In my experience, most any time someone mentions seeing a set by Chicago producer pair Flosstradamus, they don't talk about the dancing that almost certainly ensued or the quick, clever and propulsive cuts for which J2K and Autobot are known. Rather, they tell a story about something that happened before or after the show—an induced out-of-body episode, a random dalliance, an epic night. While Flosstradamus have certainly had their hands in opening up indie American scenes to electronic music, they remain, first and foremost, party starters, DJs and beatmakers who mirror and so reinforce the ebb and flow of a dance eruption that starts late (at night) and ends early (as morning approaches). It's a school night, so remember that lesson as you plan your week. No matter how mild-mannered or resistant to body movement you might consider yourself, it's hard not to fall under Flosstradamus' spell. And given the power of their recent work with New Jersey newcomer DJ Sliink, they've only gotten better at turbocharging the scene. With DJ Spinz. Wednesday, April 10, at Lincoln Theatre. $20/9 p.m.
Thee Open Sex
Bloomington, Ind., treasure Thee Open Sex comes led by Miss Mess, but don't let her name fool you: She knows exactly what she's doing. She's a versatile singer, capable of being bold and brassy during the band's most incisive rockers and stoned and strange during the band's great drug manifestos. As influenced by Spacemen 3 as they are by The Seeds, Thee Open Sex doesn't simply vacillate between psychedelic jams and cruchy rock gems—they unite them, coiling them all at once into sounds that surround and songs that stick. This year's self-titled debut is a great rock 'n' roll slab. Get lost in it live. Prisms and Drag Sounds open. Wednesday, April 3, at Duke Coffeehouse. $5/8:30 p.m.
The Del McCoury Band
By now, you've likely heard that late September belongs to bluegrass in Raleigh, at least for the next three years. That's when the International Bluegrass Music Association brings its annual convention to the city. If you're unfamiliar with the strain, there's perhaps no better chance for indoctrination than an appearance by the Del McCoury Band. McCoury played with Bill Monroe's foundational Blue Grass Boys five decades ago, but his high-energy, high-harmonies band with his own boys (that's Ronnie on mandolin, Rob on banjo) have become something of a standard for modern bluegrass. Keen preservationists with the good sense to know this stuff doesn't survive in a vacuum, the McCoury family is as much a part of bluegrass' lifeblood and future in this century as anything else. Thursday, April 4, at Meymandi Concert Hall. $20–$35/8 p.m.
Zozobra, Kowloon Walled City
Nominally, Brutal Panda Records is a heavy metal label, a tag legitimized by a roster that includes Horseback, The Atlas Moth and Ramming Speed. But the Philadelphia imprint seems more interested in breaking the typical boundaries of the style than reinforcing them. Zozobra, for instance, surrounds the churn of hardcore with emo directness and death metal animosity, then shrouds it all with foreboding atmospheric murk. As for ominous environments, that's the specialty of brazen San Francisco four-piece Kowloon Walled City. On last year's Container Ships, they paired the shifting structures and spittle-flecked braggadocio of Shellac and Silkworm with moments of punk fury, stoner drone and post-rock climax. These strange touring chimeras should pair nicely with Carrboro's Solar Halos, a trio that browbeats with low end and charms with distended riffs. Monday, April 8, at Casbah. $8–$10/9 p.m.
You might be surprised to learn that the latest LP from New York quintet Caveman is its second, not first. Not only is the 12-song set self-titled, but it also betrays an act still outlining the shape of its own sound. Caveman floats between Grizzly Bear's dramatic jangle and The War on Drugs' warped classic rockisms, between a muted, moody reserve that suggests the best of chillwave and memorable hooks that far outstrip that niche's sense of ambition. Though Caveman seems to still be discovering its own style, the process, as documented on this latest batch, is both fruitful and fascinating, with interesting textures and immediate tunes thriving within the same amorphous space. Less adventurous Portland pop duo Pure Bathing Culture shares the bill. Sunday, April 7, at Local 506. $10–$12/9 p.m.
They Might Be Giants
During what appears to be an upcoming year full of domestic and international touring, the original weirdos of They Might Be Giants will perform something of a victory lap, playing their breakthrough third LP, Flood, in its entirety in select markets. But in North Carolina, they'll play their regular set, which should draw abundantly from this year's excellent 25-track Nanobots. Funny and serious, educational and flippant, lead Giants John Flansburgh and John Linnell remain two of indie rock's great explorers, willing to try anything for a hook or a hoot. With Moon Hooch. Wednesday, April 10, at Cat's Cradle. $23–$25/7:30 p.m.
Manifestra, the new album from singer-songwriter Erin McKeown, demonstrates why the term singer-songwriter doesn't suit. While her endearing coo lilts and warbles, and though her songs often sport grand hooks, McKeown is her own impresario, leading a cast that includes co-writer Rachel Maddow and Anais Mitchell on songs that explore political and social challenges with arrangements that swing, pop and waltz. An early adopter of self-released, crowd-funded records, McKeown remains free of deference and definition. With Mary Johnson Rockers & the Spark. Thursday, April 4, at The Pinhook. $10/8 p.m.
The People's Temple
In case the name didn't provide the tip, righteous Michigan outfit The People's Temple follows the sonic mileposts set in place by The Brian Jonestown Massacre, without the surrounding baggage or distractions. On 2011's excellent Sons of Stone, they refracted high-energy and high-anxiety garage rock through an array of prisms, wildly shading their songs with tie-dye tangents and washed-out tones. They join Midnight Plus One, a new Carrboro quintet that's equally dark and dangerous. Tuesday, April 9, at The Pinhook. $8/9 p.m.
Cave Singers, Bleeding Rainbow
For their latest, Naomi, Seattle's Cave Singers added Blood Brothers bassist Morgan Henderson. Naomi is more electric and excitable than the band's previous records, buoying their sometimes-soporific folk blueprints with unexpected elements. They headline, but pay the cover for openers Bleeding Rainbow. After expanding their lineup and changing their name to appease LeVar Burton, the Rainbow recorded Yeah Right, a captivating slab of fucked-up, fuzzed-out pop that nods to K Records and Kill Rock Stars, The Breeders and Modern Lovers. Wednesday, April 10, at Local 506. $10/9 p.m.
Though signed to a small indie label, Greensboro trio Irata offers radio-ready hard rock, with a tag-team of vocalists splitting the difference between Dave Grohl and Mike Patton. Raleigh's new Bedowyn hinges on the excellent lead guitar of Mark Peters, an inventive riff worker good enough to transcend the band's often awkward song structures. Horseskull defends atavistic doom, while Modified cite Skynyrd, Staind and Sabbath as influences. Friday, April 5, at Casbah. $7/9 p.m.
On and On, Savoir Adore
Both Brooklyn's Savoir Adore and Minneapolis' On and On make ambiguously futuristic pop music, adding unlikely instrumental textures and vocal techniques to fairly standard tunes. Both bands offer glimpses of genuine intrigue (see the clipped-and-scrambled "All the Horses" from On and On), but acts currently navigating similar lanes to greater destinations are legion. For good reason, these are B-listers in a very crowded field. The more intriguing and kinetic Baobab opens. Saturday, April 6, at Local 506. $8–$10/9 p.m.
By mixing bluegrass, hot-rod country and heartland rock, Brooklyn's Yarn stultifies the sound of Americana. Their recent success doesn't come as a surprise, given that, in the folk-rock world, they aim squarely for the least common denominator by doing a little something for everyone. But if you're looking for high and lonesome or rocking and moaning, you're in North Carolina, and you can certainly do better than this unfiltered adulteration. With James Justin & Co. and The Dune Dogs. Friday, April 5, at Southland Ballroom. $12–$15/9 p.m.