Thursday, April 27

Elf Power, The Instruments, Mortar & Pestle, Local 506

Elf Power is one of the great overlooked psychedelic bands to echo down Athens, Ga.’s hallowed halls of the ’90s: Part of the problem was timing, part of it was being overshadowed by acts like Olivia Tremor Control, and part of it was a lack of consistency. Unfortunately, the band’s latest, Back to the Web, won’t add much in way of rep or legacy, as it’s of a decidedly Middle Eastern bent that works only in phases. Another Elephant 6 member, Heather McIntosh, leads The Instruments, which sound almost like the band Tony Conrad and John Cale could have formed with Lennon and McCartney. Mortar & Pestle opens. $8-10. –GC

Last Waltz Tribute Ensemble, The Pour House

Courtesy of the Last Waltz Tribute Ensemble, you get more than 20 songs from the deservedly legendary concert film, but without the spacey interviews. Among the guests joining the Atlanta-based ensemble is Georgia Satellite Rick Richards; no word on whether he’ll be portraying Neil Young or Neil Diamond. Captain Soularcat opens, and as their name implies, they lean jamward. $8 advance, $10/10 p.m. –RC

Friday, April 28

Don Dixon, The Pour House

For those who came of musical age outside Arrogance territory, it only took one trip through Most of the Girls Like to Dance But Only Some of the Boys Like To to catch up and discover that Don Dixon, in addition to being an in-demand producer, was also a first-rate songwriter, vocalist and musician. He’s proven it time and time and time again ever since. $10-12/7:30 p.m. –RC

Hearts & Daggers, Shannon O’Connor, Kings

Hearts & Daggers navigates the hard-living, hard-country theater of the absurd, singing about whiskey like it’s life-blood and sanity like it’s the thing that those “normal” assholes get to enjoy. It’s a malcontent marriage of punk sneer and country endearment, all jotted down and spat out through the fine melodic sense of frontman Kevin Wolfe. Speaking of fine melodic sense, Shannon O’Connor opens. Also, The Bo-Stevens. 10 p.m. –GC

Nathan Asher & the Infantry, American Aquarium, The Capulets, Lincoln Theatre

Three of the Triangle’s most popular acts–Nathan Asher & The Infantry, American Aquarium and The Capulets–all owe heavy debts to previous East Coast brethren: Asher & The Infantry roar like New Jersey’s Springsteen through anxiety attacks, American Aquarium musters North Carolina’s Ryan Adams through cigarette-and-coffee sermons, and The Capulets peg New York’s The Strokes for a little bit of last night’s lovin’. $7-9/10 p.m. –GC

Saturday, April 29

Rob Watson, The Bleeding Hearts, The Pour House

Sounding like a cross-larynx transplant between Jeff Buckley and Bobby Bare Jr., Garner’s Rob Watson has earned the title of soul man. He’s got plenty, but it doesn’t sound black. His latest, To Trade Hands, exhibits his range from pop to twang to rock, and makes you wonder why he ain’t famous–yet. $6/10 p.m. –GB

Brown Mountain Lights, The Cave

This show revisits the circumstances behind the Brown Mountain Lights’ debut, the live and self-explanatory Late Show at the Cave (which supplemented American-chart-seeking originals from Janet Place and Jeff Hart with a handful of smart covers). Perhaps going with that same truth in advertising approach, the Lights did some recording for their upcoming second release, Ghosts of the Old North State, in the Alexander Building in downtown Raleigh, overlooking Andrew Johnson’s birthplace. 10 p.m. –RC

Sunday, April 30

Laura Love Band, Cat’s Cradle

Laura Love is a black funk bassist from Nebraska who plays folk music. But in her hands it becomes funkaceltic or hill-hop. Her India Arie meets Rhonda Vincent vibe shakes ’em up seriously on the bluegrass circuit. $14-16/9 p.m. –GB

George Jones, Crown Center Theatre (Fayetteville)

It’s hard to swallow that a reminder of the importance of George Jones’ work would be necessary, but just in case, the two-disc The Essential George Jones (the second so titled set, actually) is on its way from Sony Legacy. Equally essential might be a Crown Theatre seat, with fingers crossed for “She Thinks I Still Care” and “He Stopped Loving Her Today.” $26-35/7:30 p.m. –RC

Tuesday, May 2

Carpenter Ants, The Pour House

Speaking of Don Dixon (see April 28), he’s long been a champion of West Virginia’s Carpenter Ants and their gospel- and rock-marinated R&B. There’s more: auxiliary Ants include Mountain Stage host and music director Larry Groce and original NRBQer Steve Ferguson, and the roll call of honorary Ants features Robyn Hitchcock, Joe Ely and Slim Dunlap. Free/9 p.m. —RC

Wednesday, May 3

On Three, Monsonia, Shannon O’Connor, Wetlands

What’s a Fake Swedish guitarist to do when the riffs reach critical mass and too much material falls by the psych.rock wayside? Start another band for all the leftovers, that’s what. Call it On Three, and enlist help from members of Glissade, White Elephant, Pawn Shop Ruby, Monsonia and Fashion Design, thereby forming a Triangle supergroup whose rock rolls right into big-time choruses bold enough to eclipse a couple FS songs on the way. Sloppy seconds never sounded so good. $6/9 p.m. —RM