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The guide to the week's concerts 

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This week's guide contains:

YES, PLEASE: Abbey Road Live!, Laurie Anderson, Minsk/ Trouble, Magpies, OCSC Customer Appreciation Day, Rahim/ Win Win Winter, Alessandro Bosetti/ Corridors

VS.: Rock Hall Benefit Concert vs. Bull Durham Blues Festival

VS.: Murry Hammond vs. Band of Annuals

INTRODUCING: Stefan Litwin

SONG OF THE WEEK: Three songs from Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby



We live in tribute-happy times. (See Weezer honorees WannaBeezer, etc., etc., etc.) Elvis impersonators probably started the whole thing and continue to lead numbers-wise. But Beatles tribute bands are close behind, with Athens, Ga.'s Abbey Road Live! one of the best in the land. And when they celebrate Magical Mystery Tour in all its horns-and-strings excess, it's pure spectacle in all the right ways. $15-$17/ 9 p.m. —Rick Cornell

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Laurie Anderson remains rooted in the music and poetics hybrid she has pioneered from the beginning of her career. Her large-scale performances expand the effects of language and wordplay, immersing the audience in social commentary. Much as a person cannot fully appreciate the nuances of a foreign language before inhabiting a native-speaker's land, Anderson's work envelopes its audience, creating new parameters and expectations. Her taut critiques and perceptions of America's place in the world spring forth in "Homeland," her latest work. While it's easy to tune into the pop aspects of the music made by Anderson and her band, one can't help but absorb some of the visual signposts and symbols cascading throughout the performance; her time on stage can be as provocative as it is meditative. $5-$38/ 8 p.m. —Chris Toenes


Like The Arcade Fire of art metal, Illinois' Minsk takes an arch, saturated approach to its craft, hitting the hard parts like the last night on earth is near and letting the afterburn sear against the skin. Complex, convoluted and cathartic, Minsk' 2007 Relapse release, The Ritual Fires of Abandonment, traps psychedelic rock, muddy blues and industrial menace into a colossal vortex. Like Yakuza and Lair of the Minotaur, Minsk is an increasingly rare post-Neurosis inventive act. With Cough, H.O.W. and, weirdly, Trouble, the heavy arena blooz band that used to call Def Jam home. 9 p.m. —Grayson Currin


The Cleveland quartet began as a rootsy rockabilly outfit but morphed into organ-fueled Americana by its second album, Eastern Standard Time. Initially dubbed Roger Hoover and the Whiskeyhounds, the name change corresponded to the increased role of keyboardist Justin Gorski, whose colorful swing and blues infuse the woozy roots with vibrancy and velveteen warmth. Gorski's key-banging energy complements Hoover's wistful, reedy croon and jangling guitar nowhere better than album-opener "Picture Me in a Love Song," which bridges the Byrds and The Band. $5/ 9 p.m. —Chris Parker


Saying thanks to the drinkers with Regina Hexaphone, Americans in France, My Dad is Dead, and Fifi Hi-Fi? For free? That's real nice of you, Orange County Social Club. 4 p.m. —Grayson Currin


What can't evolve dies, which makes Rahim an encouraging development for fans of D.C. post-punk: Chewy, angular guitar riffs froth in crisp, austere arrangements tossing rafts of melody to and fro, casting the band somewhere between the terse energy of Jawbox and French Kicks' nervy pop. Its latest, Laughter, coolly unwinds muscular melodies like clockwork. Free/ 10 p.m. —Chris Parker

click to enlarge Alessandro Bosetti
  • Alessandro Bosetti


Not to be missed: Alessandro Bosetti is an Italian-born experimental globetrotter living in Baltimore, which puts him within striking distance of our area's most accepting space, Nightlight. Bosetti is a doggedly conceptual artist with a blissfully musical mind, meaning that his recent work in mining human speech patterns as the basis for tracks is not only smart but sonically interesting. On last year's Exposé, Bosetti used a woman repeating one paragraph and altering her cadence as the melodic core, through which electronics and guitar snaked playfully. "The sounds of the notes end up becoming harmonious," she aptly reads. Bosetti is also an aggressive solo saxophonist, so perhaps we'll get bits of both tonight. As Corridors, New York sound artist Byron Westbrook encompasses everything with drones built as atmospheres, shifting and slight like the winds, only noticeable when they're gone. With Clint Listing. 8:30 p.m. —Grayson Currin


click to enlarge Jack Bruce
  • Jack Bruce


From: all over, but with eyes on Cleveland
Since: 2008
Claim to fame: classic rock & roll in Cary

Let's start with the songs: from a classic-rock super-set of "Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo," "Feelin' Alright," "We're an American Band," "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" and "Sunshine of Your Love" to less heavily rotated stock like "What Is Hip?," "All You Zombies" and "'74-'75" (you knew we were going to get a Connells song in there). That's just the shortlist of songs associated with participants in the Benefit Concert for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, or "Rock Hall" to its friends. It remains to be seen whether National Band Search winner Pete Hopkins, who'll open the show on Friday night, and 16-year-old singer/ songwriter Michelle Blanchard, who was selected to do a couple of tunes with members of the John Entwistle Band on Saturday, will come up with anything as enduring over their careers. They could always ask Rick Derringer, Dave Mason, Mark Farner, Buck Dharma and Jack Bruce for advice. See for a complete list of performers and information on the John Entwistle Foundation. $80 (reserved), $50 (general)/ 6 p.m. on the 19th, noon on the 20th. At the KOKA BOOTH AMPHITHEATRE.


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From: all over, but with hearts in the Piedmont and the Deep South
Since: 1987
Claim to fame: blues and soul in the outfield

Let's start with the high drama in the songs. On Denise LaSalle's signature "Trapped by a Thing Called Love," she sings, emotions bare, about a man who makes her lie "when I don't wanna lie." And Clarence Carter drags drama off the beaten path on "Making Love (at the Dark End of the Street)," where a fascinatingly bizarre recitation eventually spills into his take on the world's greatest cheating number, "Dark End of the Street." That we're talking about two soul artists shows how this fest, a blues gathering in name and reputation, has expanded its scope over the years. To that point, this year's festival will also feature zydeco heroine Rosie Ledet as well as the category-transcending Taj Mahal. But there'll also be plenty of blues (and interpretations), from the Contagious Blues Band, Big Road Blues, Bernard Allison and Marcia Ball. Kicking things off on Thursday night at St. Joseph's Performance Hall are the MSG Acoustic Blues Trio and Scott Ainslie & Ernie Hawkins. See for the complete schedule. $85 (festival package), $35 (one night)/ 6 p.m. At the DURHAM BULLS ATHLETIC PARK. —Rick Cornell


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From: Burbank, Calif.
Since: 1993
Claim to fame: Being the chugging engine of the Old 97's

On Blame It on Gravity, the latest release from the Old 97's, the song "Color of a Lonely Heart Is Blue" gets my vote for standout, and I'm clearly not alone at the ballot box. (No Depression's Peter Blackstock, for one, has written about its "trance-like magic.") As is the case with all 97's songs, it's a team effort. But the star is clearly the voice of Murry Hammond (taking one of his customary two lead vocal turns), conversational in tone and all the more penetrating because of it. For more, you can turn to his new solo release, I Don't Know Where I'm Going But I'm on My Way, a reverb-loving collection that celebrates both the happy chug of train songs and the introspective soul of spirituals. At THE BERKELEY CAFE. $10-$12/ 8 p.m.


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From: Salt Lake City
Since: 2004
Claim to fame: Six people staying out of each other's way musically

On Let Me Live, the latest release from the Band of Annuals, the leadoff cut "Lessons Learned" sets a spacious, brilliantly hushed tone that seeps across the whole record. The first minute is mostly the vocals of Jay Henderson and Jeremi Hanson, seperate and then intertwined, with only a muted guitar deep in the background that sounds like it's echoing in from sometime last week. It's the sound of, among other things, not stepping on toes, and it's stunning. Now let's just hope the six-piece can make it to the Triangle this time. This summer, they ended up stranded in South Carolina with a broken-down van. Regina Hexaphone opens. At THE CAVE. 10 p.m. —Rick Cornell


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Not to be overshadowed by another accomplished pianist playing on the same campus on the same day (Chapel Hill ex Ben Folds), contemporary composer and performer Stefan Litwin takes the stage at UNC's Gerrard Hall as part of the UNC Music Department's Music on the Hill Series. In his debut recital as a George Kennedy Distinguished Professor of music, Litwin—who has spent more than 15 years teaching music, performed with the best orchestras in the world, and is known best for his sometimes bombastic, always innovative renditions of great work—tackles his own works along with pieces from the European avant garde. With original compositions that are literary (drawing inspiration from Allende, Thoreau and Poe) and prone to harsh instrumental expression of their subjects, Litwin's own works fit snugly with the music that fills out his concert repertoire. $15 for general public, $10 for UNC students and staff/ 7:30 p.m. —Margaret Hair


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