Barefoot Manner, Mamadou Diabate, The Amateurs, Mac & Juice
The Lincoln Theatre

In the way of their jamming progenitors like The Grateful Dead and Dave Matthews Band, Barefoot Manner–a Raleigh quintet of guitar, mandolin, banjo, bass and a percussive caboodle of bells, blocks and washboards–gets gracious when explaining the concept of their music and their 2005 New Year’s Eve soiree: “Through the power of music, we can all live in the present moment and collectively experience the beauty of being alive.” Heavy, man. The band’s post-grass sometimes-instrumental, oftentimes harmony-injected jubilees headline, with Durham’s African percussion Grammy nominee Mamdou Diabate opening, along with Raleigh reggae readymen The Amateurs and Greenville’s Mac & Juice popping the top (or readying the joint, as you wish). $20-22/9 p.m. –Grayson Currin

First Night
Moore Square

Memphis the Band
Blue Bayou Club

During a recent listserv discussion revolving around the question, ‘Are you more likely to find people dancing in Raleigh or Chapel Hill?’ a voice from the wilderness (well, Mebane) offered that the best place to see folks engaging in like-nobody’s-watching dancing is the Blue Bayou Club in Hillsborough. Come New Year’s Eve, the Blue Bayou patrons will have plenty to gyrate about courtesy of Memphis the Band, whose Neil Young/Van Morrison affinity brings to mind such phrases as “ragged glory” and “Carrboro soul.” $15/9:30 p.m. –Rick Cornell

Dexter Romweber & The New Romans, Clifton Lee Mann & Hunter Landen

After years of seeing Romweber unleash his rockabilly-country blasts like a hawk on unsuspecting vermin accompanied by only a drummer, his new full band is like night and twilight. Sure, the freaks come out at night, but it isn’t until twilight that the party really gets started. And so it is that, backed by the New Romans, Romweber sounds even more revelatory. Romweber’s naturally odd and forceful music style really congeals with the horn-fueled rock pulse of his band, which has improved with every performance. 10 p.m. –Chris Parker

The Urban Sophisticates, Starting Tuesday
Cat’s Cradle

Keep your eyes on The Urban Sophisticates, a Greensboro hip-hop outfit that’s as much a family (brothers Aaron & Benton James) as it is a crew. They bring horns, harmonies and hooks into a somewhat-conscious, big-time-party hip-hop equation that manages to be loaded lyrically and light on lasciviousness. Starting Tuesday is a Chapel Hill four-piece that fits into the soft corners of five-years-ago modern rock, muddied with a grungier guitar attack and brightened by clean front vocals and easy as ahh-ahhh-ahhhh harmonies: Yes, Vertical Horizon when they were everything you wanted and Better than Ezra long before they were “Extra-Ordinary.” $8-10/9:30 p.m. –GC

The Vibekillers

The Wusses, Hackey Sac Crue, Gerty!
Local 506

Sweet non-subliminal sexiness set sailing by soft-rock savants: The Wusses are the ’70s and ’80s tribute bandchild of Bob Wall, Dave Bjorkback, Dave Cantwell and a handful of other local heroes, churning out the hits of Christopher Cross and the ilk with a reverent nod and a way-crooked smile. You will sing along, no matter how tight your girl jeans are. Gerty! dances with ex-Butchies drummer Melissa York now, and they’ve never been more fun. The Hackey Sac Crue splits the bill. $6/10 p.m. –GC

Rob Watson
April + George

That was Rob Watson’s guitar Ryan Adams played at the late-night Whiskeytown reunion at Slim’s after the ex-patriate’s no-stops, marathon return to Raleigh at Meymandi Hall in June. Though they both pull in disparate amounts from country, rock and pop, Watson and Adams have few similarities as songwriters (even though Caitlin Cary is a guest on Watson’s debut, To Trade Hands): Watson’s work is devoid of that affectation and vicarious existence that defines half of Adams’ best stuff, as Watson prostrates himself to life, smiling and singing while it takes its inevitable toil. $10-15/9:30 p.m. –GC

Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band
The Pour House

Fed up with the parade of ‘y’ words that dotted their reviews–jazzy, funky, trippy, hippy, hoppy–the instrument-swapping six-headed and six-worded friendly beast that is Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band came up with their own name for their style of music: bounce. And, yep, that’s exactly what it’ll make you do. Come party with the band that partied with George Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars. For real. Agent Strange Mouth opens. $15-20/10 p.m. –RC