Shalini’s Metal Corner is the realization of frontwoman Shalini Chatterjee’s goal “to make a straight-ahead rock record without the trappings of irony.” The Winston-Salem-based trio–fronted by the statuesque California transplant, who sings, plays guitar and bass, and wrote or co-wrote all but one song–will draw heavily from Metal Corner on Saturday, July 24, at Local 506. They’ll be celebrating the re-release of the CD, which suffered a false start in April due to the near-fatal illness of a hired publicist and other snafus.

Shalini’s union of metallic crunch and metalflake pop, set off by Chatterjee’s dew-fresh, unaffected vocals, suggests the Bangles riding atop AC/DC’s uncluttered grooves. Not surprisingly, the Bangles were the first group Shalini saw live–the 13-year-old Chatterjee snuck out her bedroom window to catch them at a Sacramento club way back in ’83–and she swears she’ll take AC/DC’s Back in Black and Highway to Hell with her to the grave. Shalini also speaks fondly of Steve and Scummy–her heavy-metal guitar teacher and his cat. And to this day, her not-so-guilty pleasure is Pat Benatar. “I truly loved and still get chills from Pat Benatar recordings, which is much frowned upon by the indie-rock crowd, who I don’t listen to anyway,” she asserts.

Chatterjee’s bandmates are guitarist (and husband) Mitch Easter and drummer Eric Marshall. The trio has a dual identity, also serving as a vehicle for Easter’s songs as the Fiendish Minstrels, but tonight the spotlight will belong to Shalini. Chapel Hill faves Velvet will open the show, and their bassist, Jane Francis, will join Shalini onstage–now and for the foreseeable future–allowing Chatterjee to move from bass to rhythm guitar.

Headliner Ken Stringfellow, a founding member of the Posies, has also been keeping busy with the Minus 5, Big Star and R.E.M. If that weren’t enough, this power-pop mainstay has a new solo album, Soft Commands, just out on Yep-Roc.

The show starts at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $7. Call 942-5506 for information. EndBlock