THURSDAY: Mean Spirits get cranky at the Ottobar with Goldbug, the Way Outs, and Private Eleanor. Pearl Fishers may actually be fishermen, but we’re pretty sure MDA sadly has nothing to do with Jerry Lewis when it plays Sonar. A trio of John Dierker, Jonathan Vincent, and William Redman go deep with the improvisation at the Red Room at Normals Books and Records with Broydelic Sidecar “I” opening. Soulive drags an organ on stage and gets “funky” at Rams Head Live. Catch 22, playing the Recher, continues to validate our nightmare of another ska revival, with the atrociously named Big D and the Kids Table, Allister, the Skabobs, and the Tossers. Hey, Trans Am is still around and playing Washington’s Black Cat with the Apes and those neo-devolutionaries the Rah Bras. The Roots contemplate their own uselessness at the 9:30 Club.
FRIDAY: The Talking Head hosts a benefit for Japanese noise-punk legend DMBQ—whose drummer, Mana “China” Nishiura, died in a car crash on the New Jersey Turnpike after the band’s last Baltimore show—with Fascist Fascist, 420 Sphinx BC, Cache Flow Quartet, Caution Curves, and At the Altar of the Cosmic Unicorn. Power Movement Project sounds less like a band than a WPA-era social welfare program, but it’s playing Sonar’s Club Stage with Pasadena. Enjoy the rich tapestry of grind, hardcore, and metal at Charm City Space with Triac, As Long as We’re All Living, We’re All Dying, I Accuse, xBraniax, Merkit, and Plaguewielder. The Kelly Locklear-Jacobs Experience and Even So play the Sidebar. Lake Trout comes ashore at the Eight by Ten Club with Verbal. ESQ Locution brings its old-school hip-hop vibes to the True Vine. Prefuse 73 brings his beard, beats, and blips to the Black Cat with Tyondai Braxton. North Mississippi Allstars come up north to the 9:30 Club with Steel Train.
SATURDAY: It’s New Year’s Eve, so if you’re like us and have no plans, just start bar crawling early and hope you don’t go blind. Start at the Ottobar where the Mishaps, the Payola Reserve, and more soundtrack the Charm City Roller Girls’ party. Then it’s on to the Talking Head where you can start drinking faster and enjoy the thrash/doom buffet of Flowers in the Attic, Dactyl, Trash Camp, Pygmy Lush, Roma Delenda Est, and Perestroika. If you’re still functional, there’s always Kamikaze Zero and the Saviours at the Sidebar. Alternately, you could just bag it all and go to the Eight By Ten Club for John Brown’s Body and Can’t Hang, along with a delightful surf and turf platter, probably a good idea with all that booze.
SUNDAY: Provided you’re still alive and the headache isn’t too bad, there’s punk rock at the Charm City Space with Pink Razors, Trash Camp, Disaster Strikes, and the Muddles.
MONDAY: Door kicks open the first show of the season at Tarantula Hill with Ladderwoe and King Dwarves. Khoura gets hyphy at the Mojo Room with the Seventh Gate, Call the Paramedics, and best name of the issue, Belladonna Venereal Infection.
TUESDAY: Much like personal hero David Wooderson, pop-punk also-rans Queers keep getting older and their audience just stays the same age at the Ottobar with the Independents, Mindside 19, and Ramrod. Sparrows (Swarm and Sing) flocks at the Talking Head with Planar and Strange Lands of the West.
WEDNESDAY: A Warm Gun pops off a couple rounds at Charm City Space with No Idols, As Long as We’re All Living, We’re All Dying, and Twofold Truth.
IN THE WINGS: Valentine’s Day comes a little early with a big wet kiss from a reunited Wu-Tang Clan, with all remaining members—RZA, Raekwon, Method Man, Masta Killa, Inspecta Deck, U-God, GZA, and Ghostface, plus special guests Cappadonna, Streetlife, and Mathematics—in a tribute to dear, departed ODB at Sonar on Feb. 12. Sure, Wu-Tang may be a little out of place in a Dirty South world, and they damn near incited a riot the last time we saw the Clan. But considering as recently as last year Meth was saying a Wu-Tang reunion was impossible, we’ll be right down in front with unlaced Timbs and a puffy North Face jacket, 50 clams or no 50 clams. (For more info call  327-8333 or visit www.sonar.us.)
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