Friday 7:30 p.m. Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St. $12. www.eveningmuse.com.
One of the Southeast’s favorite independent songwriters, Bronson celebrates the release of his latest album, “James,” during this return to his Charlotte home-base. Produced by Grammy winner Dave Cobb – whose work with Jason Isbell and Chris Stapleton has made him Nashville’s go-to guy – “James” finds Bronson covering new ground, including social issues on the Freddie Gray-inspired track “Rough Ride.” With Sam Tayloe of Time Sawyer.
The Midnight Ghost Train
Never miss a local story.
Friday 10 p.m. Snug Harbor, 1228 Gordon St. $7. www.snugrock.com.
Still combining thick bass grooves and sludgy stoner riffs of previous records, the trio released its most nuanced and restrained record in its fourth, “Cypress Ave.” It’s also arguably the band’s best, most eclectic work. With expansive desert rock and psychedelia riffs, Clutch-style blues-boogie grooves, and founder Steve Moss’ folk-anchored storytelling and deep, gravely vocals (think subdued Steppenwolf), it proves itself a cut above.
USNWC Labor Day Celebration
Sunday 4 p.m. US National Whitewater Center Pkwy, 5000 Whitewater Center Parkway. Parking is $5 per car; otherwise, the event is free (or $45 for terrace access). www.usnwc.org.
The Whitewater Center’s annual three-day weekend bash – which includes 5K and 15K runs, a film screening, daily yoga, and deep water solo bouldering competitions – concludes Sunday with fireworks, following live music from the Sweet Lillies, the Blackfoot Gypsies and longtime jam-grass favorites Leftover Salmon. Charlotte’s the New Familiars also provide live music during the River Jam series at 7 p.m. Saturday.
The Mountain Goats
Tuesday 8 p.m. Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St. $23-$26. www.neighborhoodtheatre.com.
Band leader John Darnielle is writing concept albums about topics no other artists are addressing. On his band’s previous album, he paid tribute to the old-school wrestling he watched growing up out West. On the quartet’s latest album, “Goths,” he gives the black-eyeliner set a much warmer, nostalgic examination than, say, the Dead Milkmen did, amid fitting synth and folksy songwriting that doesn’t sound “goth” at all.
Tuesday 10 p.m. Snug Harbor, 1228 Gordon St. $5. www.snugrock.com.
Multi-instrumentalist Andy Molholt (of the indie-rock band Speedy Ortiz) moonlights as this experimental indie-pop nom de plume, who works a colorful of-Montreal-gone-solo vibe on his newest album, “Dark Nuclear Bogs.” Quirky but still accessible, Molholt’s songs run from playful and carnival-esque to a sort of psychedelic balladry that might find favor with Flaming Lips fans.
The Winter Sounds
Thursday 5 p.m. Petra’s, 1919 Commonwealth Ave. $5. www.petraspianobar.com.
It’s been five years since the one-time Athens buzz band released an album. Its most carefully crafted to date, “Maximum Reality” promises to be its most stylistically and structurally ambitious. You’ll have to wait until Dec. 1 to hear it, but the trio – which enjoyed an early commercial spike on MTVU and alt-radio for its 2007 debut – will preview some of it when it plays this early show. With Japanese rock band Pinky Doodle Poodle.
Thursday 7 p.m. The Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd. Free if you RSVP at https://spectrumpresentstimeflies.splashthat.com.
The hip-hop-flavored L.A.-by-way-of-Boston pop duo is a viral sensation whose tracks have logged hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube, where it has posted new music each Tuesday. With its third proper album release now two years old, it’s due for something new, which fans might witness at this free Pandora-sponsored show. With Charlotte’s own touring rock outfit Flagship.