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The guide to the week's concerts 

This week's guide contains:

YES, PLEASE: Americans In France, Spider Bags, Michael Rank & Marc E. Smith, Stella Lively, Triangle Rhysing, Eric Roberson, Discovery Presents Chocolate Rice, The Connells, Drivin’ N’ Cryin’, Boykiller, Lam! Lam!, Big Freedia And The Divas, Anita Baker, Johnny Winter, New Rope String Band, Lucero, Robert Ellis, Orgone

VS: Adam Hurt vs. Boys From Carolina



Few can match the acidic immediacy of Americans in France, a Chapel Hill trio whose post-punk tantrums spit and grin through prickly tangles of guitars, vocal lunges and crisp, tight rhythms. They suggest, in turns, early Sonic Youth and The Fall. Ceding this fitfulness to the night's headliners, Spider Bags deliver a different sort of lasting first-impression. At their best, Spider Bags threaten catastrophe, steering taut garage rock toward frenzied combustion. This gives the band a powerful hold on its audience as it metes out tense, tight sets or loose, playful rambles—each as captivating as the other. With The Toddlers. $5/10 p.m. —Bryan C. Reed


Michael Rank likes the barrel's bottom. He sucks up the dregs and spits them back out via a nightcrawling Stonesy strut. From Southern-fried crackle to rustic drone, Rank's surveyed a lifetime of low-lit gutter rock, but his new outfit with Patty Hurst Shifter guitarist Marc E. Smith has passed through the amniotic sac that separates Saturday night from Sunday morning. They emerge less blustery and hydrated, their beefy jerky tempered and reflective, fueled by the laconic drawl of pedal steel. The lines in the corner of Rank's eyes are record grooves, and his collar is tear-stained. But the flinty stare claims "It's all the same to me." Free/7:30 p.m. —Chris Parker


If you didn't catch the titular pun, Triangle Rhysing is a loose, local collective devoted to pieces for massed guitar—you know, the kind of work done by namesake Rhys Chatham and the more prominent Glenn Branca. Almost three-dozen players will gather for this second convocation, which will bring together members of Lud, Horseback, Beloved Binge, Airstrip and more for a celebration of tone and sustain. Of note, this will be the last local appearance by experimental workforce Shaun Sandor in some time, as he is heading west to Texas. Janel and Anthony open. $5/8:30 p.m. —Grayson Currin


Until Eric Roberson stepped on stage and proved it was possible for a soul singer to "freestyle," improvisation had mainly been restricted to jazz players and rappers. One such rapper is Phonte Coleman, whose R&B crew The Foreign Exchange's song "Daykeeper" was nominated in the 2010 Grammys' Best Urban/Alternative Performance category, alongside Roberson's "A Tale of Two." Last year, following the release of his eighth album, Mister Nice Guy, Roberson also proved that the possibilities for an independent soul music artist to stay afloat were very real. He writes handsomely committed ballads that balance vulnerability with love, lust with integrity. They're mild enough to play in front of your children but steamy enough to keep on after they've been put to bed. You also might want to keep in mind that this night with Roberson is inside the Fish House, not the low-budget fish shack. That is, if his voice leaves you and your partner in a rhapsody, keep it romantic and save the raunchy stuff for later. $25/10 p.m. —Eric Tullis


Discovery has brought out-of-town DJs to Kings for over a year now, but for this month's edition of "Raleigh's Finest Dance Party," homeboy Chocolate Rice heads the bill. Although Ray Coleman was born in Japan, the young DJ is honing his skills in the Triangle. Known for his unpredictable mixing, Coleman's a resident DJ at Dirty Mega Raleigh and also on rotation at WKNC. On "Seapunk," he begins with a sample of tropical birds before launching into a varied blend of rave, vogue and hip-hop. It's a surprising journey that Coleman creates, navigating with an acute awareness of sound. $5–$7/10 p.m. —Ashleigh Phillips


Step back a quarter-century and this would've been the hottest ticket in the Triangle. These two acts exemplify the high-water mark of the '80s Southern pop renaissance that the dB's helped kick off—ringing guitars, bright harmonies, big rock hooks and sweet sun-dappled innocence. They've shed the sheen of youth but the rest's intact. The Connells released a couple albums around the millennium, while Drivin' n' Cryin' just followed up 2009's fine full-length return The Great American Bubble Factory with the first of four planned EPs, Songs for the Laundromat. It highlights the band's crunchier, Stones-inflected rock side. $17–$20/8:15 p.m. —Chris Parker


This homegrown double feature offers two weirdly catchy, female-fronted pop acts. Chapel Hill's Boykiller flings forth with off-kilter rhythms, crafting lo-fi pop that sports unorthodox instrumentation and hooks that catch via weird angles. LAM! LAM! is the solo vehicle of Pink Flag's Betsy Shane; it's softer but weirder. Singing over coldly processed beats, she covers her warble in effects and breaks out dance moves that find the razor's edge between uncomfortable and memorable. Bring an open mind and a willingness to party. Free/9:30 p.m. —Jordan Lawrence


Some folks try to pigeonhole what Big Freedia does as "sissy bounce," just as some might try to pin her gender down. But for the rightfully proclaimed "Queen Diva," bounce is bounce. If you've ever seen any of her videos, or caught her appearance on HBO's Treme, then you know how this particular musical product from New Orleans got its name. When she starts hollering, and the beat starts pulsing, booties start shaking and moving all around. Given how infectious Big Freedia's music is on record, her over-the-top, sweat-filled show promises to kick off a widespread pandemic. $12/10 p.m. —David Raposa


I must admit that I've come a long way from the sleepless nights of my childhood, tossing and turning in my basement bedroom while Anita Baker's albums Rapture and Giving You the Best That I Got bled down from the floor speakers in the living room above, where my mother's depressive cocktail of tears, gin, drugs and loud slow jams terrorized our home. Eventually, her drama would destroy our family. It's hard not to associate Baker's distinct, velour vocals with that time period, although my adult relationship with her music offers a healthier recognition of how this timeless Detroit diva draped classic R&B with creamy jazz tones. She's given us a near-perfect recording career. $63.50–$137/7 p.m. —Eric Tullis


The industry saw Johnny as a cracker answer to Jimi, but Winter wasn't able to translate that early hype into anything more than moderate commercial success through the '70s until Stevie Ray stole his thunder. Winter's limber workouts lack Hendrix's psychedelic swagger, but they still shred. The Beaumont, Texas, guitar slinger instead mines his country-blues boogie roots, showcasing some wicked 16th-note runs stirred into a rock mien. His latest, Roots, fits the typical guests-help-aging-rocker-revisit-his-roots album (Derek Trucks, Sonny Landreth, Susan Tedeschi, John Medeski) but is nonetheless very strong, classic Winter. $34–$39/8 p.m. —Chris Parker


As much a comedy act as a musical one, the UK-based New Rope String Band features a trio of consummate entertainers who've been playing together to worldwide audiences for a quarter-century. They continue to reinvent themselves. Between lighthearted bouts of silly skits and humorous songs, the veteran showmen may leap from singing a poignant, accordion-led ballad or sawing fiddles on traditional Celtic jigs—unsurprising considering their Scottish heritage—to playing a game of "musical tennis" or striking tuned PVC pipes with a flip-flop or off their own bodies in a routine reminiscent of the Blue Man Group. $8/8 p.m. —Spencer Griffith


Few bands have come as far in the last dozen years as Lucero. Not to disparage their early alt- country beginnings, but they are so much more now. By their fourth album, their traditional roots had picked up rock swagger worthy of the Drive-By Truckers and followed them into greasy southern Soul with the addition of keyboardist Rick Steff (Cat Power). The momentary Springsteen fascination of 2006's Rebels, Rogues and Sworn Brothers fit frontman Ben Nichols' paeans to hard-luck/loving losers. They've only upped the ante with a subsequent major label cup of coffee and their latest, a well-crafted homage to the sounds of their Memphis home. They are peerless live. $15–$18/9 p.m. —Chris Parker

click to enlarge Orgone - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE BAND


Another entry into the ever-crowding field of soul revivalism, massive L.A. ensemble Orgone focuses on raw, brassy funk, tainting its deep grooves with Afrobeat, acid jazz and tropicalia. While the mighty chops Orgone supplies on its jammed-out instrumentals have led to session work backing R&B stars Cee Lo Green, Alicia Keys and Anthony Hamilton, the octet's own Niki J. Crawford is a powerhouse vocalist, too. Whether on an Orgone original or a cover from the canon, Crawford commands the stage with her sultry and silky pipes. Asheville sextet The Broadcast's eclectic pop-rock suggests Grace Potter. $8–$10/9 p.m. —Spencer Griffith



From: Minnesota
Since: 2006
Claim to fame: Banjo virtuoso playing beyond his years

It's not easy to impress old-timers, especially those judging such strict contests as those at Galax, Clifftop and Mount Airy. Native Minnesotan Adam Hurt has managed to astound all three with his clawhammer stylings. This whiz plays a fusion of old-time styles, creating a sound that's both primitive and groundbreaking. He'll bring that ear for innovation to the fold this evening with two co-conspirators: fiddler (and member of the all-female string band Uncle Earl) Stephanie Coleman and guitarist Beth Williams Hartness. The trio will play a round of mountain music bound to pull heartstrings and bow 'em in praise of "rye whiskey." At AMERICAN TOBACCO CAMPUS. Free/6 p.m.



From: Raleigh
Since: 2009
Claim to fame: Five experienced men still picking like young bucks

Kick up the tempo, trade your plaid and gingham for a suit, make room for a three-part harmony and add in plenty of opportunities to show off; you've got bluegrass, the younger, sleeker brother to old-time. The Boys from Carolina are masters of creating that high lonesome sound. Between them, they have over 100 years experience playing traditional music. It's no wonder, then, that they're so adept at fusing instruments and a few voices to delight audiences. Whether they're playing originals or old favorites, their fast pace and tight sound make listeners feel right at home. At BYNUM FRONT PORCH. Free/7 p.m. —Ashley Melzer


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