Thursday, April 20

The Walkers, Todd Deatherage, The Cave

Songwriter Todd Deatherage earned acclaim as an alt-country acolyte in Dallas a ways back, but now calls NYC home, where he makes tender power-pop. He works solo here, with room to let his pipes breathe in the Cave’s ambiance. He starts at 7:30 p.m., with the Walkers on the late shift. –CT

North Elementary, Port Huron Statement, Regina Hexaphone, Kings

North Elementary has taken its time in following-up 2003’s almost-there LP, Lose Your Favorite Things, releasing a set of three 7″ singles on Sit-N-Spin Records. And from the sound of those six vinyl sides, the pause has done the band good: John Harrison seems totally devoted to the song and everything around it now, planting major-chord melodies in the most sonically rich soil he can find and letting them grow into sprawling lo-fi operettas. Sara Bell’s Regina Hexaphone is gentle acoustic beauty, and Raleigh’s Port Huron Statement snaps and crackles its pop, an addiction to be enjoyed. 10 p.m. –GC

Emery, Anberlin, The Fold, Cat’s Cradle

While all the ‘heads and heathens are crowded around gigantic bongs this April 20 (see page 67) , Tooth & Nail Records will be packing the Cradle with G(o)od kids, squeaky clean emo, and pop punk with ruffled collars. So if weed isn’t your thing, and touchy-feely rock with the requisite WWJD bracelets is, this show’s for you. Take that, Hazmat! $15/7 p.m. –RM

The Brunettes, Schooner, Bickett Gallery

If you don’t recognize New Zealand’s The Brunettes from their tour with Rilo Kiley last year or their tour with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah this year, you’d do good to get familiar with the stylings of Jonathan and Heather. Their duo-in-love guitar-crunch, twee-bounce pop is instantly alluring and full of the kind of one-liners that make it stop being cute and start being honest. Sub Pop loves them and will release the band’s third full-length later this year. Schooner opens. 10 p.m. –GC

Friday, April 21

Two Gallants, Cold War Kids, Second Husband, Wetlands

On “Las Cruces Jail,” the opener from Two Gallants’ Saddle Creek debut, the San Francisco guitar-and-drum duo manages to pay homage to Bob Dylan (“Down the highway, down the road to infamy”) and Johnny Cash (“I shot one man on the county line”) and sound entirely convincing do it. Minimal garage rock with the maximum life sentence. $7/9 p.m. –GC

The Spinns, The Cave

Spinns fans know their sound emits from young bodies but old souls. They’ve made their brash take on rock in its infancy and the gnarled offspring of such–from Gerry Roslie to Bolan–malleable, and often as heavy as warm pig iron. Corinne West plays the early show at 7:30 p.m. The late one starts at
10 p.m.–CT

The Prayers & Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers, Pyramid, Meredith Bragg, Kings

The Prayers & Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers is led by Perry Wright, a songwriter with one of the most developed lexicons of words and ideas I’ve ever experienced. His songs attempt to rectify his sadness in a world where collective knowledge seems to indicate such is not possible. Virginia’s Meredith Bragg writes songs with the majesty of Elliott Smith, and Charlotte’s Pyramid turns Drag City-style beard folk into experimental manifestos. 10 p.m. –GC

Saturday, April 22

Lucero, Langhorne Slim, The Reputation, Local 506

In the swelling midst of the big-as-Kansas Marshall stacks and the rebel-rousing rock ‘n’ roll drums of Memphis’ Lucero, the poignancy of Ben Nichols’ lyrics sometimes find themselves interred. Then they come creeping up again, like on “Summer Song,” a track from the band’s recently re-released late-’90s home recording, The Attic Tapes: “The clouds in the summer sky don’t do shit for the heat, but the girls and the shows and the summer nights are still nice to see.” This band has been living behind the eclipse of the Drive-By Truckers for a criminally long time. Buy this record and see this show, opened by The Reputation and Avett Brothers’ associate Langhorne Slim. $10-12/10 p.m. –GC

Martin Sexton, Jason Adamo, Cat’s Cradle

Describing Martin Sexton as a singer/songwriter with a soulful voice is surely accurate, but it’s also lazy at best and short-changing and damning with faint praise at worst. For full appreciation, you really need to witness Sexton command a music hall as he moves from warm baritone to chilling falsetto with the ease of the gifted. Raleigh-ite and Sexton-in-training Jason Adamo opens. $17-19/8 p.m. –RC

Michael Gulezian, The ArtsCenter

Virtuoso guitarist Michael Gulezian has boosters both national (a clever, glowing quote from Garrison Keillor seems to follow Gulezian wherever he goes) and local (WXDU’s long-running New Frontiers show has given him a lot of airplay). His inventive yet always melodic playing is worthy of that kind of devotion and has earned him same-breath mention alongside the likes of John Fahey, Leo Kottke and Michael Hedges. $14/8 p.m. –RC

Rainer Maria, Bellafea, Wetlands

Ostensibly, Rainer Maria was so boring at the Cat’s Cradle last August because they knew what was coming: Catastrophe Keeps Us Together, their sixth full-length. Catastrophe‘s fangs are in absentia, essentially rendering an adult-contemporary heartbreak record with adulterated guitars and only retaining the strength of Caithlin De Marrais’ hell-hath-no vocals.That absence results in the worst album to date for a band whose lack of ingenuity in emo-saturated lyrics has most often been overlooked thanks to the fervor with which they were delivered and the nervous guitars in which they were bathed. Luckily, Bellafea hasn’t defanged for a second, and they make this show worth seeing. $8/9 p.m. –GC

Tuesday, April 25

Avail, The Draft, Smoke or Fire, Pink Razors, Cat’s Cradle

Before Epitaph Records was irrelevant. Before Drive Thru Records swallowed punk rock’s soul. Even before it was cool to talk about how many times a band had been around the block, this Richmond, Va. four-piece (plus dancer/cheerleader/hype man Beau Beau) was selling out clubs all over the United States. Now, over a decade after their formation, four of Avail’s crowning hardcore achievements have been reissued by Jade Tree. Smoke or Fire and the snotty Pink Razors play support for Avail’s victory lap around the country. $10/7:30 p.m. –RM

Kenny Roby, April & George

Kenny Roby was known to don a dress when he fronted the punk-rocking Lubricators, and he’d often wear a porkpie hat as leader of the roots-rocking 6 String Drag. These days, Roby’s biggest fashion statements are the emotions on his sleeves. Leaning on songs from his two most recent releases–one a record of personal loss, the other of spiritual gain–and calling on a voice that hides nothing, he makes you feel his pain and his joy. Free/8 p.m. –RC

Trapt, Shinedown, Halestorm, Disco Rodeo

Three Atlantic Records rock bands proving everything that made you frown about major-label bands: Trapt is ultra-agro modern rock with overwrought rough guy vocals, while Shinedown imitates Audioslave and Soundgarden in one love-will-save-us fell swoop. New Atlantic signee Halestorm actually has an ounce of promise and a spunky lead singer who spells her name “LZZY,” so there.Consider: If you’re feeling particularly androgenic for any reason, there’s this or Tivo’d episodes of Ted Nugent’s reality show, and this option at least involves human interaction. $20-25/7:30 p.m. –GC