WEDNESDAY: It’s a night of riffs at the Sidebar, from metalcore chug to Swedish melodicism to death-metal shredding with Year of Desolation, Cerberus, Forever in Terror, Bloodburn, and Believe. If you only know "Cars," check out Gary Numan at Washington’s 9:30 Club with New Skin. Numan’s early tracks, both solo and with Tubeway Army, are thug synth pop, something like Kraftwerk played by Sabbath--shame about the later stuff, though.
THURSDAY: One shoegaze group from Baltimore, Thrushes, and two from Texas, Fra Pandolf and Notes From the Underground, fill Charm City Space with shimmering walls of massed guitar harmonics, plus the always unpredictable Newagehillbilly and Hex Screw, who play a split set in support of their new split CD. Psychopathic crazy clown and rapping corpse Blaze Ya Dead Homie is going to pack out the Ottobar with juggalos and jugalettes with the help of Pro and Reg, Minlus and McCracken, and Kulture Shokk, and frankly if you’ve never taken in an Insane Clown Posse-related show, we recommend it at least once before you die.
FRIDAY: The Short List will always stump for kids barely out of their teens who’ve discovered the simple power of punk rock, and that’s why we like the girl harmonies and circa-’78 crunch of Mika Miko with Salad at Charm City Space. If you prefer your rock a little less primal and a little more atmospheric, there’s always the dark chants of Celebration, the postpunk groove of Low Moda, and the swooning shoegaze noise of Beach House at the Ottobar. And if you’d rather go folk-rock instead of brooding goth, check out Jason Dove and the Magic Whip at the Talking Head with Dave Heumann of Arbouretum performing a solo set, the acoustic and electric rock of Steve Hefter and Friends of Friends of Friends, and the lush, wide-open spaces of Small Sur.
SATURDAY: The Red Room at Normals Books and Records brings together hip-hop and the avant-garde in what we hope will be the first of many meetings. Baltimore beatboxer Shodekeh and improvisers Dan Breen and John Berndt come together as the Mouthitarians, mixing up Shodekeh’s mouth music with Breen and Berndt’s live electronics processed through talk boxes. Texan bassist Thomas Helton opens up. Down at the Ottobar, there’s less experimental art and more rock ’n’ roll with the Heavycoats, Valeze, and the Metrosexuals. The late dog days of summer are the perfect time for Water School’s hot-weather melodies and casual grooves at the Talking Head with Sick Sick Birds, the Measure, and Dead Mechanical. Featuring a couple of ex-cosmonauts from the Mothership, NowChild Nation gets P-funked up and throws down a little neo-soul for the grown and sexy at Eden’s Lounge.
SUNDAY: Once you’re done bathing in blood at the Horrorfind convention in Hunt Valley, you can head over to the Talking Head for an unofficial after party featuring the terrifying noises and splatter-soaked machines of A Torture Mechanism, Indian, Telekinesis for Cats, and Myo. Plus gross-ass horror flicks on the walls all night.
MONDAY: In the grand tradition of both Steve Vai and Cryptopsy, Rochester, N.Y.’s Psyopus takes tech-metal to ridiculous extremes at the Sidebar, the kind of screaming riffing that makes quantum physicists bang their heads, with fellow metallic mathematicians Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza and Home Pharmacy. Perhaps no longer content to rip off Cold Crush Brothers routines its fans are too young to remember, the Jurassic 5 has now dug up X-Clan at the 9:30 Club, so dig around in your sock drawer for your leather Africa medallion.
TUESDAY: Destructo Swarmbots have a rad name and a killer two-man bass and drums attack punching holes into your noggin at the Talking Head with Cradle Is Casket and Darsombra. Sonar brings back the hard-knock, hard-rock days of ’90s New York hip-hop with Boot Camp Clik members Buckshot, Smif N Wessun, Sean Price, and Heltah Skeltah. Expect mean-mugging, shoutin’, and ripping shit.
WEDNESDAY: Cleveland’s Aloha blows up indie rock to prog proportions at the Ottobar, decorating its songs with psychedelic touches, with Rahim, Ecstatic Sunshine, and Avec.
IN THE WINGS: OK, so we kinda think Wolf Eyes hasn’t been as good since Dilloway quit to go charm snakes in Nepal and the rest of the band started working with crusty old jazz dudes like Anthony Braxton, but we’re still gonna go check ’em out with John Wiese at the Talking Head Oct. 9 in hopes they can still cauterize our wounded ears. (For more info call  662-5588 or visit www.talkingheadclub.com.) Dance-punk band Supersystem clashes with Relapse Records’ finest purveyors of horror-movie synth muzak and motorik motion, Zombi, at Washington’s Black Cat Oct. 20. (For more info call  667-7960 or visit www.blackcatdc.com.)
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