Patterson Hood at Alley KatzEvery now and again, Hood tosses off the shackles of the Drive-By Truckers and sits down with his guitar to mourn the slow decay of a mythical South. His solo work, in 2004's "Killers and Stars" and the upcoming "Murdering Oscar (and other love songs)," captures the narrative spirit that makes DBT so distinctive, but it plays a little moodier. The show Wednesday, Dec. 6, is a bit of a preview of Hood's 2007 solo tour, in which he'll journey across the country singing tales like a Southern-fried Homer. 8 p.m.-midnight. $12. 643-2816.
GWAR at the Canal ClubSpeaking of 2007, GWAR is planning to tour Europe next year for its latest and, according to lead singer Oderus Urungus on the band's Web site, heaviest album yet, "Beyond Hell." Something about GWAR in Paris seems strangely appropriate the filth, maybe. Anyway, GWAR plays its hometown Saturday, Dec. 9, wrapping up a North American tour that has helped spread the word that Richmond is a truly strange place. Doors at 6:30 p.m. $20-$25. 643-2582.
Emergenza Music Festival at Hyperlink Café
Speaking of Europe, Hyperlink Café is host to the Richmond branch of this international battle of the unsigned bands that started in Rome a decade ago. Bands score points and are eliminated or moved up to semifinals, culminating in a tour of North America and Europe for the best bands. Sure, it sounds like a pyramid scheme, but it'll give you a chance to see a real stew of musical styles over three days, everything from the "indie punk" of The Automatics to the "fusion funk" of HBNS, to the reliable armpit farts and bluegrass of Special Ed and the Shortbus. There are way too many bands to list here, but check out the Web site at www.emergenza.net. The site's pretty bad, but it's informative. The festival runs Dec. 8-10 and starts at 10 p.m. 254-1942.