Rock preview

The Raconteurs, on tour | Bon Iver, on tour | Jay Reatard, on tour

The Raconteurs, on tour
When faced with an ailing record industry, you've got to admire those who try to perform a mercy killing. That's lately seemed to be the policy of the Raconteurs - the project of Detroit songwriters Brendan Benson and, from the White Stripes, none less than Jack White. Rather than do anything quite so orthodox as promote their new work, the band recently rush-released their second album Consolers Of The Lonely, an old-school rock gesture that would seem to suggest Jack White's time hanging out with Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones has taught him a few lessons. As an apparent act of self-sabotage, it hasn't entirely worked - the album climbed to No 4 - but it's very nearly shifted attention off the music itself. A collection of acceptable pop rock songs, it's hard not to notice how the mixture of White's rowdiness and and Benson's melodicism pushes the band to the middle of the road.

· Hammersmith Apollo, W6, Wed 14; Academy, Liverpool, Thu 15

Bon Iver, on tour
Time was when jaded rock musicians would take time out of their hedonistic lifestyles and "get their heads together in the country". Justin Vernon, the musician who works under the name Bon Iver, has lately taken that policy to a remote, and very cold extreme. When his band broke up, Vernon took off to his father's log cabin in Wisconsin and spent months there killing his own food and writing songs - effectively Elliott Smith crossed with Ray Mears. The product of his labours was For Emma, Forever Ago, a moving and endlessly playable album born out of solitude and the time he spent mulling over old relationships. It's great to see him out and about, here with dates both solo and supporting Iron And Wine, but you get the feeling he's not out of the woods yet.

· ATP, Minehead, Sat 10; ABC, Glasgow, Mon 12; Ritzy, Manchester, Tue 13; Leadmill, Sheffield, Wed 14; Great Escape, Brighton, Thu 15; Forum, NW5, Fri 16

Jay Reatard, on tour
What's in a name? For the man born in Memphis as Jay Lindsey, seemingly everything. A punk prodigy - he began playing in his self-described "sloppy punk" band the Reatards when he was only 16 - he's now a fresh-faced 27 and seems primed to reach beyond the enthusiastic hotbed of regional US punk audiences he's already conquered. A player of fast and furious but recognisably retro hardcore punk, he joins Fucked Up as part of a general resurgence of interest in this hectic pursuit. Undoubtedly, Reatard is serious, as YouTube footage of him clobbering anyone who gets on his stage shows. Worth watching, then - but maybe from a respectable distance.

· Madam Jo Jo's, W1, Tue 13; Barden's Boudoir, N16, Wed 14; The Old Blue Last, EC1, Thu 15


John Robinson

The GuardianTramp

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