Chapel Hill
John Stossel
Memorial Hall

Though perpetual puns creep up about that moustache every time he talks (which, if you’ve actually seen him co-anchor 20/20, you know is quite often), John Stossel has earned a modicum of respect and a bevy of awards (19 Emmy Awards and five nods from the National Press Club) for his work in exposing fallacies of conservative and liberal mindsets alike through his own libertarian bent. He doesn’t mind DDT. That nearly cost him his job. He doesn’t know about Wal-Mart. Who knows? That may cost lots of people theirs. He speaks about “Freedom and Its Enemies” tonight at 7 p.m.

Guitar Frenzy

Crowmeat Bob–Raleigh’s resident free jazz fanatic, blowing saxes and scorching strings–moved his Wednesday night outer-sphere jazz leanings from the white wells of Bickett Gallery two months ago. He landed in the smokey den of Kings, and this performance may be the series’ most noteworthy docket to date: Tom Whitelock, Phon’s Dustin Dorsey and Drew Robertson, Spatula/Pykrete singer Chuck Johnson, former Kings doorman Craig Hilton and The Sames/pulsoptional savant marc faris join for Coalescent, a night of guitars processed through twisted knobs, stomped pedals, high gain and higher volume. Make a donation at 10 p.m. –Grayson Currin

Nancy Godwin & Ippy Patterson
Burwell School Historic Site

Spend this Thursday evening with horticulturist Nancy Godwin and Ippy Patterson, her illustator for Montrose: Life in a Garden. The book explores Godwin’s co-existence with her famous Hillsborough plot, and she and Patterson will share stories from the book and the land. $12 admission buys dessert and wine, and the reading begins at 7:30 p.m. RSVP to 732-7451.

Chapel Hill
Pizzatlas CD release party

Here’s a giant rainbow gummy bear of noisy fun, from electronic madness to jamming in the freest sense. Chicago label Terry Plumming just released a new issue of their mag, Pizzatlas. The enclosed CD includes locals Boner Machine, so this elongated gig acts as part release fete, part improv collaborative mélange. To encourage onlookers to join in the revelry, costumes and noisemakers are suggested. Five bucks gets you in at 10 p.m. –Chris Toenes

Drive By Truckers
Cat’s Cradle

Why mince words? Drive By Truckers are one of the five most vital rock bands around today. Their live shows are ferocious frenzies of dirty, Southern-fried country-punk. Their albums showcase three songwriters capable of rich, evocative portraits: bassist Mike Cooley’s nostalgic ode to Sun Records’ Sam Phillips (“Carl Perkins’ Cadillac”), guitarist Jason Isbell’s redneck working-class echoes of Springsteen (“Outfit”), and guitarist Patterson Hood’s sometimes aching, sometimes cheeky portraits of down and outers (“Puttin’ People on the Moon,” “Margo and Harold”). Throughout, they handle their Southern subject matter honestly, if not always un-ironically, and never shirk their heritage nor lose touch with their rock ‘n’ roll edge. They play Friday and Saturday nights at 10 p.m. Tickets are $16-18. –Chris Parker

Spottiswoode & His Enemies
Tir Na Nog
Tindersticks with hooks. Nick Cave at his most Johnny Cash, Stax at its most gospel. The Jazz Butcher, for the love of music geeks everywhere. You can fill up your word bucket in a hurry when playing sound association with Building a Road, the latest release from Spottiswoode & His Enemies. Let’s hope Tir Na Nog fills up just as quickly for the underappreciated Spottiswoode and his five multi-instrumentalist Enemies. Music starts at 10:30. There’s no cover, but you have to be over 21 to get in. –Rick Cornell

Captured! By Robots

Who hasn’t thought a machine might keep better time and be better company than a drummer? Unfortunately, things went horribly awry for Jason Vance (Skankin’ Pickle, Blue Meanies). In classic sci-fi fashion, the machines turned against him and he now serves them, in what might be considered a musical spin-off of Mystery Science Theater (right down to the verbally abusive robots). The banter and spectacle of robotic guitarist GTRBOT666, time-keeper DRMBOT0110 and the cymbal-clapping ape make for an entertaining show (at 10 p.m.), though the humorous, hardcore-metal can get repetitive. –Chris Parker

Hobo Graffiti
Limp Gallery

Woody Guthrie may be dead and gone, but the hobo jungle still thrives. Bill Daniel spent 16 years riding the rails in search of an elusive, freight-hopping graffiti artist. The fruit of that search is Who is Bozo Texino?, a 56-minute documentary that has garnered international acclaim and a coveted slot at the Viennale International Film Festival last month. As part of a nationwide tour with this film and several films by others, Daniel is making two stops in the Triangle. Friday night he’ll be presenting his program, entitled Hobo Graffiti, at Durham’s Blayloc Café. Saturday, he’ll be at Lump Gallery in Raleigh. Both shows begin at 8 p.m. and cost $5. –David Fellerath

Beach Party at the Threshold of Hell
Colony Theater

We haven’t seen this one, but with a title like Beach Party at the Threshold of Hell, we’re clearing our schedules tonight. This low-budget indie comedy unfolds in the year 2097, two decades after a nuclear attack has annihilated the United States of America. From the ashes, a new crop of leaders emerges, led by one “Tex Kennedy.” Several Raleigh natives are involved with this California production, including Cameron Pearce, Jamie Bullock and Scott Addison Clay. In their honor, a free screening will be held tonight at the Colony. It’s “by invitation only,” which means that you’re invited. Call the Colony at 856-0111 for show time. –David Fellerath

Chapel Hill
Community Music Project
Open Eye Café

The Community Music Project consists of local songwriters, musicians and recording engineers whose goal is to get music heard that would otherwise fall through the mile-wide cracks in the music industry, and do so on the cheap. The project is equal parts CDs, DIY and IASWAA (that’s “it’s a small world after all&”), and if the upcoming compilation The Innocence to Cry follows the trail blazed by the project’s previous four releases, you’ll hear Russian and Chilean folk music surrounding traditional gospel. See for more information. The music begins at 4 p.m. –Rick Cornell

Bearded Child Film Festival
305 South

Tonight’s must-see is Bearded Child Film Festival, courtesy of a group of Minnesota cinematic entrepreneurs. They’ve been traveling the continent ever since kicking off the tour at the Burning Man festival last May with a program of the best offbeat, obscure and bizarre short films they could find. So, if you’ve ever wondered what you might be missing at that annual desert bacchanal, head to 305 South in Durham to find out. Local acts will be on the program, with a new Jim Haverkamp short and musical entertainment from The Torch Marauder and America’s Next Top Models. 8 p.m. showtime costs $5. –David Fellerath

American Roots Series

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. sharp for the ArtsCenter’s 2006 American Roots Series, which runs from January through March. Among the highlights of this year’s line-up are Leon Russell, Darrell Scott, Bill Kirchen, Dr. John and–I’m circling this date on two or three calendars–Mavis Staples. See for the complete line-up and to order tickets. –Rick Cornell

Variety Show
The Red Room

Self-described as “Raleigh’s first attempt to unify its artistic scene,” this variety show–now in its third week–stunned hosts Chris Powers and Nathan Asher and the staff of The Red Room when over 250 people headed downtown for the debut. What to expect? Certainly the unordinary, as the first week included a guy sitting in a corner drinking a beer and wearing a gorilla suit; Renay Aumiller’s modern dance; folk, rap and rock music; a DIY art booth; and a whole lot more. Arrive at 9 p.m. to hear the album of the week, and the variety starts at 10 p.m.

Easy D’N’B Reggae Bash
Berkeley Café

A regular feature at the Berkeley, the Bash hosts Gibsonville DJ and producer Divine Ruler this week, whose affections span the rapid-fire beats of jungle, drum ‘n’ bass’ snap crackle, and the appreciation for flow found in hip-hop breaks. Get there at 9:30 p.m. for former XDU crate digger Cut Less and Tommy turning the crank. –Chris Toenes

Wednesday next
DeYarmond Edison
Bickett Gallery

The four members of DeYarmond Edison–Justin Vernon, Brad Cook, Phil Cook and Joe Westerlund–cut their teeth playing rock in grimy Wisconsin bars while studying music at UW-Eau Claire, one of the nation’s top programs. When they decided a move was in order, each made a list of three places they wanted to move to and be a band in. Raleigh was in everyone’s top three and, luckily, here they are. Their Raleigh debut came three weeks ago to an enraptured Bickett crowd, silenced by the band’s ability to walk the thin line between avant affectations (Vernon became so involved in a feedback binge he barely noticed his toppled microphone) and sincere soul (devotees of The Band and Richard Buckner) with a rare grace and four big hearts, colliding in a way that’s elegantly and passionately erudite. Catch the show at 10 p.m. –Grayson Currin