Flip a coin: there's no other way to choose which of the excellent shows to attend this weekend. Whether your betting tastes lean toward the Joy Formidable's melodic fuzz from across the pond, or Ha Ha Tonka's Bible-Belt punk from St. Louis' backyard, odds are you're in for a good time.
Friday: Ha Ha Tonka @ Off Broadway Ozark cow-punks recently hit the shooting range with Anthony Bourdain, and these favorite boot-stompers released new album Death of a Decade this month.With The Spring Standards, Union Tree Review. 8 p.m. $10-13.
The Black Angels @ Old Rock House On the psych-rockers' latest, Diana Benanti writes that "the spook endures but takes a backseat to tight pop and borderline-buoyant riffs." With Suuns. 8 p.m. $15.
The Joy Formidable @ Luminary Center for the Arts Welsh trio fronted by platinum waif Ritzy Bryan pushes its melodic indie fuzz off the deep end into punk-rock thrashing. "Ferocious and never to be missed again," wrote Roy Kasten at this year's SXSW. With The Lonely Forest. 8 p.m. $8-10.
Rural Alberta Advantage @ The Firebird Canadian electro-folk trio led by Nils Edenhoff, whose "tuneful twang...offsets the disco drumbeats and warm synth washes," according to Christian Schaeffer, return to town in support of new album Departing. With Lord Huron, In Tall Buildings. 9 p.m. $10-12.
Fielded @ Floating Laboratories One-woman band out of Chicago uses looping to make gothic gospel music. With Black James, Dustbunny. 9 p.m. $5 [?]
Awilo Longomba @ 2720 Cherokee Congolese pop singer and former drummer in soukous bands - just try not to dance. 9 p.m. $20.
Saturday: John Henry & The Engine CD Release Party @ Off Broadway Missouri band forges its own timeless brand of American rock-and-soul by borrowing piano and the growling emotion of Bruce Springsteen. With Tommy & the High Pilots, the Madison Square Gardeners, Emily Wallace, Dubb Nubb acoustic courtyard intermission set. 8 p.m. $10.
Lightning Bolt @ Luminary Center for the Arts "Bring earplugs" to this "tinnitus-inducing ruckus," recommends Ryan Wasoba, as drum-destroying noise rock duo Lightning Bolt returns to St. Louis. With Parts & Labor, Spelling Bee. 8 p.m. $10.
Sunday Star & Micey @ Cicero's Ready-for-its-close-up Memphis trio makes indie pop tinged with blues and soul of its hometown heroes, Big Star. With Alone in India, Brian Muench. 7 p.m. $7.
Also Note: Record store documentary Sound it Out will be playing at Webster University today through Sunday.
Foals will play a sold-out show with Freelance Whales and the Naked and Famous at the Firebird on Saturday.
The Civil Wars will play a sold-out show at Old Rock House on Saturday.