by Ryan Snyder

Upcoming shows you should check out


Fifteen years won’t even earn you a driver’s license and most can’t get a mortgage at that term anymore, but for an independent record label, it’s a rather celebration-worthy milestone. For perspective, despite handsome outputs, noteworthy labels like Ropeadope, Kompakt, ANTI- and Def Jux are still in their tweens. Haw River’s very own Yep Roc Records has been doing it as well for longer and this week, it will blow out 15 candles with a party worthy of its age at the Cat’s Cradle as they host the cream of their roster over three sure-to-be spectacular nights. Three-night passes have been sold-out for a while, so if there’s a single night to attend, it absolutely should be Thursday when the Jesus of Cool himself, Nick Lowe — writer of “I Knew the Bride (When She Used to Rock and Roll)” and producer of My Aim Is True — sets the pace for the weekend. He’ll be preceded by a murderer’s row of solo artists in Robyn Hitchcock, Dave Alvin and Chuck Prophet, while arguably Yep Roc’s other biggest holding, Fountains of Wayne, headline the Friday night power pop set that also includes a 10-year reunion of Chapel Hill staples Mayflies USA and Sloan. Maybe most known over the last half decade for its country and folk offerings, they’ll have their best on Saturday with Chatham County Line, Tift Merritt, X co-founder John Doe, Jim White and more. Tickets for each night are $40.


You’d expect someone who helped pioneer a genre called “sadcore” to be a bit of a wet blanket, but Jim White is so in the friendliest and most consenting sense. “I am your heroin, though very few of you will become addicted to me,” White said unprompted during his performance last year in Winston-Salem, though that’s not entirely true. There’s a canny kind of wisdom in the way he stops mid-set to relay “newsflashes,” spoken word segments where he and his band read stone-faced from some of the most odd and depressing headlines from in and around his native Pensacola, Fla. Stories of a man getting his throat cut at a church meeting in South Carolina, and later someone who dialed 911 just to find out if the moon was a half or quarter, somehow evoke both disbelief and sanguinity. White will perform at Krankies this Friday following his Yep Roc 15 show. Tickets are $7 and the show starts at 9 p.m.


One can find a band like Lucero in almost any town across America, no matter the size, but not all of them possess the same slavish devotion to their craft. As highlighted in the 2005 documentary Dreaming in America, Memphis cowpunks Lucero spent a good portion of their early years getting screwed over and over again by record labels, playing hundreds of shows a year, living out of the shabbiest of vans and blowing their per diem in record stores. All the while, they built up one of the most rabid fan bases since early Drive-By Truckers. Now they have a major label deal, a real tour bus and, for a time at least, a horn section to show for it. The band hasn’t changed how they do business, as the songs are delivered and received with the same breathless intensity. For the many fans who came aboard during the outstanding and nuanced 1372 Overton Park, its successor Women & Work harkens a return to the rusty-nailed rock and roll of their infancy and they’re playing it all on the tour that hits Ziggy’s this Friday. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. The music starts at 9 p.m. with Larry & his Flask and a solo set from Caleb Caudle.