This week's guide contains:
YES, PLEASE: Årabrot, Wizard Rifle, Tim Barry, The Brand New Life, The Bad Plus' Rite of Spring, The Body, Raul Malo, Dio's Benefit, The Fleshtones, Blood Red River, The Damnwells
VS.: Elephant Six vs. Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
VS.: J. Roddy Walston & The Business vs. Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside
03.25 ÅRABROT, WIZARD RIFLE @ KINGS
Norwegian duo Årabrot gets heavy and mean without being yet another Nordic metal act. Not to knock the black metal canon, but it's nice to see hard-hitting variety from the frigid region. Instead, Årabrot's noise-bathed guitar and stuck pig squeals suggest stylistic progenitors Melvins on a punk-metal kick. Also a full-volume duo, Portland's Wizard Rifle is a downtuned, half-time stoner-noise-doom outfit that revels in the absurd excesses of psychedelic metal. With lines like "I can't touch you at all / surrounded as I am by the monsters in your thrall," it's hard not to giggle a little. With the local hardcore of Devour and Thieves. $7–$8/ 9 p.m. —Corbie Hill
03.25 TIM BARRY @ LOCAL 506
As a folksinger, former Avail dude Tim Barry's just as likely to write songs critical of social stratification or ballads about forgotten slave uprisings as he is to lead a group of children in "This Land is Your Land." His works glorify troubadour traditions like trainhopping and willful separation from mainstream culture with lines like, "I pay $200 rent/ and I work when I like," in "Idle Idlylist." Jenny Owen Youngs opens the show with her punchy alt-country-flavored folk. But she avoids pigeonholes with such jaw-droppers as her cover of Nelly's "Hot in Here." $10/ 8:30 p.m. —Corbie Hill
03.25 THE BRAND NEW LIFE @ NIGHTLIGHT
The Brand New Life is a vibrant, worldly wall of sound—notes fly furiously from sax, clarinet, flute and tuba while a trio of percussionists provides the pulse percolating beneath. Electric guitar and bass give a funky bite to the Greensboro septet's infectiously danceable hybrid of Afrobeat and free jazz. Though his instrumental jams have a touch of tropical flavor, virtuosic steel drummer Jonathan Scales ventures outside the box with his opening Fourchestra. This is a lively, sophisticated jazz fusion. The gorgeous, dreamy folk of Carrboro's Skylar Gudasz and the Ugly Girls is the outlier here; still, Gudasz's soaring songbird lilt will reward those seeking a more gradual start to the party. $5/ 9:30 p.m. —Spencer Griffith
03.26 THE BAD PLUS' RITE OF SPRING @ DUKE
Minneapolis jazz trio The Bad Plus have previously tackled the work of Russian-born composer Igor Stravinsky, adding a nimble variation of his Apollo ballet to 2009's For All I Care. But that disc also included interpretations of work by groups ranging from Wilco and The Flaming Lips to Nirvana and Outkast, an indication of the musical bravado and stylistic esprit these three wield. Tonight, they'll tackle Stravinsky's riot-inspiring hallmark, the dramatic and difficult The Rite of Spring. Duke Performances, inching toward the end of a landmark season, presents this as another commission and world premiere. $5–$34/ 8 p.m. —Grayson Currin
03.26 THE BODY @ MOTORCO
The Body is a two-piece from Providence, R.I.—just bass, drums and vocals from two nice boys originally out of Arkansas, dog lovers named Chip King and Lee Buford. Don't let the size matter: The Body is not only louder than most every band you'll see this year, but they're also more inventive and aggressive. Cutting bumpy passes between doom metal and noise rock, The Body booms and broods, howling about man's decreasing margin of error while playing with the sort of soul-stirring intensity that makes you want to live better. Their proper first LP, All the Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood, was one of metal's masterpieces last year; tonight they recharge those pieces with a keyboardist in tow. With Whitehorse and Systems. $7/ 9 p.m. —Grayson Currin
03.26 RAUL MALO @ CAT'S CRADLE
Since going solo, Raul Malo—frontman of the adventurous, Grammy-winning mid-'90s country combo The Mavericks—has found an even broader roots palette for his buttery tenor. Born in Miami to Cuban parents, Malo folds a healthy amount of Texas and Mexican music into an eclectic array of influences that includes vocal jazz, surf and early rock 'n' roll, along with reminders of the more traditional country that won over Nashville. Malo will get a run for his money from opener Shannon Whitworth's smoky, elegant pipes, which drape her pop-tinged bedroom folk gracefully. $22–$25/ 8 p.m. —Spencer Griffith
03.26 DIO'S BENEFIT @ VOLUME 11
Local metalhead and concert promoter Tony Leonard is better known to the metal scene as Dio. The nickname is perhaps the only evidence that better reflects Leonard's allegiances than the five bands assembled to pay him tribute (and help offset his medical expenses). Headliner While Heaven Wept hails from Virginia, but you'd be forgiven for assuming European origins. The band's lush prog-metal is more expansive than explosive. Vocalist Tom Phillips employs the operatic, trained and vibrato-heavy vocal style singers like Rob Halford and Ronnie James Dio used to build heavy metal's foundations. Fans of melodic trad-metal won't be disappointed, either, by openers Twisted Tower Dire, Widow, Hellrazor and Dark Design. $7/ 7 p.m. —Bryan Reed
03.26 THE FLESHTONES, BLOOD RED RIVER @ LOCAL 506
They hail from the very first garage rock revival, going back 35 years, but time hasn't dimmed The Fleshtones in the least. They're still a wild, screaming V-8 with the requisite verve and swerve to shake you from your seat. Frontman Peter Zaremba's vocals possess the gruff flair of David Johansen, while the music moves with the spark of the classic '60s blend of organ-driven R&B, surf and rockabilly. It's party music that never loses the melodic thread. Their latest, Brooklyn Sound Solution, features guests Lenny Kaye and Patti Smith and a joyously chunky garage-psych take on "Day Tripper." $10/ 9:30 p.m. —Chris Parker
03.29 THE DAMNWELLS @ KINGS
The Brooklyn-based baby of songwriter and frontman Alex Dezen, The Damnwells are a rotating collection of friends who back Dezen's shimmering, starry-eyed pop-rock touched with a slight twang. Dezen's hardly breaking new ground, but he reliably buries big chorus melodies in listeners' heads. Harper Blynn is from the same borough—both literally and figuratively—as The Damnwells, but the opening quartet is more likely to leave an impression. The band beats out its neighbors in the hooks-per-minute race while packing its quirky indie rock with alluring harmonies. Opener Howard Jennings writes loping, radio-ready ballads that may fool early attendees into thinking the headliners hit the stage two hours ahead of schedule. $10/ 8 p.m. —Spencer Griffith
SATURDAY, MARCH 26
From: Athens, Ga.
Claim to fame: Talented collective of psych-pop adherents
Hear ye, all who love the texture and the trill of scintillating pop descended from The Zombies and The Beach Boys, then lightly coated in fuzz. Your champions have come in the form of this oft-buoyant band of super-friends, many of whom call an Athens commune home. Like a lo-fi '60s-pop-inspired hootenanny, members cross-pollinate one another's works, fashioning music ranging from sunny psych-folk (Elf Power) to labyrinthine prog-pop (Olivia Tremor Control), whimsical art pop (Music Tapes) and brilliant ramshackle fuzz folk (Neutral Milk Hotel). Sporting 11 members, audiovisual aids and a kumbaya spirit, they're in a Justice League of their own. At KINGS. $10-$12/ 10 p.m.
SHARON JONES & THE DAP-KINGS
From: Augusta, Ga. (by way of Brooklyn)
Since: Late '90s
Claim to fame: Spot-on soul revivalists
Fearful be anyone that stands against the funk. Jones' spirited vocals and backing band offer more than mere nostalgia. Their vigor and musicianship are a time machine that revitalizes a soul that's grown stale with formulaic R&B loverboys and M.J. knock-offs. Growing tighter and ever more assured, Jones and company's retro craftsmanship's almost indistinguishable from the source. That's certainly where Jones digs, excavating the Godfather's blend of sugar and spice and tearing its lid off like the Ark of the Covenant. With Countdown Quartet. At LINCOLN THEATRE. $25-$28/ 8 p.m. —Chris Parker
SUNDAY, MARCH 27
J. RODDY WALSTON & THE BUSINESS
From: Baltimore via Cleveland, Tenn.
Claim to fame: Resurrecting rock 'n' roll
During a recent episode of The Simpsons, Bart—upon receiving $20 from Grampa Simpson "for some rock 'n' roll records"—cleverly exclaimed "To the antique store!" While many would agree with the Simpson lad's sentiment, J. Roddy Walston & The Business does its damndest to prove that rock—with no qualifiers—is alive and well. Expect the Baltimore quartet to shake Kings down to the basement bar with its rowdy rock boogie and huge, howl-along choruses that'll win instant converts. With the sunny '60s specter of The Tomahawks and the chilling, gothic Americana of The Mike Roy Show. At KINGS. $9–$10/ 9:30 p.m.
SALLIE FORD & THE SOUND OUTSIDE
From: Portland, Ore. via Asheville, N.C.
Claim to fame: Reviving rock 'n' roll
Like a recent episode of The Simpsons, Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside manages to simultaneously elicit feelings of both comfortable familiarity and a strange newness. With a strikingly unique voice that will resonate throughout Motorco—think Samantha Crain or Cary Ann Hearst—Ford and her backing trio craft a timeless blend of classic blues, country and roots rock updated with youthful spunk. The quartet plays two full sets as part of Motorco's Bloody Brunch. Accompanied by the deliciously inventive grub from the KoKyu food truck, it's either an ideal appetizer for Walston or a pleasant Sunday afternoon treat on its own. At MOTORCO. Free/ 2:30 p.m. —Spencer Griffith