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Richard Buckner -- Buckner's last record, a straight-on musical interpretation of Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology, was an underrated release, perhaps due to the record's sequencing. For the uninitiated, Buckner's strained, bear-like yowl is hard to mistake -- like Jay Farrar of Son Volt, it's as much an instrument as the guitars and pedal steel. Like a truck, it might not have much high end, but the torque it creates is considerable. Sometimes Buckner's lyricism tends towards the more abstract, and one wonders why he just doesn't hit the feeling head on. Then you hear him sing, and you know. It's like hunting deer with a bazooka. Good stuff. With Kathleen Edwards. Evening Muse (Davis)


Elf Power/Ember Swift/Poprocket -- Elf Power, the more traditionally inclined of the Elephant Six, have a new rekkid out, the cover album Nothing's Going To Happen, featuring songs by Buzzcocks, Bad Brains, Roky Erickson, Husker Du and others. Always well worth checking out live, with the intimate confines of the Muse making this one well worth attending. Ember Swift's newest CD, entitled Stiltwalking, continues her political punk/folk excursions, to pretty good effect. Like Ani DiFranco, she's doing the whole thing independently, via her record company, Few'll Ignite Sound. Poprocket has a new bassist, Jenny Plyler, and a more aggressive musical presence. Lead 'Rocket Jay Garrigan says the band hopes to have a new record by the end of the year, hopefully showcasing said buffalo stance to fine effect. Evening Muse. (Davis)

Seth Walker -- A NC native now making his home in the musical cauldron of Austin, Walker prefers -- or at least delivers -- a toasting vocal style over the usual crooning. It works fairly well for a sound that's chiseled out of blues and flavored with folk and country. Although Walker is on the road pushing his new record, Restless, the sound is anything but; smooth Texas blues flow along while scooping up horns, piano rolls and sparse guitar licks. Double Door Inn. (Shukla)

FRIDAY 10.11

Dynamite Brothers -- A Chapel Hill trio, The Dynamite Brothers consist of Scott Nurkin, Shane Hartman, and Mitch Rothrock, who currently mans the bass guitar duties for Jennyanykind. The band squeeze a lot of backwoods soul into their squawky jukebox blues, yet, unlike most bands of the sort, seem authentic as hell -- something akin to a slightly less manic and self-absorbed Blues Explosion. In their rush to get everything in, most conglomerate "American music" bands manage to sound about as spicy as McDonalds. The Dynamite Brothers manage -- at the very least -- Sonny's Real Pit Barbeque. Hey, free plug! With Galaxy Rodeo, an all-female band from New York that boasts a driving, hooky sound replete with odd time signatures and meathook riffage. Rawk! Fat City. (Davis)

Martin Sexton -- Sexton is a singer/songwriter who knows the tricks and trades of blues, jazz and pub rock. His rambling style, where the vocals drift off into heartfelt unraveling and return to gather up the pieces, is beefed up with folky blues and a mesmerizing delivery. The latest recording on tap is a double live disc, Live Wide Open, and it showcases Sexton's wares perfectly as the soulful voice is carried along with top writing and taut musicianship. With Chris Topper. Neighborhood Theatre. (Shukla)

Michael Johnathon -- A chronicler of Appalachian music and folklore, Johnathon wears many hats. He hosts the weekly radio show called "Woodsongs," has compiled a nifty book/CD of the same name and brings the down home, front porch warmth of Appalachia into the many folds of America. It's a good thing, because Johnathon is a swift folksinger able to hold his own, and his tasty collection of recordings brings it all home, leaving little room for doubt. A storyteller in the true sense of the word; expect an enticing evening. With Matthew Kahler. Evening Muse. (Shukla)


Pyramid/Dead Beat Baby -- Jeff Williams has joined the band Dead Beat Baby on guitar, replacing old axeman Steve Fenton. Along with a new guitarist, the band has a bit of a new sound as well -- still hard around the edges, but with a swirling center of psychedelia. Appearing with DBB is Pyramid, CL's Modern Rock band of the year (whatever that is). They could just as well be our Postmodern band of the year, featuring all sorts of distorted loops and hisses and whistles alongside traditional instrumentation and sickly-sweet vocals that verily drip with melancholic honey. Both bands are playing as part of something called a Bi-polar Party, which the promoters hope to put on regularly with a "heavier" band alongside a "softer" one. 23 Studio/Pat's Tavern (Davis)

Sloan Wainwright -- OK, let's get this out of the way first. She's a Wainwright, of the Wainwright Wainwrights. Of the Rufus and Loudon sort. She is, however, talented enough to thrive even if her last name were, say, Whifflepickle. Folk-influenced, obviously (you can't grow up a Wainwright and not be), but the real star here is her voice, warm and smoky and smooth. It's an honest voice that makes her earthy, ominous lyrics seem all the more intense, yet she never succumbs to wailing or calling attention to herself. If only more folkies would follow her lead. With Kate Campbell. Evening Muse. (Davis)


Captured! By Robots -- This goofball outfit is essentially a one-man operation handled by former Skankin' Pickles bassist Jay Vance. A concept band of sorts that's funny first time around but the schtick can get old. The guitarist/keyboardist creates punk-metal while the heavy rock songs are mechanized with pop melodies, all with the help of his captors, a band of robots. Uhhhh, a few beers ought to liven things up even more. Mojo Restaurant & Spirits. (Shukla)


Legendary Pink Dots -- Psychedelic, Goth, darkwave, Industrial, ethereal rock : all are apt descriptions for the Legendary Pink Dots. Frontman Edward Ka-Spel has been weaving his moody broth under the LPD moniker for years and along the way has released solo recordings as well as works with Tear Garden. The latest of his numerous outings is the freshly released All The King's Men (ROIR). The darkened room beckons lucid dreaming, and the Dots provide plenty of it. Tremont Music Hall. (Shukla)

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