8 tonight: Frankie Beverly & Maze at the Koger Center. Beverly and Maze have collaborated for decades of smooth-operator R&B with hits such as "Southern Girl," "Can't Get Over You" and "Joy and Pain." After 7, a grown-and-sexy R&B group that enjoyed its popularity height in the early '90s with hits such as "Ready Or Not" and "Can't Stop." This show is in conjunction with the S.C. HIV/AIDS Council. The Koger Center is at 1051 Greene St. $41 to $58; (803) 251-2222
8 tonight: Devils in Disguise at Utopia. Devils in Disguise, which has the best logo in town - a black-and-white bearded man with a red tie and red devil horns protruding from his fedora - balances country and rock better than the rockin' country stars do. Utopia is at 406 Howard St. Free; (803) 733-2222
11 tonight: The Jaded Rakes at Hunter-Gatherer. The Jaded Rakes play unpretentious rock. The band isn't trying to do anything but play songs. The only makeup that matters is the chord progressions and the lyrics. Brandy Lindsey and the Punch will open. H-G is at 900 Main St. $5; (803) 748-0540
8 p.m. Saturday: Scott Ainslie at Unitarian Universalist Coffeehouse. Ainslie plays the blues and he talks about his craft, which gives the audience a peek into what makes the blues so blue. The South Carolina Broadcasters, who recently played at Bill's Music Shop & Pickin' Parlor, will open. The UU is at 2701 Heyward St. $5 to $12; (888) 849-4224, ext. 4.
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9:30 p.m. Saturday: Confederate Fagg at New Brookland Tavern. Confederate Fagg, the glam-rock band that features Teabag Balzac, Mango Chutney, Spanky Swatnasty and Packer, last played a show in May 2008. This isn't a welcome back; it's more like a last-ditch effort to seal a Rock and Roll Hall of Flame nomination. We've been promised debauchery, and I'm sure these guys will deliver. Columbia Alternacirque will open. NBT is at 122 State St., West Columbia. $5 for over 21, $7 for under; (803) 791-4413
9 p.m. Saturday: Papa String Band at Art Bar. Papa String Band, which will release its self-titled debut album, has created a subgenre of bluegrass: newgrass honk. The band is into exploring new sounds but there's always a string in the songs that leads back to its roots. The Plowboys and Devils in Disguise will also play. Art Bar is at 1211 Park St. $5; (803) 929-0198
7 p.m. Monday: MC Chris at NBT. MC Chris is a rapper with a gangsta-geek persona and cartoonish vocals. Chris previously has done production and voice work on Cartoon Network Adult Swim programs such as "Aqua Teen Hunger Force," "The Brak Show" and "Space Ghost: Coast to Coast." With Whole Wheat Bread, which plays Dirty South punk rock, and I Fight Dragons.CQ $10 in advance, $14 at the door.
10:30 p.m. Monday: Coolie G & Lion Soul at Elbow Room. Columbia is a town that is enamored with blue-eyed reggae bands that mimic an islandic drawl and sound. So why not go hear the real thing? Elbow Room is at 2020 Devine St. (803) 253-7888
6 p.m. Thursday: Hawthorne Heights at NBT. Hawthorne Heights lost its lead vocalist in 2007 when Casey Calvert died of accidental causes. The band has continued as a four-piece, but the message in its rock journey is clear: Don't ever stop believing. With Just Surrender, Punchline and Monty Are I. $10 in advance, $15 at the door.