8:30 p.m. Friday
Naked Lounge Downtown
Portland-based solo act McDougall is like the guy you can huddle in the corner of a coffeehouse with chatting an afternoon away on dark topics such as the perils of human progress, as well as life’s simple pleasures and reasons for hope. Then at some point, you realize he’s the guy who’s going to grab a guitar and kick drum and hit the stage, to have those same conversations with the crowd via song. There’s a complex intensity behind McDougall’s music, framed by inventive lyrics and held together with some playfully funky, old-timey banjo and guitar. As he puts it, “the loneliness you face sometimes is all worth it as you spend each night sharing songs with people and making friends out of strangers.” With Jon Emery Iverson. 1111 H St., Sacramento. www.nakedcoffee.net
7:30 p.m. Saturday
Auburn Event Center
Seven years ago while attending a music festival, a friend stuck a Tracorum sticker on my flashlight without my knowledge. I still have that flashlight, and it reminds me that missing its set that festival was a major fail. The San Francisco band’s live shows have garnered some sweaty buzz around Northern California, thanks to its aptly self-billed brand “rock ’n’ soul/gospel thunder funk.” It’s got that worldly jammy quality that enlivens Grateful Dead fans, with just enough grime to make you feel like a sinner in the deep South, and more than enough soul to help you repent. “Foothill Fillmore” favorite Jugtown Pirates opens. Doors 6:30 p.m. 145 Elm Ave, Auburn. $15. www.keepsmilinpromotions.com.
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
8 p.m. Sunday
The Center for the Arts
So deceptive yet so accurate is the moniker of this long-standing fury of fuzz rock, fronted by wild-eyed former Pussy Galore frontman Jon Spencer. It’s hard to find anything resembling traditional blues in the Blues Explosion’s sound, but for north of 20 years they’ve been packing those “traditional blues” with gregarious guitar lines and beefy harps and hurling them into distorted amps like hand grenades of mayhemic rock and roll. They’re that stroll down a dark city alley looking for a divey blues joint on one end but finding all-out revolution instead. With Shockwave Riderz and Black Cat Grave. 314 West Main St., Grass Valley. $25. www.thecenterforthearts.org.
Looking ahead: Twenty One Pilots, May 11 at Ace of Spades
Keep a close eye on this hip-hop-infused electro-pop duo out of Ohio. After building a grass-roots fan base online, they just might end up being the next big thing if they’re not careful. 1417 R St., Sacramento. $20. www.aceofspadessac.com