WEDNESDAY: After nearly 20 years on the road picking country-bluegrass-folk-rock-etc., New York band Donna the Buffalo keeps on truckin' into the 8X10.
THURSDAY: Maybe it's just the appeal of a cleanly shaven head, but even the new Scientologist version of Isaac Hayes is still the greatest bare-chested proto-rapping soul man who ever sported a vest of solid gold chains on his album covers. He lays down said rap at Rams Head Live with Russell Taylor. And the Ottobar holds its second "Staff Infection" night, featuring some of the various rock and pop and metal and hardcore bands whose members toil at the club, including Misery Index, Pulling Teeth, Trephine, Darsombra, Dragon Pants, Odd Girl Out, and Fighting Dogs.
FRIDAY: Mixing up atmospheric trip-hop and some damn hypnotic rock, local hybrid trio Big in Japan makes it instrumental at the Ottobar with Jaws and Puddle. The Rip Ovs promise you more bang for your garage-rock buck at the Sidebar with Chelsea Graveyard, National Razor, and Living Wrecks. And Justin Timberlake can have our love any time he wants when Mr. SexyBack shows off his dance moves at Washington's Verizon Center.
SATURDAY: The newly revived Elements Party is sure to go off when the mighty MC/producer duo of Psycho Les and Juju, aka the famous Beatnuts, get loopy on Sonar's club stage with Planet SB, Real2Real, and Rosetta Stoned. With traditional bluesy swing dancing with complex abstract grooves, improvising trombone-led trio BassDrumBone celebrates 30 years of pushing jazz forward with two sets at An die Musik. If you're nostalgic for the days of kickflips, the Sidebar hosts a benefit for the Skatepark of Baltimore featuring Evancipation, ODJ, Riddim Ryderz, and more. The Red Room at Normals Books and Records brings us two Bostonian "lowercase" improvisers, Tim Feeney on percussion and Vic Rawlings on cello and electronics, both pushing their music to the limits of sparseness and quietude, so make sure you listen closely. The kids seem to love that Keller Williams at Rams Head Live, as the technologically adroit jam band circuit fave shows off on his no less than eight acoustic guitars.
SUNDAY: Folk, pop, rock, punk, and hardcore are what you will find in the tight confines of Charm City Space as part of another weekly young and hungry multiband bill featuring the Riot Before, Endless Mike and the Beagle Club, South Carey, Tin Armour, Potboiler, and the Part Time All-Stars. Japan's Dir en Grey is part of that country's "visual-kei" scene, a glamtastic tying together of every neon strand of makeup-wearing rock flamboyance, and the flashy fivesome comes to Rams Head Live tonight with Fair to Midland and Bleed the Dream.
MONDAY: He penned the score for Al Gore's touchy global warming Oscar contender, and now post-minimalist composer Michael Brook performs his work at Sonar with the appropriately cinematic work of singer-songwriter Lisa Germano opening things up.
TUESDAY: The Ottobar seems out to prove that the late '80s will never die, first with 2 Live Crew and now with Winger as part of Metal Monday on, um, Tuesday with Eightball Hemorrhage and Scarlet Angel. Bring us a reunited Exposé next, and we're with you.
WEDNESDAY: Massachusetts mosh-core band Acacia Strain barks like a dog at the Ottobar with the progressive oompah of Job for a Cowboy, needling grindcore jokers Psyopus, melodic death-metal band Daath, and headache-inducing screamers See You Next Tuesday. And if that's not enough metal for one night, the Deutschland thrash kings of Destruction demolish Sonar with Canadian prog-metal band Into Eternity, Virginia old-school thrashers Municipal Waste, death metal from Eternal Ruin, and Triac's Baltimore brand of grind. Throw in a power-metal band and Winger and that's about the full spectrum.
IN THE WINGS: Local shoegazers Thrushes will have a shimmering new CD that you can handily buy at their CD-release show at the Ottobar on March 10 with the Squaaks and Water School. (For more info call  662-0069 or visit www.theottobar.com.) Because any time is a good time for the gentlemen of Papa Roach, the nü-metal heroes get the kids' fists pumping at Sonar on March 2 with It Dies Today and Kill Hannah. (For more info call  327-8333 or visit www.sonar.us.) Drama-geeks and Moby Dick enthusiasts the Decemberists get literary at North Bethesda's Music Center at Strathmore March 26 for all you indie-rockers who'd rather be reading a good book. (For more info call  581-5100 or visit www.strathmore.org.) And the masked experimental grindcore goofballs in the Locust shake their scrawny, pale asses at Washington's Black Cat April 16 with Daughters and Cattle Decapitation. (For more info call  667-7960 or visit www.blackcatdc.com.) And for more info on live and local music, go to www.citypaper.com and check out Noise, our new blog with news, previews, reviews, and anything else you can fit on a stage or an iPod.
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