One can almost feel the soundtrack to Radiation City’s hometown of Portland, Ore., unfolding within the journey of its newest record, “Animals in the Median.” One minute, band members are lost in Forest Park, dancing in slow motion and staring up at sprawling trees without a care in the world. The next, they’re racing down a hill through the ultra-hip urban jungle, frantically trying to tape together torn photos of lost loves and bizarre nights. This electro-pop wunderkind band performs alongside locals the West Nile Ramblers, Midi Matilda, Be Calm Honcho and others as part of a fundraiser for Davis schools. 2-10 p.m., Central Park, Fourth and C streets, Davis. $20 www.davismusicfest.com.
At any given time, there always seems to be at least one band stoking the fires of Southern rock and keeping people interested in some dirty-barroom-boogie tunes. Currently, that group is the Alabama Shakes – but don’t sleep on ’Bama brethren Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires. Touting a searing mix of hedonistic jams, twangy country, soulful R&B and biting punk, their rowdy stew of down-home American rock is spiced with the spirit of the Deep South and sets the church pews right in front of the bar. With Austin Lucas. 904 15th St., Sacramento. $6. www.torchclub.net.
Each of the five stretchy jams on “Threace,” the newest release from devious, instrumental quartet Cave, is like its own individual house of cards. The funky tunes are built around a simple riff or melody, with the Chicago-based band slowly and cunningly adding more weight to the top, seeing how far it can build it up before it tumbles. With the Cairo Gang and Donald Beaman. 1815 19th St., Sacramento. www.bowscollective.com.
As the Meat Puppets sing, “Some things will never change.” The fact that this group – a heavy influence on bands such as Nirvana, Pavement and others – is one of the most inexplicably unheralded alternative rock acts of the past 20 years is likely one of those things. 2708 J St. $15. www.harlows.com.