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The guide to the week's concerts 

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This week's guide contains:

YES, PLEASE: Lurrie Bell, The Moaners/ Filthybird/ Alcazar Hotel, FrequeNC Records/ Juan Huevos, Redman, Sonny Landreth, Howl, Death Vessel, Extra Life

EH, WHATEVER: Everclear/ Dark Side of the Dead

VS.: Donna the Buffalo vs. Toubab Krewe

INTRODUCING: Gray Young/ The Bronzed Chorus

SONG OF THE WEEK: Micah Blue Smaldone's "The Clearing"


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The idea that bluesman Lurrie Bell would be making a Triangle tour stop with his band would have been unthinkable a decade ago. The son of Chicago harmonica legend Carey Bell and recognized by numerous critics as the premier blues guitarist of his era, Lurrie had seen a brilliant early career derailed by mental illness and periods of homelessness. Still, stories of Bell showing up unannounced in a South Side club and blowing away the crowd with his mastery before vanishing into the night were plentiful, and whenever he could be coralled into the studio for a session, the results were mindbending. Bell's life has since stabilized, but his music has remained as deeply essential, searing and powerful as when it came from a world that only he inhabited. 9:30 p.m. —Bob Burtman


This bill packs everything you need in life: grimy, no surrender attitude; joyous, overamped irreverence; and mellow, aching circumspection. Count on fist-shaking rock goofs Alcazar Hotel for crunchy garage-blues odes to decadent, alcohol-glazed epiphanies like "3 Legged Dog." Renee Mendoza's sultry, smoky vocals cut a stark profile against Filthybird's quavering rock textures, rising like the forward mast above choppy, jazz-inflected froth. Washing it down with a muddy, gut-busting blast like an Irish Car Bomb (Guinness, Jameson and Baileys!) are the Moaners, whose gritty Mississippi stomp is thicker than axle grease and as enveloping as road haze rising off a simmering Texas blacktop. $8/ 10 p.m. —Chris Parker


Chapel Hill MC Juan Huevos is taking off for Paris for a spell, so the FrequeNC crew decided to throw him a farewell party. The lineup reflects the interconnections in this diverse circle of N.C. music and dance, from Charlotte DJ George Brazil to one of Huevos' running crew, rapper Grape Juice Scott, and local burlesque dance Miss Mary Wanna. DJ Mothers Brothers preside over the turntables early on. It's a local thang and also free. 10 p.m. —Chris Toenes


Reggie Noble smokes more weed than you do. But that's not what's made him the charming emcee who's never been at a loss for a rowdy punchline. He popularized his hometown (Newark) by screaming "Brick City" on every single record since the Def Squad Headbanger days, when Timberlands and Carharts were par for the course, and hip-hop was grittier than its current glee club countenance. Now, Redman has a mohawk, does movies and deodorant commecials, and is still known for "lettin' the monkey out" at any concert. Tonight's show is free and this time, Redman is backed by the band, Connie Price and the Keystones. "So, where's Method Man at?" you may be asking. Don't worry, Redman will back in late November with his fellow Blunt Brother and Wu-Tanger in tow. With Cosmo Baker. RSVP at 9:30 p.m. —Eric Tullis


Sonny Landreth's showing up in a lot of prominent places these days. He's the cover boy for the current issues of Guitar Player and Blues Revue. He can be found tearing it up during a "Fat Man in the Bathtub" revisitation on Join the Band, the new release from Little Feat and friends. ("The best slide guitar player on the planet," says Bill Payne in the liners.) And, of course, he's starring in a bunch of strong reviews for his latest record From the Reach, one that, like the Feat effort, sports a bunch of heavyweight guests. And on this night, he'll be at his old Lafayette buddy Mel's place. $30/ 8 p.m. —Rick Cornell

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Black Skies' three-piece clattering thunder serves two purposes in Orange County: Along with Caltrop and Curtains of Night, it creates a small but strong force of metal in a place less known for such. As importantly, though, Black Skies serves as an outward emissary, burning rubber on its way to split spaces with like minds in far-away towns. In turn, those bands eventually make it south. Thank Black Skies, then, for Howl's near-constant visits: The Providence quartet is brilliantly belligerent, its dual guitars, scourge-of-the-soul vocals and shifty rhythm section steaming ahead relentlessly. Seriously, not to be missed. Free/ 10 p.m. —Grayson Currin


Death Vessel frontman Joel Thibodeau's arresting falsetto flutters like a hummingbird in the highest register, alighting over trad country and folk. His warbling countertenor contributes to the music's otherwordly air, which, despite the gorgeous gossamer melodies and supple coloring accompaniment, sounds pursued by shadows. His lyrics are sonorous shapes without linear form. "As a listener, I find little to no importance in lyrics," Thibodeau writes in an e-mail interview. "As a songwriter, lyrics offer the opportunity to explore free thought, so I try to take advantage of that freedom." Opener Micah Blue Smaldone offers similarly dark, country-folk yearning. $10/ 9:30 p.m. —Chris Parker


One of the year's most uncompromising records, Extra Life's Secular Works sounds like Steve Albini leading an art project with Dirty Projector Dave Longstreth. Fluttering, ambitious and serpentine, Secular Works moves from punishing, mathematical rock to spacious showcases of Charlie Looker's wounded warble. Occasionally vexing but consistently provocative. Local openers Phon (undulating soundscapes of darkened ambience) and Blag'ard (crunchy rock capable of surprising delicacy) split the dichotomous seams early and appropriately. 9:30 p.m. —Grayson Currin


click to enlarge Everclear
  • Everclear


Though the late, rare addition of former Raleigh FM darlings Athanaeum makes this a tad more interesting, Everclear's continued existence is enough for a bellyache, or at least a hangover. After all these years, Art Alexakis is still playing fan festivals for radio stations, hoping, one assumes, that the next hit will make him more than the dude who sang "Santa Monica" and "Wonderful." Thing is, his band hasn't had a hit in so long, he's relegated to celebrations of sports radio, such as this show for WRAL's new 99.9 The Fan. Real radio won't even the have dude, at least until next year's aptly titled Lay Low Aim High. After the 4 p.m. show outdoors, Cosmic Charlie covers Dark Side of the Moon and The Grateful Dead, an idea that really does make one hope for a hit of strong, bad acid. The combination ticket runs $14.99-$20. —Grayson Currin


Swedish bros Witchcraft and Graveyard are post-Sabbath tremors, both launching foreboding verses and howling choruses above grinding guitars and forceful, heavy rhythms. Be more evil, please: Now 40 years removed from the birth of this stuff, both bands seem so safe, their blooz slightly sinister but only in a VH1 special sort of way. And while it's nice to see elemental metal played with competence, there's at least an evening's worth of excellent Ozzy archives you may have missed on YouTube. Similarly, Brooklyn's TK Webb has been recycling classic vinyl stacks for years, and he still seems void of interesting ideas. $10-$12/ 9 p.m. —Grayson Currin


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Since: 1987
From: New York
Claim to fame: 21 years of hitting the asphalt and making hippies smile

Blending blends of country-meets folk- meets rock-meets, Tara Nevins and her man-band have long rocked the jam-based folk-friendly festival scene from Telluride to Merlefest (and helped found the GrassRoots festivals). But the 21 years of bland harmonies and occasionally propensity to noodle, tethers the band roots sound. Still, they keep grinding on. At THE POUR HOUSE for $17-$20 at 8 p.m.


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Since: 2005
From: Asheville
Claim to fame: Bridging the gap between Africa and Appalachia with fresh beats and strings

For a more electrifying, caffeinated approach to mish-mash magic, try Asheville's Toubab Krewe, a five-piece band that lends itself to innovation, thanks to its juxtaposition of traditional West African instrumentation (the kora and tribal percussion) and electric jamming. Any noodling spawns waves of energy. Asheville's homegrown crew takes down the competition handily. At CAT'S CRADLE for $12-$14 at 9:30 p.m. —Kathy Justice


click to enlarge The Bronzed Chorus
  • The Bronzed Chorus


Raleigh's Gray Young makes the most of what it's got: Though just a power trio, the instrumental-leaning indie rockers harness guitar, bass/ keys and drums for an epic sound, with shifts from ambience to driving dynamics. Working with Jerry Kee on a nearly finished debut full-length puts Gray Young in fine company—Superchunk, Polvo, The Connells, Patty Duke Syndrome, among others. It sounds as if the band's meeting the challenge: "Provenance," the first peek at Firmament, shows Gray Young tightening the screws on its atmospheric sound, ebbing and flowing without drifting off course, guitar echoing away as barely two minutes have passed. Reminiscent of Explosions in the Sky, sure, but without the drawn out build-and-release, it makes for a blistering, compact listen and sets high expectations for what's to come.

Working with even less, The Bronzed Chorus is the Triad's take on dramatic instrumental indie rock. Setting the stage with plenty of tension, Adam Joyce's chiming guitar gives way to cascades of heavy riffs, breaking off into wonderfully raw, powerful (and occasionally brutal) territory, the drums and keys of Brennan O'Brien as impetus. With 2006's full-length Thurty Thurty in its back pocket, the duo is completing a follow-up LP with ex-Cinemechanica bassist Joel Hatstat that will be released on Hello Sir Records. Free/ 10 p.m. —Spencer Griffith

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