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

Thursday, April 12

Bibis Ellison, Alina Simone, Secondhand Stories, The Reservoir

When colliding guitars and crashing drums coexist in minimal space, a Reservoir show can blister your eardrums. But this evening’s show features a softer side of the Res, with a triplet of low-key songwriters who will leave your ears ringing with bliss: Chapel Hill’s Bibis Ellison makes tear-stained acoustic songs that sound a bit like a spooky Sarah McLachlan channeling Poe, while Carrboro’s Alina Simone makes a pit stop between Rennes and Moscow to charm local fans with her smoky coos and intimate folk-balladry. Charlotte’s Secondhand Stories add in their gorgeous Americana blues and Jennings/Johnson vocal warmth. 10 p.m. KJ

Out With a Bang, Double Negative, Brutal Knights, Cross Laws, Bull City Headquarters

Over-caffeinated and sleazy as fuck, Verona, Italy’s Out With a Bang plays a perfect breed of scumbag punk for those too jaded to enjoy everything else. Think The Meatmen, early Circle Jerks and a coked-up second sex tape from Paris Hilton. This band is about as subtle as 9/11. Raleigh’s best hardcore bands, Double Negative and Cross Laws, open. 8 p.m. RI

Friday, April 13

Kylesa, Buildings To Dust, Tooth, Volume 11 Tavern

Kylesa’s earth-crushing Motörsludge defies the laws of modern metal. The Savannah, Ga., quintet makes an unnatural mix of punk, hardcore, power metal and just about any other type of heavy music to blinding success. Three vocalistsincluding the very, very angry-sounding Laura Pleasantsshare gravelly chants while pounding thick-stringed, ungodly de-tuned guitars. They’re also backed by two (!) technically brutish drummers. 8 p.m. RI

King Wilkie, Hideaway BBQ

Not content to get by on just the “bluegrass wonderboys” tag, this Charlottesville sextet branches out on the upcoming Low Country Suite, due in early summer on the Rounder imprint Zoe. Ace musicianship and close harmonies still do the driving, but sidetrips such as “Angeline,” which sounds a little like the Stones’ “Angie” reimagined as mountain music, suggest that the guys have unfolded a new map. The Packway Handle Band and Mad Tea Party share the bill. $10/ 9 p.m. RC

Nathan Asher & the Infantry, The Honored Guests, Nathan Oliver, Local 506

UNC’s music blog Diversions makes everyone else in the Triangle look like rock critics crutching on 10 p.m. bedtimes and tastes for sleeping late: Over the past year, they’ve thrown themselves behind local music with gusto and enthusiasm, posting album reviews, show reviews and live photos on a daily basis. Fittingly, they’ll celebrate a year of good work with their own rock show, inviting three of the locals they’ve supported along for the scorethe Boss-bastic Nathan Asher & the Infantry, the texture-enthusiastic The Honored Guests and the nervy Nathan Oliver. Free/ 9 p.m. GC

The Tourist, Wes Phillips, Nightlight

It’s great to see the name Wes Phillips back on a bill, even if the word Ticonderoga comes behind it in parentheses, preceded by “formerly of”: If Ticonderoga doesn’t make another record, the two LPs they released in 2005 stand as unparalled hallmarks of what Raleigh accomplished in the first half of this decade. Phillips is an instrumental mastermind with a songwriting panache that makes all the odd angles sound right. Welcome back. The only current Ticonderoga member, Mark Paulson, produced the just-released strong debut from The Tourist, who headlines. The Love Language are the shouting-down-the-halls, break-up sounds of former Capulet Stuart McLamb. Pretty good, too! Also, Andy Abelow. $6/ 10 p.m. GC

Saturday, April 14

Drunk Stuntmen, Hideaway BBQ

Underground vets of more than 15 years, this Massachusetts sextet play country rock the same way NRBQ play the blues, with a keen professionalism and effusive spirit that take it beyond genre confines: It’s rock ‘n’ roll, after all. While residing in the same general neighborhood as the Truckers and around the corner from Grand Champeen, the Stuntmen’s organ use infuses a soulful, R&B flavor. Frontman Steve Sanderson’s got a radio-ready tenor and a knack for vocal melodies, another factor in their escape from the Americana ghetto. Songs like Iron Hip‘s “No No Girls” stops just shy of Cheap Trick wonder. $8/ 9:30 p.m. CP

Junior Boys, San Serac, Cat’s Cradle

BPM-challenged electro-pop from the Kings of Composure, or the Canadian snorecore duo Junior Boys. Expect a bunch of silver-surfer funk vamps and mini-decibel boogies in dazzling binary code. If you like your Morr-style lappop “glacial” and “graceful” or boring, this is a best bet. If you like it with a “pulse” and a “purpose,” maybe show up early for sashaying slice-n-dicer San Serac and his Massachusets-by-way-of-B’more diskohouse. $19-$12/ 8:30 p.m. RM

WUAG CD release party: The Never, Emperor X, Embarrassing Fruits, Local 506

UNC-Greensboro’s student-run radio station, WUAG 103.1, has offered an annual compilation of locals and nationals recorded live in their studio for the past four years, and this double-disc set, Taylor: A Nostalgic Retrospective, may be the best yet. Richard Buckner, Oakley Hall and Talkdemonic all lend a track, with N.C. bands from Carolina Chocolate Drops to Boa Narrow gracing the disparate ends of disc two. This is the station’s fourth release show in four days, and an Emperor X appearance is always worth leaving your house. $8/ 9:30 p.m. GC

Up The Irons, Outliar, The 3 Christs, Volume 11 Tavern

Heavy metal’s most transcendent giant is still together and still relatively awesome, so there’s absolutely no need for an Iron Maiden cover band in 2007. Then again, heavy metal is about decadence, not necessity. Up the Irons is Raleigh’s own Maiden mimic, specializing in the golden erathe ’80sfrom London’s finest. 8 p.m. RI

Dexter Romweber, Sadlack’s

A great musician can turn music inside out, steering one’s attention from basic appreciation of the song into awe at the constituents of its conception. You don’t stare from the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge saying “My, that’s a nice bridge.” You think, “How did they do that?” Similarly, when you watch Dexter Romweber play his scorching roots-abilly, there’s a tendency to lose the song in gape-jawed amazement and meditation on Romweber’s ability to blend the ’50s and ’60s building blocks of rock into something vibrant and unique. Maybe he’s the real ninth wonder of the Triangle. 7 p.m. CP

Stuck Mojo, The Brewery

A rap-metal act whose savage churn owes a debt to fellow Atlanta-bred Fishbone-biters Follow For Now, Stuck Mojo remained largely a regional act during their late ’90s heyday. Their breakthrough 1998 album, Rising, poised Stuck Mojo on the verge of greater success. Then, in 2000, a decade of label troubles broke the band up in advance of their (still unreleased) fourth album. But guitarist Rich Ward was unwilling to stop, forming an entirely new lineup and last year releasing the album Southern Born Killers. New singer Lord Nelson does sound a lot like Chuck D, which, here, is a plus. With Black Acid Disco, Jakt and Slavemachine. $8/ 8 p.m. CP

Sunday, April 15

Vienna Teng, The Pour House

Vienna Teng may share her name with the Austrian home of Mozart and Beethoven, but her musical prowess reaches beyond classical piano and lands in the cozier, pop-laden place that Carole King and Joan Baez found in the late 1970s with their gentle folk parades. This is where Teng shines most brightly, quietly channeling her smooth soprano into piano-driven songs accompanied by gentle strings. Native Carolinian roots-rocker Jonathan Byrd starts things off right with his down-home country crunch. $10-12/ 8 p.m. KJ

Taylor Hollingsworth, The Cave

Hollingsworth’s reedy tenor escapes from a tight sneer of mod/glam attitude, filtered through an Alabama-bred twang. The twisted coils of guitar pealing from his amp spin out with a deep-seated R&B shimmy, like Lucero being schooled by the Small Faces. Tracks like the horn-fueled rave “Little Queenie” and his Jimmy Rodgers cover “Gambling Barroom Blues” hint at Hollingsworth’s ability to be more than another Stonesy country rawk act. There are certainly worse things: Hey, Daughtry’s in town! CP

Monday, April 16

RATATAT, Despot, Cat’s Cradle

Good luck enjoying Junior Boyswho make fine music for working outindoors at a rock club on a Saturday night. Similarly, good luck enjoying RATATATwho make music that should be enjoyed only at unbelievably sweaty house parties or chemical-heavy dance clubsat a rock club on a Monday night. When the duo (live, a trio) visited Local 506 last year, people were only half-convinced they should move at all, and that’s only fun for the band that’s getting paid for a sold-out house. Also, at the end of RAT’s set, their guitar broke, but you could still hear the “guitar.” I would totally call bullshit, but that happened when the OK-whatever Def Jux emcee Despot was added to this bill. Still, that cougar sample and “Lex” get me every time. $12-$14/ 9:30 p.m. GC