Philadelphia native Kurt Vile’s music grafts together some strange musical branches. Bits of Velvet Underground drone merge with the acoustic folk side of Neil Young. The melodic heartland rock of Tom Petty is filtered through the off-kilter song craft of Robyn Hitchcock. It’s a spot-the-influence game that you could play all day, but Vile melds these pieces into a distinctive musical strain of his own. It comes together beautifully on his latest album, “Smoke Ring For My Halo.”
8 p.m. Aug. 5. $12. The EARL, 488 Flat Shoals Ave., Atlanta. 404-522-3950.
Welch — along with guitarist and musical foil David Rawlings — is an American treasure, a singer and songwriter whose amazing grace and subtle power outshine many better-known folk, country and Americana practitioners. Her songs are old souls that exude a bright-eyed relevance to the modern world. Welch’s “The Harrow & The Harvest,” which came eight years after its predecessor “Soul Journey,” was released June 28.
8:30 p.m. Aug. 6. $32.50; $30 in advance. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-524-7354.
Lil Wayne, Keri Hilson
One of hip-hop’s more inventive practitioners brings along a supporting cast that includes Atlanta singer and songwriter Keri Hilson (at right). It’s been just a few months since his last appearance here (in April), and at that time, his next album, “Tha Carter IV,” was scheduled for release in May. We’re still waiting, but the new date is Aug. 29. Two tracks from that new album, “6 Foot 7 Foot” and “How to Love,” are already Top 10 hits. Rick Ross, Far East Movement and Lloyd are also on the bill.
7 p.m. Aug. 6. $29.75-$99.75. Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood, 2002 Lakewood Way, Atlanta. 404-443-5090.
Donald Fagen and Walter Becker added class and sophistication to the pop charts in the ’70s when it was so desperately needed. By couching them in memorable melodies, they smuggled their scathingly witty lyrics onto pop charts more accustomed to brainless banalities. They were finally recognized by the Grammy voters in 2001, taking home three trophies, including one for album of the year. Better late than never. The Aug. 6 show is produced by the Classic Chastain series, the Aug. 7 date is part of Live Nation’s Chastain Series.
8 p.m. Aug. 6-7. $35.50-$99. Chastain Park Amphitheatre, 4469 Stella Drive, Atlanta. 404-733-4949.
Death Cab for Cutie
This Seattle quartet graduated to the majors in 2005, releasing the soon-to-be platinum “Plans” on Atlantic. The band’s third major label release, “Codes and Keys,” hit stores this year. It’s a bit of a departure from the lush guitarscapes of its predecessors, but the keyboards and electronics enrich rather than intrude. The memorable tunes remains and even as it adds new colors to the bad’s palette, it still sounds like Death Cab for Cutie. With Frightened Rabbit.
8 p.m. Aug. 11. $32-$38. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, 2200 Encore Parkway, Alpharetta. 404-733-5010.
Sandra McCracken, Derek Webb
Where so much of contemporary Christian music seems to be a pale imitation of mainstream pop, Derek Webb is an adventurous musician who happens to create music with Christian themes (and sometimes, without Christian themes). McCracken, Webb’s wife, is an accomplished musician and singer-songwriter, too, with five albums of her own. The pair is celebrating the release of their new collaborative release “TN EP.”
8 p.m. Aug. 11. $25; $20 in advance. Eddie’s Attic, 515 N. McDonough St., Decatur. 404-377-4976.