For a band formerly defined by its rangy impulses, Spider Bags' Singles could be considered a return to form. Gathering tracks from five 7-inch singles and one split, the new compilation stumbles among styles, capturing a faithful cover of Jay Reatard's snot-rocket punk ("Out of My Head, Into My Bed") and a twangy smear of steel guitar and honky-tonk regret ("I Wish That I Never Had Fed You"), along with propulsive psychedelic whimsy ("Dog in the Snow") and charged garage-pop hooks ("Teenage Eyes"). Aside from a re-recorded and expanded version of "Take It Easy Tonite" featuring a bratty sax blast from The Wigg Report's Ben Riseling, these are previously released tracks, mostly issued between 2009's Goodbye Cruel World, Hello Crueler World and last year's superlative Shake My Head. But, granted proximity to each other, the 10 selections on Singles capture a wider-reaching and more exhilarating Spider Bags—more like the reckless and captivating band that earned its sterling reputation on dive-bar stages. With Flesh Wounds. Friday, June 14, at The Pinhook. $7/10 p.m.
Last year saw the release of Forgetters' proper debut, a self-titled long-player that arrived two years after their furious first singles. While the band doesn't shed any of its punk rock roar on stage, their album offers a more subdued presentation, highlighting frontman Blake Schwarzenbach's songwriting—a career-long strength stemming to his days leading '90s punkers Jawbreaker. In a rare solo set, Schwarzenbach promises to further pull back the curtains on his world-weary lyrics, pushing them forward with nothing but spare chords and his aching growl of a voice. Ben Davis & the Jetts and Jason Kutchma open. Friday, June 14, at Local 506. $10–$12/9 p.m.
Indie rock's '80s-pop nostalgia comes to a head in the songs of George Lewis Jr., Twin Shadow's figurehead. Where 2010's Forget favored murkier, moodier production, last year's Confess introduced a more cocksure Twin Shadow. Propulsive Joy Division bass lines and glossy synths provide an appropriately lush backdrop for Lewis' arrogant croon, a blur of Morrissey and Michael Hutchence. Appropriately, Lewis' lyrics on Confess undercut love and longing with lust and dishonesty, dickishness with earnestness. That duality undercuts his confident front, too, and suggests the troubadour as something more relatable and engaging. Elliphant opens. Sunday, June 16, at Cat's Cradle. $15–$18/9 p.m.
Glen Hansard, Doug Paisley
Glen Hansard's renown blossomed thanks to his indie band The Frames and especially his role in the Oscar-winning film Once, but his 2012 solo debut, Rhythm and Repose, suggests he'll bloom for some time. Between stirring acoustic ballads—all busker immediacy and blues ache—and full-bodied Van Morrison cool, the Irish songwriter arranges gallant sways and subtle twang to accompany his broken-in tenor. Don't miss his opening act: Though Doug Paisley doesn't share Hansard's spotlight, the Toronto folk-rock craftsman has plenty to offer with his elegant, elegiac songs. Understated and masterful, Paisley eschews shallow thrills for casual currency. Saturday, June 15, at N.C. Museum of Art. $12–$35/7:30 p.m.
Jack Tatum started Wild Nothing as a bedroom pop project while attending college in Blacksburg, Va., but as the demand for a full-band translation of his songs has grown, so has his songwriting ambition. This year's Empty Estate EP doesn't find Wild Nothing at its finest, but it does display a new attention to room-filling swells, driving beats and ringing choruses—all of which bodes well for the stage. With Twin Tigers and The Human Eyes. Wednesday, June 12, at Local 506. $14/9 p.m.
Lilac Shadows, Evangelicals, Companion, Jenny Besetzt
Lilac Shadows mingles bright, chiming guitars with a moody low-end, finding a hooky, psychedelic sweet spot in the midrange. They're an easy pairing with Oklahoma band the Evangelicals, whose hazy psych-pop suggests the Flaming Lips' accessible eccentricity. Greensboro's Jenny Besetzt open with propulsive post-punk to kick-start the more spacious sound of the Pepi Ginsberg-led Companion, from Brooklyn. Together, it's a strong quartet of varied but well-matched indie-pop predilections. Saturday, June 15, at Kings. $6/9:30 p.m.
Songwriters in the Round
The latest installment of this Casbah series features four performers forming two complementary pairs. Durham's Jason Kutchma and Kevin Abernathy of Knoxville, Tenn., use Americana to shade detailed character sketches, figuring daily struggles as poignant battles for redemption. Also from Knoxville is Mic Harrison of The High Score; he and Backsliders leader Chip Robinson court barroom solidarity, their characters' pains sparking commiseration. Saturday, June 15, at Casbah. $6–$8/8 p.m.
Night Beds, Jenny O., Des Ark
Plenty of bands traipse around the same Americana soil in which Night Beds find their comfort zone, but not all boast a frontman as good as Winston Yellen, whose warm, resonant vocals are strong enough to carry an a cappella track and agile enough to lead a full-band arrangement. Still, his voice pales to that of Aimée Argote, which steers the songs she writes as Des Ark from sing-along fullness to emotionally wrought whispers. Los Angeles' Jenny O., just back from European dates opening for Rodriguez, plays the middle slot. Monday, June 17, at Local 506. $10/9 p.m.
Russ Wilson & His Mighty Men
A master stylist, Asheville's Russ Wilson fronts a handful of bands, each dedicated to the faithful preservation of a particular style—its sound and its spirit—from rockabilly to big-band swing. With the four-piece Mighty Mighty Men covering swing, jump blues and early rock 'n' roll, Wilson leads this dance party for the Triangle Swing Dance Society. Saturday, June 15, at Murphey School at Shared Visions Retreat Center. $8–$12/8 p.m.
Mac DeMarco's faithful rendition of Weezer's "Undone (The Sweater Song)" for the AV Club came as a bit of a surprise, but it probably shouldn't have. The Canadian singer-songwriter has a penchant for endearing pop songs and tasteful guitar heroics, though on record, it usually lands him closer to Jonathan Richman than Rivers Cuomo. Live, the songs gain force and distortion, growing like hurricanes. With Lonnie Walker and Gross Ghost. Friday, June 14, at Kings. $10/9:30 p.m.
A real-world manifestation of Lisa Simpson's Non-Threatening Boys magazine, Ryan Cabrera sold a ton of his Jason Mraz-meets-Goo Goo Dolls pop-rock debut, the Johnny Rzeznik-produced Take It All Away, in 2004, then more or less faded away as he inched toward 30. Pop's fickle, and also, the sky is blue. Still, it seems poignant that this bill's middle act—similarly sensitive lite-pop songwriter (with a splash of Sublime reggae) Mikey Deleasa—is commanding $50 for a pre-show meet-and-greet. Dakota & Will open. Monday, June 17, at Motorco. $12/8 p.m.
Donna the Buffalo
In the "eclectic" melting pot of Donna the Buffalo's flavorless jams, funk gets flattened, folk loses touch, zydeco sheds its cajun spice, soul gets snuffed and rock recoils. Mellow like drowning, the long-running New York outfit makes Jimmy Buffett's snooze-cruise sound invigorating in comparison. Jerry Garcia, the accidental father of all this trickling treacle, has never been more gratefully dead. The Gravy Boys open. Friday, June 14, at Southland Ballroom. $20–$29/8 p.m.