For a solid night of rock, check out a punk-pop bill starting at 6 p.m. this Friday, June 8, at Carrboro's Cat's Cradle, featuring The Juliana Theory, The Benjamins and River City High. Then stick around, because at 11 p.m. there's a special show featuring Smog. Bill Callahan (aka Smog,), has--over his 13-year career--evolved from lo-fi pioneer into a creator of spare, forlorn soundscapes, imbued with melancholic intent. On this tour, Callahan's backing group includes Dirty Three drummer Jim White, guitarist Mike Saenz and violinist Jessica Billey. Callahan has a new album in the works, Rain on Lens, and will appear on an upcoming Drag City "supersession" produced by Pussy Galore's Neil Haggerty. For now, you'll have to be content with selections culled from Callahan's long career as well as cuts from his last EP, 'Neath the Puke Tree.
Krautrock alert: Deutsch experimentalists Mouse on Mars, the duo of Jan St. Werner and Andi Toma, will be at the Cat's Cradle Saturday, June 9. Call 967-9053 for details.
Hell yeah, man, it's a "CD-release Doo-Dah" for local alt-country purveyors Hobart Willis and the Back Forty (pictured), whose eponymous new disc should be available at discriminating record outlets in the Triangle. Willis and the Back Forty celebrate at Kings in Raleigh this Friday, June 8, and there'll be door prizes to boot. You can also catch 'em the following afternoon, Saturday, June 9, at Sadlack's in Raleigh. Call Kings at 831-1005 for details. For Sadlack's, call 828-9190. --Angie Carlson