YES, PLEASE:Paint Fumes, Lazy Janes, De’sean Jones, The Black Experience, Fin Fang Foom, Airstrip, Loretta Lynn, Apache Dropout, Last Year’s Men, Chain & The Gang, Paint Fumes
VS1: Cursive/ Cymbals Eat Guitars vs. Plants & Animals vs. We Were Promised Jetpacks
VS2: Joan Osborne vs. Frankie Rose
04.05 PAINT FUMES, LAZY JANES @ SLIM'S
Like the Black Lips spiked by Johnny Thunders, Charlotte's Paint Fumes are a garage-punk juggernaut flying off the tracks. Their distortion-drenched rumble could be coming from nextdoor, given the muddy and saturated production. Songs spend their life in the red, pegging about in skinny pants while affecting the stumbling swagger of a drunk college wiseass. You're pretty sure they're going to fall on their face, but it's fun while it lasts, and they clearly couldn't care. They're joined by fresh new all-girl troupe Lazy Janes and their thick punk clamor. $5/9 p.m. —Chris Parker
04.06 DE'SEAN JONES, THE BLACK EXPERIENCE @ CASBAH
Detroit's De'Sean Jones is working to change the way jazz is conceived and perceived. The genre-bending saxophonist knows the classics but plays originally, executing his fat tenor with the authority of a craftsman. De'Sean Jones: Septet is due later this year and features slinky guitar riffs and flowing hip-hop delivery. Durham's the Black Experience is also redefining jazz, playing bluesy swing as smooth as Southern Sunday grease. Rappers the Real Laww and Toon, both from Durham, open. $7/9 p.m. This bill also plays on Thursday night in Raleigh at Kings, joined by Apple Juice Kid's latest creation, the politically motivated multimedia project The Beat Report. $5–$8/9 p.m. —Ashleigh Phillips
04.07 FIN FANG FOOM, AIRSTRIP @ THE CAVE
These two projects come from distinct sub-genres—poetic post-punk and hook-driven indie- pop—to meet in an unlikely but welcome middle ground. Fin Fang Foom lightens the nihilistic grit of the former style with soaring post-rock guitars and driving hard-rock confidence; think a better-medicated Slint or maybe a more focused Mogwai. Where Foom dials back its style's gloom somewhat, Airstrip darkens precise, snappy indie pop with doom riffs and rhythms and damaged, dark lyrics. With members of respectable local bands like Veelee, Caltrop, Gross Ghost and Monsonia, Airstrip doesn't sound like a band that formed late last year. 10 p.m. —Corbie Hill
04.07 LORETTA LYNN @ DPAC
Loretta Lynn is arguably country's finest female artist of the last 50 years. She has a down-home pedigree (a coal miner's daughter) and a powerful, evocative voice honed from years in the church. Hers isn't an angelic tone, but one grounded in the Earth, rolling effortless and majestic like the Blue Hills of her Kentucky home, redolent of natural beauty. Lynn's about as authentic as they come, singing songs torn from her life and speaking her mind with unbridled maverick spunk. Though she never really left, Jack White helped key a Lynn comeback when he produced 2004's Van Lear Rose. She's working on two new albums. $40-$85/7p.m. —Chris Parker
04.07 APACHE DROPOUT, LAST YEar's MEN @ CASBAH
At its core, Apache Dropout is the tremendously nerdy band of three veteran Indiana rockers collecting antiquated pedals and amps worn kindly by time and figuring out what kind of blown-out rock blasts they can create. Still, you need not be a guitar tone junky to get a kick out this thrilling outfit. The band has a knack for frenzied garage hooks currently rivaled by few others. Their shrieking rants pair perfectly with muscular bass lines, Rorschach guitars and oddball accoutrements. On record, it's an acid test; live, it's one of the best psych-rock attacks around. Flesh Wounds open, and Last Year's Men headline. $5/9 p.m. —Jordan Lawrence
04.11 CHAIN & THE GANG, PAINT FUMES @ KINGS
Ian Svenonius will probably forever be best-known for his role as frontman for Nation of Ulysses and The Make-Up. Just maybe Weird War will figure in. Given enough time, perhaps Chain & The Gang will, too. The Gang's spare 2011 album, Music's Not For Everyone, uses its limited instrumental palette to skip across a litany of rock 'n' roll touchstones. There's girl-group heartbreak on "Bill For The Use of A Body," tuff-guy garage and soul on "Detroit Music" and noir-pop on "It's a Hard, Hard Job (Keeping Everybody High)." In its back-to-basics approach, Svenonius' new Gang has a lot in common with the louder and rowdier Charlotte trio, Paint Fumes. $6–$8/9:30 p.m.—Bryan C. Reed
04.05 BAOBAB @ TIR NA NOG
Phillip Torres, songwriter and founding member of Durham art-folk duo Baobab, says he draws as much inspiration from science as from art and music. They're not in opposition, he says, or even all that different. "Being a good scientist requires loads of creativity," he says. "I don't think there's anything psychologically different between devising a theory and writing a song."
Torres, an author, started writing the Baobab songs to give himself a break from working on a book. He recorded at home, layering acoustic guitars and multiple vocal tracks into Africanized electro-folk that splits the difference between Paul Simon's Graceland and more recent fare like Panda Bear's Tomboy. "I thought my songs were inaccessible and would appeal only to a very small audience," he says. "But the reactions I got from friends indicated just the opposite."
After this positive input, Torres teamed up with keyboardist and sample artist Whitney Trettien to develop a live show. Some songs had to be reworked to be reproduced live, but Torres is excited about the increasingly multimedia direction Baobab is taking as a duo. He mentions a plan involving a Kinect motion sensor and a projector, for one: "The image would change depending on either the music we're playing, the reaction of the audience or our own movement on stage. I'm pretty excited about the possibilities." Baobab plays with Humble Tripe at Tir na nOg on Thursday, April 5, at 10 p.m. The show is free. —Corbie Hill
SATURDAY, APRIL 7
CURSIVE/ CYMBALS EAT GUITARSFROM: Nebraska/ New York
CLAIM TO FAME: Conceptualizing emo in two different ways
For Tim Kasher, concepts are what Cursive's caustic and unflinching albums are all about, whether they be loosely-biographical stories about destructive relationships (like 2000's much-beloved Domestica), or, as on this year's I Am Gemini, a rock-opera about two estranged twin brothers having rock-opera-level conflicts. Cymbals Eat Guitars is less concerned with narrative through lines, instead preferring to compress the last 15 years of indie rock into songs that are just familiar enough to like or dismiss. With Conduits. At KINGS. $15/9 p.m.
PLANTS & ANIMALS
CLAIM TO FAME: Good-vibes band has wicked hangover
For two albums, Plants & Animals seemed OK with casually straddling a line between the acid-baked country-rock vibes proffered by Gram Parsons-era Byrds and the more spacious modern-day psych that Animal Collective and their far-flung brethren make. On the new The End Of That, though, things have taken a turn for the dour, with the group pushing half-baked songs about trying cocaine and hating marriage that aren't nearly as charming or plain-spoken as they seems to think they are. This is the Kit and Virgins open. At LOCAL 506. $10/9:30 p.m.
WE WERE PROMISED JETPACKS
FROM: Edinburgh, Scotland
CLAIM TO FAME: Post-everything maximalists honing their pop skills
When We Were Promised Jetpacks released These Four Walls in 2009, they were an angry bunch that liked to wear their hearts on their sleeves at the fullest volume possible, recalling fellow countrymen Frightened Rabbit and Wales' much-missed McLusky. Their latest album, In The Pit Of The Stomach, isn't a departure from that formula, but the edges are softened just enough that folks hoping for the frisson of their debut might find themselves let down. Still, the band's storied live chops are without question. Couple that with the distance they've traveled, and it makes Jetpacks the winner tonight by default. At MOTORCO. $12–$14/9 p.m. —David Raposa
MONDAY, APRIL 9
FROM: New York via Kentucky
CLAIM TO FAME: The one about God being a slob and the years of punchlines that have followed
During "Game of Love," a saucy little funk number near the start of Joan Osborne's latest album, Bring It on Home, the one-time sort-of pop star sings: "If the shoe don't fit, honey, why keep trying it on?" The statement applies to Osborne's strange career, which was surprisingly thrust into the spotlight with "One of Us," her mid-'90s hit that essentially put a blue collar on God. But on the album that contained that song, Osborne's broader interests—blues, folk, funk, or pan-Americana rock—took up most of the space. They've continued to do that during the last decade-plus, too, as Osborne has returned from the majors to the indies and from dalliances with pop-rock fame to a cross-section of roots music and jam bands. She's performed on The Grand Ole Opry, toured as part of The Dead and Phil Lesh's extended Friends crew and joined a blues-rock band with Audley Freed and Jimmy Herring. So, no, the shoe didn't quite fit, and Osborne's certainly slipped it off. With Lera Lynn. At LINCOLN THEATRE. $22–$30/8 p.m.
FROM: Brooklyn, N.Y.
SINCE: Under her own name, 2012
CLAIM TO FAME: Leaving a lot of bands you've heard to star solo
Though they are decades apart, and though the elder found brief fame in the sort of record industry that no longer really exists for the younger, there's a strange parallel between Joan Osborne and Frankie Rose. For the last few years, Rose flitted between the occasionally insouciant garage-rock drifters Crystal Stilts, Vivian Girls and Dum Dum Girls. On stage with those bands, as Pitchfork critic Jayson Greene recently wrote, "She was a reliable bolt of onstage electricity enlivening the often noncommittal presences around her." On this year's Interstellar, the first album she's written without the aegis (crutch?) of a backing band, that bolt finally ignites a new atmosphere. Interstellar is a memorable synth-pop record that pushes far past the bounds of a synth-pop record, alternately suggesting the druggy expanses of German kosmiche and the grandiose flair of M83 or Zola Jesus. It's an engaging debut, the sort of arrival that makes you wonder just why it took so long. At LOCAL 506. $8–$10/9 p.m. —Grayson Currin