Pretty much everything that Black Keys main man Dan Auerbach touches turns to gold or even platinum nowadays, which very much includes South Carolina native Nikki Lane’s new album. That would be “All or Nothin’ ” (New West Records), which Auerbach produced with pop-wise bar-room arrangements very sensibly focused on Lane’s sassy voice. Though she’s decidedly out-of-step with this pre-fab country world, Lane definitely deserves a wider hearing. Give her a listen Saturday at Chapel Hill’s Local 506. Max Gomez opens at 9 p.m. and tickets are $9-$11. Details at local506.com.
• Country rapper (and budding reality-show TV star) Big Smo plays Raleigh’s City Limits Saloon Friday, the same night that good Texans Band of Heathens play Raleigh’s Southland Ballroom. Charlotte’s Loudermilks, who are directly descended from the late great Lou Ford, open for John Howie’s Rosewood Bluff Friday at Chapel Hill’s Kraken and play Thursday at Schoolkids Records in Raleigh.
• Local jazz singer Jua shows off his new album “Colors of Life” Saturday at Sharp 9 in Durham. Also Saturday, Iron & Wine plays the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh, and the Carrboro ArtsCenter has Kenny Roby and Michael Rank.
• Sunday, ’80s pop stars Pat Benatar and Rick Springfield play Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater, while Sidewinder headlines a medical-expenses benefit for Bono, its one-time master of ceremonies, at Raleigh’s Lincoln Theatre.
• Rhode Island rapper Sage Francis comes to Carrboro’s Cat’s Cradle Monday. Hammer No More the Fingers is this week’s “Music in the Gardens” show Wednesday at Duke. And Thursday brings the very fine Americana singer/songwriter Caleb Caudle from New Orleans to Slim’s in Raleigh, and the excellent instrumental bill of Boneslinger and Killer Filler to Raleigh’s Pour House.