By now, it's almost type-casting: Tori Amos puts out a new album called "Abnormally Attracted to Sin" (Universal/Republic Records), and it's not bad but it's not great, either. It's obsessive and difficult, sure, and it definitely lives up to that title. Still, there just ain't much that lingers in the memory afterward. But don't get too hung up on that. Whatever the merits of her records, the North Carolina-born Amos remains one of the best live acts around, channeling her obsessions into absolutely captivating performances. So if you catch her show tonight at the Durham Performing Arts Center, there's a good chance you'll be amazed.
Elsewhere this weekend: Tonight brings the fine folk-rock ensemble Milagro Saints to Raleigh's Deep South Bar, the ace kids-music group Mommie to Raleigh's Seaboard Station (see Page 6D) and Steve Riley's Mamou Playboys to Durham's Papa Mojo's Roadhouse; the early-'80s performance-art troupe the Cosmopolitans play their big reunion show Saturday at Carrboro's Cat's Cradle, with opening acts Mitch Easter and Don Dixon turning it into a Southern alterna-pop class reunion; also Saturday, Birds of Avalon bring the psychedelics to Raleigh's Pour House Saturday, while Unknown Hinson does that thing he does at Raleigh's Berkeley Cafe.
It's a big week out at Raleigh's Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion at Walnut Creek, with three huge shows: neo-grunge hitmakers Nickelback on Saturday; arena-country superstars Rascal Flatts on Sunday, paired with Hootie & the Blowfish frontman Darius Rucker; and Coldplay on Thursday (see front page).