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The guide to the week's concerts 

This week's guide contains:

YES, PLEASE: Anna Rose Beck, Hope For Agoldensummer, Rich Robinson, Dylan Leblanc, Ra Ra Riot, Delicate Steve, Yellow Ostrich, Wham City Comedy Tour, The Beast, Yahzarah, Reverend Horton Heat, Supersuckers, Dan Sartain, Zen Frisbee, Shit Horse, Screaming Females, Whatever Brains, Sex Church, Chuck Prophet

VS: Arbouretum vs. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin




With Anna Rose Beck, it's all about the voice. Sure, the tender but lush arrangements of her reserved modern folk resound with bittersweet pedal steel and intricate fingerpicking, but they would be nothing without Beck's truly special air. Seeming at once both bold and understated, she manages piercing reverberations without having to reach. The result is moving and hypnotic, brimming with passion but never overpowering. Built of tasteful but still vibrant harmonies and similarly solid arrangements, the stripped-back folk of Athens' Hope for Agoldensummer should pair nicely with Beck. Effingham opens. $6/ 9 p.m. —Jordan Lawrence


Along with his brother Chris, Rich Robinson found fame and fortune early as one-half of the core of The Black Crowes. That band's 20-year run provided a fairly steady venue for his guitar work, but not necessarily an outlet for his own songs. Now in his 40s and after a lifetime of trials and tribulations, Robinson is stepping out with a batch of reflective hymns. His brand new solo record, Through a Crooked, showcases thoughtful lyrics and, of course, instrumental flare. Dylan LeBlanc, a barely-20, quite moody singer-songwriter and the son of a heyday Muscle Shoals session player), opens. $15/ 9 p.m. —Ashley Melzer


Ra Ra Riot specialize in the sort of indie rock specially made for corporate branding—dynamic and memorable, threading soft and forlorn numbers with louder bits of bombast by way of chanted melodies and full-body refrains. It's part of the new commercial core of indie rock that's edgy without actually having an edge, sort of like Coldplay without the major-label budget. Almost out of milquetoast guilt, though, bands like Ra Ra Riot always bring interesting openers: As such, Delicate Steve's

Wondervisions is a delightful trove of instrumental curiosities, from guitar-shredding think pieces and post-bop mannerism to perfectly blissful mantras. Yellow Ostrich opens the show. The Mistress, the Barsuk debut from the New York-via-Wisconsin debut, isn't close to perfect, but its sense of rhythm-and-harmony adventure are charming and full of promise, like a test run for something much more grand. $16–$18/8:45 p.m. —Grayson Currin


These days, when Dan Deacon isn't scoring Francis Ford Coppola movies or something, he's running around with a dozen or so of his pals from the Wham City collective being really funny. It's hard to explain, especially because there has always been a sense of goofball fun and performance at Wham City events. Back in 2007 in Baltimore, for instance, they did a stage version of Jurassic Park that was totally awesome. But they blend tripped-out videos, weirdo skits, quasi-one acts and even some stand-up comedy into two hours of acid-tinged, post-Tim & Eric insanity. Also: Dan Deacon in a cop's uniform ... $8–$10/ 9:30 p.m. —Brandon Soderberg


Several months ago, Yahzarah toyed with the idea of leaving her recording days behind her, as if experiencing a mild mid-career crisis. Then, in August, she gave birth to her firstborn, a son named Miles, whose conception may have been the saving grace for Yahzarah's waning interest in the music industry. While pregnant, she recorded the video for "Love Come Save the Day," a testament to the rejuvenating prospect of motherhood. In the video, she whirls and gloats on the shore of some utopian land, rubbing her stomach, etching her son's name in the sand and celebrating a renewed sense of purpose for her newest fanboy. This week, she returns to the place where her career began, backed by a new generation of Durham's music elite, The Beast. Let the rebirth begin. With Zakee. $10–$12/ 9 p.m. —Eric Tullis


Each band here makes music with enough wild-eyed abandon to crack the most implacable exterior. Dan Sartain is an ideal appetizer: While rockabilly rave-ups (performed with folk-punk enthusiasm) predominate, Sartain also sways into Tex-Mex, lounge, folk and blues with striking assurance. The Supersuckers rock like superheroes (albeit the boozy, self-medicating kind), moving monster riffage at high speeds while swerving through comic scenarios like a freeway chase scene. The Reverend Horton Heat offers a little flavor from both bands. He can shake his guitar just as ferociously as the 'suckers, but he also possesses enough subtlety and eclecticism to keep the audience off-balance. $18–$21/ 8:30 p.m. —Chris Parker


One of my top Hopscotch 2011 experiences was seeing Shit Horse frontman Danny Mason go all-out to entertain the crowd when the band ran into sound problems at Slim's. As the band and crew desperately tried to retool a failing PA system, Mason—decked out in head-to-toe red, like a pimpin' street preacher—danced, clapped and threw a seemingly endless supply of beef jerky into the overpacked crowd. Finally, the PA was fixed, and the band ferociously tore into a psychedelic punk jam. Their set at the Very Zen Frisbee Halloween show should be equally weird and, let's hope, very problem-free. $5/ 10 p.m. —Karen A. Mann

click to enlarge Screaming Females - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE BAND


Here's a perfect off-kilter Halloween celebration. The hard-to-pin Screaming Females cut their teeth in a New Jersey basement scene, cultivating the rambunctious essence that permeates both their music and live show. It's indie-punk at first glance, but this trio takes surprising new wave or hard-psychedelic hairpin turns, too. Marissa Paternoster's unhinged vocals and shameless, jaw-dropping solos take nods as much from Iggy and the Stooges as from unconventional guitar wizard Carrie Brownstein, while the rhythm section channels MC5 with respectable precision. Brooklyn's Big Eyes and Chapel Hill lo-fi punks USA Baby open. $8/ 9 p.m. —Corbie Hill


The Vancouver foursome Sex Church collects an impressive bunch of dark, heavy punk on its second LP,Growing Over, released this month via Load Records. Coated in Spacemen 3 scuzz but throbbing like Suicide and pushing like Neu!, Sex Church's mire suggests a point between the manic garage of TV Ghost and the mind-bludgeoning fog-punk of The Men, with a shifty sneer all their own. Raleigh's Whatever Brains have a crooked and jaundiced eye on the world, too, but it's expressed in a wirier and more spastic brand of skewed-and-skewered post-punk. But for their differences, better pairs are rare. $5/ 9:30 p.m. —Bryan C. Reed


"I wish I could sing exactly like Chuck Prophet," said Austin songbird Kelly Willis, whose voice is itself a thing of beauty. Though Prophet first made his name as a guitarist (with pioneering late-'80s band Green on Red) and more recently has earned acclaim as a songwriter (through his collaborations with Alejandro Escovedo), there is indeed something about his voice that draws you in: a distinctive combination of ultra-cool confidence and honest vulnerability. Willis possesses gorgeous pipes, but in Prophet, she heard a character and personality that made a lasting impression; indeed, she eventually recruited him as a producer for one of her own albums. The Bay Area-based Prophet often tours with a first-rate backing band, and his nine solo records—the most recent of which, Let Freedom Ring!, was issued by local label Yep Roc—have infused his roots-grounded material with chameleonic twists and an electric charge. This solo show will put that voice in the spotlight. $10–$12/ 8 p.m. —Peter Blackstock

Sunday, Oct. 30


From: Baltimore
Since: Mid '00s
Claim to Fame: Holding down the prog-folk corner of stoner rock

If you dipped the intricate '70s folk of Renaissance in grunge and rolled a spliff with the result, it'd get you high like Arbouretum. Their songs are monstrous caverns, where the music reverberates and throbs skyward in hypnotic plumes. Frontman Dave Heumann's playing is quite sublime; he's sometimes compared to Richard Thompson, though his sinewy, snaking drone more often recalls Television's Tom Verlaine. The stately grace of the song structures and Heumann's lyrics can create somewhat of a barrier to their approachability. The new album, The Gathering, changes tone. Keyboardist Matthew Pierce has replaced guitarist Steve Strohmeier, meaning the band now forges something more atmospheric. With The Moaners and Celebration. At NIGHTLIGHT. $6/ 9 p.m.


Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin

From: Springfield, Mo.
Since: 2002
Claim To Fame: Onetime indie pop buzz band

Indie pop can be as generic as the term itself. On this count alone, Arbouretum's distinctive grungy prog-folk has Someone Still Loves You on the ropes—to make no mention of the unwieldy name. But the Missouri quartet's proven quite capable as songsmiths, adept with a melody but not so in thrall to pretty that they forget to rock. There's a welcome vibrancy to their music that staves off that safe feel of glass-case pop. They like a big hook and shimmery production, sure, but as their recent B-side and demo collection Tape Club proves, they simply write well. A propulsive, irresistible tune's enough to top Arbouretum's less immediate sound. With Trepak. At LOCAL 506. $8–$10/ 9 p.m. —Chris Parker


10.30 Grogh @ Kings

Taking its name from the Aaron Copland ballet inspired by F.W. Murnau's silent-horror classic Nosferatu, Grogh is, by name, perfect for a Halloween party. But the quartet, which makes its public debut at Kings' All Hallows celebration, matches the holiday's darkness and hedonism with an ambition that bolsters its dense, atmospheric metal.

"When I see a band that plays well, it's wonderful," says founder, drummer and singer Will Goodyear. "But when I see a band that plays well and challenges you visually, there's just nothing better than that." In addition to crafting the Grogh's songs, Goodyear, an alumnus of Between the Buried and Me, has helped his new collaborators—The Love Language's Stu McLamb and BJ Burton and Bright Young Things' Mark Connor—shift gears from bright pop-rock to ominous metal. Meanwhile, he has been filming pieces to complement the set. With a draped fabric screen and floor lighting to augment the display, the band hopes to captivate its audience with surreal lights and shadows. But that shouldn't take away from the music, a heady sort of doom built from murky guitars and shifting rhythms. "The music is definitely brutal," Goodyear affirms. Whatever Brains and Left Outlet open. $6.66/ 10 p.m. —Bryan C. Reed


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