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The guide to the week's concerts 

This week's guide contains:

YES, PLEASE: Leeches of Lore, Spermcount, Brave Combo, Killer Filler, Semi Formal, Supreme Fiction, Calico Haunts, Internationalist Books Benefit, Mission of Burma, The Legendary Shack Shakers, Secret Mountains, Harvey Dalton Arnold Blues Band, Gasolinestove, Memoryhouse, Twin Sister, Warpaint, Old Bricks

VS.: Umphrey's McGee vs. Toubab Krewe



Don't take this mention as a guarantee that Albuquerque, N.M.'s Leeches of Lore will be great—maybe not decent, even—live. After all, in any three-minute span, the wild-eyed, maniacal trio hopscotches through more styles than they have members, shifting from high-flying British heavy metal and slinking alt-country grievances to brush fire folk and far-out sound art, with stops at most every imaginable transition. It's the kind of stuff whose proficiency and imagination runs the risk of being lost in bungled gear shifts and missed cues onstage. If they manage to make it happen, though, don't expect anything less than exhilaration. Bitter Resolve is the new sludge-doom trio of Rob Walsh of The Dirty Little Heaters and The Spinns. Spermcount is hardcore, which is a pretty gross thing to say, really. $5/ 9:30 p.m. —Grayson Currin

click to enlarge Brave Combo
  • Brave Combo


What began as a fascination with oddball music culled from record bins (often on the basis of cover art) evolved during three-plus decades into America's best polka band. Brave Combo has performed its smart, lively originals and inspired polka-fied covers for David Byrne's wedding and at Matt Groening's request on The Simpsons, securing three Grammys along the way. The band blends its traditional sound with elements of Latin music and a modern sensibility reflected in irony-free covers of The Doors, The Rolling Stones and The Who, and the energy's undeniable. Their coup de grace, in fact, is an unstoppable take on James Brown's "Sex Machine." $12–$15/ 8:30 p.m. —Chris Parker


Chapel Hill quartet Supreme Fiction isn't easily pigeonholed. The sweet harmonies and groovy paisley vibe suggest '60s folk-rock revivalism, only balanced by expansive art rock experimentation that transforms the shiny happy bounce into something a bit more heady and idiosyncratic. Meanwhile, Daniel Lawrence's lyrics are equal parts narrative and woolly dream journal, with sure hooks that pull through their shape(ly)-shifting passages. Semi-Formal delivers ramshackle, lingering country-rock like a lovelorn, slightly belligerent drunk with a hard-luck story. They're rough around the edges, but honestly, earnestly endearing. $5/ 9 p.m. —Chris Parker


Progressively minded, not-for-profit bookstores aren't known for rolling in cash. So Internationalist Books, the Franklin Street store that has been at the task since 1981, is enlisting some musical aid to help pay the bills. And while the store itself is political in outlook, the two bands playing its benefit are far more romantic: Chapel Hill's Salt to Bitters make languid folk that centers on the tattered-heart tantrums of singer Tony T. Raver. Durham's more mellow Humble Tripe turns its odds-and-sods instrumentation into clean but visceral odes that go down like cool mountain water. $5/ 9:30 p.m. —Jordan Lawrence

click to enlarge Mission of Burma
  • Mission of Burma


Reunions always bring up the question of whether a band's legacy was better left untouched. But Mission of Burma has made more music since its 2002 reunion than it did in its '80s incarnation, so the more pressing issue has emerged: Is Mach II the better version? If not, last year's The Sound the Speed the Light certainly made it closer to a toss-up, packing together 12 leak-free tunes with workmanlike mastery. Mission of Burma remains a compellingly nonshowy live act, too, ripping out coiled rhythms and heroic choruses with the kind of humble power that was their core from Day 1— only now with a volume of repertoire that means every night is both dependable and surprising. $16–$18/ 9 p.m. —Marc Masters


While the Shakers' six studio albums sizzle with roots rock oomph amped like a meth freak on a rollercoaster ride, their live shows are nearly indescribable. J.D. Wilkes' spasmodic circus sideshow presence reigns, channeling both Jerry Lee Lewis and Iggy Pop as he squeals and reels. Though he'd be hard-pressed to replace iconoclastic original upright bassist/guitarist Joe Buck, guitarist Duane Denison (Jesus Lizard, Tomahawk) shreds and wails through their hot-blooded and psychotic punkabilly country-blues as if his hair's on fire. $10–$12/ 9:30 p.m. —Chris Parker


The bulk of the last decade brought Baltimore's hyper-color acts—the dance epics of Dan Deacon and the guitar spirals of Ecstatic Sunshine and Ponytail, or even the expatriate pop exuberance of Animal Collective—to the central streams of indie rock. Maybe it's time to pull the shades: Maryland sextet Secret Mountains is a slow, subdued wonder, shaped by serpentine guitar lines that sigh and moan and busy drumming that sidles into the beat and shuffles around it. The surface is supplied by Kelly Laughlin, a singer whose muted alto seems wounded but resilient, like an autumn sun breaking through early morning clouds. This band is bound for bigger rooms. $5/ 10 p.m. —Grayson Currin


Harvey Dalton Arnold started contributing left-handed bass to The Outlaws just after "Green Grass and High Tides," second only to "Free Bird" when it comes to Southern rock epic-ness. But Arnold often navigated through that lengthy number during his half-decade in the band. These days, though, it's social work and blues guitar for Arnold, and he's having a blast. And green grass plays a big role in "Sunny Day Suicide," the key track on Gasolinestove's roots festival of a debut, Vultures on the Mainframe. That is, you better keep it mowed or your life could lose its bearings in the front lawn. Free/ 8 p.m. —Rick Cornell


With only a four-song EP to their name, the members of Ontario duo Memoryhouse have wasted little time in finding themselves. Their tunes combine coruscated sheets of guitar, softly burbling beats and the shyly pretty vocals of frontwoman Denise Nouvion to produce infinitely soothing concoctions. Long Island tour mates, Twin Sister, dip toes in similarly serene waters, though they prefer to splash around more. On its full-length debut, the quintet supports Andrea Estella's wispy croon with a heady blend of Broadcast beat science, Talk Talk pastoral grandeur and the haunting ambiance of your favorite 4AD original. $10/ 8:30 p.m. —David Raposa

click to enlarge Warpaint
  • Warpaint


With their woozy, meandering atmospherics, Los Angeles quartet Warpaint are certainly dream pop acolytes. But the all-female band boasts less shimmer than sultry, slow-burn throb, suggesting Mazzy Star being held captive in the Black Angels' basement. Singer/ guitarist Emily Kokal's vocals are more world-weary than those of Hope Sandoval, stretched thin over a blanket of broken-glass guitar and tightly reigned percussive rumble. The shadowy, subdued sound is almost gothic in its haunted, reverberating exhaustion. After releasing the 36-minute, six-song Exquisite Corpse last year, they signed to Rough Trade, who will release their full-length debut this fall. The excellent Old Bricks open. $9-$11/ 9 p.m. —Chris Parker


click to enlarge Umphrey's McGee
  • Umphrey's McGee


From: Chicago
Since: 1997
Claim to fame: Prog-pervaded jams

Umphrey's McGee's improv-heavy jams stand out from those of festival circuit peers because they sometimes bypass wimpy noodling for powerful prog-rock riffage and chug. The sextet's single-set performance won't win over many fans who lack impressive attention spans, but Umphrey's taut musicianship and the harmonies that line the band's quirky lyrics offer small rewards to patient listeners. Easygoing California dub-rockers Rebelution open, while an 11 p.m. curfew and relatively low ticket price leaves jam fanatics plenty of opportunity to catch Toubab Krewe afterward, just a few blocks away. At RALEIGH AMPHITHEATER. $13–$20/ 7 p.m.


click to enlarge Toubab Krewe
  • Toubab Krewe


From: Asheville
Since: 2005
Claim to fame: African-affected jams

Toubab Krewe's improv-heavy jams stand out from those of festival circuit peers because these instrumentals come fused with African traditons. Indeed, the quintet has repeatedly traveled from the North Carolina mountains to the nation of Mali, where members collaborate with local virtuoso musicians and learn the techniques of traditional West African percussion and stringed instruments such as kora, soku and kamele n'goni. Toubab folds those tribal elements into more conventional jam band fare fueled by drum kit, electric guitar and bass, resulting in hypnotic, Afropop-tinged rock. Count on frenzied hand drum workouts that should carry well late into the night as an Umphrey's after-party. With jazzy Durham jammers Mike Babyak's Triple Fret, featuring members of Barefoot Manner and Mosadi Music. At THE POUR HOUSE. $12-15/ 10 p.m. —Spencer Griffith


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