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The guide to the week's concerts 

This week's guide contains:

YES, PLEASE: Converge, Torche, Red Fang, Black Tusk, Wood Ear, Call Of The Wild, The Tender Fruit, Cult Of Youth, Schooner, Naked Gods, Some Army, Fifteen Dead, Loudon Wainwright III, Dar Williams, Dysrhythmia, Last Year’s Men, Fletcher C. Johnson

VS: The Love Language vs. Daughn Gibson

VS: Pinback vs. Ash



For almost 25 years, Converge has been one of music's most intense and interesting bands. Last month, the foursome released its eighth album, All We Love We Leave Behind; it works as a reminder of how exactly Converge has stayed current for longer than many of its fans have been breathing. After the guest-heavy 2009 album Axe to Fall, Converge opted for a more streamlined effort. That is to say, the deep wells of influence that allow Converge to nimbly combine incendiary grindcore, jagged hardcore and deliberately composed post-rock aren't the focus here; instead, the album, like Converge on any stage, is a product of the band's locked-in chemistry and powerful urgency. Torche, billed as the headliner, is a steady draw with big riffs and bigger hooks, but Converge will be a tough act to follow. With Kvelertak and Whips/Chains. $15–$17/7:30 p.m. —Bryan C. Reed


Beyond the shared naming convention of colored canine teeth, Portland's Red Fang and Savannah's Black Tusk are perfectly complementary, both as tour- and labelmates. The acts owe substantial debts to '70s hard rock riffs, even if they reveal that influence in different ways. Red Fang's leaner and cleaner approach shades Valient Thorr-ish riff-metal with Queens of the Stone Age boogie and Soundgarden melody. On their Jack Endino-produced Set the Dial, Black Tusk takes a more pan-metal approach, speeding into thrash and rumbling toward death metal, without shedding the momentum or accessibility of strong riffs. With Lord Dying. $12–$14/9 p.m. —Bryan C. Reed


This eclectic bill opens with Tender Fruit frontwoman Christy Smith performing solo. The Chapel Hill artist worked with Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), among others, on her 2010 debut, Flotsam & Krill. That brilliant start explores tender, harmony-enriched indie folk pop with more texture, energy and guitars than you'd typically expect. Noisy New York act Call of the Wild charges forward with the thundering intensity of Motörhead and the raw guitar tone of early American punks like the Dead Boys. Headliner Wood Ear brings a vibrant, guitar-centric sound that suggests distortion-drenched alt-rock with a sturdy roots foundation, supporting expansive structures that often stretch to six minutes. $5/9:30 p.m. —Chris Parker

click to enlarge Cult of youth - COURTESY OF THE BAND


A coffeehouse, with its attendant associations of impassioned speechifying, seems the ideal place to take in Cult of Youth. Sean Ragon leads the band; his songs emphasize the protest angle of postmillennial folk music while incorporating tinges of post-punk and goth flavoring. The project originated as a one-man operation, but it's now fleshed out with a full band, meaning the sound has evolved into a texturally complex affair augmented with violin and throbbing bass. Ragon's long-lined lyrics and feverish baritone call to mind Nick Cave, while the churn of rustic rhythms ground his dark, cathartic chants in the skiffle idiom, with rousing choruses that achieve grandeur. $5/9 p.m. —David Klein


Boone's Naked Gods espouse an almost Kinks-like playfulness: The jangle-prog quintet commands modern swirls of psychedelia within distinct power-pop. Schooner's delightfully experimental pop-rock earns the intimidating e-word not by going off on wild tangents but by augmenting perfectly intuitive song structures with unexpected, though balanced textures. And Some Army plays this show just weeks after releasing its powerful second EP, which cuts an excellently crooked path between night-driving Americana and high-flying British space-rock. $5/9:30 p.m. —Corbie Hill


The Scottish quintet Fifteen Dead admits their latest EP, Born to Never Understand, offers a "far heavier approach" than previous efforts, but their inroads into death metal's melodies serve their self-described "NecroCrust" foundations well. The band's raw, ragged alloy of black metal's stinging gales and crust-punk's scuzzy rumblings benefits from the more forceful and dynamic elements. Written and recorded quickly, the EP manages a balance of ambitious compositional elements and primal aggression. With Population Zero, RBT and Shadows. $5/9 p.m. —Bryan C. Reed


"I am older than my old man now/ I guess that means I kicked his ass," sings Loudon Wainwright III on his latest, Older Than My Old Man Now. After releasing 25 albums during the last four decades and trying to bring the ghost of Charlie Poole back to stages, Wainwright has become something of a singer-comedian-truth teller, pairing his wit with brutal honesty and sharp insight. Dar Williams' work rounds the same corners, spinning everyday observations into bigger questions about life. Best intentions and simple memories are folded into lovely folk tunes that are as likely to surprise with a clever turn of phrase as disarm with beauty. $29–$54/8 p.m. —Ashley Melzer


New York trio Dysrhythmia rarely gets written about without being called "progressive metal" at least once. And while it's true that the instrumental band employees the same sort of deft musical gymnastics that the term suggests, their relative concision and directness make them much more approachable than many of the bands you'll spot beneath that umbrella. Sure, they're prone to shift motion and meter, but their insistence on aiming ever-forward makes Dysrhythmia feel like less than a gauntlet, even if their latest LP is called Test of Submission . With Escher and Noctomb. $8–$10/9 p.m. —Grayson Currin


Here's hoping Last Year's Men bring new songs to air out in public: As great a debut as Sunny Down Snuff is, it's been more than two years since these guys released that album. And when new groups whip up a batch of garage-friendly tunes that tumble in the rough and make with an inescapable melody with equal ease, it's only natural to want more. So, can we get it, or what? The relaxed, folksy stylings of Brooklyn's Fletcher C. Johnson set the table for what's bound to be a satisfying evening. $6/9 p.m. —David Raposa



FROM: Raleigh
SINCE: 2007
CLAIM TO FAME: Hooks of glory

Stu McLamb recorded the first Love Language album mostly by himself, writing the bulk of the record in his parents' Cary home after the breakup of a previous band and some regrettable life decisions. That burn-to-shine, self-titled debut of garage-fi pop, rock and soul propelled McLamb and the large band he formed to national tours, media acclaim and, most important, a contract with Merge Records. By the time The Love Language released the follow-up, 2010's Libraries, McLamb's ensemble had coalesced into a tight support group capable of holding sway in front of a few thousand people as the opening act in a Cary amphitheater. In the two-plus years hence, talk of and sessions for the third Love Language LP have happened, as has another monumental shift in lineup. Tonight, McLamb will headline the big local room with another new ensemble, confirming that his consistent talk of a democratic Love Language eventually cedes to the cut-and-run impulses heard in his breakup tales. Two excellent locals, The Toddlers and Gross Ghost, open. At LINCOLN THEATRE. $12–$15/9 p.m.



FROM: Carlisle, Pa.
SINCE: 2012
CLAIM TO FAME: Truck-driving crooner

Josh Martin recorded All Hell, his debut under the name Daughn Gibson, at home and by himself in a small Pennsylvania town after the end of his skewed stoner-blues band Pearls & Brass. Haunted by the deep brood of Merle Haggard, fascinated by the stories he'd gathered as a truck driver, and predisposed to play nothing very straight, Martin began penning country songs full of ghosts and reverb, eccentricities and samples. All Hell suggests Lee Hazelwood burrowing into a cave of self-indulgence and isolation, unexpected parts embedded within unlikely anthems. The intriguing album has earned Martin a deal with indie giant Sub Pop, but so far, that rise in status hasn't slowed the individual nature of his ways. That's good, too, as Martin's oddity remains the sharpest selling point of his narrative creekers. You can go to any used record store and go home with a crackling country tune, but only Gibson's profoundly sad "Lookin' at 99" suggests Boards of Canada backing your best Stetson crooner. Milwaukee's Cedar A.V. opens. Tonight in Raleigh, this is the show to see. At KINGS BARCADE. $8/9:30 p.m. —Grayson Currin



From: San Diego
Since: 1998
Claim to fame: Mellow, meticulous grooves

Since forming as a bedroom-based side project, Pinback—Rob Crow, Armistead Burwell Smith IV and a rotating touring unit—has done little to alter its almost hypnotic sound. Defined by hushed vocals, melancholic melodies, mellow atmospherics, elastic grooves and airtight beats, Pinback sounds much like Pinback on last month's Information Retrieved, hardly distinguishable from the band's self-titled 1999 debut. That's either good or bad, depending on your existing opinion of Pinback; at any rate, they find a rare balance between being ruminative and danceable. Solos—featuring members of Hella—offers outlandish and proggy pop in the opening spot. At MOTORCO. $15–$17/9 p.m.



From: Northern Ireland
Since: 1992
Claim to fame: Hooky alt-rock

After forming as a teenage trio in the early '90s, Ash soon outgrew pop-punk in favor of anthems in a variety of molds, unified by their undeniable infectiousness. The band's never received much recognition on this side of the pond, despite releasing a masterful pop-rock pastiche in 2001's Free All Angels. A series of singles—released bi-weekly for a year—allowed Ash the freedom to dabble in moody, synth-heavy '80s sounds, while its latest EP features covers of tunes made famous by Abba, The Beach Boys, The Strokes, David Bowie and Carly Simon. Durham's Pink Flag opens with similarly evolved pop-punk. At LOCAL 506. $12/9 p.m. —Spencer Griffith


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