In Howle’ing again

As a singer-songwriter and performer, Columbia, S.C.’s DANIELLE HOWLE is generally acknowledged as a free-spirited type, an imaginative storyteller with a voice and an attitude driven to make an innocent audience feel guilty. She’s released work on Kill Rock Stars and Sub-Pop, and split stages with people from Bob Dylan to Elliott Smith. Her new album, Thank You Mark, is the latest evidence for that description: Recorded with Hootie & The Blowfish guitarist Mark Bryan in his Charleston studio, it opens with “Roses from Leroy,” a story Howle lifted from a man in a bar who told her about the three families he’d started in his lifetime–three wives, two children each time, one man. In conversation, Howle first calls him “crazy,” but she quickly retracts and explains that he just had a story to tell–somewhat outlandish, but not altogether insane. Empathy and understanding through a lens built on irony, humor and soul: Danielle Howle, there’s your nutshell. She performs at RALEIGH MUSIC HALL with The Vints on Thursday, May 4 at 10 p.m. and at the CAT’S CRADLE with SpencerAcuff and Hobex on Friday, May 5 at 8:30 p.m. –Grayson Currin

In getting Trash(Ed)

Did you know that the cost of packaging cereal is greater than the cost of the actual product? And that there are “plastic” water bottles made out of corn (that can actually be composted)? The folks at DESIGNBOX want you to think more creatively about trash and hep you to environmentally friendly alternatives to everyday products. The TRASH*ED show opens during Raleigh’s First Friday artwalk, May 5, from 6-10 p.m. and continues through May 30. Art by Jen Coon, Lee Moore, Graham Mckinney, Melissa Andron, Angelica Garcia and 10 others will be on display, and you’re invited to contribute to the “Unnecessary Packaging Hall of Shame.” Bring the kids! See or call 834-3552 for more info.

In Sunday rock school

Michigan seven-piece ANATHALLO will play the Cornerstone Festival in Florida in May, followed by an appearance in Illinois at the original Cornerstone–a massive convocation devoted to what’s loosely considered Christian rock these days–in July. Certainly, their music tackles questions of faith and belief, but I’ve never associated it with unquestioned belief in some Almighty. I have, however, begun to associate the band’s concerts with big tent revivals–frenzied, devoted, cathartic, intoxicating performances where drum sticks get broken, hands get clapped and voices grow strained from screaming. Anathallo, led by songwriter Matt Joynt, combines the capable, clever arrangements of Sufjan Stevens–horns, glockenspiels, xylophones, drums, voices, hand percussion, pianos, guitars, bass–with the emancipating mass of Broken Social Scene. If anything, their live set is a testament to the power of time and place. You will become a believer. Raleigh’s fantastic twang upstart Nola opens the 5 p.m. show at KINGS on Sunday, May 7. –Grayson Currin

In radio stars

For the uninitiated: UNC-Chapel Hill’s student run radio station WXYC 89.3 has been broadcasting through parts of the Triangle since 1977. In 1994, the station became the first in the country to rebroadcast on the Internet. You’re likely to hear anything on the station, from avant rock, jazz and electronic music to the best of the area’s local bands. For the novice and the veteran: Their WXYC BACKYARD BBQ carries a selection of local music from 8 to 9 p.m., and the show has been hosting its own showcases at LOCAL 506 for two years now. Transportation, Nathan Asher & the Infantry, The Physics of Meaning and Eyes to Space play this episode on Friday, May 5, starting at 9 p.m. In honor of the title, there’s actual, free BBQ courtesy of The BBQ Joint. Really good free music and really good free food? Have I used the word free yet? –Grayson Currin

In bringing up baby, unpampered

Many of those born during the Nixon administration or earlier were the offspring of parents barely out of college and devoid of significant financial resources. Today, their childless, 30-something offspring wonder how on earth they managed the feat. Have we begun to believe that childbearing is something best done with the care one applies to retirement accounts and new car purchases? At Durham’s CENTER FOR DOCUMENTARY STUDIES, a traveling photography exhibit entitled BEGGARS AND CHOOSERS: MOTHERHOOD IS NOT A CLASS PRIVILEGE IN AMERICA proposes to investigate the assumption that motherhood is a job best left to the middle class. We’re not sure what to expect, but one photographer in this group show is Stephen Shames, who recently displayed his work on the Black Panthers at CDS. Curator Rickie Solinger will give a presentation during the opening reception, happening Thursday, May 4, from 6-9 p.m. See and for more on the show. –David Fellerath