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The guide to the week's concerts 

This week's guide contains:

YES, PLEASE: Lonnie Walker, Wylie Hunter & The Cazadores, Future Islands, Nine Fingered Thug, Rocket Cottage, Luego, Soft Company, Lilac Shadows, Music Hates You, The Moaners, Fantastico, Jeremy Blair, Sinful Savage Tigers, Slingshot Cash



click to enlarge Lonnie Walker - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE BAND

08.25 Lonnie Walker, Wylie Hunter & The Cazadores @ Tir Na Nog

Maybe you can go home again: When Chris Tamplin left his post as the chief booking agent at Raleigh's Tir na nOg late last year to lead Durham's Motorco, the timing felt right. Kings had returned to Raleigh, and with Casbah and Motorco fresh in the Bull City, the town seemed ready for a consistent spate of bands. But Motorco struggled, and Kings left room for a few more rock shows in Raleigh. So, less than a year after leaving, Tamplin has returned to his old post at Tir na nOg and, once again, to his routine of booking excellent free Thursday night bills. Though they've still yet to release their long-in-the-making second album, Lonnie Walker remains one of the state's best bands, with wiry frontman Brian Corum shouting epithets and ideas over an alternately shambling and sharp folk-rock roll. Chapel Hill's Wylie Hunter & the Cazadores open. Free/ 10 p.m. —Grayson Currin

08.25 Future Islands @ Wallace Plaza

In Evening Air, the first album for Thrill Jockey Records by North Carolina expats Future Islands, opened with a big, bassy wallop. Keyboards chimed beneath a square and direct electronic drum hit, and frontman Sam Herring bounded into the mix, aggravated but aggressive. Those nine songs certainly weren't happy, overrun as they were with references to cheating and feelings of adulthood's betrayal of innocence and occasional lack of purpose. But in large part, thanks to the danceable heft of it all, there was a certain escapist hopefulness to In Evening Air, a suggestion that all these shitty days would eventually give way to something easier and believably better. But the forthcoming On the Water opens with nautical field recordings and shuffling feet, the clipped beat rising slowly and sadly from a field of loneliness. Herring is no less aggressive, but there's a resignation to his voice, a concession to the perseverance of hard times. Throughout, he sings of dreams fading and memories punishing, encroaching winter and unspeakable worries. We didn't expect Future Islands to be exactly happy, but On the Water is as unabashedly beautiful as it is broken. The crazy dance kids slow down, and that's certainly not a complaint. They play for free at Wallace Plaza in Chapel Hill with Motor Skills at 7 p.m., followed by DJ sets by the band at Nightlight starting at 9 p.m.—Grayson Currin

08.25 Nine Fingered Thug, Rocket Cottage @ Kings

Tonight joins two relatively new Raleigh bands, each with its own 7-inch platter of seething scuzz. Nine Fingered Thug's Bitter Ballads single makes an unholy racket of its drums/ keys/ bass setup. Its aptly titled A-side, "Grinding Against Bone," finds Singer Samuel M.Z. Mintu growling like Gargamel gargling Clorox over dissonant organ drones and a staggering, bottom-heavy rhythm section. Rocket Cottage's four-song platter, Go For It!, is equally abrasive, but betrays its rock 'n' roll roots as it pigfucks its way through Raw Power garage grooves and enough "Low Rider" cowbell clomps to appease Christopher Walken. $3/ 9 p.m. —Bryan C. Reed

click to enlarge Luego - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE BAND

08.26 Luego, Soft Company, Lilac Shadows @ Local 506

This strong gathering of relatively young locals gathers around the sacred hook: Missy Thangs' Soft Company, for instance, are bounding and intricate, but her anxious and insistent melodies are unforgettable little moments of rapture. Luego, though, combines several strains of classic rock into a weird effervescence, where stories of travel and love and aging fall against sounds and structures that mix the Byrds and Beatles with indie rock interests. Meanwhile, Sam Logan has spent time in The Huguenots, a band that's occasionally worn its Merseybeat revivalism like a starched collar that's too tight. Supported by an outstanding and experienced cast in Lilac Shadows, though, he feels at once more relaxed and assertive, adding welcome murk to perfectly woozy melodies. $7/ 9:30 p.m.—Grayson Currin

08.27 Music Hates You, The Moaners @ Casbah

Proclaiming themselves the angriest band in Athens, Ga., might be overstating the case (especially after Harvey Milk's excellent and soul-crushing A Small Turn of Human Kindness), but the point stands. Music Hates You's blend of punk, metal and blues offers the aggressive release of metal or hardcore, but doesn't sacrifice inclusiveness for the sake of extremity. Pantera fans will find plenty to love. The Moaners aren't an obvious pairing, but the bands share common ancestry. On last year's Nocturnal, the local duo dug deeper into its blues roots and unearthed its best record yet. Greensboro band the Old One-Two opens. $5–$8/ 9 p.m. —Bryan C. Reed

08.27 Fantastico @ The Cave

Though Carrboro's Fantastico is now more than a year old, the local supergroup's sporadic performance schedule and nearly complete lack of online presence means it draws based on its pedigree alone. But boy, does the quintet—guitarist/vocalist Stu Cole, drummers Danny Mason and Norm Underwood, and singers Sonar Strange and Jody Kidney—have a mighty fine bloodline. With folks who have been members of, or collaborated with, artists such as Shit Horse, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Jimbo Mathus & His Knockdown Society, Dex Romweber, Dynamite Brothers, Twilighter, UV Prom and Billy Sugarfix, the bluesy rock project has plenty of promise. Free/ 10 p.m.—Spencer Griffith

08.30 Jeremy Blair, Sinful Savage Tigers, Slingshot Cash @ Motorco

The Sinful Savage Tigers are folkier, and Slingshot Cash is coarser, but these two Chapel Hill products bathe in the same rustic waters. Jonathan Ackley's voice is the sort of craggy, booze-soaked instrument that plenty of singers would kill to have, and it's in fine form on the latest Slingshot Cash album, From Aftermath to Exile. While the voice of Tigers singer Seth Martin isn't quite as expressive, his plainspoken charm fits right in with the group's stripped-down ways and means. If you don't believe me, download their 2009 album, Rain Is the Soup of the Dogs in Heaven, for free from the band's website and find out for yourself. Emotive Ontario singer-songwriter Jeremy Blair closes the all-ages show. Free/ 7 p.m. —David Raposa



After a decade on the road, SNMNMNM stopped touring in 2007. Frontman Seamus Kenney became a sort of multi-instrumentalist for hire in the area: here with Lost in the Trees, there with Chris Stamey's Big Star tribute orchestra. But these half-dozen peripheral roles, though in visible acts, still left him wanting. "I'm not really wired that way," he says. "I'm like the class clown: I gotta get up in front."

The eight-strong Trepak features brass and strings; once the songs are solidified, Kenney wants to add a choreographed dance element (he's already spoken with local troupes). Yet he insists he's no experimentalist. "I write pop songs," he says. "You can write that I said not to say we're a disco band, but it's really inspired in that way. I love those old disco songs with the really intense string lines."

Kenney is comfortable enough with the microphone to be playing his second show with the new band without written lyrics to the songs. "I'll sing. Words will come out," he says casually. Kenney says he latches onto some ideas, but the words are still primarily stream-of-consciousness. "That's how I did it for our first show, and luckily I got a cold so you couldn't even tell." Durham artist David B. Dollar closes the show. Free/ 10 p.m. —Corbie Hill


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