WEDNESDAY: Pop stoner-metal outfit Queens of the Stone Age gives Rams Head Live the munchies with Howlin Rain and Dax Riggs. With a half-decade of "modern rock" radio play Josh Homme and company have managed to avoid the whole "selling out" and "sucking" thing that comes with it--but, really, it could happen any week now for all we know. Dirty Projectors bless Washington's Black Cat with new material off their just-born Rise Above, a near-flawless orchestral indie-cum-flamenco re-imagining of Black Flag's seminal Damaged; Ecstatic Sunshine starts off the night.
THURSDAY: Kill! Kill!: "Boston fucking metal" band (as seen on a T-shirt) Unearth slays Towson's Recher Theatre, hopefully saving its openers Darkest Hour, August Burns Red, and Suicide Silence till later.
FRIDAY: Dashboard Confessional Solo at Rams Head Live is what you think it is: Chris Carrabba, the emo band's frontman, all by his lonesome. Bring tissues. Max Bemis and John Ralston start the night. Postrock luminaries the Sea and Cake play with Espers' Meg Baird at Sonar. 3 Foot Icon--a supergroup of sorts featuring Blackalicious' Chief Xcel, Arrested Development's Speech, and Kyle Hollingsworth of jam-band dark overlords String Cheese Incident--do . . . something at 8X10. The Ripovs, Crankdaddy, the Jukebox Zeros, and Perfect Excuse play the Sidebar while indie squares--not that there's anything wrong with that--Savory James, Squaaks, the Shackletons, and Jessie Hughes take over the Talking Head. Bob Dylan and his band, a solo Elvis Costello, and Amos Lee play Columbia's Merriweather Post Pavilion, which we're pretty sure you already knew about. Not only does Soiled Mattress and the Springs have the best band name ever, the New York trio also has a marvelous way with a post-groove, um, groove. Openers Microkingdom and Yeveto set the vibe at Metro Gallery.
SATURDAY: At Fletchers, Gun Wife Gone plays with the Flying Eyes, the Somber Tones, and Sonic Bloom, who will prove just how unequivocally it loves Primus--and every other '90s alternative band. House DJs Mr. V and Alix Alvarez and Will "Reelsoul" Rodriguez reset your heartbeat tonight on Mosaic's dance floor. Glitzy, frat-friendly singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile takes the stage at Rams Head Live. The Bakerton Group--essentially oddball metal band Clutch without vocals--plays with Never Got Caught and Hex Machine at the Ottobar. Andrew Bird--who at some point has sat in with almost every band in every genre playing every instrument, ever--entrances Sonar tonight all by himself, with Howe Gelb opening.
SUNDAY: The undisputed masters of "band" hip-hop, the Roots, bring it tonight with Big Daddy Kane and MC Lyte at Rams Head Live. The Number Twelve Looks Like You shakes the Ottobar to dust with fractured, klutzy tech-metal after I Hate Sally, See You Next Tuesday, and At the Throne of Judgment start the night off.
MONDAY: Marc Ford, a decade after getting the boot from the Black Crowes, gets his blues jammy jam on at Annapolis' Rams Head Tavern.
TUESDAY: Singer/songwriter Loudon Wainwright--yes, father of Rufus--plays a rare show with his daughter Lucy Wainwright Roche at Rams Head Tavern. Miss this chance to see the master and you're looking at waiting till your next life comes around. Boys Like Girls like sobbing in their soda pop and throwing fits, and we'll see just how much they like Baltimore tonight at Rams Head Live with All Time Low, the Audition, and We the Kings.
IN THE WINGS: On Oct. 12, boy-band pioneers Boyz II Men play Rams Head Live. Really. Come see which one's gone gray. (For more information call  244-1131 or visit www.ramsheadlive.com.) Our favorite crust-metal band ever, Municipal Waste, plays the Ottobar Oct. 9 with Skeletonwitch, Toxic Holocaust, and Magrudergrind. (For more information call  662-0069 or visit www.theottobar.com.) Master of spaz brilliance David Yow (of Jesus Lizard fame) rolls through Sonar with his new band Qui Oct. 11. (For more information call  327-8333 or visit www.sonarbaltimore.com.)
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