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The guide to the week's concerts 

This week's guide contains:

YES, PLEASE: Big K.R.I.T., Transportation, Minor Stars, Los Lonely Boys, Atari Teenage Riot, Apache Relay, River City Extension, Greg Humphreys Cd Release, Low Anthem, William Elliott Whitmore, Ray Lamontagne & The Pariah Dogs, Brandi Carlile, Zoe Muth & The Lost High Rollers, Nick 13, Brett Detar

VS: Steve Earle vs Jason Ringenberg


click to enlarge Big K.R.I.T.
  • Big K.R.I.T.


With North Carolina acts Phonte, 9th Wonder and J. Cole all dropping albums on Sept. 27, it may be a blessing that the release date for Live From the Underground—the sophomore album from Southern rap redeemer Big K.R.I.T.—was recently pushed back to the beginning of next year. Let those other guys slug it out; in the meantime, K.R.I.T. can campaign for some more 808-crazed followers. Initially, this bill included Curren$y, but his decision to jump off a stage to greet fans at last month's Rock the Bells Festival in LA left him with a broken ankle. $7–$15/ 8 p.m. —Eric Tullis


A club as small as The Cave seems like a strange home for such a big, bold rock show. When the band is at its best, Transportation's driving arena pop has all the momentum and titanic hooks of classic rock radio's most addictive sing-alongs. Every cut feels like a soaring "Sister Christian" or a buoyant "Dream Police." Where Transportation specializes in big-time pop, though, Minor Stars steer toward the sounds of early metal, draping a Sabbath stomp in the heavy-psych murk of Hawkwind. Both bands boast sounds that seem to beg for larger stages, larger venues and larger crowds to match their large-scale hooks. Free/ 10 p.m. —Bryan C. Reed

click to enlarge Los Lonely Boys
  • Los Lonely Boys


Freedom does a body good, and it's evident from Los Lonely Boys' fourth proper album, Rockpangos, their first since leaving Epic. It's the band's finest effort to date, showcasing previously unseen ambition and depth. While their ability to bridge Tejano, blues and rock was always evident, the slickness of the production sapped their energy and couldn't disguise uninspired lyrics. In contrast, their latest sounds uncaged and fancy-free, ranging from hot-footed rock with plenty of searing solos to tasteful applications of the Tosca String Quartet on surprisingly supple ballads. It's all delivered with crackling spirit that invites you in rather than making you question what they're selling. With The Kicks. $35–$39/ 8:30 p.m. —Chris Parker


Hiatus, lineup changes and the death of founding member Carl Crack aside, Atari Teenage Riot has been at it since 1992. On Is This Hyperreal?, the anti-establishment German hard-techno unit has added a "you've gotta be kidding me" angle on the Twitter revolution. Naked sloganeering such as "it's not such a good idea to leave traces and expose your whole network at once" skew painfully close to conspiracy-theory gibberish, but ATR is still more coherent in its arguments than fellow ideologues Rage Against the Machine. And with so much hapless twee rock floating around, it's kind of refreshing that ATR is still so pissed off. With Otto von Shirach and Mecanikill? $14–$16/ 8:30 p.m. —Corbie Hill


Nashville's Apache Relay might only be two albums into their career, but the group's ability to imbue their amalgam of folk and country music with a soaring earnestness belies their relative youth. On this year's American Nomad, they don't put on any airs or pretend to be something they're not; the group simply sings their songs the best way they know how. The same can be said for New Jersey octet River City Extension; their genre-bounding songs might feature mariachi trumpets breaking bread with bluegrass fiddle and rock guitar, but the result of these odd mixtures never fails to satisfy. $10–$12/ 9:30 p.m. —David Raposa


Few Triangle musicians are as ubiquitous and as widely respected as Greg Humphreys, who has increasingly put his role as leader of the longtime fixture Hobex on hold lately in favor of more acoustic pursuits under his own name. Humphreys sounds brimming with confidence on his new disc, People You May Know, a late-night-lounge-styled folk-jazz affair spotlighting his tasteful playing and the high sweetness of his voice. Humphreys just got back from a summer spent performing in Prague and other European destination cities, so this gig doubles as a CD release and welcome-home party. $8–$10/ 8 p.m. —Peter Blackstock

click to enlarge Low Anthem - RYAN MASTRO
  • Ryan Mastro
  • Low Anthem


On a Friday afternoon panel during Hopscotch, Drive-By Truckers frontman Patterson Hood praised the Low Anthem's "Boeing 737" as a hallmark example of musically addressing the 9/11 tragedy. The song is but one of many revelations the Rhode Island band has put forth in the past few years, giving them voice with an impressive array of instrumentation ranging from strings to woodwinds to percussion to keys to unidentifiable things that sound really cool. They're touring with indie songwriter William Elliott Whitmore, whose new disc, Field Songs, was released by the renowned Anti- label. $13–$15/ 8:45 p.m. —Peter Blackstock

click to enlarge Ray LaMontAgne & Pariah Dogs
  • Ray LaMontAgne & Pariah Dogs


This Americana night unites two artists who re-ignite traditional styles through their stellar voices. Bleeding-heart folkie Ray LaMontagne ventured into gruff blues and lonely country for last year's God Willin' & the Creek Don't Rise, his husky voice approaching roughshod transcendence during the album's better moments. Brandi Carlile tackles Lilith Fair-style singer-songwriter numbers with old-school Nashville grace and great passion. Her tight, warm warble becomes charmingly ragged as her volume increases, lending her instrument an emotional re sonance that sets her apart from many of her peers. $39.50–$49.50/ 6 p.m. —Jordan Lawrence


Dolly, Patsy, Tammy, Loretta and ... Zoe? After cutting a pair of records chock-full of authentic, twangy originals that seem to be lifted straight from the rotation of a classic country radio station, Zoe Muth seems awfully close to those legendary ladies. Interesting, then, that Muth was reared on rock 'n' roll in early-'80s Seattle; fortunate, too, that she delved into Alan Lomax and Harry Smith recordings in high school and never looked back. Her singing is often compared to that of Emmylou Harris, and it's not inconceivable to think the still-young Muth might one day occupy the same lofty territory. $10/ 8 p.m.—Spencer Griffith

09.21 NICK 13, BRETT DETAR @ LOCAL 506

I spent a lot of my 20th year listening to Tiger Army. Songwriter Nick 13's lonesome outlaw country ballads gave me goose bumps on early listens, while the scorching West Coast rockabilly element was fun but a tad shallow. Nine years later, I feel we've both matured a bit. On his eponymous solo offering, Nick 13 has wholly embraced his country side. "Cupid's Victim," originally a high-octane popabilly love song, gets a deservedly gorgeous honky-tonk shuffle rewrite. Juliana Theory's Brett Detar opens the show, following an unexpected phenomenon of early-'00s emo-pop frontmen setting out as singer-songwriters. Be pleasantly surprised: It works quite well. $12/ —Corbie Hill



From: Nashville via Texas
Since: 1975
Claim to fame: Grammy-winning alt-country troubadour

Author, actor, playwright and producer Steve Earle has made himself into somewhat of a renaissance man, though it's still his masterful songcraft that sets him apart. A disciple of Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt—enough to name his son Justin Townes after the latter—Earle started out in the realm of outlaw-tinged country, but in recent years he has experimented across the Americana gamut from folk to bluegrass. His five-piece outfit, the Dukes and Duchesses, is a family affair, featuring his wife, Allison Moorer, plus the husband-wife duo of guitarist Chris Masterson and fiddler Eleanor Whitmore. At DURHAM PERFORMING ARTS CENTER. $33.50–$65.25/ 8 p.m.



From: Nashville via Illinois
Since: 1981
Claim to fame: Cowpunk-pioneering lead Scorcher

Notwithstanding his admirable foray into children's music as his alter ego Farmer Jason, Jason Ringenberg has mostly focused on the country/punk fusion that set him apart. As frontman of seminal cowpunk act Jason & the Scorchers, Ringenberg's punkabilly energy and sardonic attitude influenced legions of followers, and though his solo efforts have expanded his range, he's no less engaging even when easing off the pedal a bit. Without the backing services of his live-wire Scorchers, Ringenberg's intimate, unamplified performance as part of the Casbah's house concert series stands in sharp contrast with Earle's show at the cavernous DPAC. At CASBAH. $8–$10/ 8 p.m. —Spencer Griffith


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