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YES, PLEASE
08.28 DIRTY JOHNNY AND THE
MAKEBELIEVES/ DIRTY LITTLE HEATERS
THE RESERVOIR
@
Both these acts invite you to strap it for a bloozy bar-bound
version of Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Locals Dirty Little Heaters
writhe beneath Resse McHenry’s supple six-string touch and
soulful, foundation-shaking vocals, which recall Janis Joplin’s
thunderous wail. The hungry rumble must be fed, so stand
back from the Heaters’ chomping maw. Dirty Johnny and the
Makebelieves’ primitive proto-punk pulse is enough to raise your
blood pressure. The grimy guitar grinds like a drunk, desperate
barfly—sloppy, guileless and assertive, with no turning back.
Open the door and party’s coming in until the alcohol’s exhausted and the hangover’s knocking. The Makebelieves also plays
Slim’s on Friday. Free/ 10 p.m. —Chris Parker
08.29 PINCHE
GRINGO/ RAT
JACKSON @
THE CAVE
A pair of wild and
crazy guys, Pinche
Gringo and Rat
Jackson are barcrawling Baudelaires
getting by on scruffy
charm and the
animal magnetism
of their dirty garageblues sound. Josh
Johnson’s one-man
band Pinche Gringo
rattles and shakes
more than the pizza
guy’s beater, arriving with a wry, stoned smile,
doughy beats and plenty of guitar sausage.
Four-piece Rat Jackson’s like fictional detective
Philip Marlowe awakening from a big sleep to the
sound of gunning guitars, a smirk leaking from his
lips as he squares his sights on the latest femme
fatale. They all slay him, but the pursuit’s half the
fun anyway, as the hot-blooded narratives imply.
$5/ 10 p.m. —Chris Parker
08.30 INSTANT JONES/ WESTERN
CIV @ BROAD STREET CAFE
Throw back some top shelf area guitar rock:
Alabama transplant Western Civ delivers muscular throb, whose beefy bass and chunky
guitar drone recall Archers of Loaf, forging tart
melodies tightly gripped by a rhythmic undertow. Burlington’s Instant Jones is fueled by frontman Seth Church’s clever lyrics and vocal drawl,
shuffling over wiry guitars and insistent bottomend. The band ranges from moody, meandering
rock reminiscent of Seam and Television to
garage-punk boogie and catchy sing-alongs
like “Rule of Thumb,” with its post-millennial
perversion of Patrick Henry: “Give me liberty, or
give me satellite TV.” 10 p.m. —Chris Parker
08.31 SUMMERBIRDS IN THE
CELLAR, POLYNYA @ RESERVOIR
Don’t judge Orlando’s Summerbirds In The
Cellar by first impressions: This brood belies
its Sunshine State origins (and half its name)
with indie rock that’s been given an icy digital
bath. Brad Register’s dark lyrics are masked by
his delicate, airy delivery, though the pulsating synths are quite ominous. On the flip side,
Polynya’s cheery poprock doesn’t align with the
Arctic feature from which it
derives its name. An undercurrent of throbbing bass and driving
percussion gives an edge to the
proceedings, and though the band
may sound a little like it wants to be your
new best friend, the Triangle foursome
manage boy/girl tradeoff vocals without the
gag-inducing cuteness of Mates of State. Free/
10 p.m. —Spencer Griffith
hearing
aid
SONG OF
THE WEEK
Labor Day
Weekend’s festive nature wafts
across
town like
clouds
of smoke
from
barbecue
photo by robert adam meyer
grills. Here,
it drifts into the Cradle’s walls to benefit the Signal
Foundation, the local electronic music benefactor. Veteran spinners DJ Forge and Disco Inferno’s
Silvaback and One Duran bump it up on the
holiday’s eve. $6-$8/ 9 p.m. —Chris Toenes
08.29 STARMOUNT @ SADLACK’S
As the frontman for Vanilla Trainwreck and the producer for records by
Whiskeytown, Birds of Avalon, The Rosebuds and hundreds of others,
Greg Elkins has been writing and recording music in Raleigh since the
Perhaps you know JAMES
early ’90s. During that time, he’s had the chance to hear and assess
JACKSON TOTH (08.28, LOCAL
countless musicians, and admits he was struck by Dave Pitts’ electric
506) as Wooden Wand, but you
bass playing in the co-ed pub-rock band Overproof. When Pitts told
may not recognize the smooth
Elkins he was learning to play upright bass, Elkins proposed that
singer-songwriter soul and comfortthey learn their respective new instruments together.
able harmonies of “Nothing Hides.”
“For a long time, I wanted to get involved with the pedal
Download the track and read an intersteel guitar,” says Elkins, who cites “Afar,” a tracky by ambient
view with Toth at www.indyweek.com.
REV. BILLY C. WIRTZ
FROM: Florida
SINCE: 1982
CLAIM TO FAME: Overseeing the First House of
Polyester Worship
vs.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 30
How do you
feel about
boogie-woogie
blasphemy?
The first steps of Billy C. Wirtz’s
irreverent path were taken when
he got booted out of his first band
when his desire to play stuff by
James Brown and Dyke & the
Blazers conflicted with the wants
of his Crosby, Stills & Nash-favoring mates. The musical humorist-slash-hillbilly love god has embraced the
non-status quo ever since, delighting in turning sacred cows into bacon double
cheeseburgers while answering the question “What if Mojo Nixon were Jerry
Lee Lewis’ love child?” At the BLUE BAYOU CLUB. 9:30 p.m.
08.29 VALENCIA
@ THE BREWERY
Philly pop-punk quintet
Valencia has a bad habit of
dining on Fall Out Boy’s and
Saves the Day’s greasy leftovers from a buffet of power
chords, counterfeit heartbreak
and waxy cool kid poses. Diets
like that only lead to some amazing waste, as with Valencia’s
first, This Could Be a Possibility, 10
tracks of over-processed emo-gloss
and smoothed urgency. High in calories but low in nutrients, Valencia’s
copy-cat songwriting and ripped off
adolescent whine is worse than Good
Charlotte’s Hollywood poser punkitude and Pete Wentz’ phoned-in emo
cool. $8-$10/ 6:30 p.m. —Kathy Justice
the
gu
the i d e to
w eek
conce
’s
r ts
08.31
SIGNALFEST
FUNDRAISER
DANCE PARTY
WITH DJ FORGE
AND DISCO
INFERNO @
CAT’S CRADLE
Introducing...
EH,
WHATEVER
soundsmith and Brian Eno collaborator Harold Budd, as the spark for
his pedal steel interest. “I just think it makes really awesome, ghostly,
spooky sounds that you don’t get from any other instrument, and it
hasn’t been explored in a lot of different contexts.”
As they learned, they recruited new members: Elkins asked Brian
Donohoe, a drummer he’d recorded in the band STRANGE, to join, and Pitts
invited keyboardist Rob Davis to add synthesizers. Six months later, they
were playing in public. A year later, they’re perhaps the most intriguing new
band in Raleigh, sculpting ambivalent atmospheres (are they arid or arctic
or both?) with conflicting tools (upright bass and pedal steel lifted with synthesizers). The band practices in Elkins’ Desolation Row Studios, recording
everything it does. The bulk of a debut is in the can, so look for a full-length
in the next few months. Free/ 7 p.m. —Grayson Currin
AMERICAN
AQUARIUM
FROM: Raleigh
SINCE: 2004
CLAIM TO FAME:
Leading services at the
Church of Alt-Country
Saints
How do you feel about extra-earnest rock
of the roots- and country-driven variety?
You’d be forgiven for mispronouncing
this six-piece’s name as “Americana
Honorarium.” It can feel like leader
BJ Barham is delivering a speech—or, maybe more appropriately, a sermon—on alt-country and its saints of both early and latter days. It’s a quality
sermon, chock full of sonic parables about Son Volt and Whiskeytown as well
as Neil Young, Gram & the Byrds, and others that Jay Farrar and Ryan Adams,
in turn, preached about. New Familiars and Buzzround open. At LINCOLN
THEATRE. $8-$10/ 9 p.m.
THE STARLINGS
FROM: Seattle,
Wash.
SINCE: 2005
CLAIM TO
FAME: Singing
in the choir
at the Church
of Heavenly
Voices
How do you feel about harmony-rich, wife-and-husband-led
Americana? If playing the country-rock avian name game, you’d
probably align the Starlings with the Jayhawks—if, that is, Mark
Olson and Gary Louris were a couple and they were indebted
more to Emmylou Harris than Gram Parsons. Joy Mills’ voice can
both soothe and sting, and the acoustic backing, built around
Tom Parker’s string work, also reveals conflicting personalities. Call it lilt with an edge. Joe Romeo and the Orange County
Volunteers hold down the second shift. At THE CAVE. $5/ 7:30
p.m. —Rick Cornell