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The guide to the week's concerts 

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This week's guide contains:

YES, PLEASE: Jedi Mind Tricks, Eagles of Death Metal, Will McFarlane, The Foreign Exchange, Double Negative/ Whatever Brains/ Rocket Cottage, Centro-Matic/ One (1) Babtist General/ South San Gabriel, H.R./ Outlaw Nation/ Lionize, Anaturale/ Athens Boys Choir/ Farmer

VS. PRO/CON: Fred Hersch & Christopher O'Riley

VS.: The Radiators vs. Razpa

VS.: Mates of State vs. Neil Halstead



JMT's dark, gory, pugilistic rhymes are striped with pop culture references and a sturdy morality. Musically, it's a shadowy ride that conjures Esham's horrorcore and low-riding Wu Tang grit. The Tricks' sixth release, History of Violence, reunites MC Vinnie Paz with ex-bandmate Jus Allah, and maintains the momentum of 2006's crackling Servants in Heaven, Kings in Hell. With Outerspace and Reef the Lost Cauze. $16-$18/ 9:30 p.m. —Chris Parker

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Who needs change? Heart On freewheels its way through more of the same from Eagles of Death Metal, which is perfect, really: low brow, insistently catchy sleaze rock with riffs that steal MC5 and Stones swagger and thinly veiled innuendo from porno-stached frontman Jesse Hughes and best pal/ drummer Josh Homme, who's more famous for co-founding hard rock champs Queens of the Stone Age and stoner metal gods Kyuss. Also: The Duke Spirit exudes the sheen of UK garage rock without the sneer; Liela Moss's sultry vocals soar over walls of guitars that become more adventurous than a Jet-like first impression implies. $15-$18/ 9 p.m. —Spencer Griffith


En route to making the Triangle his home, bluesman Will McFarlane wielded his ax across the country alongside Bonnie Raitt for six years, settling down in Alabama where he joined the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section and recorded with heavyweights Etta James, Johnnie Taylor, Bobby Blue Bland and Little Milton—work for which he was recently inducted into the Musicians Hall Of Fame in Nashville. On his own, McFarlane is soulful—he works as a pastor in Chapel Hill, and the gospel influence is palpable—whether he's picking the acoustic blues or leading full-band R&B workouts. $10/ 9:30 p.m.—Spencer Griffith


During its fall semester, UNC-Chapel Hill has done North Carolina music a lot of favors: Ben Folds Five reunited at Memorial Hall, and The Avett Brothers packed a student-only Homecoming show. And now, The Foreign Exchange—the serendipitous, Internet-based collaboration between Dutch producer Nicolay and Little Brother emcee Phonte Coleman—makes its live debut. The duo's latest, Leave It All Behind, takes soul on a bittersweet joyride, through Bowie's Berlin and back to humorous hip-hop. The Beast, J. Bully and more join this momentous occasion, which caps UNC's first annual hip-hop conference. More info here: The Exchange plays at 3:30 p.m. —Grayson Currin


Tonight's glorious triple-bill offers a convergence of Raleigh's best: Double Negative's feedback-bottomed hardcore grinds history in fits and starts, spinning decades of listening from four of the town's vets into a vital punk present tense. With its tightly wound and slightly warped-and-crackling pop, Whatever Brains earns strong consideration for local Rookie of the Year. Expect bounding hooks shot through the sides with an esprit of No Wave. On that note, Rocket Cottage's psychedelic acerbity makes the perfect third. $5/ 10 p.m. —Grayson Currin

click to enlarge Centro-matic
  • Centro-matic


Think of band one, South San Gabriel, as the palette cleanser, the invocation that brings you in for the night, separating you from the world outside. The band's distended, dynamic and subdued rock—as lush and rich as Will Johnson's imagistic words above it—directs your focus toward structure and intent, captivating you with detail, enveloping you. Band three, Centro-matic, is the tough rock force, then, that will deliver you back into the world, steeled by snarling electric guitars, heavy drums and elevated, romantic hooks. That both bands are helmed by Johnson and shaped by the same four folks should heighten the sense of Sunday-morning ritual. The prolific, cragged-voice Johnson is one of the most trustworthy guides in all of rock. One (1) Babtist General (of the Baptist Generals, natch) sits in the bill's middle. $8/ 9 p.m. —Grayson Currin

click to enlarge H.R.
  • H.R.


One of music's most mercurial and otherwordly characters, H.R.'s an enigma wrapped in a riddle, hidden in a koan. During the '80s, the Bad Brains frontman's passionate, spitfire delivery matched his band's furious intensity. Veering between ambling reggae chill and crushing hardcore propulsion delivered with jazz-band precision, they took the Stooges' "Search & Destroy" to the next level. But despite his unmatched combustible prowess, H.R. grew disillusioned with the band's signature fury and tried to pull it exclusively toward reggae—when not abandoning them altogether during the early '90s. His mellow delivery on last year's first Brains studio album in 12 years, Build a Nation, and in recent concert, is light-years from the whirling dervish days of yore, though his (predictably inconsistent) new solo album, Hey Wella, offers a hint of the old attack on "Did I Tell U I Love U." He remains a mesmerizing presence live. $12/ 8 p.m. —Chris Parker


Anaturale emerged in Chapel Hill as a strong new transgender-positive voice in hip-hop. While the subject matter always worked through gender and romance, the tone was consistently party time. "Needless to Say" bumps with a splashy hand-clap backbeat like some lost acid house jam; "Waiting on Me You're Backing Up" stays solemn with some strings entering the mix. With queer rapper Athens Boys Choir, Anaturale should deliver a raucous night, engaging everyone in rich, rhythmic dialogue. Farmer opens, and local burlesque star Miss Mary Wanna sets the vibe early. $7 ($1 off with can of food)/ 9:30 p.m. —Chris Toenes

Friday, Nov. 21

click to enlarge Christopher O'Riley
  • Christopher O'Riley


From: Hersch, Cincinnati; O'Riley, Chicago
Since: Hersch, mid-'80s; O'Riley, '00s
Claim to fame: Hersch is one of the lone solo piano jazz players, and he adapted Whitman's Leaves of Grass to a jazz-classical style; O'Riley converted Radiohead to the classical format

Fred Hersch and Christopher O'Riley approach the piano with disparate ideas in mind, but this event puts them together as a populist mind-opener into the realm of classical and jazz music. Hersch's mastery of jazz piano, with his allegiance to Bill Evans' dexterous structure, melds easily into classical music. O'Riley's familiarity to the NPR set has drawn pop music listeners into classical atmospheres by reworking Radiohead, Elliott Smith and Nick Drake. Both gentlemen draw those unfamiliar to the world of classical music like fireflies pulled to lamplight. At DUKE'S PAGE AUDITORIUM. $5-$34/ 8 p.m. —Chris Toenes


click to enlarge Fred Hersch
  • Fred Hersch


From: Hersch, Cincinnati; O'Riley, Chicago
Since: Hersch, mid-'80s; O'Riley, '00s
Claim to fame: Hersch is one of the lone solo piano jazz players, and he adapted Whitman's Leaves of Grass to a jazz-classical style; O'Riley converted Radiohead to the classical format

Yes, you remembered right: We normally don't write about cover bands. But since Christopher O'Riley pushes his takes on popular music into the classical realm via solo piano, and since his derivative repertoire has earned him both popular and critical cache, we're compelled to offer this. The compositions of Radiohead, Nick Drake and Elliott Smith should be strong enough to convince classical fans there's plenty to enjoy this side of the fence. Riley's milquetoast ideas, however, are enough to convince you that Nordstrom's is a fine place to shop, not to make you pursue the past several centuries of solo piano work. At least Fred Hersch's interpretation of Leaves of Grass is fascinating. —Grayson Currin

Saturday, Nov. 22

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From: New Orleans
Since: 1978
Claim to fame: Fans call themselves Fish Heads

With 30 years of experience, the five-piece knows how to get people moving: Guitars solo out of the swamp, keys burn peat in the background, and a dangerous New Orleans drawl of voodoo curses you to dance with this jammy rock. At THE POUR HOUSE. $17-$22/ 9 p.m.


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From: Chapel Hill
Since: 2007
Claim to fame: Play monthly Latin night at Mansion 462

This quintet brings together distorted guitars and congas in its intense Latin rock deemed Latincore. Scorching Spanish lyrics ride over driving, funky grooves, making salsa seem delicate. Razpa flambés The Radiators and their Fish Heads. Like any great that may not be in fighting condition much longer, The Radiators are worth seeing, though. If you feel the need, catch Razpa at Mansion 462 on Nov. 21. At JACK SPRAT. 11 p.m.—Andrew Ritchey

Saturday, Nov. 22

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From: San Francisco
Since: 1997
Claim to fame: The manifestly happiest music-making couple in the biz

Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel volley vocals across arrangements whose frenetic pulse suggests a room of hyperactive kindergarteners. The competing harmonies, upbeat energy and generally hopeful sentiments are twee in tone, but less precious and more idiosyncratic in their multi-passage execution. The giddy, racing organ rides can resemble a calliope on meth, but the duo's latest, Re-arrange Us, cops lusher, somewhat sedate piano-driven chamber pop. Quick on its feet and sure in its movements, only an experienced hand could waylay this married pair. With Brother Reade and The Love Language. At CAT'S CRADLE. $12-$14/ 9 p.m.


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From: Reading, England
Since: 1989
Claim to fame: Founded shoegazer icons Slowdive and its dreamy offspring, Mojave 3

Perhaps the finest songwriter to emerge from the dream-pop movement, Halstead's delicate melodies owe a significant debt to '60s folk pop. His lingering ache has been clothed in walls of sound and gossamer drift, but the effortless hooks unite all his projects. His new solo album, Oh! Might Engine, mines a familiar wistful vibe, channeling Nick Drake and sounding like Elliott Smith's better adjusted brother. The music's sweet simplicity comforts like chicken soup. Hell, it even trumps infectious marital bliss. With Ryan Gustafson. At LOCAL 506. $10-$12/ 9 p.m. —Chris Parker


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