Contributors: Grant Britt, Rick Cornell, Grayson Currin, Rich Ivey, Kathy Justice, Robbie Mackey, Chris Toenes

Thursday, November 2

Rodney Crowell, Will Kimbrough, Minton Sparks, Elizabeth Cook, The ArtsCenter

Four talented singer/songwriters take the stage to talk about war, religion, heartbreak and booze. Both seasoned country veteran Rodney Crowell and acoustic-rock guitarist Will Kimbrough belt out Bush-bashing anti-war sentiment in their latest works, while Nashville-based singer/songwriter Minton Sparks paints lush pictures of the rural South and its dirty secrets, all through spoken word and bright acoustic strings. Her Music City sister, Elizabeth Cook, makes ballsy, female-empowered country rock that rightfully draws comparisons to Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn. $28/ 8 p.m. KJ

Jimbo Mathus & Knockdown South, Blue Bayou Club

“A lot of my songs start out based on more like a Charlie Patton thing, or something older, and then just kinda soup it up a little bit,” says Jimbo Mathus. The Patton connection runs deep in the Clarksdale, Miss., native, who was raised by Patton’s daughter, Rosetta Patton-Brown. Backed by his band Knockdown South, the former Zip now plays to muddier roots music with an electric charge. $14/ 9 p.m. GB

Grayson Capps & Deke Dickerson, Hideaway BBQ

Grayson Capps’ troubadour rock is thick with blues ache, and his is a road-hardened howl, which makes the title of his new Wail & Ride especially fitting. Doubleneck-guitar-wielding Deke Dickerson, along with his fabulous Ecco-Fonics, has yet to meet a vintage American music stylebe it rockabilly, hillbilly, surf or R&Bthat he couldn’t conquer. The common thread for these two performers? Roots music, which is the house special at the Hideaway BBQ. $8-$10/ 8 p.m. RC

Friday, November 3

Colossus, Immortal Avenger, Worn in Red, Hazerai, Kings

An interesting bill: heavy metal and post hardcore. Two of these bands were probably unable to witness their idols Iron Maiden in the act until the ’90s, and there is a good chance the other two missed the last Drive Like Jehu tour by a hair. You can probably figure out who is who by reading the names. Watch out for locals Colossus and Hazerai. $5/ 10 p.m. RI

The Cartridge Family, Slim’s

A gaggle of neighborhood shitkickers letting spittle and suds fly as toasts to androgenic swagger and un-luxurious living, The Cartridge Family has rarely met a rock it didn’t want to roll in the name of perseverance. Keyboardist Greg Rice and guitarist Joe Rechel sing about killer parties and the ways in which they wish those parties would actually stop killing them, but the soundtrack to their lubricated dejectionbustling rock with a Stewart sneer and a Richards roughnesssets up a cycle well worth a toast (or two). Free/ 10 p.m. GC

Tim Barry, Chuck Ragan, Rob Huddleston, Reservoir

Ex- and current frontmen of Avail, Hot Water Music and Ann Beretta take the volume down a notch, but crank the southern grit. Can you smell the beer-soaked beards and train grease, too? 10 p.m. RI

Saturday, November 4

Jodie Manross, The Cave

Sometimes big things really do come in small packages, and Jodie Manross proves no exception to the rule. Her honeyed vocals pack a punch that will nearly bowl you over in spite of her delicate 5’2″ frame. More folk-songstress than rock-goddess, the petite powerhouse has an inane ability to thread together gorgeous arrangements with atmospheric melodies that highlight her vocal versatility. She’s a spark of a whisper swelling into a bona fide flame. $4/ 7:30 p.m. KJ

Bellafea, Ume, White Rook, Local 506

When Touch & Go had its 25th anniversary celebration in Chicago two months ago, the old and abrasive cognoscentiShellac, Scratch Acid, The Jesus Lizardgathered with the label’s new blood, a hit-and-miss convocation of bands that can only fuck with Austin’s best indie rock trio, Ume, in their nightmares. Led by the banshee sweetness of Laurent Langer Larson, who howls and hums like a the human embodiment of histrionic, Ume lets its bombs tick over bold math-rock clocks, shifting and spreading through arrhythmic, atonal and perfect excursions that are as complicated and calculated as they are emancipating and explosive. If you see one band this month, make it Ume. As with openers Bellafea, there’s a lot worth knowing here. $6/ 10 p.m. GC

Danny Schmidt, Forty Acres House Concert

Yeah, there’ve been some talented songwriter types out of Texas. (There’s not enough room to attempt a list ’em, so appreciate the understatement.) And Austin-born and based Danny Schmidt is the best one that you’ve never heard of. His songs are quiet storms filled with imagery and insight that can only come from a life lived with eyes wide open. See for concert details. $15/ 8 p.m. RC

Skid Row, King’s X, Nashville Pussy, Lincoln Theatre

Younger people may only know Skid Row from ex-singer Sebastian Bach’s occasional obnoxious romp through the media or through some ironic faux-metal hipster donning a too tight Slave to the Grind T-shirt, but the band is still making records, and they are no joke. Visit for, uhh, details. $19.50-$24/ 7:30 p.m. RI

Marty Christian, Open Eye Café

Taking his inspiration from the legendary forefathers of blues and soul, Marty Christian rises up from the soulful sludge of Muddy Waters to meet the acoustic slow burn of Jimmy Reed’s Southern shuffle. His newest album, Bluesicana, is a roots-inspired romp through acoustic-flecked balladry marked by sure-handed guitar filigree. Three gigs comprise his N.C. tour, so be sure to catch this modern day blues anthologist before he heads back down to his Big Easy homestead. Free/ 8 p.m. KJ

Sunday, November 5

Matthew Ryan, Michelle Malone, David Mead, Thad Cockrell, The Pour House

She’s usually considered a folksinger, but Michelle Malone can crank out some greasy bottleneck slide guitar as well. Her gritty vocals so impressed legendary bluesman Albert King that he dubbed her “Moanin’ Malone” the first time he heard her sing. The Atlanta based singer/guitarist’s latest, Sugarfoot, has a few quiet moments, but its mostly raucous, blues-tinged rock. Expect her to be the firebrand in this stellar set of writers. $8-$10/ 7 p.m. GB

Dead Prez, Melaphyre, L In Japanese, Inflowential, Cat’s Cradle

The release of Dead Prez’s debut full-length, 2000’s Let’s Get Free, presented the group as one of the most talented and promising acts in hip hop. Then they went and released a second album. Locals L In Japanese and Inflowential may not fit well with this Dead Prez, but the socially aware Melaphyre may bridge the gap. $18-$20/ 9 p.m. RI

Witchcraft, Danava, Local 506

Danava cruised through town this summer only to play to a 506 full of bartenders and Glenn Boothes. Things should be different this go round, Triangle, as Dusty Sparkles and company stop in to support Witchcraft, Sweden’s most faithful interpreters of Osbourne’s howls and Iommi’s riffs. Yup, it’s Black Sabbath adoration on both accounts, but up through the earth with Witchcraft and down from outerspace with Danava. This time, don’t let me down. Leadfoot opens. $8-$10/ 9:30 p.m. RM

Mistress Juliya, Sinaria, Berkeley Café

If you’ve ever watched Fuse TV, you probably caught a frame or two of Mistress Juliya. Until recently, the ultra-pissed metal chick was the “face of the network.” But after a serious lowball, the fullback-shaped video vix flew the coop and took her permanently extended middle finger on the road with toughguy hardcore and dirtball metal bands like Sinaria. Why not head out to Berkeley and ask her about the new Fuse jock, Julia? How cold? Also, Angle of Incidence, Until Dawn and Shadow Realm. RM

Monday, November 6

The Tyde, Explorers Club, Local 506

Surfing references notwithstanding, both of these bands work a sunny pop vibe despite being from opposite coasts. The Tyde’s melodies shimmer with oohs and ahhs atop pastel-colored keyboards and guitars in hooky fun. Charleston, S.C. group Explorers Club is shameless in their worship of all things Beach Boys, so they’re a natural match. $8/ 9 p.m. CT

Bandelirium, The Cave

Mouse and the Cave folks like the funny, and this music trivia game show is pure low-budget entertainment as seen through the prism of legendary TV game shows: “Celebrity” guests get sloshed on camera, a polyester-clad host smiles in tacky splendor, and a show biz aesthetic usually reserved for dives in the Catskills presides. Be a part of the “action.” 10 p.m. CT

Tuesday, November 7

White Whale, Headlights, The Honored Guests, Local 506

The debut from Lawrence, Kan. indie semi-supergroup White Whale (Matt Suggs, his Thee Higher Burning Fire bandmates and Get-Up Kid Rob Pope) seems like it should be the perfect middle ground for the Merge masses: Here, Suggs’ voice is a crossroads of M. Ward and Ivan Rosebud, and the band’s best material oscillates between The Arcade Fire’s melodi-drama and Dan Bejar’s propensity for idiosyncrasy and flair. But it’s been largely ignored, due as much for its sprawl as its labelmate propinquity. Still, it’s another notable notch in another banner year for Merge. Headlights, who beam late winter pop imbued with early spring sunshine, opens, along with Chapel Hill’s The Honored Guests. $8/ 9 p.m. GC

Robert Earl Keen, Kevin Fowler, Cat’s Cradle

Starting off as a front-porch picker with Lyle Lovett when both were students at Texas A&M in the early ’80s, Robert Earl Keen became a specialist in musical portraits of those on the bottom rung of the economic and social ladder. Sounding like John Prine done Jimmy Buffett style, Keen chronicles life’s ups and downs with a sense of humor and a heart as big as Texas. $22/ 9:15 p.m. GB

Valient Thorr, Street Sharks, Kings

The Thorr dudes prop up some shtick about their other-worldly origins, but Street Sharks are all-American. They sport the red-blooded stripe of hardcore that started in the ’80s but never really disappeared, thanks to screwed up governments and how tattoos continue to look cooler than shirts. 10 p.m. CT

Kinky, Lincoln Theatre

Though the term folktronica is generally reserved for laptop gurus like Four Tet who funnel mundane source material into new-frontier technology, the term perhaps applies better to Monterrey, Mexico’s Kinky. The quintet combines live rock instrumentationbass, guitar, drums, vocalswith omnipresent samplers and keyboards, tightly winding them all like a rainbow rubberband and letting the kinetic energy generated fuel a multilingual dance party in five-minute bursts. You’re as likely to hear a traditional accordion riff as a hard house beat, but you’ll revel in both. Grammy nominees, late-show favorites and boundless fun, Kinky and its exuberance may be worth a Wednesday off. $8-$10/ 9 p.m. GC