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The guide to the week's concerts 

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This week's guide contains:

YES, PLEASE: Luego/ Max Indian/ Jeff Crawford, Common/ N*E*R*D, The Old 97's/ Charlie Louvin, Valient Thorr/ Black Tusk/ Tweak Bird, Tooth/ The Claw, Caitlin Cary/ Whistlestop, Man Will Destroy Himself/ Attitude Problem, Black Keys, Sunburned Hand of the Man, Wovenhand, Franz Fjödor/ Staplerfahrer

VS.: The Rumble Strips vs. Say Hi




A month after Luego's drummer sold his kit and gave up drumming, frontman Patrick Phelan has picked up the pieces, recruited some sidemen and now continues to offer well-tempered rock songs with audacious vocals and a symphonic touch. Max Indian joins the bill with a refined lineup and a PBR-approved approach to pop. Roman Candle's Jeff Crawford opens with his charming solo pop project. $5/ 10 p.m. —Margaret Hair


Even Tar Heels should stick it out through State's homecoming pep rally this year to see Common and N*E*R*D. Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo have worked with everyone from Garbage to Madonna as The Neptunes, but, as N*E*R*D, they'll deliver the thick, skippy beats off their synesthetic third album, Seeing Sounds. Grammy-winner/ activist/ antagonist Common raps dramatic narratives about getting ahead in the streets, and boasts compilations with Lily Allen and Kanye West (when he's not acting or posing for GAP ads). Look forward to Pharrell's cameo in Common's "Announcement" from his recent EP of the same name. $25-$30/ 8 p.m. —Elizabeth Lilly


Along with his brother, Ira, Charlie Louvin would move from mountain gospel to murder ballads with nary a hitch in their harmonies. Similarly, The Old 97's can shift from twangy shuffles to hook-crazy pop songs on a dime. It will be a treat to watch that multi-generational versatility play out over the course of this evening's intriguing double bill. And it would also be a treat if the 97's' gospel-loving Murry Hammond were to team up with Louvin for, say, "When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder" (which the latter takes ownership of on his new Steps to Heaven). $18/ 8:45 p.m. —Rick Cornell


This heavy trifecta promises diversity in form and function: Valient Thorr is a five piece packing a half-dozen loud stylistic balls beneath its bulging belt, from the slicing guitar leads of British heavy metal to the sludge of sinister American counterparts. Black Tusk runs hard with the New Southern Metal cadre Robbie Mackey references on page 43—Kylesa, Baroness, Weedeater—but their sludge is thinned enough for quick churning and bona fide pits down in front. Los Angeles' Tweak Bird is brothers Caleb and Ashton Bird. Melvin Dale Crover co-produced the duo's debut EP, an unlikely pairing of Black Keys-style post-blues wallop, slightly surfy guitar tones and serpentine metallic song structures. $10/ 9:30 p.m. —Grayson Currin


The stock market is plummeting, your possible new veep can see Russia from her house, the icecaps are melting and ... local, crusty, mean metal returns to its area home of nearly two decades, The Brewery. Durham's Tooth isn't a direct descendent of Corrosion of Conformity's hardcore and metal crossover that bloomed in The Brewery, but its tube-amplified malevolence takes aim at the same tenets and tenuities through brutal, deliberate motion. Philadelphia's The Claw quickens the pulse and sharpens the guitars, the resultant heavy metal axe cleaving its own formidable song structures every 30 seconds or so. 9 p.m. —Grayson Currin


As absence truly makes the heart grow fonder, we're weak in the knees with longing for Caitlin Cary's presence. Sure, the lovely Tres Chicas keep her supple country rock fires burning, but folks waiting for gentle harmonies like those with Thad Cockrell (2005's Begonias) or genuine rootsy charm ("You Don't Have to Hide") may take comfort in knowing Cary feels your pain: She is working with Scott Phillips (Goner) and BJ Barham (American Aquarium) on new songs. Barham opens solo, followed by the soulful country-blues of The Whistlestop, whose twangy self-titled debut sounds biblically blighted and haunted like Kansas in The Grapes of Wrath. $6-$8/ 7 p.m. —Chris Parker


Rather than still bask in the loss of his beloved Kings Barcade, Thrashitorium Presents show promoter Hank Williams voraciously searches for other venues to host his signature punk-and/or-metal ragers. Typically, Volume 11 is too big, Bull City Headquarters is too far, and Slim's Downtown is too illegal for many of the Oak City's burgeoning young hardcorepunkmetalfreaks. But after a year and change of exhausting basements or leaving high school kids at the door, Williams and company have decided to try and take Carolina punk back to its source: The Brewery. After all, it is a nice-sounding, mid-sized, all-ages club with a well-stocked bar.

This particular bill features Raleigh/ Durham/ Carrboro/ Charlotte conglomerate Logic Problem, who take a fierce, modernized stab at classic hardcore punk and land somewhere between Articles of Faith and The Wipers. Raleigh hardcore unit Man Will Destroy Himself, the once-COC side project that recently found itself on Relapse Records' This Comp Kills Fascists, headlines. From Philadelphia comes Attitude Problem, a manic noisecore beast featuring the rhythm section of ex-Trianglers Facedowninshit. Doors open at 7 p.m. —Rich Ivey


Messing with a good thing too much can backfire. Just ask Akron, Ohio's The Black Keys. Attack & Release, the duo's collaboration with Danger Mouse (of Gnarls Barkley and The Grey Album fame), swapped intensity for atmospherics, an unwelcome shift from the duo's glory days at Fat Possum. At the Keys' best, Dan Auerbach's dirty moans and thick guitar pair with Patrick Carney's primitive, powerful drumming for a full-on, front-pocket assault. Luckily, that's what you can still expect when they're left to their own devices on stage. Tour mates and genre-benders Royal Bangs throw pop hooks and vocal wails in a blender with garage rock frenzy and a bit of digital manipulation on We Breed Champions, their 2006 debut, recently re-released on Carney's Audio Eagle Records. $22-25/ 9 p.m. —Spencer Griffith


When the Massachusetts collective known as Sunburned Hand of the Man is proverbially "on," you'll see one of the best improvisational units in the land, combining standard fare of sound like guitar and drums and vocals with tree branches and trashcan lids and feedback from wherever they can squeeze it. Colorful sonic tapestries rise and sink, moving in hallucinatory multi-dimensional waves. But this stuff needs a warning label: When Sunburned is off, it's a bummer trip, full of rote meandering and flaccid grooves. Tonight's one of those big ol' parties: Still Born, Climax Denial, Clang Quartet, Secret Boyfriend and Secret Woods open. 9 p.m. —Grayson Currin


The Colorado grandson of a Nazarene preacher, David Eugene Edwards has a voice that shakes the timbers with conviction and concern. Edwards formerly led 16 Horsepower, but he's called Wovenhand his own since 2002. Under that guise, his American gothic aesthetic has taken a slightly baroque turn, lyrically as much as sonically. Edwards writes in glorious, ornate charges of self-deprecation and disappointment, casting himself at the feet of a higher power that he's always challenging. His band then wraps those songs in a fanciful rock charge, full of electric grit and lashing percussion. $10-$12/ 9 p.m. —Grayson Currin

click to enlarge Franz Fjödor
  • Franz Fjödor


Leave the loquacity at home, and prepare to listen: Two visiting Danish sound sculptors, Staplerfahrer and Franz Fjödor, build microcosms of sound from distended electronic tones and carefully processed samples, easing them out in long, slowly shifting arcs. Like fellow European The Hafler Trio, Fjödor's music seems to soundtrack the space between pitch black and early dawn, rising as a salute to the gradually revealed sky. It's mildly ominous and uncertain but somehow sublime and beautiful. Staplerfahrer's electronics add a hint of abrasion, mainly through the pops, glitches and quiet din of static. Chapel Hill's Promute opens this night of quiet absorption. 9 p.m. —Grayson Currin


click to enlarge 10.01mushearingaid_vs_rumbl.gif


From: England
Since: 2004
Claim to fame: Horn-heavy NME favorites and never-ending Dexys Midnight Runners comparisons

The Rumble Strips is distinctly British. With an anthemic brew of 1980s Brit pop, northern soul and most eras of The Clash, the Strips and chief songwriter Charlie Waller appear as genuinely rowdy and romantic working-class heroes of yore. Last year's U.K. single "Girls and Boys in Love" shows Waller at his most effective, belting lively and simplistic self-deprecating prose over three-chord pop, as piano and handclaps implant hooks into heads. Indeed, beyond Waller's melodic charm soars the group's true standout: a two-piece sax and trumpet troupe as important to the band's dynamics as anything. It should all be fantastic live. Birdmonster opens at CAT'S CRADLE. $10-$12/ 8 p.m.


click to enlarge 10.01mushearingaid_vs_sayhi.gif


From: Seattle
Since: 2002
Claim to fame: The worst band name ever

From influence to aesthetic to fanbase, Say Hi is unmistakably American. Eric Elbogen released four albums as Say Hi To Your Mom between 2002 and 2006. Last year, Elbogen dropped the latter part of that unfortunate moniker to allow room for lyrical and musical growth. Basically, while his keyboard and guitar pop songs used to be about vampires and robots, they're now about his feelings. But his latest effort boasts not one track worthy of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, and his album artwork looks like lost volumes of Deep Elm Records' dreaded Emo Diaries series. Elbogen has longevity on his side with Say Hi, and there is a good chance The Rumble Strips may just be another NME flavor of the year, but my God, the flavor just tastes better. With Jukebox the Ghost at LOCAL 506. $8-$10/ 9:30 p.m. —Rich Ivey


click to enlarge PHOTO BY THOMAS COWART
  • Photo by Thomas Cowart

10.05 PINK FLAG @ LOCAL 506

The Triangle is host to plenty of female musicians, but Durham's Betsy Shane laments that most of them are bass players: "It's kind of like that indie rock cliché." Along with drummer Jessica Caesar (aka Sick Flag) and bassist Princess Ojiaku (aka Dork Flag), Shane (Lucky Flag) started jamming on some simple punk songs that weren't far removed from '90s Lookout! staples Bratmobile. As Pink Flag, they were out to change that four-string perception by starting a girl-band. Borrowing riot grrrl's jagged ethos and dropping in a shot of the same schoolyard pop that fueled the Ramones, Pink Flag's accomplished its mission. The trio plays Sunday night's Girls Rock & Girls Rule tour stop in Chapel Hill. Says Shane, "We don't need something celebrating Girls Rock & Girls Rule to get shows in this area, but it's nice to have something that's more female-centric." $6/ 7:30 p.m. —Bryan Reed

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