(Nectar) While a Mac Lethal show is damn near guaranteed to be a rowdy, beer-soaked experience, it's Minneapolis-based newcomer Prof you need to watch out for tonight. It's almost not fair to other MCs how he can switch from a languid, dallying cadence to a precise, diamond-tipped double-time vocal wobble with such ease, all while seemingly not giving a shit about any of it. Prof has character and charisma, a couple qualities that are oh so important in hiphop yet too often pushed to the wayside in favor of super-complex metaphors or dizzying strings of multisyllabic rhymes. Prof knows how to strike the balance, and it shows on both his latest record, Recession Music, with Stophouse labelmate St. Paul Slim, and "Elephant," the first leak from his upcoming album, Kaiser von Powderhorn 2, a loudmouthed showcase of his well-earned arrogance. Check him out, and let Prof take you to school. KALEB GUBERNICK
Tim Barry, Lizzie Huffman, Mostly Dimes
(El Corazón) Last summer, I saw Tim Barry open one of the Bouncing Souls' 20th-anniversary shows in Philly. Though the night belonged to the Souls, the former Avail frontman easily owned the crowd for his 30-minute set. It was just him and his acoustic guitar, playing alt-country-flavored songs with his heartfelt lyrics about dead friends, too much drinking, and other depressing things that sound almost romantic when paired with his six strings. For a few of the songs, he opted to forgo the stage and the mic altogether, jumping down into the middle of the sold-out crowd and singing songs at the top of his lungs while everyone circled around him singing along. It was fucking amazing. Here's hoping Seattle shows him the same well-deserved love. MEGAN SELING
Greg Ginn & the Texas Corrugators, This Blinding Light, Low Hums
(Comet) This Blinding Light play soulful, meditative psychedelic rock that will have the heads swaying, watching the kaleidoscopes unfold on the backs of their eyelids. Black Flag/SST founder Gregg Ginn's Texas Corrugators are a little jazzier and more eclectic, adding some shuffle and swing to their psychedelia. (Can "acid-cowboy country-jazz" be a genre?) Low Hums' minimalist Mexicali blues sounds like a Cormac McCarthy novel, sprawled out beneath the stars and a poncho, smoking a joint and watching the embers die before drifting off to sleep. The Comet should provide couches. BRENDAN KILEY
Peace, Loving; Wilson Shook
(Gallery 1412) On the first Saturday in March, Seattle saxophonist Wilson Shook handed me the future of the compact disc. The self-released Solos 2009 is the most elegantly hand-packaged disc I've seen in recent memory. Shook folded a photograph and applied an off-center staple to keep a three-inch CD-R (and a wispy insert) snugly inside.
The music is just as deft; Shook's saxophone flinches with almost-electronic sounds, all speckled with unexpected pauses and muted tones. He recorded the disc live on Chicago's venerable Something Else radio show on WLUW and here in town at Gallery 1412, which is probably the only place to get Solos, at least next week: Shook opens for Peace, Loving (Tues March 23, Gallery 1412, 8 pm, $5—$15 sliding scale donation), a Boston-based collective that combines tinkling percussion, agile guitar picking, lo-fi electronics, and lonesome vocals. CHRISTOPHER DELAURENTI