WEDNESDAY: It's a full night of heavy metal with the mosh-friendly Acacia Strain at the Ottobar with Job for a Cowboy, Psyopus, Daath, See You Next Tuesday. And a few miles away, the thrash of Germany's Destruction shakes the glasses right off the bars in Sonar with Sadus, Municipal Waste, Eternal Ruin, Magrudergrind, and Triac.
THURSDAY: Saint 36, a new collaborative effort between our 2006 Big Music Issue cover star, Shodekeh, and fellow beatboxer Max Beats, spits and blows raspberries at Center Stage for a special show before a performance of Alice Childress' play Trouble in Mind. The blues brothers in garage punks the John Hardy Boys solve the mystery of rock at the Sidebar with the New Rock Church of Fire and CTC. Sonar's Thursday-night Makin' Out party features a special set from recently vinyl-free club music legend Scottie B, with Charles Feelgood spinning house in the main room and hip-hop from the well-named Hip-Hop Dan and Karl Hungus in the lounge.
FRIDAY: The in-flux sounds of "the city's most focused jam band" Gentle Governess and inscrutable minimalist duo Human Bell keep things unpredictable at the Walters Art Museum. Baltimore's most rabid rock band, the New Flesh, finally bares its teeth and lets its new CD off the leash at the Nerve Center with fellow brute force heavyweights Dactyl, Deep Sleep, Each Other, and Crypt of Raix, and it's free, so you've got no excuse to miss it. The monthly Reaction party at the Sidebar for the smartly dressed indie rocker sells you some replication antiques, with New York-based French ye-ye rock revivalists Les Sans Culottes. Wyld Stallyns doesn't actually feature Bill and/or Ted, but the Washington band still leads a most excellent night of metal and hardcore at Charm City Space with Sick Fix, Tarpit MD, Deceiver, Dwell, Chainsaw to the Face, Johnstomper, and Kamikaze Noise. Indie fans will be spending a good eight hours in Sonar with an early show from Velvet Underground preservation society Yo La Tengo with the Rosebuds, and a late show from the Taxlo party crew that turns into a house of jealous lovers with dance-punk legend the Rapture and the tongue-in-cheek mash-ups of Flosstradamus. The Greg Hatza Organization gets led around by its organ--the Hammond B3 kind--for the first of two nights at the New Haven Lounge. No, it's not a celebration of our city's nastiest men and women: The Baltimore Skankfest, actually popping off at Towson's Recher Theater, salutes the never-say-die spirit of ska with the Players Band, Unity Reggae Band, the Rootworkers, and BWI. Jersey's finest, the pioneering don't-call-them-emo hardcore pop band Lifetime, previews its forthcoming reunion album at Washington's Black Cat with World/Inferno Friendship Society and Government Warning.
SATURDAY: The drowsy sounds of the synthy neo-exotica and pretty pop of Cache Cache lulls you at the Current Gallery, along with the decidedly nondrowsy sounds of Human Host, Long Live Death, and Yeveto. Fans of the organ in jazz should check out the second night of the Greg Hatza Organization's stay at the New Haven Lounge. After collaborating with intellectual jazz heavyweights like Butch Morris and Anthony Braxton, composer/violinist Jason Kao Hwang has definitely learned how to blur the line between jazz and classical with his ensemble Edge, performing two sets at An die Musik. Or you can drink enough to forget academia entirely at the Ottobar, which hosts a full night of straight-up rock `n' roll with the Mishaps, the Expotentials, the Lexington Arrows, Mother and Daughter Team, and Blond Hair Blue Eyes. Vocal tenor Thomas Buckner and percussion man Mathias Caul attempt to make some true new music with a duo improvisation at the Red Room at Normals Books and Records. And the 8X10 blasts off with city-building butt-rock giant Jefferson Starship and its fellow refugee from '60s San Francisco, the acid-folk rock of the Quicksilver Messenger Service.
SUNDAY: Sourvein called its debut album Will to Mangle and features ex-members of Weedeater and Bongzilla, so you can probably imagine how the Texan sludge band sounds at the Ottobar with Teeth of the Hydra, Chapter of Decay, Tarpit, Fatal Irony, and Arioch.
MONDAY: Charm City Space unplugs and then plugs back in, with acoustic and electric folk-punk and plain ol' punk from Ghost Mice, Dead Mechanical, Dragonzord, South Carey, and Counterfeit Matt. Florida screamo band Phoenix Mourning cries for the current state of heavy metal at the Ottobar with This Moment, Of Hearts, and Shadows.
TUESDAY: It's a night of in-the-red sludge and greased-up dirt rock at the Sidebar with Boyfriends and Girlfriends, Evil Army featuring the great Jay Reatard, Hollywood, Dactyl, and Plaguewielder. And for something completely different at the Black Cat, power-pop fruit peddlers the Apples in Stereo are back again with Casper and the Cookies.
WEDNESDAY: We're cool with any 2007 rock band name-checking the Bee Gees, like California disco-poppers Under the Influence of Giants at the Ottobar, even if we're not sure about the beards and haircuts. Mopey alt-country cat Clint Maul performs an anti-Valentine's Day in-store at Towson's Celebrated Summer Records with the promise of "free hopeful and hopeless mixtapes" and "painful rejection and break-up letters on display."
IN THE WINGS: What a difference eight months makes: Pittsburgh mash-up king Girl Talk has gone from playing the Depot to worldwide rock festival success on the back of his dizzying Night Ripper mix CD, and he joins the dots between Paul Wall and Phantom Planet at the Ottobar April 6 with Dan Deacon. (For more information call  662-0069 or visit www.theottobar.com.
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