WEDNESDAY: Four shades of hardcore at the Ottobar with This Never Was, Bright Lights, A Ceremony in Grey, and Cutlery. They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? bring the carnival-esque indie pop (with a horn section) at the Talking Head with Ponytail, Witch Hat, and Cache Cache. Brit-popper South plays Sonar with Something for Rockets, Margot, the Nuclear SO, and SOS. Acoustic folk and indie pop reigns at Charm City Space with Slingshot Dakota, Wax and Wane, Jeff Richie, and Hop Along Queen Ansleis.
THURSDAY: Just like its namesake unit, Air Conditioning is heavy and loud at the Talking Head with New Flesh, Tigers, and Perestroika. Sinking Ships play Charm City Space with Shook Ones. Still Life Projector does the emo bubblegrunge thing at the Sidebar with Self Against City and Edison. Jazz smoothie Elliot Levine tickles the ivories at Club 347. Beyond Structure at the Theatre Project presents a dual concert of experimental music and dance with the large-scale improvising ensemble Second Nature and the Philadelphia New Dance and Music Ensemble.
FRIDAY: If you want guitar pop, the Ottobar’s got it, with Water School, Jaws, the Jennifers, and My German Lover. Danceable indie rock from Two if by Sea at the Talking Head with Nethers, Camera, and the Mazeltov Cocktails. Well-groomed hat act Chris Cagle twangs at Rams Head Live. With a name like Coke Dick Motorcycle Awesome, how could it be anything but hard rock at the Sidebar, along with Den of Germs and Lord. Jazz drummer Devin Gray leads a trio at An die Musik. The Orb watches little fluffy clouds go by at Washington’s 9:30 Club.
SATURDAY: Mongoloidian Glow celebrates its CD-release party at the Talking Head with Human Host, Heroin U.K., and Bad Liquor Pond. Tears of Mars cry and play rock music at Sonar with Blind Rhetoric, Chivalry, and Hot Spur. We’re guessing the Terror Squad that’s at Charm City Space tonight doesn’t feature Fat Joe, but it might be able to lean back along with Crypt of Raix. Shattered Realm keeps New Jersey hardcore alive at the Sidebar with possibly the ultimate list of overwrought hardcore band names in Taken by Force, Bringing Back the Glory, Betrayed by All, and Way of Sorrow. Italian jazz trumpet legend Enrico Rava plays two sets in a duo with pianist Dada Moroni at An die Musik. The Ritz Chamber Players perform a free classical recital at the First and Franklin Street Presbyterian Church. The Pale Stars hold their CD-release party at the Creative Alliance at the Patterson. Reggae legend Burning Spear is dreader than dread at Towson’s Recher Theatre. Shameless Fred Durst-venerated Interpol clone She Wants Revenge is already too rich to be that mopey at Washington’s Black Cat with Nightmare of You and Astra Heights.
SUNDAY: The Receiving End of Sirens headlines a night of that emo stuff all the kids are into at the Ottobar with A Thorn for Every Heart, As Tall as Lions, the Blackout Pact, and Parkton. Stellastar* is still not the Strokes on Sonar’s main stage, with Editors, who are still not Coldplay, and on Sonar’s club stage, turntablist legend DJ Qbert cuts shit up. Classical guitarist Troy King performs a variety of pieces from the 17th to the 21st century at an early show at An die Musik, while a piano duo of Stephanie Ho and Saar Ahuvia takes the late show.
MONDAY: Hangar 18 indie-raps at the Ottobar with APSCI and A.D.M. The True Vine presents a benefit show for Tarantula Hill with Success Through Hypnosis and Shawn Phase.
TUESDAY: The four covert Christians in Switchfoot grunge for the Lord at Sonar with Athlete.
WEDNESDAY: And more indie rap at the Ottobar with Murs, 9th Wonder, Supreeme, Shodekeh, and DJ Mills. Lumbering heaviness from Woolly Mammoth oozes into the Talking Head with Year Long Disaster and the Expotentials. Newagehillbilly, Accelera Deck,and Myo make funny noises at the Library of Progress. More classic reggae hits the Recher Theatre with Steel Pulse and guests Lionize. Setting aside their differences for the fat knot of reunion cash, the three basket cases in Dinosaur Jr. turn their amps up to 11 like we’re all teenagers again at the 9:30 Club with Dead Meadow and Priestess.
IN THE WINGS: Do you like death metal? Sure, we all do. So brand that upside-down cross into your forehead and get your ass to Maryland Deathfest IV at Sonar on May 27 and 28, featuring 32 bands from 11 countries, all with those unreadable band logos you used to scratch into your shop-class desk and delightful names like Cliteater. (For more info call  327-8333 or visit www.sonar.us.)
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