Wednesday, Jan. 19
This impressively eclectic Motor City export funnels Portishead's angelic mope through a factory of hyperactive drum samples, vibraphone sprinkles, and brass blasts. You can latch onto Kate Lamb's beguiling melodies—Full's only remotely traditional element—for dear life, but they won't shield you from her band's invigorating avant thrashing. Crocodile Cafe, 9 p.m. $6
"Hype" and "New York City band" seem to go hand in hand, with "unwarranted" often not far behind, as is the case with this group. Neumo's, 8 p.m. $10
Alvin Youngblood Hart + Guy Davis
Two bluesmen of fairly recent vintage: Hart's a regular visitor to Jazz Alley, and Davis is a Handy Award winner, though his recent Legacy (Red House) is a stone bore. Dimitriou's Jazz Alley, 7:30 p.m. $18.50–$20.50
Thursday, Jan. 20
The Blood Brothers + Pretty Girls Make Graves + IQU
The tsunami isn't the only unspeakable disaster out there, natural or man-made (does Fallujah ring a bell?) Hence, this star-studded local indie benefit for Life for Relief and Development, a nonprofit that provides worldwide humanitarian aid. It wouldn't be inappropriate for the headliner to bust out "Live at the Apocalypse Cabaret." Showbox, 7 p.m. $15 adv.
Human Television + Infomatik
Both the Floridian headliner and our up-and-coming local floppy disk fetishists flaunt rainy-day hooks in the spirit of the Cure and Joy Division, tiptoeing deftly around the knock-off trapdoor. If you require a free sneak preview, Human Television will play a KEXP set at noon. Crocodile Cafe, 9 p.m. $7
Friday, Jan. 21
Bowling for Soup + American Hi-Fi + Riddlin' Kids
Early nominee for worst bill of the year. The headliner craps out a pop-punk novelty hit every few years; their most recent is the thoroughly witless "1985." The pretty boys of American Hi-Fi are set to release another alt-pop abomination this spring, fueled by a single ("The Geeks Get the Girls") that cops the Soup's counterfeit hey-we're-all-dorks posturing. Studio Seven, 7 p.m. $15 adv.
SEE FEATURE, P 41. Triple Door, 8 p.m. $17
The Psychedelic Furs
Richard Butler recently told Rolling Stone that they hadn't been touring because they'd been busy writing new songs. See, we thought they hadn't been touring because they finally realized that they haven't really been that good since the '80s. Showbox, 8 p.m. $20 adv./$25
RTX [Royal Trux]
Royal Trux was never just a proto-noise rock band, it was a guidebook for the rock and roll gutter. And now, with the solo career of Neil Haggerty spun off like a bad sitcom, the renamed RTX is just Jennifer Herrema and a couple of new dudes. Neumo's, 8 p.m. $10
Saturday, Jan. 22
Dave Alvin and the Guilty Men + Los Straitjackets
Former Blasters, Knitters, X, and Flesh Eaters man Alvin has a seemingly inexhaustible supply of roots moves, and he's pretty good at most of them. Los Straitjackets play surf music while wearing Mexican wrestling masks. Tractor Tavern, 9 p.m. $20 Also Sunday, Jan. 23, at 8 p.m.
Bran Flakes + Evolution Control Committee
The Bran Flakes, whose main members occasionally do dubbier business as Library Science, are smart sample-pastichiers who've made two good albums. Evolution Control Committee are cut-and-paste legends whose 1991 "Whipped Cream Mixes" 7-inch helped birth the current mash-up bootleg phenomenon. Highly recommended. Catwalk, 9 p.m.
Local indie-pop outfit the Glasses have a properly named gem in their debut EP Sunbreaks and their self-titled full-length is even better, featuring fits of loser-kid anxiety and Weezer-loving indie rock. Paradox Theater, 8 p.m.
Having helped invent Detroit techno as well as creating many of its greatest moments—"Strings of Life" is easily one of the best singles of the 1980s, and "Nude Photo" isn't far behind—Derrick May essentially stopped making new music a decade ago to concentrate full-time on DJ'ing. Our loss, but our gain, too. Chop Suey, 9 p.m. $13 adv.
They're still kicking ass, teeth, etc. after a decade, and are as fleet and full-throttle on the fretboard as ever. See latest effort 'Til the Livin' End (Relapse) for multiple scourging, blink-and-you-missed-it examples. Sunset Tavern, 9 p.m. $7
Sunday, Jan. 23
Charlie Musselwhite and the Sanctuary Band ft. Charlie Sexton
Musselwhite has been at it long enough to become as legendary as the bluesmen he initially looked up to, and the featured player isn't so bad himself: Sexton's a veteran bandleader and guitarist, both on his own and in his most recent gig, heading Bob Dylan's traveling troupe. Triple Door, 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. $23
Monday, Jan. 24
The former Sebadoh frontman has been laying pretty low of late, but he's been creeping back into consciousness, both with 2003's The New Folk Implosion and the brand new solo disc Emoh (Merge), whose Tuesday release Barlow celebrates with this in-store. Sonic Boom, 2209 N.W. Market St., 206-297-2666, 7 p.m. Free
Tuesday, Jan. 25
What's more fun than punk-funk revolution? When the music transcends its painfully obvious source material, which as of last year's Stealing of the Nation (Astralwerks), Radio 4's didn't. Elefant headlines. Chop Suey, 8 p.m. $12 adv.
Kings of Leon
SEE CD REVIEW, P 44. Neumo's, 8 p.m. $14
Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio
Backed by guitarist Peter Bernstein and drummer Gregory Hutchinson, Smith's pioneering B3 and synth work provides the bedrock from what will probably be a funky good time. Dimitriou's Jazz Alley, 7:30 p.m. $18.50–$20.50 Also Wednesday, Jan. 26