About two-thirds of the way through “Anywhere But Here,” the best song on the very fine current Mastersons album “Good Luck Charm” (New West Records), there’s a great little in-the-studio moment. Just as the piano gets going during the instrumental break, the Mastersons’ dog Shakti starts barking. Undeterred, the band keeps right on going without missing a beat, and you can almost sense a smile from everyone in the room. A similar combination of precision and looseness is throughout “Good Luck Charm,” centered on the just-right vocal harmonies of Chris Masterson and Eleanor Whitmore with admirable acoustic pop-craft. They’ll play it live Saturday at the Back Room of Carrboro’s Cat’s Cradle. Aaron Lee Tasjan opens at 9 p.m. and cover is $10. See catscradle.com for details.
▪ The newly reopened Ritz in Raleigh welcomes its top show to date with Washington State’s own Modest Mouse on Friday. Also Friday, the 20th annual “Winter Jam” Christian pop tour comes to Raleigh’s PNC Arena with Skillet and others.
▪ Saturday brings cello god Ben Sollee to Durham’s Motorco Music Hall with Becca Stevens, and folk-rock duo the Kennedys to Cary Theatre for a Six String Cafe show.
▪ Sunday, venerable Australian alternative-pop band The Church plays the Cradle and Delicate Steve is at Kings in Raleigh.
▪ Durham-based Merge Records will be front and center multiple nights this week at Durham’s Pinhook, which has Arcade Fire’s Will Butler showing off his sharp new solo album Sunday followed by Australia’s The Twerps on Monday.
▪ And Thursday is very crowded – Sarah McLachlan at Durham Performing Arts Center, G. Love and Special Sauce at Raleigh’s Lincoln Theatre, Black Lillies at Kings and Pixies main man Frank Black presiding over a “Film: Acoustic” screening of the thorny 1985 satire “Brazil” at Durham’s Carolina Theatre.