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The guide to the week's concerts 

This week's guide contains:

YES, PLEASE: The Hot at Nights, Drive-By Truckers, Megafaun, Fan Modine, Mac McCaughan, The Mountain Goats, Greg Cartwright, Sammy Bananas, Eleanor Friedberger, Hospitality, Pink Flag, Lam! Lam!, Schooner, Wesley Wolfe, Disappears, Lotus Plaza, Amy Ray, Kaia Wilson, Across Tundras, Bitter Resolve, Make, Quintron & Miss Pussycat

VS: Bela Fleck & the Flecktones vs. pH Factor



The Hot At Nights' progressive jazz results from the sweltering synergy of virtuoso guitarist Chris Boerner, saxophonist Matt Douglas and drummer Nick Baglio. Fresh off a national tour with Nicolay (the producer half of The Foreign Exchange), on which they played at the prestigious Blue Note in New York City, the band has a free-to-download Shibuya Session EP that would likely appeal to fans of Robert Glasper's electronic explorations. Boerner gets extended range from an eight-string guitar, "sort of a hybrid of bass and guitar smashed together," he says. With pop leanings ranging from Radiohead to Roxette, the trio celebrates catchy hooks and visceral grooves with an attitude that remains playfully serene. $7–$10/9 p.m. —Sylvia Pfeiffenberger


For more than a decade, Drive-By Truckers have been the underground's finest rock band. Principal songwriters Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley excel at voicing the downtrodden and disinherited while weighing the priorities of moon landings versus social spending and lauding the poetry of falling ever farther without hitting bottom ("Gravity's Gone"). They're comparable to Springsteen thanks to the power of their working-class odes. In the past few years they've mediated the Replacements-lifted attack to explore soul, roots and boogie with less of the full-barreled three-guitar attack. Megafaun opens. $25–$28/9 p.m. —Chris Parker


Early Slumberland act Black Tambourine played its first shows since 1991 earlier this month, and Fan Modine was there. Brainchild of songwriter Gordon Zacharias, the Carrboro band shared the stage with this influential twee-pop outfit as part of chickfactor magazine's 20th anniversary, a multi-venue, multi-state celebration of indie-pop. Fan Modine deserves such celebration. Last year's Gratitude for the Shipper is a masterpiece of the apparently jubilant, inwardly bleak dynamic twee-pop is built upon. Few buzz bands handle this power-pop-descended approach as deftly as Zacharias. With Flesh Wounds' infinitely danceable, moderately noisy garage rock and Boykiller. Free/10 p.m. —Corbie Hill

click to enlarge The Mountain Goats - FILE PHOTO BY D.L. ANDERSON


Essentially, this is North Carolina indie rock-nerd fantasy night: Superchunk/ Portastatic/ Merge Records guy Mac McCaughan joins his labelmate, the Mountain Goats' John Darnielle, for a night of solo sets and requests, all in favor of raising money to fight back a senseless state amendment. Both are not only legendary frontman but great one-versus-a-crowd performers, too, singing their songs as if they're still trying to sing over a flailing rock band. As if you needed any other reason, Greg Cartwright—yes, of The Reigning Sound and the Oblivians—makes a trip east to go solo, too. Also, Tara DeFrancisco. Tickets are $20, though the $100 VIP price earns you a song request credit. Burn it wisely. 8 p.m. —Grayson Currin


Perhaps the only bad thing about this month's Discovery party is that the guest DJ, Fool's Gold artist Sammy Bananas, isn't bringing along Maggie Horn, the frontwoman of his cover-themed indie-pop duo Telephoned. But this night isn't about spectating; it's about tearing up the dance floor and having your ass peeled off of it later. In addition to this Brooklyn specialist's repertoire of remixes and original dance grooves, Sammy's most recent trick is dicing the Thom Bell horns sampled on French Montana's club banger "Shot Caller" onto a deep-house, fried-dance bonanza titled "La Musica." This is Enhanced Dance Music, designed to turn your inner trendster inside-out. With NIXXED and BLNGxBDGT. $6/10 p.m. —Eric Tullis


The legions of female-fronted acts biting Brill Building '60s pop idioms could probably overwhelm 300. What Eleanor Friedberger has on all the Mynabirds, Deschanels, Gemma Rays and Nicole Atkins is that she got a head start on them in her band The Fiery Furnaces with sibling Matthew. Her solo debut, Last Summer, is quirkier than her peers in the arrangements—an obvious holdover from the band. Then again, her vaguely beatnik Adult Pop solo approach is pretty straightforward by comparison. She doesn't have a show-stopping voice, but its sweet girl-next-door manner contributes to her unassuming charm. $12–$14/9 p.m. —Chris Parker


Get ready for a double dose of Durham songwriter Betsy Shayne: This post-Record Store Day gig features Pink Flag, the feisty rock trio she's led for the past few years, and LAM! LAM!, the outlandish electronic project she pursues in her free time. Pink Flag's songs explode from the point where adolescent love affairs become adult relationships, Shayne tapping the raspier side of her pipes as she rails against the lovers that did her wrong. LAM! LAM! is more confused still, pairing brittle electro ballads with fuzzed-out covers, all while Shayne busts out ridiculous(-ly awesome?) dance moves. With The Morningstars. $5/10 p.m. —Jordan Lawrence


It makes sense that Schooner and Wesley Wolfe found each other for a split 7-inch on Record Store Day. After all, the two Triangle rock outfits share a deft touch for hooks. Schooner's jams bubble up through slapbacked reverb, imbuing the melodic sensibilities of '50s and '60s pop with the fevered intensity of '90s indie rock. Reid Johnson's luxurious croon pairs well with squalling feedback, somehow accentuating the band's incredible catchiness. Wesley Wolfe's precise pop-rock taps Mac McCaughan-inspired momentum and rides it to nervy, riff-fueled conclusions. Jaabs also play. $6/9 p.m. —Jordan Lawrence


First, the good news: Following Disappears' second album, Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley joined the group. Now, the bad news: Too many folks are going to use Shelley's participation as an excuse to throw SY's name around as a suitable comparison point. But while Shelley's unmistakable shuffle makes its presence felt all over their newest album, Pre Language, he's just doing his part. The group's mix of garage rock grit, post-punk pallor and Krautrock groove remains intact, and with Shelley adding his particular flair to Disappears' recipe, it's become even more potent.

If Spooky Action at a Distance were released as the newest Deerhunter album, instead of Lockett Pundt's second solo effort, the only thing that listeners might question is the absence of Bradford Cox's voice. Like Deerhunter's prolific frontman, Pundt is fond of writing songs that splice together all stripes and shades of pop music, and he likes to sing his words in an agreeably laconic manner. The biggest difference between Pundt's first effort as Lotus Plaza and this one, however, is that he's crafted an album that's strong enough to share the spotlight with the music made by that other guy. With The Toddlers. $10/9:30 p.m. —David Raposa


Amy Ray's best known as half of the Indigo Girls. Typically she's the rocking half, and that doesn't change on her latest album, Lung of Love. She claims a little Joe Strummer in her DNA, offers a report "From Haiti" and argues that "The Rock Is My Foundation" on that gospel-bluegrass tune. It's a rootsy, defiantly rocking effort that honors folky undercurrents but pushes beyond. Though the lyrics are positive and hopeful, Ray's never cloying, which is a remarkable quality given her activist/ make-a-better-world outlook. The album features plenty of Carolina talent, including members of the Butchies (like Kaia Wilson, who opens), Mount Moriah, Blues World Order and producer/multi-instrumentalist Greg Griffith. $13–$15/8:30 p.m. —Chris Parker


On last year's Sage, Tennessee's Across Tundras avoided easy classification. Like their Neurot labelmates U.S. Christmas, Across Tundras stretch Sabbath-born riffs into deep wells of Americana, dodging through Crazy Horse guitar brambles and into Danzig blues crooning. They ground psych-rock's outward momentum with gritty folk and country the way Arbouretum and Pontiak have. Across Tundras isn't alone in exploring the boundaries of classic rock, heavy music and Americana, but they're a fine example. They're a well-suited headliner for this bill, which also includes the heavy psych-rock of Bitter Resolve and MAKE's restless, dynamic pan-metal alloy. $7/10 p.m. —Bryan C. Reed


It's sort of like space-age bachelor pad music if Esquivel had grown up on demented swamp boogie, rockabilly and Devo. Big Easy icon Quintron's been the subject of a Music of Modern Art installation, filmed his own late-night infomercials for his light-activated Drum Buddy, and released more than a dozen albums of joyously off-beat organ-based garage-dance. The inventor/ musician thrives on strange samples, playful carnival-sideshow spirit and a reckless abandon unafraid to step right into the cheese. Besides his keys and drum machines, Quintron's accompanied by his wife, Miss Pussycat, who helps sing and offers oddly delightful puppet shows. With The Infamous Sugar. $8–$10/9:30 p.m. —Chris Parker



From: Nashville, or space
Since: 1988
Claim to fame: Jazzy, worldly newgrass fusion

Featuring the original Flecktones lineup—exploratory banjoist Béla Fleck, virtuosic bassist Victor Wooten, aptly dubbed percussionist Future Man and harmonica/ piano master Howard Levy—this prolific quartet successfully experiments across a slew of global genres. To wit, Fleck himself has been nominated for Grammys in eight different categories. But rather than haphazardly throw together disparate elements, the Flecktones, at least at their best, unify bits of progressive bluegrass, post-bop and traditional African styles as if they belonged together. Both bluegrass and jazz purists will surely find fault in the Flecktones' so-called blu-bop, though those who appreciate originality can't miss with such innovative fusion. At MEMORIAL HALL. $79–$139/7:30 p.m.



From: Denver
Since: 2011
Claim to fame: Jazzy, jammy funk-rock fusion

Featuring former Hot Tuna drummer Erik Diaz, Colorado three-piece pH Factor steers clear of the Tuna's blues in favor of adventurous offerings that stretch spacey, imaginative guitar work and nimble bass grooves into extended amalgamations of rock with funk, prog, jazz and psych. Instrumental Baltimore trio Deaf Scene uses the same implements to explore the rarefied territory between arena-sized post-rock atmospheres and electronica-influenced jams. Its shape-shifting tunes offer dreamy bits of haze and lush textures. Both bands are more ambitious than your standard festival fare, but they are still largely for jam fans only. At THE POUR HOUSE. $6/9 p.m. —Spencer Griffith


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