Ryan Adams & The Cardinals
Meymandi Concert Hall
In case you need another reminder. Mr. Adams is returning for a show at the BTI Center at 8 p.m. Tickets at the door are $26.
The cult of Japanese group Melt Banana includes metal heads, noise freaks and avant-garde jazz fanatics. Agata Ichiro hurls bolts of guitar lightning with staccato feedback at 100 miles an hour, rubbing against Yasuko O's diamond-sharp shrieks, belting out tiny phrases like some cartoon superhero with the power to bring down concrete walls with her voice. Arrive in time for Vaz, dark-hued rock of the highest order and heavy local openers Kolyma. 10 p.m. --Chris Toenes
John Dee Holeman and Skeeter Brandon
American Tobacco Campus
Music Maker recording artists Holeman and Brandon pay a bluesy visit for the public opening of the campus. The free show starts at 5 p.m. under the water tower across from the Durham Bulls Stadium.
Experimental, organic, epic and dreamy, Charlotte's Pyramid is an eight-piece multi-instrumental juggernaut whose power comes less from the pummel of guitar than the percolating textures that wash through the songs. It's as though musical impresario Jim O'Rourke arrived at Sonic Youth's practice one day and suggested they explore post-rock, then proceeded to pull out the twisted country of Kramer & Eugene Chadbourne's Shockabilly, as an example. Pyramid's music is just such a daylight hallucination caught in a haunted gust of kaleidoscopic, art-damaged beauty. Show starts at 10 p.m. --Chris Parker
Better Than Ezra
When 3,000 people turned out to Moore Square on April 30 following a thunderstorm to see Big Bad Vodoo Daddy, a band who has remained hitless since 1998's "You & Me & The Bottle Make 3 Tonight," Raleigh proved it welcomes free outdoor music downtown. The Capital City gets another chance with electric guitar-based pop trinkets Better Than Ezra and Dishwalla. Locals Parmalee open, as well as the show's real highlight: a one-hour slice of heaven spent hearing Thad Cockrell and Caitlin Cary harmonize out in the open air. 3-11 p.m./Free--Grayson Currin
Willowdale Car show
Hot rods and beefed-up trucks rule the Willowdale Car Show Saturday at Willowdale Cinemas. Registration for the competition is $20 and begins at 8 a.m. Prizes will be awarded at 3 p.m. D Martini & the Highballs provide a rock n' roll backdrop to the judging from noon to 3 p.m. Willowdale cinemas is located at the corner of Guess and Horton Road in Durham. --Jon Ross
North Carolina Symphony
Almost in time for the Tony Awards comes the symphony's tribute to award-winning Broadway musicals. You know the drill--The King and I, The Music Man, Evita and Les Miz. You'll be humming 'em for a week after. The action starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, $22 door at the door. Children 12 and under get in free. www.boothamphitheatre.com.
The Robot Ate Me
A double album about Hitler and Jesus--how did San Diego's The Robot Ate Me manage to cross the finish line first with that concept? On Vacation easily plowed dozens down by its genius (yes, genius) pop doormat of invitation last year. Intricately constructed and vivid as Ukraine eggs, Ryland Bouchard has tweaked the genome of twee into a darker strain of brazenly obtuse and sweetly sincere tunes. Chalk him up for the next American Idol. 10 p.m. --Eric Weddle
Vocal Arts Ensemble
An evening of sacred music in a fitting venue will serve as The Vocal Arts Ensemble of Durham's annual summer concert. The group, which features 32 singers and is accompanied by a string quartet, will perform musical works in a broad range of styles. Program highlights include Benjamin Britten's "Hymn to St. Cecilia" and "Dieu! qu'il la fait" by Claude Debussy. The concert starts at 7 p.m. Admission is $10 and $5 for youth. --Jon Ross
Call him the Randy Newman of quirk, Jonathan Richman has built a substantial catalog on his mixture of shy innocence and canny, off-beat observation. The legacy of his first band, Modern Lovers, is often overlooked but was a key antecedent to new wave, its members (Jerry Harrison, David Robinson, John Felice) going on to join key bands, such as the Talking Heads, Cars and Real Kids. Stylistically, Richman owes a huge debt to Chuck Berry, whose classic rock n' roll style forms the basis on which Richman builds his oddball tunes, from "Roadrunner" to "Vampire Girl." The straightforward sound perfectly abets Richman's artless lyricism and heartfelt, naifish charm. 10 p.m./$10 --Chris Parker
The Pour House
Despite lineup changes, for the last decade, the Austin-based Derailers have consistently delivered what lead guitarist Brian Hofeldt calls the "Bakerpool Liversfield" sound, a mix of Beatles harmony and Buck Owens' Bakersfield style honky-tonk. Vocalist Tony Villanueva's departure left a big hole, but the big, barrel house keyboards of Sweet Basil McJagger and regular appearances by pedal steel virtuoso Chris Schlotzhauer fill in the gap for a smooth '60s retro country sound. Russ Varnell and The Too Country Band opens. 8 p.m./$12 --Grant Britt
Hotel Motel, Bringerer, Glaz Almaz
Triangle-area group HotMot's melodic undercurrent keeps the band's sometimes-dissonant rock clipping along, full of catchy hooks. Chapel Hill's style-switcheroo band Bringerer, with nitro-fueled anthems and soft-spoken reflections, bookend this lineup. Guitar power-punkers from Cleveland and Baltimore, Glaz Almaz, fits the bill. 9 p.m./$5 --Chris Toenes