Snake Oil Medicine Show
The Pour House

Bass, drums, fiddle and banjo don’t set apart a band that sets out to play American traditional music, but a live visual artist flanking the stage and creating paintings inspired by the band just feet away certainly does. Snake Oil Medicine Show’s Paul Cheney not only designs the band’s album covers and clothing, but he also paints live to the delicously demented and zany sounds of the act he calls his own. Get jamming at 10 p.m. for $8. –Grayson Currin

Mary Chapin Carpenter
Booth Ampitheatre

It’s been a while since Lyle Lovett has been right beside her with his hand upon her thigh (from 1992’s “I Feel Lucky”), but both before and since her commerical climax, Mary Chapin Carpenter has been exalted as an uncompromsing songwriter working the folk tradition into country paradigms that rail against neo-Nashville. She’s doing it as well as ever. Show starts at 7 p.m. with Sugar Hill songstress Mindy Smith opening. Tickets run $35. –Grayson Currin

Chapel Hill

Like the best tongue ‘n’ beat Wax Trax 12-inches, Electroshockbox kicks an industrial 808 amidst tick-tock synths and melotron ambience. Remember Thrill Kill Kult and Greater Than One? Sole member Tron D can reign their court with his crossing streams of demon rap-talk and bizarro yet grin-enticing lyrical play: “I need a girl just like you, one that won’t talk smack.” Show starts at 10 p.m. –Eric Weddle

Kenny Roby

From dress-wearing punker to porkpie-hat-sporting roots rock band leader; from folk-rock singer-songwriter type who seemed to be inspired equally by Randy Newman, Robbie Robertson and Elvis Costello to just a guy, a guitar and some big beats: No matter his guise, Kenny Roby has my attention. Richmond, Va.’s Louis Ledford, who used to lead the underrated Used Carlotta, opens at 7 p.m. —Rick Cornell

Biodiesel party
Bull City Biofuels

The folks at the Piedmont Biofuels Cooperative are celebrating Durham’s first pure biodiesel fuel pump, which will dispense a fuel made from vegetable oil, with a party and ribbon-cutting at 4:30 p.m. Bull City Biofuels is located at the corner of Ellis Road and Pettigrew Street. Visit and for more information.

Lil Jon
RBC Center

Dave Chappelle portrays him like a retarded refugee from Abbott & Costello’s Who’s On First: “Whuuut? Whuuut? Whuuut? Yeeeaaah! Okaayyy! Third base.” I’m sure he has a good laugh about it with the teller every time he deposits another check. But don’t overlook how hard it’s been for Southern rap to break the East/West hegemony. Seizing upon the lead of progenitors 2 Live Crew and Magic Mike, Lil Jon took it to the clubs, bypassing radio in building a dance floor groundswell. A producer even more than a rapper, Lil Jon’s been able to leverage Atlanta connections (Usher, Ying Yang) and talent to break the game open with that most primordial of sounds: booty music. Can conscious rap be far behind? Tickets are $29-$49. –Chris Parker

Cody Cods
Ohh La Latte

Eclectic Durham rock outfit Cody Cods are known for their swaggering jams and white-boy funk, garnering attention since their inception as Duke affiliates over a decade ago. They’re releasing a new record, May I Land My Kinky Machine, their second, while simultaneously disbanding after this party. Come celebrate a long-standing good-time band in the Triangle. Show thumps at 10 p.m. –Chris Toenes

Blue Merle
Cat’s Cradle

Don’t let the name mislead you. Although they’re an acoustic band, Blue Merle wasn’t named after Merle Watson. And even though they’re rockers, Merle Travis wasn’t involved either. And though they don’t sound remotely like them, the mix of guitar, fiddle, mandolin, upright bass and drums was named after a line in the Led Zep song “Bron Y Aur Stomp” “There ain’t no companion like a blue-eyed Merle.” Show starts at 10 p.m. for $10. –Grant Britt

Fingerpaint exhibit
Carrboro Branch Library

In order to help dissolve social stigmas associated with mental illness, the Chapel Hill Neuroscience Hospital will showcase artwork created by current and former patients at the Carborro Branch Library. Beginning Sunday, the library will house works by artists who have thrown down brushes in favor of fingerpaints. The exhibition will also include the work of Ruth Faison Shaw, a pioneer in the realm of fingerpainting therapy. A reception with the artists is planned for 2 p.m. Sunday. —Jon Ross

Mary Timony

Ex Hex, Mary Timony’s new solo album, is a spell book of glossolalia guitar webs not heard since her Helium days or even the growth spurts with D.C. proto-punks Autoclave. Timony has shed the overbearing keyboards and unicorn-driven, fantasy-filled lyrics that led fan-boys worldwide to believe she was a troll-loving, white-gloved witch. Now, her jagged six-strings summon stadium rock glory, in miniature, across a modern, surreal, lyrical vibe. Timony and drummer Devin Ocampo both reverberate through melodic myriads as the crystal ball reflects the rebirth of the secret crEme songsmith of indie-land. Medications and Bellafea open at 9 p.m. Tickets are $7. –Eric Weddle

Chapel Hill
Local 506

Though the adjectives Strange and Beautiful may be warranted as descriptions of Matt Hale’s life as a childhood musical prodigy (one of his pieces was being performed by a 60-piece orchestra at 17), they may be a stretch to describe his Aqualung debut. At times both disappointingly normal and pleasant, Aqualung comes across as a vapid wordsmith fortunately hinged to brilliant self-production, hinting at the grandeur of Rufus Wainwright tinged with the pittering electrons of Radiohead and the restraint of Andrew Bird. Still, at times, Hale is one of the most redemptive writers around. And after two band break-ups by the age of 25, this may be your chance to catch Hale on an ascent to real fame. The Cary Brothers open at 9 p.m. Tickets are $8. –Grayson Currin

Wednesday next
Chapel Hill
Gang Gang Dance
Local 506

If you’ve ever been clinically diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, or if you like musicians to connect the dots for you, stay home. If you like to get lost by a band willing to take you there, lose you elsewhere and pick you up just minutes later worlds away, come to 506. New York’s Gang Gang Dance is a let’s-go outfit, all-inclusive and all-exploratory psyche-niks incorporating beat expressiveness into free-range, trippy, vacillating tunnels through the mind. Tickets are $8, and this gets moving at 10 p.m. –Grayson Currin

Carrboro Iron & Wine
Cat’s Cradle

Slowly and steadily, Sam Beam–the South Carolina native and coddling acoustic creator of Iron & Wine–has added to his support team, opting for backup vocals, banjos and second guitars on last year’s beautiful Our Endless Numbered Days, a warm recasting of love in the imminent shadow of death. His most aggressive work has come this year via The Woman King, a six-song ode to feminine beauty, strength and resilience, or the transcendental nature of something Beam is not. A Southern child of religious iconography, genuine mannership and deep-seated emotion, his work is as progressively anachronistic as they come. Tickets are $17, and the show starts at 9 p.m. –Grayson Currin