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The guide to the week's concerts 

This week's guide contains:

YES, PLEASE: Freedom Hawk, Spirit Family Reunion, Twilighter, Museum Mouth, Porcelain Raft, The Miniature Donkeys, Steve Martin & Steep Canyon Rangers, Sectarian Violence

VS: City and Colour vs. David Dondero

VS: King Mez vs. Nappy Roots

RETURNING... Scumfest



All the dirty motorcycles, big beards and waves of purple smoke conjured up by the name Freedom Hawk are right there in this Virginia Beach hard rock outfit's sound. Fuzzy power-sludge riffs, distinctly '70s-vibed guitar solos, and propulsive drumming back up heavy-lidded vocals; think Kyuss without John Garcia's ridiculous yawp. It's similar enough to Wilmington's ASG and Weedeater and like-minded developments in Savannah to again raise questions about Southern coastal cities and their remarkable heaviness. Must be something in the water. Gringo's cut-and-dry desert-stoner rock opens the show. Free/10 p.m. —Corbie Hill


A pair of energetic folk outfits—Spirit Family Reunion and Hurray for the Riff Raff—headlining a hoedown at a rural river village and farmers market? Yes, this date at Saxapahaw's summer music series is as ideal as it sounds. The Brooklyn-based Reunion serve ragged acoustic rave-ups that hinge on sparkling hooks. Rowdy gang vocals spring from gritty verses, while banjos and guitars clamor. Hurray hail from New Orleans, and their sound suggests a laid-back Southern setting. Keying on the warming warble of Alynda Lee Segarra, they weave fiddles and keys into loose and lively support. Free/5 p.m. The pair also shares a $7 bill at 9 p.m. at Durham's The Pinhook on Sunday night. —Jordan Lawrence


Did Feel Good, the new LP by Chapel Hill's Twilighter, is both a strange testament to the oddball evolution of the band during the last decade and to the polyglot acceptance of indie rock right now. Years ago, Twilighter was a half-twinkling, half-rusty skewed folk band, renovating solid songs with ramshackle parts. Now, they're something like a rock band, caught somewhere between Pixies-like energy and Pavement's insouciance, Talking Heads' thrum and Television's sidewinding churn. There are touches of country (or, at the least, alt-country), power-pop and maybe even a little No Wave weirdness. This is the release party for the earworm-inclined album. The Revolutionary Sweethearts open. 10 p.m. —Grayson Currin


Coastal city Southport, N.C., seems an unlikely home for a noisy and prolific pop-punk band. Yet it's in this tourist destination that Museum Mouth drummer and vocalist Karl Kuehn writes his infectious odes to frustrated boredom and small-town stagnation. This year's Sexy But Not Happy drew praise from and regular love from Alternative Press—respectable buzz, especially for a band from a town with no venues. Memorable choruses and punk-rock tempos match Kuehn's remarkable lyrical imagery. On Sexy's title track, he sings "There's no company here, only hollow men/ but that's not why we came/ fevered palms and sickly waves." Museum Mouth opens for Ascetic Parade and Departures. $5/8 p.m. —Corbie Hill

click to enlarge Porcelain Raft - COURTESY OF THE ARTIST


Even if you're well-versed in the ever-blossoming world of lo-fi dream-pop, the music made by Mauro Remiddi as Porcelain Raft will make an impression. It helps that Remiddi's coming to Porcelain Raft with a wealth of experience under his belt; the Italian-born singer/songwriter has been making music, by himself and with others, since 1997. It also helps that, as his debut full-length Strange Weekend ably demonstrates, Remiddi is as comfortable making musical mischief as he is crafting the sorts of melodies that are hard to ignore or forget. $8–$9/9 p.m. —David Raposa


Chapel Hill singer/songwriter Patrick Dyer Wolf has been involved in a number of fine folk-leaning projects in the Triangle—The Tender Fruit; Goodnight, Texas; Semi-Formal; Attic Orchestra. Lately, The Miniature Donkeys finds him teaming with fellow local songsmith Rachel Kiel, along with drummer Paul Drake and former Semi-Formal bandmate Jeremy Smith on bass. With Wolf and Kiel's catalogs in tow, expect the new outfit to bring a plethora of well-crafted roots tunes that slant between rock and indie pop. Nashville trio Paper Lantern is a kindred spirit, offering a more precious brand of folk supplemented by sweetly cooed co-ed harmonies. 9 p.m. —Spencer Griffith


Formed at UNC-Chapel Hill, modern bluegrass favorites Steep Canyon Rangers return to the Triangle together with their most famous collaborator, Steve Martin. Though much of his acclaim has come as a comedian and actor, Martin's proved with increasing frequency that he's no slouch on banjo or behind the microphone, either, even winning a Grammy for best bluegrass album in 2010. With the Rangers—skilled singers and instrumentalists not confined by tradition—Martin brings a touch of his brand of humor to the baker's dozen of fine tunes that comprise their joint 2011 release Rare Bird Alert. Sold Out/7 p.m. —Spencer Griffith


Anyone familiar with the Washington, D.C, hardcore band Coke Bust will quickly recognize the dry bark leading the new multinational outfit Sectarian Violence. Here, helming a quintet that includes three members of the UK's Never Again and one from Swedish band Stay Hungry, Coke Bust vocalist Nicktape turns his accusatory bellow on complacent, disengaged straw men. Sectarian Violence's self-titled debut EP takes less than seven minutes to blast through six seeing-red rants. Nicktape yells with the conviction of a doomsday prophet over a combustible mix of sharp guitar fills and surging rhythms. Raleigh's Pure Scum opens. $7–$9/9:30 p.m. —Bryan C. Reed



FROM: St. Catharine's, Ontario
SINCE: Early '00s
CLAIM TO FAME: Strummy alter-ego of post-core act Alexisonfire

City and Colour's Dallas Green stands on the opposite side of the ring from David Dondero. His is a romanticized, Juno Award-winning singer/songwriter style, full of gauzy balladry and a textured sway that matches his honeyed tenor. Heartfelt longing and confusion drive his songs, while his willowy manner recalls '70s soft rock artists like Dan Fogelberg and fellow Canuck Gordon Lightfoot, though the guitars are more prominent, tense and charged on last year's Little Hell. It breaks with his prior acoustic-based full-lengths, which showcase more mannered songcraft while retaining the moody shimmer. With David Bazan and Dan Romano. At LINCOLN THEATRE. Sold Out/9 p.m.



FROM: Duluth, Minn.
SINCE: 1998
CLAIM TO FAME: Keening vocal style that inspired Conor Oberst

Dondero's flintier and unvarnished by comparison. His rootsy picking is unpretentious, with subtle skill disguised by straightforward manner. He works a scope larger than love and melancholia, offering odes to Tina Turner-worthy Big Easy exploits and the civil engineers that built our nation's byways. Dondero attended Clemson, released four records with his band Sunbrain, then nine more as a solo artist. He's one of his generation's finest songwriters, with a rich catalog of hopeful ne'er-do-wells and idiosyncratic characters. With Mechanical River. At MOTORCO. $8–$10/9 pm. —Chris Parker



FROM: Raleigh
SINCE: 2010
CLAIM TO FAME: Grounded raps sprouting with New South flair

It doesn't matter that King Mez's treasury of co-signers is littered with top-grade, North Carolina rap royalty, because if his upcoming debut LP, My Everlasting Zeal, doesn't fortify his place among them, he might be forced to abdicate his local throne. We'll get the verdict shortly following this album release show. So far, the album's singles ("Reign," "The Allure" and "Monte Carlo") have confirmed the hype machine's ruckus: Mez might hold the key to N.C.'s next classic hip-hop album. If this is true, Mez's buzz might afford him the opportunity to further his career on a nationwide stage. For now, the microscope is here at home, where Mez says he might not be performing again for a while. With Thee Tom Hardy, Lute, J. Capri and Drique London. At KINGS. $10–$12/ 10 p.m.



FROM: Bowling Green, Ky.
SINCE: 1999
CLAIM TO FAME: Southern-rap rooted in playground politics

It matters plenty that the legendary Atlanta production team Organized Noize produced the recent Nappy Roots LP, Nappy Dot Org, but it's unlikely that any of the few hundred drunk kids who saw them perform two months ago in Chapel Hill gave a damn. To them, the guys in Nappy Roots are just really kick-ass party rappers. They're right, but underneath all of the powwowing stand five guys who've spent the last decade intent on humanizing and refashioning Southern rap so that we're now used to hearing intelligent rhymes integrate with country-boy beats. But you'll probably be too excited to absorb any sort of enlightenment anyway. With Phive and Kaze. At LINCOLN THEATRE. $12–$15/9 p.m. —Eric Tullis



This year, Scumfest scooted a few months forward on the calendar from its usual September scheduling. It also dropped the cover charge. Still, the bill gathers at least 11 bands to play, including but not limited to KIFF, The Plow, Wasted Agenda, Crucified Wolf, Blister, Motrendus and Second Law. KIFF, the festival's perennial anchor, color their hard-rock with shades of Motörhead, Kiss and Guns N' Roses, serving horror-kitsch lyrics with tenacity. Elsewhere, the bill veers among loud-rock subsets, with punk, metal and modern-rock all getting their allotted time. Among the more interesting acts, Crucified Wolf shapes harsh noise and drone into black metal muck, while Hunter's Ground adheres to black metal orthodoxy for a frostbitten detour in the bill. The broader spectrum of bands offers some relief to the intimidating day-long duration, but it's still a full slate of hit-or-miss loud rock bands called Scumfest; mass appeal isn't top priority. For what it's worth, the event also boasts a free-for-all vendors' area. Free/Noon —Bryan C. Reed


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