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The guide to the week's concerts 

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This week's guide contains:

YES, PLEASE: Weese Fest, Yellowman, Beres Hammond, Culture, The Curtains of Night, Invisible, Trophy Wife, Hammer No More the Fingers, Wild Wild Geese, Fontana, Butterflies, Birds & Arrows

EH, WHATEVER: 311, Ziggy Marley

VS.: The Defibulators vs. Town Mountain

ANNUALLY...: Festival for the Eno, The Club Is Open Festival


click to enlarge Birds of Avalon
  • Birds of Avalon


Pour House Doorman Benton Weese once again brings a full spread of Raleigh favorites to his birthday party—this time, his 30th: American Aquarium filters alt-country musings through brash rock 'n' roll borne of heartland dives. Birds of Avalon appears on the heels of the release of its anthemic second LP, Uncanny Valley. Left Outlet shares some of BOA's psych-and-prog tendencies, while The T's play it straight with swaggering slabs by which to raise a PBR and headbang away. Skullbuckle—a Southern-fried punk rock outfit featuring members of Rural Swine and former Antiseen drummer, Greg Clayton—opens the show. $8-$10/ 7 p.m. —Spencer Griffith

click to enlarge Beres Hammond
  • Beres Hammond


Slag the Lincoln for stocking their calendar with cover bands, but the Raleigh venue has the best record for serving as the area pillar of reggae by providing a stage for living legends, and up-and-comers and regional stars. Just this week, they'll have two of reggae's biggest extant connections from its roots to modern interpretations of dancehall. And that's saying a lot, considering reggae's voracious appetite for biting off from its own throughout its history: Take Yellowman's "Zungguzungguguzungguzeng," a song that began his rise to becoming an international superstar. The song's melody winds through countless other incarnations in dancehall, roots reggae and hip-hop, from Boogie Down Productions to Super Cat, Buju Banton to Dead Prez. It's goddamn eternal, and so is King Yellowman.

Meanwhile, Beres Hammond holds forth in the sexy, chilled-out vibe known as "lovers rock." Another Jamaican star who caught on in the States, he took a break in the early part of this decade, but returned with a new record and tours, and the always-near embrace of hip-hop when he collaborated with a post-Fugees Wyclef Jean. It's unofficially reggae week at the Lincoln, with some of the hard and some of the soft from the banger and the balladeer. Shame to miss it all. Yellowman's show starts at 9 p.m. and costs $14 advance and $17 day of show. Hammond's show starts with Culture at 9 p.m. and costs $27 advance and $32 day of shows. —Chris Toenes


Sandwiched between two howling torrents of duo-rock fury, Greensboro groovers Invisible might seem a bit hesitant. The Gate City ensemble echoes Gang of Four funk as if through a swimming pool, slowing it down and murking it up. It should turn out to be a much-needed change of pace, though, before the tarry post-metal of Carrboro's Curtains of Night and after the punk rock acid burn of D.C.'s Trophy Wife. Yes, Invisible's aqueous cool is just the right counterpoint. —Bryan Reed

click to enlarge Fontana
  • Fontana


Between the hot-blooded and hooky X-worthy slashing guitars, sinister, Wire-y post-punk angularities and circus-flavored keyboard numbers, it's difficult to decide what to make of Wild Wild Geese. Featuring members of a variety of local acts, their early efforts bristle with energy and chunky riffs, balancing sinewy attack and catchy melodies. The result is as bracing as it is catchy. Stay tuned for the trio's debut LP, Forgetting to Take out the Trash, Remembering to Ruin our Lives, on Odessa Records later this year. Crusty Motown trio Fontana play American hardcore with aggressive garage throttle and adventurous abrasiveness. $5/ 9 p.m. —Chris Parker


Durham's Hammer No More the Fingers is all jitters and bounce, blasting its chunky grooves built for pogoing in the pit. Explosive bursts of guitar come amped on energy and a knack for the infectious, matched to idiosyncratic lyrical obsessions like mushrooms and American Gladiators. Bull City trio Pink Flag comes with bratty punk charged with sweet triple harmonies and sticky power-pop hooks, while The Pneurotics' laid-back, broken-in roots rock wears easy. The free show—part of the Club is Open Festival—begins at 9 p.m. For more on the renovation of Players on East Franklin Street, see page 33. —Spencer Griffith

click to enlarge 07.01mushearingaid_yes_bird.gif


"You and Myers-Briggs broke me down to just four letters," sings Butterflies frontman Josh Kimbrough. Those words embody the earnest attempts of a young man trying to understand himself and his place in the world. Violin adds hope to melodies that are tentative, explorative and full of excitement. Meanwhile, Birds & Arrows lend a calm hand to youthful restlessness. The husband-wife duo of Pete and Andrea Connolly offers a simple and sure sound. Andrea's deep, sultry vocals move above drums and strummed guitar to share the embrace of love and hypnotize listeners into comfort. The wandering indie rock of Morrow and quiet folk rock of Permanent Waves complete tonight's bill. $7/ 8:30 p.m. —Andrew Ritchey


click to enlarge 311
  • 311


It's a shame that the meta-genre "Bland Music for White People and Their Weed" regularly commands venues that seat (harbor?) more than 20,000 people, but this prefab joint of 311 and Ziggy Marley ain't gonna fund itself: The funk-reggae-jazz-electro-metal fusionists of 311 should have emptied the ashes a decade ago, as its latest, Uplifter, mixes awfully uninspired inspirational lyrics, structural trainwrecks and some of the worst guitar tones this side of yacht rock. Know what's worse than this stanza: "My daisy, you know what I'm after/ Your musical laughter, a more beautiful disaster"? Said chorus chanted over Peavey amp distortion after a verse dotted by the most elementary lovers rock reggae bass line. Oh, and drowning... Opener Ziggy Marley returns with a unified message on behalf his whole family: "We are our father's children, and, yes, we know the joke's on you for continuing to take us seriously." The 7 p.m. show costs $23.25-$45. —Grayson Currin


click to enlarge 07.01mushearingaid_vs_defib.gif


From: Brooklyn
Since: 2005
Claim to fame: House band for The Rejection Show at Upright Citizens Brigade Theater

The Defibulators deliver a raucous hillbilly party of noise that walks the line between satire and veneration. If the Blues Brothers played more than just covers at Bob's Country Bunker, this is what it would sound like. Making music that's both "country" and "Western," the Defibulators deliver tunes informed by rock and jazz—a Squirrel Nut Zippers of country, if you will. There's humor, too: The washboard player wears long underwear and claims the stage name "Metalbelly." But female vocalist Erin Bru's crooning on a song like "Wandering Eye" melts any notions of cynicism or insincerity. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, The Defibulators flatter the hell out of country music. With the honky-tonking Sean Kershaw & His Terrible Two. At THE CAVE. $5/ 10 p.m.


click to enlarge 07.01mushearingaid_townmt.jpg


From: Asheville
Since: 2005
Claim to fame: No homes for a band beginning a national summer tour

High-energy, fast-driving bluegrass defines Town Mountain. Banjo and mandolin are let loose, barreling forward with the energy, virtuosity and power of a highly caffeinated John Henry. With tight vocal harmonies to support him, Robert Greer sings lead with the rhythm and dexterity of an auctioneer. Frenetic and kinetic, the band directs its lyrics toward moving from place to place, relationship to relationship. This constant motion keeps the traditional music contemporary, as does the quintet's slow burning cover of Bruce Springsteen's "I'm on Fire." Joe Troop, of Firehouse Rhythm Kings, lends his melodic and clear fiddle playing as the newest member of the outfit. At BERKELEY CAFE. $8/ 8 p.m.—Andrew Ritchey



One might assume that no two area festivals—one, an institution celebrating its 30th year on the banks of a river in Durham; the other, a newcomer inhabiting Chapel Hill's rock clubs for the second year—could have less in common. And, to an extent, that's about right: Festival for the Eno stands largely beside its longtime strategy of family-friendly fare, mixing American folk with blues with light pop and a smattering of world music (on Saturday, we recommend Albannach). The Club is Open Festival focuses on many of the area's rock bands, mixing the nervy, disgruntled anthems of Red Collar with the belligerent cough-and-rattle of Pinche Gringo.

But, for the second year in a row, Festival for the Eno reaches for the swell of young, energetic bands around it: Hammer No More the Fingers, who play the Club Is Open Wednesday, July 8, play the banks of the Eno Friday, July 3. American Aquarium pulls double duty, while Midtown Dickens, The Strugglers, Lost in the Trees and Holy Ghost Tent Revival are among those fanning the Eno flames this year. For much more on both of these festivals, visit, or see their respective Web sites at and —Grayson Currin


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