The most recent album from California singer-songwriter Chelsea Wolfe, Unknown Rooms, was a collection of acoustic numbers that she'd previously abandoned. But Wolfe isn't only a coffeeshop chanteuse with a guitar, no matter how well that arrangement sometimes suits her. Rather, her 2011 breakthrough, Apokalypsis, found Wolfe draping her grey gauze of a voice over arrangements that suggested softer Swans or an incensed Califone. Wolfe's best work paints her music as a gothic adventure, in which imaginative textures push songs of unexpected intimacy into dimly lit and well-decorated corners. A siren, Wolfe has a beckon that is hard to deny. With Wowolfol. TUESDAY, JAN. 29, AT LOCAL 506. $8–$10/9 p.m.
"I just wanna start this interview off saying we are not doing any interviews." That's how maniacal Eyehategod frontman Mike "IX" Williams opened a chat with the Miami New Times in early January about his new project, Corrections House. The four names and faces that form Corrections House are something of an American metal fantasy camp—there's Williams and doom-voiced Neurosis founder Scott Kelly, Chicago baritone saxophone bellower Bruce Lamont and super-producer Sanford Parker. But to date, the reticent quartet has released exactly one song, "Hoax the System," an aggressive blitz of dark electronics, industrial drums and Williams' political carpet bombs. It's great, but personalities aside, it's mostly all we know about Corrections House. In a time of instant information, what's more old-school than a supergroup that wants to tell people the hard way—by getting in a van and trying these songs on stage?
To that end, this is a massive and daunting bill: Corrections House's set will be accompanied by solo takes from each of its four members. US Christmas frontman Nate Hall, who gives into influences both Appalachian and Texan when not leading that band's kosmische metal, will open alongside Raleigh multimedia dark lords Grohg. Bring your stamina and, as Williams told the New Times, "an open mind." SUNDAY, JAN. 27, AT KINGS. $10/8:30 p.m.
THE HUMAN EYES, WHITE LACES
Thomas Costello, the writer behind and leader of new Carrboro band The Human Eyes, spent the better part of a decade flirting with a musician's life, whether co-founding a Whatever Brains precursor, winning a poetry contest, or starting and stopping various outfits after being unsatisfied. But last year, The Human Eyes issued Guiding Eyes for the Blind, a winning distillation of candid lyricism and '80s college rock erudition. Now, he takes The Human Eyes "on tour" for two dates in Chapel Hill and Raleigh. Richmond's White Laces open both shows with a concentrate of post-rock textures and post-punk energy. Wool opens THURSDAY, JAN. 24, AT KINGS. $3–$6/9:30 p.m. Spooky Woods opens FRIDAY, JAN. 25, AT THE CAVE. 10 p.m.
THE MUSIC TAPES
The last time I saw The Music Tapes, Julian Koster and his psychedelic cohorts from Georgia played at Tir na nOg, the large Raleigh restaurant and rock club. As diners ate on the far side of the Irish pub, Koster invited attendees to sit with him on the floor while he shared stories, played his singing saw and generally cavorted with the crowd. Really, the room never allowed for full immersion in the fantasy. To prevent such problematic settings, the band is touring with a massive tent that they will erect in each venue and then fill with their typical mix of mirth, mystery and music. Just imagine a fireless campfire scene gone gloriously strange, and you'll be in the tent, too. MONDAY, JAN. 28, AT CAT'S CRADLE. $12/8 p.m. TUESDAY, JAN. 29, AT DUKE COFFEEHOUSE. $5/9 p.m.
CALEXICO, THE KINGSBURY MANX
After Southwestern crew Calexico took four years to make the follow-up to 2008's Carried to Dust, one might have expected the result to be a swift torrent of ideas and moods, nationalities and atmospheres. After all, for a decade, Calexico was the indie world's go-to act for twisting exotica into rock 'n' roll by wrapping wailing horns or jubilant accordion around a thicket of heavy drums and distorted guitars. To the contrary, last year's Algiers might be Calexico's most refined and defined disc to date, more dependent on the polish of its players (including drummer John Convertino and guitarist Paul Niehaus) than their sometimes unfiltered eclecticism. As the sounds and styles of indie rock sprawled, Calexico effectively tucked themselves in, showing that decisiveness could be an asset, too. Similarly, openers The Kingsbury Manx make some of the most charmingly economical pop music you'll ever hear. Also, Bahamas. SATURDAY, JAN. 26, AT CAT'S CRADLE. $20/8:30 p.m.
Though his politics and religion remain a confusing tale of homophobia, redactions and supposedly denied redactions, Beenie Man's best music remains wonderfully effervescent dancehall. His Kingston sound has held up surprisingly well in collaborations beyond the Sly & Robbie production realm, whether he's working with hitmakers Stargate and The Neptunes or singing alongside R&B stars Mya and Akon. He's joined in Raleigh by a full band and a troika of openers. WEDNESDAY, JAN. 30, AT LINCOLN THEATRE. $22–$27/9 p.m.
Bonfire isn't only the newest LP from Raleigh trio Gray Young; it's also the best. On their first two albums, the band's highly stylized post-rock often drifted into a morass of expected shimmer and sprint. But Bonfire makes Gray Young's stargazing dreamier and reinforces their star-racing with new urgency. Over the years, they've also grown more technically proficient, so that the veterans now actualize ideas they merely suggested in their salad days. With Wesley Wolfe and The Bronzed Chorus. FRIDAY, JAN. 25, AT KINGS. $6–$8/9 p.m.
FRED HERSCH TRIO
There are several assets to mention in recommendation of the trio led by jazz pianist Fred Hersch, from his light and tender touch on the keys to the rich tone of bassist John Hébert. But for me, it's the wonderful rhythmic consideration of Hersch that's most exciting. He doesn't play melodies so much as he acts as a conduit for them, notes moving in streams of starts and stops, twisting around one another in one moment only to stretch like string the next. To hear Hersch play is to never know what's next, to be comforted by the chase. FRIDAY, JAN. 25–SATURDAY, JAN. 26, AT CASBAH. $10–$24/8 p.m. (Friday) & 9 p.m. (Saturday)
SALT TO BITTERS, ANNA ROSE BECK
The music of Chapel Hill's Salt to Bitters is tense and tortured, subverting its good-timing folk-band instrumentation for songs that survey the sort of discontent that happens when life turns into one messy after-party. Like early Bright Eyes committed to a barstool sentence, Salt to Bitters digs into despair and spotlights the results with no filter. The sweet-voiced Anna Rose Beck opens; her optimistic lilt and plaintive romanticism balance well against Salt to Bitters' savagery. WEDNESDAY, JAN. 30, AT THE POUR HOUSE. $5/9 p.m.
MSRP, CHIP ROBINSON
MSRP is the preferred name and acronym for the Mike Spence Rock Project, a slightly misleading handle for the Raleigh four-piece. Indeed, with crunchy chords and rhythms that staple the simple riffs to your chest, this is a rock project, but it's not just Spence. Rather, the harmonies of bassist Lutie Cain serve as the requisite counter to Spence's dude blasts, giving this rock an unexpected and welcome soft spot. Backsliders bard Chip Robinson opens. SATURDAY, JAN. 26, AT SLIM'S. $5/9 p.m.
THE JOE TAYLOR GROUP
This two-band bill is a release party of sorts for There's Nothing Louder Than Dead Air, the memoir of longtime local radio personality Bob "The Blade" Robinson. The night sports the subtitle "Rock & Roll Will Never Die," a tag made ironic and unfortunate by headliners The Joe Taylor Group. A light blues trio with members whose names are trailed by parentheses detailing their more famous associations, Taylor's electric retread makes music that suggests the death of rock 'n' roll has already happened. FRIDAY, JAN. 25, AT THE POUR HOUSE. $8–$10/10 p.m.
MONTEREY JAZZ ON TOUR
This show's six-piece band features the velvet-voiced Dee Dee Bridgewater, the florid trumpet of Ambrose Akinmusire and the long-lauded bass of Christian McBride. Not a bad pickup band, right? Perhaps because of this tour's celebration of Monterey Jazz Festival's 55th anniversary, however, it also features warmed-over legacy kowtowing, with jazz so zapped of vitality that the word feels too active to apply. SATURDAY, JAN. 26, AT CAROLINA THEATRE. $42–$52/8 p.m.