Robbie Fulks plays new music at Motorco in Durham
Robbie Fulks has always had a way with a punchline, but overt yucks take a backseat to his super-sharp eye for writerly detail on the lovely and deeply personal new album “Upland Stories” (Bloodshot Records). Drawing on James Agee’s Depression-era book about poverty “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men” and Fulks’ own youth in North Carolina for inspiration, “Upland Stories” quietly tells its tales with some of the best pure lyric-writing this side of Jason Isbell. “Well I was just a lad about yay tall/Sniffin’ that glue in the Northgate Mall/Down where the anchormen say ‘you all’/And kindness is a show for strangers” – and the onetime Creedmoor resident’s delivery rings as true as the details, perfectly embellished by the spare acoustic backdrops. Fulks will play it live Thursday at Durham’s Motorco Music Hall. Showtime is 8 p.m. tickets are $14-$16. See motorcomusic.com for details.
- Friday is full to bursting with Lake Street Dive at Raleigh’s N.C. Museum of Art, Ellie Goulding at Red Hat Amphitheater, Casket Girls at Slim’s, “American Idol”’s Kris Allen at Cat’s Cradle Back Room in Carrboro and a 6 String Cafe show with Chuck Brodsky and Rod Picot at The Cary Theater.
- Jon Lindsay, pop mastermind and ringleader of the N.C. Music Love Army, shows off his finely crafted new album “Cities & Schools” (File 13 Records) at Raleigh’s Pour House with The Old Ceremony on Saturday. That’s the same night Red Hat has French electronic act M83, Chapel Hill’s Local 506 offers up “No Hit Wonder” Cory Branan, the Cradle Back Room has the Grand Shell Game and Sidewinder plays Raleigh’s Southland Ballroom.
- Birds of Avalon open for the psychedelic Swedes in Dungeon Sunday at Kings in Raleigh, and Des Ark is on the bill with La Dispute at Raleigh’s Lincoln Theatre Monday.
- John Paul White (late of The Civil Wars) plays the Cradle Back Room with Secret Sisters Tuesday, the same night Lucius is at Saxapahaw’s Haw River Ballroom and Al Scorch plays the Pour House. Wednesday brings the incomparable Skylar Gudasz to Duke’s Music in the Garden series, and Dylan LeBlanc to Durham’s Pinhook with Jphono1.
- California reggae band Rebelution plays Thursday at Red Hat. And Thursday’s freebie-show options include Town Mountain at American Tobacco’s Back Porch Music on the Lawn in Durham, and Jon Stickley Trio at Pickin’ in the Plaza in Downtown Raleigh’s City Plaza.