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The guide to the week's concerts 

This week's guide contains:

YES, PLEASE: D-Town Brass, The Proclivities, Stephaniesid, The Body, The Drums, Surfer Blood, The Young Friends, Those Darlins, Strange Boys, Frontier Ruckus, Mandolin Orange, Elf Power, Let's Wrestle, Shelby Lynne, Charlie Mars, more

VS.: Sons of Bill vs. The Gravy Boys



YES, PLEASE...

09.10 D-TOWN BRASS @ NIGHTLIGHT

D-Town Brass gleefully pairs the versatility of wind instruments with an improviser's curiosity for sound. But using more than just the instrumentation the name implies, the Durham combo keeps its swing grounded with a steady rhythmic foundation that allows it to approach exotica, Broadway and noirish space without succumbing to brass-band cliché. With marimba, vibraphone and saxophone joining the trumpets and trombones, D-Town is indeed brassy, but it's plenty nuanced, too. Brooklyn's Jazzhandzz deliver tangled, guitar-led free improvisation related as closely to noise rock as it is to Ornette Coleman. The Hem of His Garment opens with enveloping sonic drones so dense they tend to get physical. $5/ 10 p.m. —Bryan Reed

09.11 THE PROCLIVITIES, STEPHANIESID @ BROAD STREET CAFE

Easy, breezy and reassuringly soothing, Raleigh's The Proclivities please with a warm blend of stripped-back slacker indie and white-boy soul. As Chris Boerner weaves guitar parts that are rich and invigorating but just shy of too much, Matt Douglas croons out wry lines that carry downtrodden charm, like mussed-up hair met with a bashful half-smile. Nervy and insistent, Ashville pop act Stephaniesid should provide neurotic tension for The Proclivities to defuse. 10 p.m. —Jordan Lawrence

click to enlarge The Body - PHOTO COURTESY OF BAND

09.12 THE BODY @ SLIM'S

Providence, R.I., duo The Body had to cancel its Raleigh date last week due to family sickness, but the pair of burly Little Rock transplants—vocalist and guitarist Chip King and drummer Lee Buford—rebooked the back end of their national tour so as to begin in North Carolina. If rebooking half of a tour sounds like a move swiped from the punk scene, you called it: Though The Body generally gets tagged as a doom metal band, their dynamic, damaged blasts come littered with the carcasses of hardcore and noise records. Their proper debut, All the Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood, is one of the most adventurous metal records in recent memory—a somehow affirming blast of apocalypse mayhem. New York's Bad Dream opens, along with a special improvisation between Old Bricks and Megafaun. This is a Hopscotch Music Festival after-party. $5/ 10 p.m. —Grayson Currin

09.13 THE DRUMS, SURFER BLOOD, THE YOUNG FRIENDS @ LOCAL 506

Hey, it's an indie rock band from Brooklyn taking their cues from '80s new wave and British post-punk. Whoa! But unlike some of their peers, The Drums mirror the feints and poses of these movements' more dramatic practitioners. On a blog-big tune like "I Felt Stupid," as well as on the bulk of their full-length debut, the unavoidable hooks are baited with a wounded romanticism that helps keep the sugar from causing any cavities. Sweetening this bill are two other buzzing bands that have a way with big tunes—Florida's larger-than-life Surfer Blood and Arizona's skittish popsters The Young Friends. $13–$15/ 9 p.m. —David Raposa

09.14 THOSE DARLINS, STRANGE BOYS @ LOCAL 506

This bill wobbles at the top with headliners Those Darlins, whose amphetamine-spiked, attitude-led mix of rock, bluegrass and country most often feels cloying and self-impressed. But the undercard is a mix of strangely winding garage rock and self-assured, ruffled-collar pop cool: Strange Boys leader Ryan Symbol sets scenes of crooked-smile intrigue and lip-gnawing despair on the band's latest, his voice a broken blues moan reinforced by the tumbling band behind him. Atlanta's Gentleman Jesse and His Men bounce and sprint, sending up jittery pop anthems with shouted choruses and nervy strut. $8–$10/ 9 p.m. —Grayson Currin

09.14 FRONTIER RUCKUS, MANDOLIN ORANGE @ BERKELEY CAFE

If there were ever a music-industry parody based around the struggles of an alt-country band, the name Frontier Ruckus—a firm typecast—would be a good fit. But this Michigan quintet is anything but conventional, shifting their banjos, guitars and the like with rhythmic playfulness that suggests jazz and writing like a descendent of Okkervil River and Destroyer. Like Fleet Foxes, or even locals Megafaun, Frontier Ruckus' smartly built tunes seem like a magnet stuck in the middle of indie rock and y'all-ternative. Mandolin Orange is the charismatic duo of Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz, harmonizing on tunes both tender and tough; tonight, they add Drughorse rhythm lords James Wallace and Jeff Crawford. $10/ 8 p.m. —Grayson Currin

09.15 ELF POWER, LET'S WRESTLE @ NIGHTLIGHT

English rock trio Let's Wrestle is witty, catchy and rocking—a rare triumvirate of virtue. The jangly guitar and singer Wesley Gonzalez's plaintive croon recall The Wedding Present, while the music's ambling crunch calls to mind Neil Young circa "Heart of Gold." The humorously downcast, self-deprecating lyrics suggest Lou Barlow. Headliners Elf Power have proven to be Elephant 6's most durable export. Their well-crafted arrangements spin off in oft-unpredictable, always tuneful directions, capable of supple beauty and splendid psych-pop plumage. Across their dozen-plus albums, they've veered through rootsy, fuzzy, dreamy and experimental incarnations without relinquishing their playful sensibility or musical warmth. $10/ 9 p.m. —Chris Parker

click to enlarge Shelby Lynne - PHOTO COURTESY OF BAND

09.15 SHELBY LYNNE, CHARLIE MARS @ THE ARTSCENTER

It's 2:18 a.m. You've been at a bar, leaving one drink short of needing a cab. Now you're at a pay phone, oblivious to the rain, apologizing to the person you argued with and ran away from earlier in the night. In the background, music plays, not quite country and not quite soul. It's spare, lean, but with the promise of strings or horns wandering in. "You're the best thing in my life," you say. You might even mean it. That's a Shelby Lynne song. Opening is Charlie Mars, a singer/ songwriter who traffics in some Southern-steamed drama of his own. $23–$27/ 8:30 p.m. —Rick Cornell


FRIDAY, SEPT. 10

SONS OF BILL

From: Charlottesville, Va.
Since: 2006
Claim: Honoring the source

This is where three brothers—Sam, James and Abe Wilson—and two friends (bassist Seth Green and drummer Todd Wellons) convene for a rocked-up take on roots music. When it came time for a name, the Wilson Brothers decided to pay tribute to their father, a songwriter and a professor. Makes sense, then, that the quintet's sound suggests a lot of time spent studying the song work of alt-country faculty such as Uncle Tupelo, Whiskeytown and the Old 97s. But the guys go at it with such sweat and abandon, it seems but a matter of time before the students become the teachers. With The Apache Relay. At LOCAL 506. $10/ 9:30 p.m.

VS.

THE GRAVY BOYS

From: Durham
Since: 2001
Claim to fame: Honoring the sauce

This is where three brothers—William, Joseph and Thomas Spagnardia—and a pair of Stephens (Celestini and Storms) convene for an acoustic take on roots music. When it came time for a name, the guys decided to pay tribute to, well, gravy—albeit not the meat/ juice concoction of which most of us think. It's a nod to those in the Italian community who refer to tomato sauce as gravy. Makes sense, then, that the quintet's sound comes from pouring vintage influences, a triple-acoustic guitar attack, suspenders, a couple Son Volt records, mandolin and stand-up bass into the pot just to let it all bubble up. On the AMERICAN TOBACCO LAWN. Free/ 6 p.m. —Rick Cornell

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