THURSDAY: Derek Fenwick and Ed Ridgley host the first round of Sonar's second DJ contest. The Elements Party takes over the Ottobar with Wordsworth, Amotion, Brownfish, and Luggage, with break crews Deadly Venoms, Kombined Styles, and Pure Energy. Local pop-rocking outfit the Frauds--whose "The Republic of Business" has been getting some spins on 98 Rock--sing their ballads of teenage brides at the Talking Head with Tokyo, Long Drive Home, and the Bedtimes. Army of Me charges the Sidebar Tavern with Hurry Up Offense, Cordalene, and Points West. Guest conductor James Judd leads the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra through Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1, featuring piano soloist Lang Lang, at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. The five gals in New York's Antigone Rising play the rock 'n' roll at Fletcher's. The Tombs dig into the Mojo Room.
FRIDAY: Singer/songwriters E. Joseph, Aaron Burke, Jessie Hughes, David Daniel, and Private Eleanor--the nom du band of the wonderfully talented Austin Stahl--play a 7:30 p.m. benefit for and at the Mobtown Theatre at Meadow Mill. Folk-psych combo Long Live Death bends time bit by bit at the Talking Head with Bow N' Arrow, Dan Deacon, and Josh Tonsfeldt. All the Dead Pilots land at the Ottobar with Motor Morons (featuring City Paper's Mark Harp), the High School Hellcats, and King Valley. James Judd leads the BSO through Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1, with piano soloist Lang Lang, at the Meyerhoff. Banana Fish Zero rocks the Sidebar with Hustlero GT. The Greg Hatza Organization plays the New Haven Lounge. The Jarflys hold a free show at the Funk Box. Promise? Tribe of Ben plays its last show ever at the Royal with Ponded. Area trio Corduroy 9 heads into the Mojo Room with Front Row for the Meltdown and the Shellycoates. Rootsy, socially minded singer/songwriter Susan Werner courts the muse at the Cellar Stage at St. John's United Methodist Church of Hamilton. Rhett Miller must've grown out of his rootsy Shaun Cassidy The Instigator phase: The Old 97's up the devil's pay at Washington's 9:30 Club with the Damnwells and Grey de Lisle. What's not to like about Bette Midler at Washington's MCI Center?
SATURDAY: The Roots Café presents the country-rocking Last Train Home at St. John's Church with Little Pink. Brooklyn, N.Y., pastor Hezekiah Walker brings his Love Fellowship Crusade Choir to Morgan State University's Murphy Fine Arts Center for the 12th anniversary of the Heaven 600 gospel explosion concert. Entrance--aka former local yokel Guy Blakeslee gone windowpane troubadour--takes the kingdom of heaven by storm at the Talking Head with the Anomoanon and the Strugglers. Percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani holds court at the Red Room at Normals Books and Records with synth-molester Tom Boram and reeds-charmer John Dierker. AK1200 shoots to kill at Sonar with Nite Ryder. New York metalsmith Subzero headlines a 6 p.m. all-ages show at the Sidebar with Inhuman, Slumlords, Backhand, Strikeback, and I'd Rather Die. Victory Twin hits the Royal with Kapital 9 and Keitavius. The Greg Hatza Organization plays a second night at the New Haven. Papa Grows Funk at the Funk Box with the Sam Kinninger Band. The Sound Foundation presents Sharon Katz and the Peace Train at the Patterson Center for the Arts. Don Dixon, Robert Crenshaw, Jamie Hoover, and Bill Lloyd do the jangly roots/rock thing at the Rams Head. Starsailor puts a spell on the 9:30 Club with Jonathan Rice (see Music, Page 24).
SUNDAY: James Judd leads the BSO through Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1, with piano soloist Lang Lang, at the Meyerhoff at 3 p.m. Local treasure Ruby Glover hosts the Baltimore Jazz Review--featuring Jeffrey Osborne, Diane Schuur, and Cyrus Chestnut--at the 1st Mariner Arena. Local quintet Karmella's Game plies the pop to the Ottobar with Velvet, Second Saturday, More Than Monument, and Conshafter.
MONDAY: Sigh: No bands tonight, just some clubs featuring hipsters playing their record collections and calling it a "night."
TUESDAY: The Richard Dorsey Quartet--tenor saxman Richard Dorsey, drummer Jim Hannah, bassist Tom Baldwin, and pianist Alan Blackman--hit the New Haven. Singer/songwriter Ari Hest walks through this city trying to avoid the sidewalk cracks and into the Funk Box with 4 Way Street and Teitur.
WEDNESDAY: Godhead British bassist Paul Rogers plays solo upstairs at Bertha's. Montreal quartet the Stills is creating quite a buzz these days, but its Fletcher's opener and fellow Canadians the Unicorns are the oddball, psychedelic, no-fi pop savants not to miss. INK spins industrial schemes at the Talking Head with the Country Teasers and the Wilderness. Ed Rush takes charge of the drum 'n' bass at Sonar with Optical, Rhyme Tyme, Actual Fact, and Akasha. Heyfield hits the Ottobar with Bayside, International Orange, Stars Hide Fire, and local piano-magic man Tim Kaye. Lalah Hathaway--yes, as in the daughter of the great Donny Hathaway--brings her own bad self to the Rams Head. Poppy folkster Cliff Eberhardt stops by Baldwin's Station.
IN THE WINGS: Does anybody really care if Enrique Iglesias is still hitting Love-40 to Anna Kournikova when he stops by Washington's Constitution Hall Feb. 7? (For more information, call  481-7328 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.) Indieground hip-hop acts Sage Francis and Grand Buffet get the Ottobar bouncing with Mercury Waters Feb. 9. (For more information, call  662-0069 or visit www.theottobar.com.) Local nitro-burning singer/songwriter Cass McCombs starts his East Coast tour opening slot for the Shins Feb. 10 and 11 at the Black Cat. (For more information, call  667-7960 or visit www.blackcatdc.com.) Local crew Major Noise presents Mic Wars Feb. 12 at Fletcher's. (For more information, call  558-1889 or visit www.fletchersbar.com.)
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