The Love Language is on a pretty amazing roll right now. “Ruby Red” (Merge Records), the local ensemble's astonishing third album, is another killer set of tunes that are less rock or pop than operatic -- extravagant passions on display, with frontman Stuart McLamb's wounded wail serving as Greek chorus for the emotionally bereft. What becomes of the broken-hearted? They wind up right here, with McLamb singing to (and for) them. See it live Friday night at Carrboro's Cat's Cradle. Showtime is 9 p.m., Eternal Summers and Critters are on the bill and cover is $14. See catscradle.com for details.
• On the album-release tip, the whimsically twee folk-rock group Bombadil shows off “Metrics of Affection” (Ramseur Records) at Raleigh's Lincoln Theatre Saturday, with Plume Giant opening; elsewhere Saturday, Annuals and Hammer No More the Fingers play Kings in Raleigh, V-Roys alumni Scott Miller and Mic Harrison are at Raleigh's Pour House and Lil Wayne heads up a big hip-hop bill at Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion at Walnut Creek in Raleigh; Ben Folds Five is back to play Raleigh's Red Hat Amphitheatre Sunday, with Barenaked Ladies and Guster; the NC Music Love Army plays a post-”Moral Monday” performance at Kings that night; Tuesday brings hair-metal icon Whitesnake to Raleigh's Memorial Auditorium, and ’80s new-wave hitmakers Psychedelic Furs to the Cradle; Jonas Brothers keep on trying to grow up, Wednesday at Red Hat; and Hiss Golden Messenger plays Wednesday's “Music in the Gardens” show at Duke in Durham.