Charlotte’s Benji Hughes gets likened to Beck quite a bit, and for the most part it’s a fair comparison. Except that Hughes has far more of a dark edge. His new album “Songs in the Key of Animals” (Merge Records) is full of luscious and quirky popcraft, plus lots of disturbing little details – like the female screams during “Shark Attack!!!!!!!!!!,” which could almost be mistaken for what you’d hear on an amusement-park rollercoaster. Dude is one freaky soul brother, as listenable as he is twisted. Hughes will play it live Saturday night in a free show at Motorco Music Hall in Durham.
Doors open at 8 p.m. See motorcomusic.com for details.
- Local country supergroup Tonk shows off its quite-fine new album “Second Nature” (Future Standards Records) Friday at Kings, and maybe they can be persuaded to do the album’s hidden closing bonus track – the old “Tonight Let It Be Lowenbrau” beer commercial. Also Friday, the spectral singer/songwriter M. Ward is at Saxapahaw’s Haw River Ballroom.
- Saturday brings Roomful of Teeth to Baldwin Auditorium for a Duke Performances show, local emcee SkyBlew to Chapel Hill’s Local 506, San Francisco’s art-rock troupe The Residents’ sublimely weird “Shadowland” to Carrboro’s Cat’s Cradle, Jason Adamo playing a benefit for young cancer patient Lauren Cherry at Raleigh’s Greenway Club and Jason Isbell opening for Widespread Panic at Raleigh’s Walnut Creek Amphitheater.
- Also on the outdoor front, N.C. Museum of Art’s concert season opens with Snarky Puppy on Sunday, the same night San Francisco’s Vetiver plays the Cradle Back Room.
- Monday brings Citizen Cope playing solo acoustic at the Cradle, and the very much plugged-in Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires playing Neptunes downstairs from Kings.
- Beyonce’s Formation World Tour comes to Raleigh’s Carter-Finley Stadium Tuesday (the first show there since the Rolling Stones last July), the same night Chris Isaak is at Durham’s Carolina Theatre and Wild Belle at Motorco.
- And Wednesday is crazy-busy — reggae icon Bunny Wailer at Raleigh’s Lincoln Theatre, rockin’ country scion Shooter Jennings at Motorco and the very fine Americana singer/songwriter Kim Richey at the Cradle Back Room.