WILLIAM ELLIOT WHITMORE is a farm boy from rural Iowa with a scratchy voice that bears the scars of a man who has experienced harder times than most folks will ever know. His death-afflicted country hymns channel a broken soul through a broken banjo and his brittle pick and stomp commune with the Grim Reaper under icy and wind-burned harmonies. But rather than dwell on the inevitable, Whitmore imbues such bleak fodder with an uplifting, existentialist embrace. For his appearance Thurs., OCT. 23, Whitmore performs alongside Bloomington, Ind.'s barreling country-punk crooners Murder By Death. Baltimore's J-Roddy Walston & the Business open. $12. 9 p.m. Drunken Unicorn, 736 Ponce de Leon Place. www.thedrunkenunicorn.net.