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

Tursday, November 9

Caltrop, Tiger Bear Wolf, Building the State, Reservoir

Caltrop is the best metal band in North Carolina right now. Well-educated in the school of Sabbath, the Chapel Hill four-piece exhibits caustic riffage allying Sleep, the mathematical prowess of Karp and a brute force comparable to the heydays of Harvey Milk, but with zero shortage of originality. Grooving between beautiful and bloodthirsty, this band is a true triumph in Southern sludge. 10 p.m. RI

Black Keys, Black Angels, Cat’s Cradle

As moves to major labels go, bands don’t do better than the transition to Nonesuch, Warner’s best art wing with a roster built on the backs of national treasures like Steve Reich, Emmylou Harris and Wilco. Black Keys recognized this and made the jump from Fat Possum for Magic Potion. And, though it’s not the best work from Akron, Ohio’s garage blues maniacs, it’s dirty and grimy and ugly enough to show that the scathing sound of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney’s guitar and drum primitiveness won’t be shaping up to standards of high fidelity too soon. People go loving “Texan droners” Black Angels, but people do the darndest things these days. SOLD OUT/ 9:30 p.m. GC

Asylum Street Spankers, The Pour House

The Spankers’ irreverent wackiness runs through their nostalgic music. Though their sound owes more to an age before amplified instruments, their lyrics border on the risqué. It follows they still have a sturdy fan-base since the demise of their former peers, our own Zippers. $12/ 9 p.m. CT

Friday, November 10

The Nevers, The Pour House

The Nevers’ brand new Someday, Maybe Never serves up plenty of small-stage arena rock, the sound of guys who still cart their Cheap Trick and Zep LPs from move to move in milk crates. But when the guest pedal steel wanders in on “King City,” it’s proof that old-ish (but young at heart) rockers can learn new tricks. With fellow Triangle-area pop-rock travelers Stratocruiser and the Breaks also on the bill, it’s like a mini Sparklefest. $5/ 9 p.m. RC

Twilight Singers, Cat’s Cradle

“There’s a girl laying at my door/ I would die just to taste her blood once more,” Twilight Singer and Afghan Whig Greg Dulli taunts by way of introducing “My Time (Has Come),” one of several powerhouses on Powder Burns, the best album he has recorded in years. If this sounds like high drama, it is: Dulli battled back a drug habit to write this album, and he recorded it, in part, in New Orleans days after Hurricane Katrina, driving his studio with a gas generator. It’s one of 2006’s most controlling affairs, full of demons exposed and examined, if not exactly excised. Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan supports tonight, too, as well as Stars of Track and Field and Jeff Klein. $15/ 9:30 p.m. GC

Two Dollar Pistols, Joe Swank & The Zen Pirates, Hideaway BBQ

A little bit country, a little bit rock ‘n’ roll: That could be the perfect tagline for this double set. Swank and his crew of swarthy swashbucklers rev up the “tear in your beer” sentiment with booze-it-up anthems and love-scorned parables. Two Dollar Pistols pair their red-hot guitar licks and bone-thumping basslines alongside a helpin’ of bleeding heart tales. Lightweights and tenderhearts beware. 9 p.m. KJ

Saturday, November 11

N.C. Songwriters Competition, The ArtsCenter

Is Top 40 corroding your hope for creativity? Every year, one event restores faith to the faithless, and it’s the N.C. Songwriters competition, a place of lyrical muscle and creative lenience. Come check out this year’s finalists: Jen Adams, Aaron Burdette, Chuck Champion, Valorie Miller, Scott Pearce, Karl Ruch, Molly Slone and Michael Troy, and cheer on your favorite. $10-$12/ 8:30 p.m. KJ

Gob Iron: Farrar and Parker, Cat’s Cradle

Sorry for the cynicism, but I wasn’t expecting much from Gob Iron, the new collaboration from Jay Farrar and Anders Parker. Farrar’s post-Tupelo experiments have been best when they focused solely on the song, so the thought of 19 tracks (with nine instrumental interludes) was frightening. But Death Songs for the Living is one of the year’s best surprises, the sound of two souls with shared passions uniting to interpret their roots (including a perfect take on “Hard Times”) under alternately swaggered and sublime premises. Life after Varnaline and Volt? Finally. $14/ 9:15 p.m. GC

Detroit Cobras, Local 506

“We’ve never said this is like a Rolling Stones project where we start with covers with hopes of being an originals band one day,” says Detroit Cobras frontperson Rachael Nagy. The Cobras’ covers are as unique as the obscure originals, done industrial-strength-punk style with plenty of Motor City grit and swagger. King Khan & BBQ Show mix punk, soul, surf and rockabilly for an unholy roar that’ll rattle your world. Also, Taylor Hollingsworth. $10-$12/ 10 p.m. GB

Porter Hall, TN, Hideaway BBQ

“Whiskey, whores, and overtime have taken your place now that you’re gone”: With those opening lines from “The Golden Chain of Hate,” East Nashville quartet Porter Hall, TN makes clear that they’re down with the core temptations and tribulations of country music. And the X-styled twang & thump they bring to their songs celebrates the glorious tension that happens when country meets punk. The Rust Kings open. $5-$7/ 9 p.m. RC

Jimmy & the Teasers, The Cogburns, The Cave

506 and Cave regulars Jimmy & the Teasers are sure enough entertaining, but definitely plan ahead to catch The Cogburns. The Atlanta-based quartetall Catholic-schoolkids-gone-bad posture, punk fire, power pop hooks and shout-along chorusesstole the show on the recent Sparklefest Friday with a, literally, stage-damaging performance. And, yes, they have true grit. 10 p.m. RC

WXDU Benefit Show, Duke Coffeehouse

Every year, events like this remind us how lucky we are to have such a rich culture of radio around the Triangle. Familiar faces pop uplike NonCanon, a new duo with Danny Vaughn (Mothlight) and Rob Koegler; Le Weekend, a yacht/indie rock experiment with folks from Piedmont Charisma, Audubon Park and Razzle; and Natasha, Durham synth-rock women. Look for The Rovers to skronk some avant garde march between bands. Show up to salute local music and one of its loudest voiceslocal radio. 8:30 p.m. CT

Sunday, November 12

Les Georges Leningrad, Local 506

Woefully, Montreal’s fierce electro-industrio freak circus Les Georges Leningrad has never caught the right wave to popularity: Their spree of tones from grinding guitars and multifarious keyboards could make plenty of noise acts cop plea, but their beatsdexterous tribal polyrhythms dialed to a dance-to-death disco severityare dangerous pistons pumping. Poney P.’s vocal spasms could find a groove in the minds of Kathleen Hanna acolytes, but her irrascible wit often gets subsumed by the trio’s sonic dares. There’s too much here for the kids to get behind, but they keep getting better. Dance, already. $8/ 9 p.m. GC

John Hammond, Patrick Fitzsimons, The Pour House

John Hammond doesn’t cover songs. He surrounds ’em with all of the heart and soul he can muster. A gifted interpreter, in live performance he gets so enmeshed in resurrecting ancient black bluesmen that you can hear him talking off-mike to the ghosts he’s channeling. It’s unsettling, but highly satisfying. Asheville’s exuberantly percussive-fingerpickin’, one-man-band Patrick Fitzsimons opens. $12-$15/ 7 p.m. GB

Monday, November 13

Blue Cheer, Local 506

Yep, that Blue Cheer, progenitors of the shredded guitar onslaught of heavy metal and most left of center guitar rock since the ’60s. Like most long-running bands since then, they’ve had a run of lineup changes, but are back in a solid grouping again, with original drummer Paul Whaley and bassist Dickie Peterson and longtime axe man Duck MacDonald. Birds of Avalon and Adult Filmmakers open. $15/ 9 p.m. CT

Tuesday, November 14

Dig Shovel Dig, The Whole World Laughing, Plane Crash, Videohippos, Nightlight

The Nightlight retains its roll as the Triangle’s utmost noise-rock residence when Asheville duo Dig Shovel Dig returns for an evening of freakout fuzz and keyboard toe-jamming. They are joined by Baltimore audio/visual connoisseurs Videohippos, Carrboro’s harsh landscapist Plane Crash and the illustrious Dave Cantwell and Scotty Irving of The Whole World Laughing. $5/ 10 p.m. RI

Wednesday, November 15

G. Love & Special Sauce, Lincoln Theatre

It’s been a dozen years since G. Love forged a connection between hippy soul and the jazzy bounce of hip hop. While no more a b-boy than Ad-Rock, Love’s charm and shuffling musical polyglot (thanks to the then-ubiquitous “Cold Beverage”) secured (ever-receding) major label success. A chance beachside collaboration with Jack Johnson led to the ’99 hit “Rodeo Clowns,” which helped launched the platinum-selling Johnson, whose Brushfire Records became Love’s post-major home. Lemonade, his second for Brushfire, finds Love energized and working that familiar bluesy funk vibe. $22.50-$25/ 9 p.m. CP