Rock Picks

Best rock picks, August 23

demenconi@newsobserver.comAugust 22, 2013 

Mandolin Orange will play Friday at Carrboro's Cat's Cradle.


  • Other highlights

    • This is also Anniversary Weekend at Kings in Raleigh, with Birds of Avalon headlining Friday and Olympic Ass-Kickin’ Team closing it down on Saturday; Lost Bayou Ramblers open for the movie “Beasts of the Southern Wild” Saturday at Raleigh’s N.C. Museum of Art; also Saturday, “Triangle Rhysing: Music for Massed Guitars III” brings 50-plus guitarists to Durham’s Motorco Music Hall; Sound Tribe Sector 9 and Umphrey’s McGee jam it Sunday at Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater, the same night Steve Earle plays rocked-up agit-folk at Raleigh’s Lincoln Theatre with the Mastersons opening; Tuesday brings a couple of venerable hitmakers to Raleigh – Modern English (of “I Melt With You” fame) to the Pour House with I Was Totally Destroying It as a fine opening act bonus, and “Gangsta’s Paradise” dude Coolio to Southland Ballroom. Leon Russell holds forth Thursday at Durham’s Carolina Theatre.

In a community overrun with excellent male-female country-rock duos, Mandolin Orange may have made the best record of the bunch. “This Side of Jordan” (Yep Roc Records) is as amazingly good as it is modest, evoking an aw-shucks vibe you’d swear they conjured up on a back porch over sweet tea. Yet even as casual as these 11 songs feel, Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz don’t leave a note or a harmony out of place. They’ll show it off live Friday at Carrboro’s Cat’s Cradle. Showtime is 9 p.m., and the bill also includes South Carolina Broadcasters and Big Fat Gap. Tickets are $10-$28. See for details.

Superchunk took nearly a decade to follow up 2001’s “Here’s to Shutting Up” with 2010’s “Majesty Shredding,” which was a triumphant return. And here’s to less time between albums – the flagship band of early-’90s Chapel Hill punk is back with “I Hate Music” (Merge Records), which they don’t, even if this does sound like the most grown-up and cranky album Superchunk has ever made. But that doesn’t prevent it from rocking with aplomb, which they’ll do Saturday at the Cradle. Parting Gifts opens at 9 p.m. and tickets are $15-$17.

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