A few picks for the weekend: Nettles and Timbre, Krauss and Dawes

A few shows to check out this weekend:

Play On! Theatre hosts the latest installment of the National Stand-up Comedy Series, a growing franchise of slap-happy stage events that are bound for The Paramount later this year. Saturday night’s comedian is one Brian Kerns, who you may know from NBC’s "Last Comic Standing" and, according to his bio, was once in the audience of "The Price is Right." Sample the goods here.

Shows have been filling the room over at Alhamraa with some frequency. One scheduled for Sunday looks especially promising, with CSC Funk Band, Colin L Orchestra and the bawdy country songwriter Jonny Corndawg, who takes his music more seriously than his name suggests; check out my interview with the ‘Dawg from earlier this week.

I’ve been bugging out lately over the music of Nettles, a group fronted by the local poet/songwriter Guion Pratt. Sometimes songs sound like its writer was too preoccuppied with writing a poem that it ends up sucking (see Dawes, below), but even when dedicating songs to Frank Stanford, Pratt finds a nice balance between the two with Nettles. Dude can play guitar, too! Nettles plays the Tea Bazaar on Saturday night with Timbre (the harpist from Nashville—very cool!) and Richmond’s Lobo Marino.

Oh, and it’s like O Brother Where Art Thou all up in here over the next couple of weeks, with Gillian Welch headed for the Pavilion later in August, and Allison Krauss headlining the mega Free Clinic benefit this weekend at the Pavilion. Opening tonight for Krauss (who plays with her band Union Station frequent collaborator Jerry Douglas) is the modern folk act Dawes. They’re pretty good, but then all of a sudden gets too earnest when you really start listening. They’re all, "I want the feeling waking next to you/ I want to find my children at your feet," and I’m all, "Where’s the cream filling?" Life is a lot of things, happy, sad, funny, boring, fun. Dawes, your songs can be too!

That goes for the whole lot of you.

What are you up to this weekend?