Thursday, June 22

Lil’ Brian & the Zydeco Travelers, Blue Bayou Club

Lil’ Brian never heard a song he couldn’t set to a Zydeco beat. If you’ve ever wanted to do some Louisiana style leg shakin’ to the Stones’ “Beast of Burden” or Delbert’ s “Givin It Up for Your Love,” Brian’s your man. Or if you’re not of the dancing persuasion, just stand there and vibrate to his original blend of hip hop and Zydeco that the Houston area artist calls Z-Funk. –GB

Legendary Pink Dots, Veronique Diabolique, Local 506

Theater of the absurd: That’s maybe the best way to look at the Legendary Pink Dots, the England-to-Amsterdam pioneers of their own form of hyperbolic psychedelic theatrical goth music. They’ve always seemed scarier than they are, curious titles like “Flesh Parade” backed by almost banal lyrics like “And, sure, nobody’s perfect, just good at perfect crimes.” Co-founder Edward Ka-Spel even admits that he’s optimistic, a surprise given the apocalyptic bent of his writing and the band’s doomy, synth-heavy sound. This is their 25th anniversary tour in support of the album some are calling their best in a decade, Your Children Placate You From Premature Graves. Geez, guys. $13-$15/9:15 p.m. –GC

SNMNMNM, The Walkers, The Cave

Although the name sounds like an unholy alliance of hip hop and bondage, SNMNMNM (an acronym for the band members’ first names) are classically trained popsters who mix horns and accordion for a marching band with a sense of humor vibe. Despite the unusual instrumentation, the band keeps it smooth–no whiteboy ska, just mellow pop. –GB

Saturday, June 24

The Gourds, David Childers & the Modern Don Juans, Cat’s Cradle

This is a mutual admiration bill, a result of that age-old story: band meets band, sparks fly (in a good way), and the two decide to do some shows together. Childers & the Modern Don Juans dig the offbeat writing and Americana-plus smorgasboard of Austin’s Gourds, while the Gourds are taken with Childers and company’s street-level poetry and real rock ‘n’ roll presence. You’ll admire ’em both. $10-$12/9:30 p.m.–RC

Carolina Chocolate Drops, Saxapahaw River Mill

Drawing their inspiration from the foothills of the Carolinas, these three African-American string-band musicians joined together to revive the timeless tradition of folk and bluegrass music in North Carolina. Under the tutelage of Joe Thompson, said to be the last African-American traditional string-band player, the Drops have learned the structural foundation and precision needed to master that old-timey sound. Donations accepted/6 p.m. –KJ

Raleigh Downtown Live, Moore Square Park

It’s mid-June in Raleigh and the heat is on: Sure, breaking out the flannel shirt and ol’ Doc Martins for another ’90s rock revival downtown. This Saturday’s lineup includes a solo performance by John Wozniak of Marcy Playground (infamous for their hit single “Sex and Candy”), folk-rockers Carbon Leaf, pop funksters 13 Stories, and bluesy soul singer Ryan Montbleau. Alternative rock veterans Big Head Todd and the Monsters headline the show. Free/2 p.m. –KJ

Sunday, June 25

Triangle Blues Society Talent Contest, Blue Martini

The best local blues boys and girls strut their stuff for a chance to go to Memphis in the fall for the International Blues Competition. The Triangle Blues Society contest features eight finalists, bands and solo performers, vying for a spot on the TBS-sponsored West Street Blues Festival Oct. 7 as well as the Memphis slot. 4 p.m. –GB

Man Man, The Lovely Feathers, Local 506

Man Man sees the light, and I have no clue what that means. That’s just an example of the kind of ultra-enlightened, heavy-meta shit you’ll say upon seeing this brilliant Philadelphia five-piece, one of the best three bands on the amazing roster of California indie Ace Fu. Easy comparisons go the way of Tom Waits’ junkyard days or carefree gypsy music, but the band really seems to have taken Eastern European folk music, a love for the piano and cymbals, and beaten it into a spazzy, grinding, literate, funny rock beast. Canada’s The Lovely Feathers make smart enough (if somewhat passive) dance pop, but people will forget their name when Man Man is done. $8/9:30 p.m. –GC

Mel Melton & The Wicked Mojos, Southern Village Green

This summer-night series kicks it into double-hot territory this week. Mel Melton & The Wicked Mojos bring the spirit of New Orleans up to North Carolina, conjuring the region’s Cajun spice as the Town Hall Grill applies it to copious boiling crawfish. $15/7 p.m. –GC

Jan Smith, The Cave

Although her sound is often labeled folk or bluegrass, singer/songwriter Jan Smith cranks out some wicked country, sounding more like honky-tonk angel Kitty Wells than a high and lonesome bluegrasser. Smith is a hardcore roots package in a velvet pouch. –GB

Monday, June 26

Guapo, Zombi, Maple Stave, Local 506

Guapo’s songs are what it sounds like inside a serial killer’s head–as I tend to call it, “maniac music.” On last year’s Black Oni, the British combo devoured chaotic avant-prog and nutso jazz, knocking the Parisian weirdness out of Christian Vander (or at least approximating a more interesting, Lee-less Rush) in the process. Zombi, a Pittsburgh duo joining Guapo on their cross-continental trek, are an anomaly on the coarse, metal-heavy Relapse Records roster. Much sleeker–at times even calling to mind a vampire Devo or a harsher Kraftwerk–Steve Moore and A.E. Pattera opt for 20 time signatures set to melotron instead of half-stack’d guitars. $8-$10/10 p.m. –RM

Tuesday, June 27

The Futureheads, French Kicks, Cat’s Cradle

Sunderland, England’s The Futureheads just released their second album, Skip to the End, which is to say they released the logical follow-up to their self-titled debut, which is to say it’s still like a more user-friendly The Clash, which is to say they are one of the most derivative bands in rock music, which is to say they are really great at what they do, which is to say their stuff is repetitive, which is to say their live set should be fun for about three songs, which is to say their band name is unpleasantly ironic. Echoes are entertaining. They eventually get annoying. $13-$15/8:30 p.m. –GC

The Paper Chase, Piglet, Invasion, Local 506

The PAper ChAse is an indie rock band from Texas who preach in the second person, telling “you” how bad your life is or how bad it will get. It would seem like only idle cantankerousness if the band’s arrangements weren’t so ambitious and overwhelming, each five-minute span smelting into a mini-opera, strings and pianos and drums and guitars and screams blowing up in the face of the world and demanding retribution or release. Their second Kill Rock Stars full-length, Now You Are One of Us, is a big gulp of a concept record, but their live show may change your life. Piglet and Invasion open.
$7/10 p.m. –GC

Wednesday, June 28

Pearls & Brass, Torch Marauder, Local 506

Get it right: Philly’s Pearls & Brass don’t play hipster metal. Sure, the Drag City three-piece is in love with the late ’60s just like all the rest of those stoner defibrillators, but it’s the British blues-rock stuff that’s pulling at Randy Huth’s guitar strings. With this year’s The Indian Tower, P&B keep Sabbath out of it and get down a la The Groundhogs on Thank Christ for the Bomb. Our own Torch Marauder opens. $8/10 p.m. –RM