Contributors: Rick Cornell, Grayson Currin, Rich Ivey, Kathy Justice, Robbie Mackey, Jack McDonald, Chris Parker, Chris Toenes

Thursday, January 25

Table, Chest Pains, Kings

Black Flag’s 1984 classic, My War, is one of the most sinister, volatile and fucked up albums ever recorded. Fortunately, for Triangle music fans, its momentous impact didn’t skip the members of Raleigh’s Table or Durham’s Chest Pains. Like a slingshot loaded with broken glass, both bands exemplify the purple-fisted tension of SoCal’s finest, but don’t shy on other influences. Ask Chest Pains for the CCR cover. 10 p.m. RI

Lemonheads, Vietnam, Cat’s Cradle

It’s a shame about Evan Dando, coming so close to stardom only to slip into has-been status in the space of a few years. But Dando’s not done: He’s got a new lineup of Lemonheads with Bill Stevenson and Karl Alvarez of pop-punk godfathers the Descendents, a generally warm reception for his new album, and a big national tour. Fans of the pop-punk outfit’s ’90s output should walk away well satisfied. Openers Vietnam offer endearingly shambolic psych-rock and sleepy picking (“heeeeroooo-iiin”). $15-$18/ 9 p.m. JM

Bobby Bare Jr., The Explorers Club, Local 506

I last saw Bobby Bare Jr. teasing a largely uninterested crowd in an opening slot for The Walkmen, playing up on his quirks and aiming for extra alienation. It didn’t work in front of indie rockers, but it certainly works on last year’s The Longest Meow, a cosmic country record for the new millennium: Weirdly expansive, humorously dejected and decidedly whimsical, the Bare of Meow takes the right chancesdissonant keyboards, Keith Moon drums and minor anthemson a near-masterpiece. The Explorers Club, uhh, loves The Beach Boys? With A Is Jump. $8-$10/ 9 p.m. GC

Friday, January 26

Valorie Miller, The Cave (EARLY)

Valorie Miller’s friendly folk-rock washes over ears like the first rays of a winter sun. Seamless soliloquies are the fingers of sunlight, melting the icy surface of human existence, melding together perfectly with the gentle twitter of her hushed acoustic finger-picking. Whether she’s channeling Patsy Cline with soft-swinging country ballads or pickin’ at the blues, Miller supplies an earnest intensity to an otherwise shimmering croon. 7:30 p.m. KJ

Transportation, Victory Factory, The Cave (LATE)

Transportation is not from Chapel Hill. At least that’s what I remember every time I hear their consonant bliss, as far removed from indie angularity as it could be. Indeed, the band moved here from Amherst, and they continue to add grace to their perpetually exquisite pop, like primo cruise rock with soul sailing along on a sea of smarts, cheap beer and stubble. Weeping beauty, Transportation wants to hold your hand. Let ’em in (well, if they agree to finish their debut LP soon). Ron Liberti and Joe Romeo team up for Victory Factory. 10 p.m. GC

Trent Summar & the New Row Mob, Hideaway BBQ

Trent Summar may do jumping jacks on stage and excel at stage patter and microphone tricks, but he’s a good two or three inches away from being over the top: He’s a clever songwriter without being too cleverif you know what I meanwith Gary Allan among the artists who’ve taken Summar’s songs to the country charts. Factor in Summar’s rich, twangy-in-all-the-right-ways voice and a top-shelf band that features the twin guitars of Dan Baird and Ken McMahan, and you’re in for two full sets of entertainment. And calisthenics. $10-$12/ 9:30 p.m. RC

Negative State, The Semantics, Slim’s Downtown

The “vinyl solution” used to be the catchphrase for hardcore that actually called for social change, and some of that crusty punk directness reappears here with these two local reunions. 10 p.m. CT

Can Joann, Alternative Champs, DJ Fit for Use, Kings

With 2006’s Hurt People Hurt People, Chapel Hill’s Can Joann proved itself as an indie force with which to be reckoned, a daunting task in Merge territory. The quartet is reminiscent of The Walkmen: Though catchy and half-crooning, they still manage to sneak in enough of the mid-’90s flavor that put their home turf on the map. 10 p.m. RI

The Soular System, Monkey Navigated Robot, Raleigh Music Hall

The eight dudes of The Soular System (they left Pluto at home) take a kitchen-sink approach to formulating their scatterbrained psycho-electric-funk-rock. Rev. Desmond D’Angelo’s down ‘n’ dirty yowl recalls funk forefather George Clinton, while bassist Ral’s circular thumps and Jes Bradley’s dynamic drum splatters conjure MMW visions. Raleigh’s Monkey Navigated Robot opens up the set with jam-ready jungle beats. 10 p.m. KJ

Saturday, January 27

The Bleeding Hearts, Patty Hurst Shifter, Stone Fox, Kings

The Bleeding Hearts aren’t exactly famous (yet?), but the band’s four-year saga does justice to the tough-road, rock ‘n’ roll ethos: Sam Madison formed the band in 2002 to play tube-ready songs he’d written about high school romance. The Hearts came out swinging, playing to standing-room-only crowds, landing a record deal with Charlotte’s MoRisen Records and getting a nod from Ryan Adams. That deal fell through, but they managed to release a fine debut to a modicum of praise. Drummer Scott Taylor takes his final bow with the band tonight before producer Dave Bartholomew takes over skin duties. Look for the band’s second album later this year. And, as preparers for departure go, openers The T’s and Stone Fox are more than ample for last rites. 10 p.m. GC

Uncomfortable, DMVB, Bickett Gallery

With the lo-fi vibe of GBV, the country-to-chainsaw guitar shifts of Pavement and the slacker poetics of Silver Jews, the Oak City’s Uncomfortable is like an indie rock mash-up of the big guns. DMVB will doing what its respective membersDanny Vaughn, Melvyn Brown, Viswas Chitnis and Ben Smithdo best: Be awesome. $6-$7/ 8:30 p.m. RI

FrequeNC Records Night: Pink Motor Monsters, Miss Mary Wanna, Megamix DJ Contest, Nightlight

The Chapel Hill libertine collective FrequeNC comes out of their countryside lair, The Workshop, to toy with the definition of “dance party.” This week, the definition includes PMM’s hip-hop groove, MMW’s neo-burlesque and a call for 20-minute mixes from the people. $4/ 10 p.m. CT

Killwhitneydead, Idea of Beauty, The Brewery

Idea of Beauty doesn’t get its due. Since forming in 2003, the Hillsborough five-piece has written some of the most impressive hard music in North Carolina. Their 2004 debut, Dark, was a meaty, metalcore monster. But with the Fire It Up EP, they’ve grown into an even stranger beast: This is high-octane post-hardcore with a brain to match its brawn, brim-filled with chalky, chug-chug anthems, chilly piano outros and spooky guitar interludes. RM

Tuesday, January 30

Erin McKeown, Sean Hayes, Local 506

Erin McKeown has been releasing albums of sly, compelling, old-time-influences songs for years. 2003’s Grand was as contagious as it was eclectic, and most of the charm sprang from McKeown’s well-balanced verbal spins. Last year’s Sing You Sinners is her first cover album, and a crack trio helps her respectfully subvert memory lane. But, ultimately, it’s a testament to McKeown thaton a collection that includes standards from Cole Porter, Judy Garland and Fats Wallerher one songwriting credit, “Melody,” is a highlight. $10-$12/ 8:45 p.m. GC

Wednesday, January 31

The Codetalkers, The Sammies, The Pour House

Charlotte’s The Sammies crackle with the combination of rootsy power pop and rumbling garage rawk that they deliver with admirable abandon. Their easy facility with a hook ensures a high quotient of nodding and foot-tapping. The Codetalkers exist on the other side of the roots divide, favoring groove-heavy jams that harken to frontman Col. Bruce Hampton’s prior life with ’90s hippy mavens Aquarium Rescue Unit. Fortunately, they also display a Southern pop side that’s a little more to the point. $6-$8/ 9 p.m. CP