If the steel guitar on Pat Green's latest Lucky Ones sounds familiar, that's ex-Whiskeytown ace of nuance Mike Daly laying it down for your listening pleasure. The relationship makes sense for Green, who is a staple piece of the growing link between country music's fertile underground--that is, alt.country--and the popular ennui inhabited by Brad Paisley, a frequent Green co-writer. But this isn't Whiskeytown smart and it's not 6 String Drag furious. It is, however, inspired new country music with conviction and a Texas-sized serving of sincerity (and that's a rare thing in Nashville) played by a demanding genre-bender. --GC
Stewart Theater, NCSU
The Associated Press named singer Lizz Wright's Salt one of the best albums of 2003. The 24-year-old Wright mixes jazz, pop and spiritual styles in her music and has been turning heads since bursting on the scene in Chicago at a Billy Holiday tribute concert in 2002. Concert starts at 8 p.m. with a pre-show discussion at 6:45. 515-1100, www.ncsu.edu/arts.
Charles Pettee & Folkpsalm
University Baptist Church
Charles Pettee & FolkPsalm perform songs from their new CD True Wealth, an Americana collection of Old Testament Psalms set to fiddle music, for the Fall for Habitiat fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity, at 8 p.m. at the church at 100 S. Columbia St. Tickets are $10 for general admission or $5 for students. The all-star band features Robbie Link, Taz Halloween, Mark Simonsen, fiddling icon Al McCanless and Steep Canyon Rangers founder Lizzie Bahnson. 942-2157.
Scott Jacobson & Rich Blomquist
N.C. School of Science and Math
Scott Jacobson went to the N.C. School of Science and Math and then to UNC-Chapel Hill. His friend Rich Blomquist went to Elon University. Scott and Rich are currently living large in New York, where they're writers for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. They also helped pen the bestseller America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction (Warner Books). See 'em at a reading and signing sponsored by The Regulator Book Shop at 7 p.m. at Science and Math's nice new auditorium.
The Nein, STRANGE, Menomena
Originally slated as the release party for STRANGE's Things in Night, this psychedelic, something-like-New Wave blowout will instead serve as the release party for a reworked version of The Nein's eponymous EP. The Nein may very well be the coolest rock band in these parts, taking Gang of Four howl and The Cure catch and distilling it all into an angular head that comes complete with the danger that lesser rock mortals Franz Ferdinand promise but rarely deliver. Not to be missed: Portland's Menomena, a floating-in-space trio with the skill to pen brilliant melodies and the daring to obfuscate them with scatterbrained, across-the-charts instrumental tangents. --GC
The Regulator Book Shop
As the creator of Kudzu, Marlette easily wins the honor of Hillsborough's most famous cartoonist. Saturday evening, the N.C. Journalism Hall of Famer wheels down I-85 to the Bull City to read from his new Kudzu collection A Town So Backwards...Even the Episcopalians Handle Snakes at 7 p.m.
Jason Isbell & Shonna Tucker
The Pour House
When guitarist Jason Isbell was recruited for the Drive-By Truckers, he joined a band that already sported two exceptional songwriters in Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley. Isbell has quickly staked out his own ground as a writer, most notably with "Outfit," which depicts a father-and-son relationship in powerful plain-speak, and the nostalgic "Danko/Manuel." He and wife/Trucker bassist Shonna Tucker play the late show at The Pour House. --RC
Eyedea & Abilities
Coming out of the Minneapolis Rhymesayers collective headed by Slug of Atmosphere, Eyedea and Abilities have a nice pedigree: Eyedea won HBO's Blaze rap rhyming championship in 2000, while Abilities has won several regional DMC turntable championships. Like Slug, Eyedea has a wicked white boy flow, rhymes tumbling out like Yahtzee with a twisted swagger that's part Eminem and part Mike D. He's backed by Abilities' jazzy, scratch-infested beds, which are stronger from the turntable side than the production one. Eyedea shows a lot of battle rap-spawned verve, but also trips his share of literate world-weary consciousness, like his protege Slug, though not quite as tight in the curves. --CP
Kevn Kinney's Sun-Tangled Angel Revival
The Pour House
Known more as the leader of Atlanta's soulful Drivin' n' Cryin', Kevn Kinney has also produced a folk-influenced body of work in the years since that band dissolved. In the Sun-Tangled Angel Revival, he puts down the acoustic guitar and plugs back in the big amp. Kinney often surrounds himself with bright musical beacons in his travels, as he has a long working relationship with REM's Peter Buck, the Patti Smith Group's Lenny Kaye, and Warren Haynes of the Allman Brothers. For S.T.A.R., the enlisted folks include guitarist Gibb Droll and Slackdaddy's Bryan Howard, fleshed out with organ workouts and pedal steel. --CT
Southern Culture on the Skids
Southern Culture on the Skids is riffmaster guitarist/chief vocalist and writer Rick Miller, bassist/keyboardist Mary Huff (she of the fetching harmonies), and Dave Hartman, who provides maximum drumming from a minimalist kit. Together they create a sound that's half backwoods, half garage. This is the first night of a three-night Local 506 stand during which a live album is being recorded and a DVD filmed, so dress to impress. --RC