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The guide to the week's concerts 

This week's guide contains:

YES, PLEASE: The Final Days, U-Tern, Bottle Rockets, Rayland Baxter, Guillermo Klein Y Los Gauchos, Yardwork, Beloved Binge, Nightlight Block Party, Holly Golightly, New Town Drunks, Reese McHenry, American Aquarium, Martha Ann Motel, Young Dro, Killer Mike, Pac Div, Abigail Washburn, The Wood Brothers

VS.: Ponderosa vs.Smith Westerns



After just more than five years, the home of the cheapest liquor and beer in Chapel Hill is closing. But the Reservoir, which shuts its doors at the end of the month, will be remembered for much more than $1.50 PBR tallboys and the best jukebox in Orange County. A rowdy, but always eminently friendly bar, it's been a place for the left-of-center to let loose, a home for raucous rock bands who only aim for sweat and cheers. The final two acts to headline the space are regulars who in every way live up to the setting. Colossus is the most fun metal band in the Triangle, a light-speed hustle of piercingly hollered space myths and guitar lines that whip and tangle like X-wings in an interstellar dogfight. Blag'ard turns slacker rock into a fistfight. Tight, twisting guitar trades blows with piston-precise drums as detachment is focused into fury. Both shows: $4/ 10 p.m. —Jordan Lawrence


Truth be told, sometimes it really sucks that we're forced to wait until the festival SIGNAL rolls around before we allow ourselves to put on our happy feet and head out to the clubs in saucy anticipation of whichever DJ leads our night into Dance Neverland. SIGNAL's organizers are clearly aware of the void. This year, they've decided to give us a teaser in the form of Vancouver's rising DJ/ producer U-Tern. No, this isn't that chart-topping, faux-electro garbage that you've heard. U-Tern's selections and tastes elicit real, new-era disco hop—something fun and brilliant to make you sweat out all that salty Chinese food. —Eric Tullis


Call them Uncle Tupelo's kid brother. The Bottle Rockets are spiritual forefathers of the post-millennial indie roots revival and direct predecessors of the Luceros, Slobberbones and Drive-By Truckers of the world. Started by former Tupelo sideman and guitar tech Brian Henneman in 1992, the Rockets write smart and tuneful countrified/ Southern guitar rock as well as anyone who's followed. If there were any justice they would've broken out as large as Black Crowes, because Henneman's blue collar attitude and wily smart-ass wit are a lot more interesting than anything ever said to angels. Their last two—2006's Zoysia and 2009's Lean Forward—are among their best. $10–$15/ 8 p.m. —Chris Parker

click to enlarge Guillermo Klein - COURTESY OF THE ARTIST


The perfect penultimate show for Duke Performance's landmark season in Durham, Guillermo Klein Y Los Gauchos are a New York-based band led by an Argentinian composer who lives in Barcelona. His 11-piece, much like the rest of the Duke Performances docket, suggests that boundaries exist only to be broken, as they use their peerless playing to meld jazz and classical music with various folk and dance forms of South America. At times delicate, at times daring, at times both in an instant, Klein's music is ready for your challenge. $5–$34/ 8 p.m. —Grayson Currin


It's no secret that hippies and hardcore kids sort of always wanted the same thing—individuality, purpose, sovereignty, the ability to smell exactly how they pleased. But the rift between those countercultural pockets has often been deep and full of rhetorical barbs. Make way for Yardwork: The byproduct of Charlotte musicians who have done time in bands that range from hardcore and noise rock to free jazz, Yardwork lifts shout-out-loud harmonies high over guitar lines that swivel with the best jam band's maneuverability, all backed by a double-drum cavalcade. It's ecstatic, exclamatory music from one of the brightest young bands in the country, no doubt. Beloved Binge returns from a too-long break, with Cantwell, Gomez & Jordan, the insurmountable wrecking ball at the front of this great bill. 10 p.m. —Grayson Currin


These two stacked bills are intended to raise money for Nightlight's annual liquor license renewal. As such, expect some special treats: On Friday night, longtime post-punk bandleader Ben Davis plays a solo set, with vintage AM glow enthusiasts The Tomahawks headlining. Chicago's Reds and Blue fit the bill's middle. The 9:30 p.m. show costs $6. On Saturday, Thrill Jockey's Thank You provides its razor-sharp, playful maneuvers, with a WTF-acoustic set from North Carolina metal monsters US Christmas. Crowmeat Bob brings his new project, Conspicuous Convulsion, while DJ Nasty Boots spins all night. The 9:30 p.m. show costs $7. —Grayson Currin


Holly Golightly's pedigree goes back to her 1990s stint in U.K. garage-punkabilly icon Billy Childish's band Thee Headcoatees. Golightly has one of rock's great female voices, with a slinky, disheveled grace equally adept at wounded flutter and sassy spunk. A little more than five years ago, she partnered up with Lawyer Dave, who became Golightly's one-man backing band, playing drums, singing backup and offering other instrumental accompaniment such as slide guitar. Dubbed Holly Golightly & the Broke-offs, they've bought a farm outside Athens, Ga., and released several albums that dive into backwoods country and blues, played with the same atavistic vigor Golightly brought to garage. $10/ 9:30 p.m.—Chris Parker


There's no use looking in Hampstead, N.C., if you'd like to see the Martha Ann Motel. The Raleigh band sporting the shuttered establishment's name has been playing together since early 2008, throwing a country tilt onto pop-rock melodies. Their big brothers in Americana, American Aquarium, take that blended Southern style to the next level, in both sound and scope. BJ Barham and his crew have pushed for five years over five albums, parlaying a road warrior work ethic into a masterful roots rock sound. It's a combination that's garnered them increased media attention and, just prior to this show, a featured spot at the Netherlands Blues Highway Festival. $10/ 10 p.m. —Ashley Melzer


Leave it to Atlanta rapper Young Dro, on his latest single, "Polo Down," to try and start another phase of hip-hop's obsession with Ralph Lauren's signature clothing line. Sorry, but the trademark on that belongs to the early '90s Lo-Life crew who made Polo and hip-hop synonymous. But I digress: So far, the radio hasn't really picked up on Young Dro's anthem, and his campaign for the single isn't quite as successful as his 2006 hit, "Shoulder Lean." All of you Young Dro enthusiasts shouldn't be too disappointed though. After Killer Mike bushwacks some sense into you and Pac Div relays some of the sass from their new Mania mixtape, you won't care about what the label on your button-up says. With Dee-1. $14–$16/ 8:30 p.m. —Eric Tullis


Abigail Washburn, better known to most as the banjo-pickin' (and Mandarin Chinese-singin') gal, returns with her exceptional indie-folk-pop, most recently heard on the lauded solo album The City of Refuge. Three words and a couple of hyphens hardly get at the great depth of meaning in the music, her own orchestral take on the folk songbook. Originals bump up against reimagined standards for an experience of wit and heart. The Wood Brothers, for their part, are the latest in a long line of Americana brother duos. Originally from Colorado, the pair split for Atlanta and Manhattan to seek their musical fortune. Their reunion as a guitar-and-bass duo bridges their adopted cultural gap, blending folk, blues and rock with surprising ease. $16–$20/ 7:30 p.m. —Ashley Melzer


click to enlarge Ponderosa - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE BAND


From: Atlanta
Since: 2009
Claim to fame: Southern roots boogie

There's an undeniable charm to Ponderosa's full-length debut, Moonlight Revival. Singer Kalem Nash's greasy swagger imbues a soulful roadhouse shimmy into their somewhat distinctionless '70s Southern rock. The obvious touchstone is Black Crowes, though in a jammy, slower-paced, more ballad-heavy pop vibe that's very '80s Bob Seger. It's not bad, and they bring a lot of energy, but it's pretty predictable, from the trilling Hammond vamp to bluesy Bad Company hard rocker ("Devil On My Shoulder") with the stylized rock yelp. There are some nice harmonies ("Broken Heart") and enough skill to suggest the possibility of more, but the songcraft needs to get stronger. With Garland Mason. At LINCOLN THEATRE. $10–$12/ 9 p.m.


click to enlarge Smith Westerns - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE BAND


From: Chicago, Ill.
Since: 2007
Claim to fame: Precocious glam-pop phenoms

One of the most interesting acts to emerge in the last few years, the Smith Westerns began as a friendship between Max Kakacek and Cullen Omori at a Chicago college prep school. They then recruited Cullen's brother Cameron to play bass. Their self-titled debut charges ahead on spunky garage pop with T. Rex between their teeth and (N.Y.) Dolls in their hearts. Max and Cullen's high-pitched vocals harmonize sweetly in a wash of fuzz-lined hooks, but their playful debut was only a hint of how good their January follow-up, Dye It Blonde, would be, adding a proggy pop shimmy and polishing up the production to a lush, scintillating gleam. Ponderosa won't know hit them. At KINGS BARCADE. With Unknown Mortal Orchestra. $10–$12/ 9 p.m. —Chris Parker

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