WEDNESDAY: If you learned to dance by watching old Joy Division footage, you’ll love Lo Moda. If you learned to dance by watching Club MTV, then you’ll love San Serac. And if you learned to dance by watching ants being lit on fire, you’ll love Human Host, all playing tonight at the Talking Head. Not quite as danceable as San Serac but just as moody as Low Moda, Pontiak brings its doleful beats and lonesome guitars to the Jerk Store, sketching drizzly seaside ambiance and tales of cinematic locales with Monarch and Blue Humors.
THURSDAY: Their moody, midtempo indie-pop having blossomed with a beefed-up sound palette on last year’s major-label debut Subjects, local duo Judd and Maggie come to the 8X10 with Starbelly. Whether they’ve got the full arsenal of strings and horns with them, you can expect pretty little songs about feeling pretty bad.
FRIDAY: Taking early cues from Elephant 6 collective bands like the Olivia Tremor Control, Indiana indie-poppers Impossible Shapes stretch their little tunelets through a psychedelic scrim of tape effects and banjos. They tiptoe through the lysergic tulips to the Talking Head tonight with All the Dead Pilots, Impossible Hair, and Single Spies. Part of a mini-trendlet of trios of young ladies bringing the Motown/soul vibe to indie rock, the Dansettes show off their three-part harmonies and Stax Records organs at the Sidebar, for Baltimore’s sharp-dressing mods and modettes. Our shoes probably aren’t nice enough.
SATURDAY: Still don’t call it a jam band: Lake Trout splits the difference between hummable rock songs and the kind with big orchestral flourishes, ambient mood pieces, and long-form groove experiments with two sets at the Ottobar along with special guests to be announced. That’s a lot of dramatic buildups and pretty breakdowns. Vetiver won’t crest to too many dramatic buildups tonight at the Talking Head, but it’ll probably hit the button marked "pretty" very hard. The acoustic folk-pop outfit also goes light on the "freak," despite once featuring hairy pixie Devendra Banhart, and is joined by locals Beach House. Head to Washington for an Athens-by-way-of-Alabama ass-whuppin’ when America’s greatest country-rock band, the Drive-By Truckers, dish up all the twin-guitar rave-ups and bleak lyrics about rural crystal-meth addicts you need at Washington’s 9:30 Club.
SUNDAY: Featuring ex-members of the Get Up Kids, Blackpool Lights continue to move away from their spunky emo roots toward the mellower alternapop of the last few GUK albums. Sing along with BL to the sound of your own mid-20s ennui, plus the similar stylings of House of Heroes, Rookie of the Year, and Unless Your Willing, at the Ottobar. If you prefer your indie rock with a bit more bite, Narrator clamps down on the spiky guitars of vintage Dischord as well as the breakneck speed and no-bullshit crash-and-burn aesthetic of the late, lamented Hot Snakes, bending notes and shredding riffs tonight with North Atlantic at the Talking Head. Does he even need an introduction? Diamond David Lee Roth is at Rams Head Live with--wait, who gives a shit who he’s with, as long as he performs all the classics and no new bullshit? He’s fatter, balder, and sadder than at his assless-chaps prime, but hey, aren’t we all?
MONDAY: Charm City Space hosts a night of fuzzed-out dime-store electronics, drum machines, computers, iPods, guitars, keyboards, and anything else these kids can get their grubby mitts on with Abiku, Shudders, Down With Gender, and the Odd Bones.
TUESDAY: Now here’s a real nice schizophrenic choice between shows. In town, we have B-more rock/soul/funk institution the All Mighty Senators moving rumps with the (let’s be real) atrociously named Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band at the 8X10. Out of town, we have the devil himself, sensitive piano balladeer Daniel Powter, a man who wouldn’t know funk if it sat on his face, at the 9:30 Club. On second thought, maybe it’s not much of a choice after all.
WEDNESDAY: Perhaps you’re thinking you don’t have enough blast beats, hammer-ons, death retches, and lyrics about cannibal bovines in your life. Well, you can replenish yourself with a full bill of metal up your ass at the Ottobar with From a Second Story Window, Cattle Decapitation, Misery Index, Animosity, and Job for a Cowboy.
IN THE WINGS: We’re already counting down the days until Sept. 17, when the bluesy punk howl of the Gossip is joined by the uncomfortably itchy guitars of Erase Errata at the Ottobar with UV Protection and Mika Miko. (For more info call  662-0069 or visit www.theottobar.com.) Call us old-fashioned, but there’s something deeply creepy, and not in the good way, the band would have appreciated, about a Germs reunion with dear ol’ Darby Crash long dead in the ground. Nonetheless, this ghoul show comes to D.C.’s Black Cat on Aug. 5. (For more info call  667-7960, or visit www.blackcatdc.com.)
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