Despite its languor and skeletal guitar licks, A.A. Bondy's 2009 full-length release When the Devil's Loose doesn't work as background music. The Louisiana native first came to attention as frontman for Verbena, a Birmingham, Ala., hard-rock band in the mode of Nirvana. Since those days, Bondy has changed: His current music is folkish and abstracted, with slow, diseased backbeats and minimal harmonic motion. His melodies suggest half-remembered country and blues songs — when he essays a slow-drag, gospel ballad in 6/8 time, ugly notes stick out like dead birds in the snow. Whatever his lyrics mean in a literal sense — "Where can I go / When you leave me nowhere to run" is a typical Bondy couplet — they imply something the artist simply can't articulate in a straightforward manner. In short, it ain't rock ’n' roll, but you may just like it.
9 p.m. at Mercy Lounge. Check a video of Bondy and band performing "When the Devil's Loose" down below: