her strangely roadhouse four-piece. With Trixie Whitley. $23-$25/ 7:30 p.m. —Grayson Currin


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Greensboro's House of Fools, signed to Drive-Thru Records, is the highlight here: Its acoustic ballads and sunny anthems are mostly harmless, tweaked by electronic flourishes like harpsichord lines and synthetic arpeggios. The openers spin indie rock in an autoclave, though: Limbeck sounds exactly like Cracker for a new wave, and they write about a young man's disappointment with social standards and environmental ennui. Irony is, this music is safe and boring as it can be: Their staple "Teeanage Freakshow" ain't no "Freak Scene," brother. Vagrant's John Ralston is melodramatic dream pop, with all possibilities of surprise or abrasion buffed out completely. $8-$10/ 7 p.m. —Grayson Currin


Former skater Matt Costa discovered his ho-hum singer/ songwriter side after a career-ending accident. Sound familiar? He's on Jack Johnson's Brushfire Records label as well. The video for bouncy new single "Mr. Pitiful" depicts Costa strolling the streets as a one-man band, but he'll have a full band in tow when he stops here.That should add some energy, possible overshadowing his lyrical platitudes (sample line: "Put it in a song and know that we can get along." Oh, really?). Even so, you may want to bring coffee. $12/9:30 p.m. —Spencer Griffith


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From: Sligo, Ireland
Since: 1989
Claim to fame: One of the best in Irish music, capped by a siren-voiced singer

Celtic Smackdown might be a little too smashmouth-ish of a name for the meeting of two traditional Irish sextets, but this pair of Irish shows does make an intriguing showdown several days before St. Patrick's Day: Awash in trad instrumentation—mandola, whistles, accordion, bouzouki, bodhrán and, most prominently, Tom Morrow's fiddle—Dervish's sound is hypnotic in its swirl and dazzling in its blend of yesteryear and today. The instrumentals are the definition of driving, and when Cathy Jordan's rich voice is given equal play, the result is folk-rock, Sligo-style. At THE ARTSCENTER. $24/ 8:30 p.m.


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From: Dublin, Ireland
Since: The early '80s
Claim to fame: One of the best in Irish music, capped by a siren-voiced singer

Calling this a donnybrook, although etymologically correct, doesn't feel right, either. Propelled by twin guitars and twin fiddles and inspired by the spirit of late co-founder and Irish flute/ tin whistle hero Frankie Kennedy, Altan's sound is pub-born but festival-stage/ rock club-ready. You've heard this said before, but the mix of the ancient and the contemporary is a marvel, and if Altan has a not-so-secret weapon, it's the singing of Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, which seems to float high above and keep tabs on the dynamic playing below. Given the two-guitar, two-fiddle setup, I favor Altan one by decision. At FLETCHER OPERA THEATER at Progress Energy Center. $22-$24/ 8 p.m. —Rick Cornell


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PineCone presents this week-early St. Patrick's Day celebration: Performing together around the Triangle for most of the '80s as the Pratie Heads, Jane Peppler and Bob Vasile reunited four years ago after a 15-year break. Along the way, they've amassed a repertoire of hundreds of vocal tunes, jigs, reels, strathspeys, airs, setdances and original fiddle numbers. Drawing from traditions that stretch from the British Isles and Scandinavia to Colonial America, the pair trades lead vocals and harmonizes over Peppler's fiddle, viola, concertina, and piano and Vasile's guitar and bouzouki. Listen for free at 3 p.m. —Spencer Griffith


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