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The guide to the week's concerts

This week's guide contains:

YES, PLEASE: R.E.M. Vs. U2, Unknown Hinson, The Shucks, Martha Ann Motel, Whores, Church Of Wolves, Shipwrecker, Jason & The Scorchers, Stella Lively, Cliff Jackson Memorial Show With Maxx Warrior, Loretta Lynn, Kacey Musgraves

VS: Stratocruiser vs. Motorbilly

INTRODUCING: Lakota John Locklear


01.06 R.E.M. VS. U2 @ LOCAL 506

Whether you side with the Athenians or the Irish in this battle of '80s underground rock crossovers, you're getting some soul-searching music. Bono frequently crosses the line from "pretty deep for a young man" (as B.B. King opined in Rattle & Hum) into overwrought pretension, though the music's almost always anthemic. By comparison, Michael Stipe's anguished rustic pragmatism (check "Can't Get There From Here") feels thwarted and circumscribed, but it's also more honest and personal than U2's rabble-rousing. A klatch of talented locals will shed the covers, including barreling folksters Magnolia Collective, dreamy rootsy boy/girl harmonizers Birds and Arrows, punchy college rockers Tripp, sultry Americana act Mary Johnson Rockers & the Spark, and the energetic Big Fat Gap. $8/ 9 p.m. —Chris Parker


He's the Dean Ween of country, a wildly imaginative smart-ass with a ridiculous backstory and a penchant for searing rockabilly. In practice, Unkown Hinson's act isn't far removed from some of what Southern Culture on the Skids does (caustic straight face send-ups of redneck culture). Though he presents himself as a thickly sideburned Country and Western vampire from the '50s, his reality-based alter-ego Stuart Daniel Baker is from Albemarle and developed the character on Charlotte public access television in the '90s. A hardy road dog who enjoyed a major-label cup of tea, he's released several albums and even provides the voice of Early Cuyler for the cartoon Squidbillies. $14.50–$18/ 8:30 p.m. —Chris Parker


Martha Ann Motel polishes its roots rock, adding huge, poppy hooks that move with arena ambitions. The four tracks—included with tonight's admission as a free digital download—keep frontman and songwriter David Teeter's soul-searching melancholy intact over bombastics guitars. Both openers possess a bit more twang, whether it's the orchestral Americana spin on a Southwestern carnival by Chapel Hill septet Puritan Rodeo or the jangly indie folk of Raleigh quartet The Kings English, featuring members of Hadwynn. $6/ 10 p.m. —Spencer Griffith


Atlanta noisemakers Whores play the sort of pulverizing aggro-rock that would have been right at home on a triple bill with The Jesus Lizard and Helmet back in the early '90s. Their debut, Ruiner, was released in December on vinyl specialty label Brutal Panda; its five songs are pure meanness. Guitarist/vocalist Christian Lembach screams like a deranged general on a battlefield with weapons of sharp riffs and low-end rumble. Imagine Godzilla and Mothra battling it out in a glass factory. Church of Wolves, a new Durham doom band with members of Lurch and Mouth of the Ghost, opens the show. Free/ 10 p.m. —Karen Mann



Cliff Jackson must have been one hell of a guy. Not only does his friend, promoter Marty Burns, put on an annual concert in his memory, but this year regional metal legends Maxx Warrior are reuniting just to play the bash. This will be the first time the band has played in more than 20 years, and the show is billed as a one-night-only reunion. If you remember a time when metal meant big hair, falsetto vocals and partying at The Switch, then head here for a trip back in time. With four other bands. $20–$25/ 7:30 p.m. —Karen Mann


Durham sextet Shipwrecker is one of a rare few musical ventures with a name that has the uncanny ability to conjure its sound and its spirit. In this case, the band brings the aura of centuries-old ghosts from sunken pirate vessels to life in order to tell the creaky tales of their adventures with jaunty rhythms and devilish grins. This show also features the return of Durham quartet Erie Choir's gorgeously lush indie pop, along with Bull City anti-folk institution The Wigg Report. Their quirky, frenzied pop can be as silly as it is catchy, or heartfelt. $5/ 10 p.m. —Spencer Griffith


It's no wonder that music is a line of nostalgia and what critic Simon Reynolds calls "Retromania"; it's written into the softest love songs we adore and our heavy metal obsessed with homelands. As such, it's no wonder that Jason & the Scorchers continue to burn the reunion rails, after having already done it once before in the '90s before again calling it quits. This time, the Scorchers are riding the 30th anniversary wave and an album called Halcyon Times, a title that doesn't fit their legacy as a precursor for the tides of bands who've taken their mix of punk and country as a sacred, blessed original sin. $15–$18/ 9 p.m. —Grayson Currin


As a descriptor, the term singer-songwriter so often implies elements of folk or coffee shops, but not for Stella Lively. Largely the brainchild of lyricist and vocalist Ashley Carter, the project rather draws from the classic rock reservoir. Think 12-string-guitars a la "Bron-yr-aur Stomp" on mid-tempo '70s rock ballads—the kind of songs that decade's arena rockers used to close an LP's first side. What ends up happening is sort of like Fleetwood Mac meets early '90s alt-rock, as if "Go Your Own Way" were slowed down and spiked with more melodrama. Free/ 10 p.m. —Corbie Hill



You have to admire Jack White's taste in women: He's had the queen of rockabilly and the first lady of country in his studio. Of course, the success of Loretta Lynn's 2004 "comeback" album, Van Lear Rose, doesn't make him Rick Rubin, and Lynn could put the leather to Slayer. Her moniker's deserved because Lynn's the most iconic female country performer of the last 50 years. Thanks to Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones, the story of the Coal Miner's Daughter has passed into pop culture ubiquity. Like aforementioned royalty Wanda Jackson, Lynn's as notable for her spunky self-possession as her strong sonorous vocals. Indeed, her frank views and headstrong way rankled country's old-boy network, and country radio's refused to play as many as 14 songs by Lynn's count.

Like any long-standing artist, Lynn's passed through numerous phases—honky-tonk, traditional country, Countrypolitan and Nashville pop—united by her somewhat brash, plain-spoken attitude. Over the years, she's keenly harmonized her honeyed vocals with just about everyone in duets. Indeed, if her old friend Patsy Cline is the Hank Williams of female country who burned quite bright and briefly, then Lynn is Lefty Frizzell, blazing a trail for the generations to follow. $35–$85/ 7 p.m. —Chris Parker



From: Chapel Hill
Since: 2000
Claim to fame: Bright, skintight power/psych pop

This is a classic match-up of local vehicular-themed acts, featuring finesse versus power. Stratocruiser has slowly gathered momentum from studio project to a going concern. The years have brought more polish, a fact evident on their October release, The Spark. It's a song-cycle about love and madness, which finds them pushing their hooky rock into glam and '70s rock directions, evoking Mitch Ryder, Mott the Hoople and Styx's Tommy Shaw. It sacrifices the taut 3-minute (power) pop economy of their fine 2006 disc Revolutions, while ramping up the prog and rock quotients. At BROAD STREET CAFE. Free/ 10 p.m.



From: Raleigh
Since: 2005
Claim to fame: Like the Supersuckers minus the country

One might imagine Motorbilly doesn't take kindly to trespassers. You get this impression from songs like "Mr. Motherf*cker," "Shove It Down Your Throat" and "Twister Looking For a Trailer Park." Reminiscent of Nashville Pussy with more thrash, they've been born again beneath the Motörhead, evidenced by hit-in-the-wings, "WWLD (What Would Lemmy Do)." These guys don't get points for complexity, but in terms of brassy, joyous and rock-out-with-your-sock-out ebullience, they're summa cum laude. Stratocruiser might take Motorbilly over a mile, but over a quarter, you want to go with the raw throaty no-holds barred aggression of those Raleigh boys. With Boom Or Bust Burlesque. At CASBAH. $10/ 10 p.m. —Chris Parker



Pembroke's Lakota John Locklear is a prodigious blues guitarist of Lumbee and Lakota lineage; to wit, he first began playing harmonica at age seven, guitar at nine and slide guitar 18 months later. Though Duane Allman, Derek Trucks and Eric Clapton are just a few of the mainstream icons that Locklear cites as influences, he also incorporates his Native American heritage into a bluesy blend of the fingerpicked Piedmont, acoustic Delta and electric Chicago traditions.

Now 14, Locklear is practically a veteran performer, having played festivals as far-flung as Washington state, with his stout build, ancient blues moan and polished stage presence belying his lack of age. Recently recording with the Music Maker Relief Foundation, Locklear also performed at Shakori Hills as part of the Foundation's Revue group last spring. He returned in the fall with his own backing band, which includes his sister and father. Though the high school freshman plans to become an architect in the future—"maybe I'd just play some music on the side for my own enjoyment or for a little extra money," he told The Fayetteville Observer last February—there's no doubt that he's got a promising path in the blues if he chooses it. The free show begins at 3 p.m. in the Museum's Daniels Auditorium. —Spencer Griffith

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