The Toronto trio Elliott Brood play a street-corner hoedown jam at the intersection of Uncle Tupelo and Crazy Horse, with equal measures of down-home front-porch, big-city bar stage, and suburban garage. Since forming in 2004, multi-instrumentalists Mark Sasso and Casey Laforet, along with sampler and percussionist Stephen Pitkin (who used to bang on a piece of luggage posing as a bass drum), have racked up a ton of impressive award nominations, including some Junos and the Polaris Music Prize. Their latest album is last year's Days Into Years. They've been called frontier rock and death country, among other things, by people trying to get a handle on their sound. But you can just call Elliott Brood alt-country with a sense of adventure. Which poses the question: Should Americana from the Great White North be called Canadiana? — Brian Baker
With the Pack A.D. and Leah Lou & the 2 Left Shoes. 8:30 p.m. Friday, March 9. Beachland Tavern. Tickets: $10; call 216-383-1124 or visit beachlandballroom.com.
Morphosis' What Have We Learned was one of the best techno albums of 2011. Credit goes to producer Rabih Beaini's ability to reaffirm and challenge the music's core parameters. The crunchy snares, hissing hi-hats, metallic handclaps, and deep-space bass pay tribute to Detroit techno and the robotic funk for which it's revered. The same can be said of Beaini's classic synthesizer sounds and how their celestial vibrations echo the science-fiction theology of Juan Atkins and Jeff Mills. Where What Have We Learned turns iconoclastic is on the macro level. Breaking free from techno's long-established reliance on loops and sequencing, Beaini constructs tracks that are wondrously complex, like mazes whose pathways and walls are in a perpetual state of recombination. It's a quality that recalls the intricate nature of vintage prog rock and free jazz. Little surprise, since Beaini counts cosmic innovator and philosopher Sun Ra among his influences. — Justin Farrar
With Container. 10 p.m. Friday, March 9. Touch Supper Club. Tickets: $10, $5 in advance; call 216-631-5200 or visit touchohiocity.com.
With the Black Crowes on break again, guitarist Rich Robinson steps into the solo spotlight — a position he's always been somewhat reluctant to embrace. On his 2004 debut solo album, Paper, he explored some musical terrain that detoured from the southern blues rock of the Crowes, a band he co-founded with his brother Chris when he was still in his teens. Last year's follow-up, Through a Crooked Sun, finds Robinson back in familiar territory. The record's dozen tracks don't stray too far from the Crowes' bluesy '60s- and '70s-influenced classic rock. The album is surprisingly cohesive, considering it moves from the Beatlesque "Lost and Found" to the San Francisco psych-rock of "I Don't Hear the Sound of You" to "All Along the Way"'s Laurel Canyon hippie folk. Just don't expect Robinson to dip into the Crowes' catalog when he comes to town this weekend. He and his band are more likely to fill their set with solo cuts, jams, and Neil Young covers. — John Patrick Gatta
With Amy LaVere. 8:30 p.m. Saturday, March 10. Beachland Tavern. Tickets: $20, $18 in advance; call 216-383-1124 or visit beachlandballroom.com.
When people say they hate rap music, they're most likely thinking of Young Jeezy or someone just like him. The 34-year-old South Carolina native resurfaced late last year after a three-year break — which is like 21 years in hip-hop terms — with his fourth album, TM:103 Hustlerz Ambition. Legal problems — which included the usual firearms, DUI, and slamming-his-Lamborghini-into-a-taxi troubles — contributed to the delay, and they may have cost the onetime drug dealer his chart dominance. They've certainly aided his irrelevance. TM:103 (it stands for Thug Motivation, in case you were wondering) doesn't sound like it was completed in 2008, the year The Recession debuted at No. 1; it sounds like it was made a decade earlier, when southern bounce and barking rhymes about coke, whores, and fast cars actually sold records. The new album comes to life only when guests Jay-Z and André 3000 show up for "I Do." But they're not joining Jeezy on tour. So you're on your own, fans. — Gallucci
8 p.m. Sunday, March 11. House of Blues. The show is sold out.
Erika M. Anderson made her mark last year with the opening line of her excellent single "California": "Fuck you, California, you made me boring," she sings over a low-fi hum that sounds like it just might lift off, if only it could gather a little speed for the attempt. The song anchors Past Life Martyred Saints, the equally terrific debut album by Anderson, who records as EMA. The South Dakota native layers acoustic guitars over vaguely hip-hop beats and electronic jetsam on top of alt-rock melodies, venturing into an open playground of sounds: noise rock, indie, electronic, and even some type of folk-drone hybrid we really don't have a name for. It's a remarkable achievement for a woman pushing 30, who used to front a ramshackle noise-rock duo with her boyfriend. Solo and freed from any sort of restraints her past may have placed on her, EMA slips into a sonic vortex on Past Life Martyred Saints, surfacing often but not for long. Excavating things happening just below the surface, as well as grabbing at those floating above it, she crafted one of 2011's best LPs: a personal, scarred recollection of a past that's given way to a bright future. — Michael Gallucci
With Nü Sensae and Outer Space. 8:30 p.m. Sunday, March 11. Beachland Tavern. Tickets: $10; call 216-383-1124 or visit beachlandballroom.com.
Under the Radar
Jimmy Webb has written some of the most ambitious (and kinda weird) pop songs of the late '60s: "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "MacArthur Park," and best of all, "Wichita Lineman." The Oklahoma native released one of his best solo albums, Just Across the River, last year. He comes to the Tangier on Friday. At 532 West Market St. in Akron, 330-376-7171, thetangier.com.