THURSDAY: East meets West at the Ottobar when Baltimore’s Finger Cuffs play with Japan’s Nissennenomondai. It’s hardcore out the ying yang at the Sidebar with Down to Nothing, Blacklisted, Cast Aside, the Hate Crimes, and In My Way. By all rights Our Lady Peace should be in hell’s cutout bin with the Sons of Elvis and Lucy’s Fur Coat, and yet the band is playing Washington’s 9:30 Club with Danko Jones and Pedestrian.
FRIDAY: The first day of the Prime Festival, sponsored by local institution Morphius Records, kicks off at the Talking Head with Bang! Bang!, Spank Rock, Death Set, Water School, and Daggerhearts. Clutch lumbers like a weeded brontosaurus, playing two sets at Sonar with Stinking Lizaveta. Now that Rob Thomas thinks he’s Marc Anthony, it’s up to the Edwin McCain Band to keep the spirit of late ’90s wuss-rock alive at Rams Head Live. White Marsh’s House of Rock is holding a Big Easy Benefit to raise funds for the victims of Hurricane Katrina featuring Fire Within, No Pets For Noah, Queen Pin, and Mean Motor Scooter. Fishnet Stalkers love the kids at an all-ages show at the Ottobar with Iron Head, Blondsai, and the Rotten Shambles.
SATURDAY: It’s day two of the Prime festival at the Talking Head, featuring Two if by Sea, Absenteens, National Razor F.D.I.C., Sick Sick Birds, Deep Sleep, and Your Imaginary Friend Gary Barrett. Little Brother hopes to make good on all its hype at the Ottobar with the Away Team, Legacy, Darien Brockington, Joe Scudda, and Chaundon. Kings of Leon promise us the “raucous side of Vegas . . . hot-action and anything goes live shows” at Sonar, which we take to mean “some girls onstage.” Will we get fined if we use a “Southern-fried” pun to describe Southern Culture on the Skids’ blend of knowing boogie and hillbilly slop at the Eight by Ten? The Yitzhak Yedid Trio blurs the lines between traditional Jewish, Arabic, and Western classical music and jazz at An die Musik.
SUNDAY: Minus the Bear winds those tricky time signatures and genre-hopping song structures into the Ottobar with These Arms Are Snakes, Criteria, and the New Trust. Old enough to be your granddad, Peter Brötzmann still blows his sax hard enough to put a hole in your chest alongside percussion tyro Nasheet Waits at An die Musik. Dude, what the eff, it’s Foghat at Federal Hill’s Street Beat Festival . . . words, and “Slow Ride” jokes, fail. Charm City Art Space has punk of the fat, femme, skate, and hardcore varieties with Graveyard School, Submarine Screendoor, the Cult Classics, and Finger Cuffs.
MONDAY: Wolf Eyes peel paint, strip furniture, steal your mountain bike, and play the Ottobar with Prurient and the New Flesh. The “Ska’s Not Dead” tour—keep hope alive, kids!—skanks into the Eight by Ten with the once-great Toasters, the who-knows? Planet Smashers, SGR, and Westbound Train.
TUESDAY: The Black Dahlia Murder brings the frosty winds of black metal from, er, Detroit to the Ottobar with Between the Buried and Me, Cephalic Carnage, and Into the Moat. U.K. improv guitar legend Keith Rowe bubbles and scrapes at the Talking Head with WZT Hearts. Prefuse 73 spins a free DJ set at the Eight by Ten with Nobody.
WEDNESDAY: Numbers were doing the nu-disco thing long before your favorite band bought a keytar, and they buzz through the hits at the Talking Head with Limited Express (Has Gone), Japan’s amazing Devo-freaks Polysics, and Plans Plans. VH1 presents the indie AOR of Aqualung and the Perishers with inexplicable Lilith Fair hangover Tracy Bonham at Rams Head Live. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club wears sunglasses at night with Mark Gardener of U.K. shoegazer’s Ride at Washington’s 9:30 Club.
IN THE WINGS: Swarm of the Lotus descends on the Talking Head Oct. 7 with Rumplestiltskin Grinder, Total Fucking Destruction (which features ex-members of prehensile grindcore legend Brutal Truth), Triac, and A Warm Gun. (For more info call  962 5588, or visit www.talkingheadclub.com.) Converge melts false metalcore on contact at the Ottobar Nov. 18 with Darkest Hour, the Red Chord, and Municipal Waste. (For more info call  662-0069 or visit www.theottobar.com.) Veteran jazz drummer Rashied Ali takes us into interstellar space with sax master Sonny Fortune at An die Music Nov. 19. (For more info call  385 2638 or visit www.andiemusiklive.com.) The oft-astonishing Rebirth Brass Band, straight from never-say-die New Orleans, burns down the Eight by Ten Club Oct. 13. (For more info call  625-4000 or visit www.eightbytenclub.com.)
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The Unseen (11/5/2008)
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