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

Wednesday, December 6

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Can Joann, Local 506

One of the year’s most deserving blog buzzees swings through the Triangle to visit our very own bandwidth-gobbling Can Joann, who’ve been rubbing (a blog-based MP3 aggregator) with hype machine standards since October.Economic popsters Yeltsin toe the line between “delightfully unkempt” and “totally disheveled,” while CJ belt out powerful pop with the confidence and gusto of a loveable blowhard on his third bourbon.$7/ 9 p.m. RM

Hackensaw Boys, Packway Handle Band, The Pour House

Old time tunes flowing down from the mountain can be split up into two categories: There’s the ethereal, haunting string-band ballads and the drop-down drag-out hootenanny jams. Charlottesville’s Hackensaw Boys cater to the second approach, busting up banjos, strings and spoons for the blue-collar crew with their drunken porch band musings. Athens’ Packaway Handle Band is a little less intoxicating but every bit as mercurial, putting down the bottle for the Bible. $6-$8/ 9 p.m. KJ

Thursday, December 7

Mingus Young CD release party, Wetlands

Fittingly, the word Wilco comes up often in discussions of Chapel Hill’s Mingus Young, and, as such, they seem to be stuck somewhere between the transition from Wilco’s 1996’s Being There, 1999’s Summerteeth and 2001’s breakthrough, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. That is, they’re much like erstwhile Wilco member Jay Bennett: Their melodies brim, the choruses shine, and the sonics are directed if breezy. An obsession with texture is subservient to song, and there’s plenty to suggest a strong foundation for a big future. SeepeopleS and Death of the Sun open. $6/10 p.m. GC

Asobi Seksu, Local 506

Revisiting the loud-delicate dynamic of early ’90s dream pop, this New York City quartet purvey a creamy, psychedelic thrum somewhere between the somnambulant grace of Luna and Technicolor grandeur of Lush. Singer/keyboardist Yuki Chukidate’s lovely vocals switch between English and Japanese, contributing to the music’s otherwordly air. Their second album, Citrus, adopts a rich sonic palette, with the billowing atmospheric hooks gilded in Wedding Present-style strum. They play with Veronique Diabolique and Glissade. $8/ 9 p.m. CP

Sons of Ralph, The Cave

Before there were Sons of Leon (Followill, or the Kings of Leon)but, OK, after there were Sons of Champlinthere were Sons of Ralph. Or, as they’re known on the family tree, Ralph Lewis and his two sons Marty and Don. (Two honorary siblings round out the quintet.) Time-honed skills, familial harmonies and the love of a good time embolden the guys to range from traditional bluegrass to not-so-traditional rock, with many stops in between. Pass the hat/ 10 p.m. RC

Friday, December 8

The Comas, 1986, Schooner, Cat’s Cradle

Ex-Carrboro, current Brooklyn band The Comas have had a record in the can and slated to come out on Vagrant Records (which The Hold Steady, Paul Westerberg and Dashboard Confessional all call home), but there’s no sign of a release yet. It’s too bad, too, because you have to think that their slightly spacy, alternately aggressive and self-effacing guitar rock could have one-upped Annuals and Evangelicals this year. Maybe next year, Mr. Herod. $8/ 9:15 p.m. GC

Spider Bags, Local 506

It would be easy to suggest that Spider Bagsthe country-fucked Chapel Hill band that’s too alt for “” bastions like the Bloodshot Records gangsounds like the kind of sad, self-involved drunken day that follows from some sort of car crash. But if I mention car keys or yellow lines in association with songs this songs this chemical and neurotic, I’d be liable. Busted and perfectly anti-perfect, the kind of stuff you want to be sad for. Openers Calico Haunts play gorgeous dirges for those not quite living but refusing to die, and Stone Fox grabs middle billing. Free/ 10 p.m. GC

Will Hoge, Roman Candle, American Aquarium, Raleigh Music Hall

Like a cross between John Mellencamp and the Gin Blossoms, Hoge plays rootsy rock that harks back to mid-’90s MOR radio. His recent work’s pop production and approach sand away the charm and idiosyncrasy of his Atlantic debut, Carousel, whose edgier crunch recalled Marshall Crenshaw with a dash of the Old 97s. Either way, neither album adequately captures Hoge’s engaging stage presence. $10/ 10 p.m. CP

Eric Church, Sarah Buxton, Carolina Rain, Lincoln Theatre

Country radio giant WQDR rounds up three of Nashville’s newest stars for a Yuletide fundraiser to support needy families in the Triangle (see for a list of wishes). N.C. native Eric Church serves up Southern-fried country rock reminiscent of Haggard and Prine, while Carolina Rain hammers out tight harmonies and flat-picked refrains. Sarah Buxton joins the triple-bill with her soaring soprano and melodramatic country-pop. $10 minimum donation/ 9 p.m. KJ

Saturday, December 9

Snatches of Pink, Local 506

Snatches of Pink leader Michael Rank is an interviewer’s dream, a flashback to the days when musicians believed in the capital-R Rock and its power to kick your capital-A Ass. As he once told the Indy when presented with a multi-part Trouser Press description of his band, “I’m just happy when they use any words like ‘Stones,’ ‘raunch’ or ‘punk.’ So a combination of all three is like the fucking pupu platter.” Fellow believers (but more flannel than glam) Brothers Grim open. Free/ 10 p.m. RC

Sunday, December 10

Ray LaMontagne, Memorial Hall, UNC-Chapel Hill

Upon the release of his debut Trouble, Ray LaMontagne was rolled out as some kind of backwoods-cabin musical savant, like Thoreau with a scarred-soul voice. He also got plenty of Van in New England comparisons, perhaps even a one-man Band thing or two. Of course, rarely are things so press-kit perfect, and LaMontagne’s ambitious follow-up Till the Sun Turns Black presents him as an artist still looking for himself and for answers. That’s a good thing. It’s a search that promises to be fascinating to experience. Tristan Prettyman opens. $25/ 8 p.m. RC