WEDNESDAY: Whether it's Eyehategod, Crowbar, or Soilent Green, there's just something seedier and angrier and more effed-up about crusty, nihilistic metal from the Louisiana swamps, and black metal band Goatwhore, from definitely seedy and effed-up New Orleans, keeps this tradition of hateful sludge going at the Ottobar with Cattle Decapitation, Lair of the Minotaur, Daath, and Cradle Is the Casket.
THURSDAY: San Francisco multimedia artist Christopher Willits strums a standard guitar at Floristree Space, but he feeds those unassuming six strings into magical laptop software that makes his melodies sparkle and dance with digital effects, flowing into blissed-out eddies of rainbow electronics. Michigan's Anathallo follows the Elephant 6 collective's unwritten dictum that when it comes to freakout psychedelic pop, more is always crazier, swirling buoyant horns and kandy-kolored keyboards under its joyful vocals at the Ottobar along with Cumberland's Page France (see No Cover, page 35). At the Sidebar, Baltimore's Garnet Hearts keep the spirit of Sun Records alive with fellow rockabilly rollers the Von Ehrics and Cowboy Amnesia.
FRIDAY: Every now and again a bill comes along that makes the whole prospect of music seem, like, friggin' awesome again. A tripleheader at the Talking Head features Zombi pushing the creepy keyboards of prog-rock legends like Goblin and Tangerine Dream to their hypnotic breaking point, the Psychic Paramount redefining the concept of "psychedelic music" as a great big avant-rock belch of acidic guitar noise and the kind of heedless amp abuse that threatens to set turntables on fire, and locals Hymnen kicking the whole thing off. Bring earplugs. A Los Angeles pioneer in his youth for mixing the kindred sounds of punk and country with his bands the Nuns and Rank and File, Alejandro Escovedo has settled into a comfortable, stylistically wide-ranging adulthood, mixing the smooth sounds of upscale, literate pop with the rougher edges of Latin and rock at the 8X10. And the Sidebar hosts a night of local rock with the Random Theory, Run Silent Run Deep, North Star Infinite, and the Fallen One.
SATURDAY: If nothing else, the loud crunch of Otep proves that female metal shriekers can be even scarier and screechier than their male counterparts at Fletcher's with Anamide and Anubus. Meanwhile, the four rockers at the Sidebar aren't quite as screechy but are just as loud, with Chelsea Graveyard, Howling Mad, Blondsai!, and the Living Wrecks providing the big beats and garagey guitars. Soprano saxophonist and flutist TK Blue blows some long, cool notes at the New Haven Lounge.
SUNDAY: Hey, Jet is still around! How is that even possible? Are the kids really that starved for boot-stomping classic rock drums and riffs already proven to sound great coming out of car radio speakers? And will those Iggy Pop and AC/DC and Stones and Standells riffs sound as good at Washington's 9:30 Club?
MONDAY: While the Short List waits patiently for that day when Fugazi decides to end this silly hiatus thing, the postpunk protest of the Evens is more than enough in the meantime, with Ian MacKaye and Amy Farina's way stripped-down and way political songs probably coming over even more intimate at the G-Spot than they do on the band's already way stripped-down albums. The first time the Short List got one of Plastic Little's sparkly silver stickers that read "Black People Don't Cry" in the mailbox, it was admittedly pretty funny. The second through eighth time, not so much. The Philadelphia indie-rap crew brings its mixture of bouncy, ironic party beats and way arched-eyebrow social commentary to the Talking Head.
TUESDAY: The burly one with the beard from the always reliable Drive-By Truckers, Mr. Patterson Hood sings songs at the Ottobar populated by drunks, loners, failures, and people generally on the edge, songs that are somehow even darker and sometimes more compelling than the down-and-out dirt-bag sketches he pens for his day job.
WEDNESDAY: Georgia avant-folk band Phosphorescent plucks and picks some melancholy ditties and jaunty tunes at the Talking Head. The Pernice Brothers take it easy with their blend of '60s orchestral pop and the gold sounds of '70s country rock at Washington's Black Cat with Elvis Perkins.
IN THE WINGS: Just in time for Christmas, legendary Latin jazz pianist Eddie Palmieri celebrates his 70th birthday at An die Musik with two days of concerts on Dec. 22 and 23. There's even a birthday cake after one of the shows. (For more information call  385-2638 or visit www.andiemusiklive.com.) And you and your sweetie can celebrate Valentine's Day a few days late in the company of the hopelessly romantic Slayer at the 9:30 Club on Feb. 19 with Unearth. Anyone who wants to make out to "Angel of Death" is, as they say, a keeper. (For more information call  265-0930 or visit www.930.com.)
Keeping Up (12/2/2009)
Nearly 20 years after his death, Arthur Russell finally gets the biography he deserves
Human Architecture (7/29/2009)
The protagonist isn't the only one obsessed with capturing life in two dimensions in Asterios Polyp
The Unseen (11/5/2008)
Catherine Pancake and Jai Brooks Capture a Slice of Black Baltimore Lesbian Life in Jay Dreams
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