The Triangle wasn’t R.E.M.’s home area, but we were sort of their home away from home – among the first places the band played beyond their Athens, Ga., environs and also where they connected with original manager Jefferson Holt. That makes Carrboro’s Cat’s Cradle the perfect place to watch a screening of “R.E.M. by MTV,” a documentary tracing the band’s three-decade history. The screening is in honor of Vivian Connell, an activist and longtime friend of the band who is battling ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), and it benefits the Public Justice Foundation. To put a capper on the evening, the local singing group PopUp Chorus will conduct an audience singalong of a couple of R.E.M. standards, “Losing My Religion” and “Man on the Moon.” Showtime is 7 p.m.Friday at the Cradle and tickets are $15. See catscradle.com for details.
▪ Friday also brings Matt Pond PA to Kings in Raleigh, quirky singer-songwriter Lady Lamb to Durham’s Pinhook and the Band Together talent show “Last Band Standing” to Raleigh’s Lincoln Theatre.
▪ The Live & Local: Earth Day Music Fest starts at 2 p.m. Saturday on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh, with Grammy-winning New Orleans ensemble Rebirth Brass Band, Birds and Arrows, Big Daddy Love, Urban Soil and others playing for free. Also Saturday, Waxahatchee (Katie Crutchfield to her parents) plays the Cradle Back Room with The Goodbye Party while Diarrhea Planet moves on through Kings.
▪ Smash Mouth plays Sunday morning’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon at Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater, followed by Lee Bains III and Glory Fire rocking Slims in Raleigh that evening.
▪ Monday night, Drive-By Truckers co-leader Patterson Hood oversees a “Film Acoustic” screening and discussion of 1976’s prescient populist film “Network” at Durham’s Carolina Theatre.
▪ James McMurtry – a man of many words, a lot of them pointed and some even wise – plays Raleigh’s Southland Ballroom Tuesday, the same night Jon Spencer Blues Explosion is at the Cradle.
▪ Indigo Girls sing with the N.C. Symphony Wednesday at Durham Performing Arts Center. Mipso unveils a new two-song recording at the Cradle Back Room Wednesday, then Thursday at Kings. Also Thursday, electronic god Dan Deacon are at the Cradle, plus Southern rockers Blackberry Smoke hit the Ritz.