WEDNESDAY: New Orleans-bred Dr. John has been cooking up Southern-fried jazz for almost half a century, and tonight he whips up a batch at Annapolis' Rams Head Tavern.
THURSDAY: Brooklyn's DJ Spinna, Stevie Wonder remixologist and one-time Eminem collaborator (among other things), spins for your feet's pleasure at Mosaic. Moe., jam band pinnacle and bane of college dorm roommates everywhere, fumbles for a groove at Rams Head Live with PMG. Vast Aire with Genesis and Double AB goes head-to-head in an East vs. West hip-hop face-off with 2Mex and Life Rexall at Sonar; Ivan Ives With DJ Troma get things warmed up. We can't promise you a happy ending from tonight's Sunset Rubdown show at Washington's Black Cat--more like a strangely satisfying soul rupture--but we can promise one of, oh, about a half-dozen bands left keeping indie rock worthwhile. Magic Weapon and Johnnie and the Moon open.
FRIDAY: Boyz II Men--yes, the Boyz II Men of 1988 boy-band fame--takes to the stage of Rams Head Live with, presumably, a quiver of Motown covers at the ready from its forthcoming record. But if it means chaining ourselves to the door, no one leaves until "Motownphilly" is played, and played with gusto, dammit. Los Angeles' indie mainstay Earlimart softens up at the Ottobar with Office and Brickfoot. Earthride, Karma to Burn spin-off Treasure Cat, and Gorge suffocate the Talking Head in a wonderful Southern metal sludgefest.
SATURDAY: Blues Traveler, the second "surprise, they're still around" band of the week, makes Rams Head Live the site of a great many unfortunate John Popper jokes. Monotonix, Tel Aviv's answer to Black Sabbath, rattles the Sidebar with Vincent Black Shadow, Entertainment System, and Suns of Guns. Kidd Jordan, the second old-school New Orleans jazz legend on the Short List this week, wets his reed at An die Musik with pianist Joel Futterman and drummer Alvin Fielder. Automatic, the Ottobar's monthly dance sweatfest, goes down with DJs Matt Walter (City Paper graphic designer) and Craig Boarman on the decks and the Thrushes onstage.
SUNDAY: Luna-esque Washington dream-pop unit the Caribbean opens for bent folkster Paul Duncan at Metro Gallery with Slaraffenland holding down opener duties.
MONDAY: Give 'em credit for persistence: Early-aughts dance-punk holdover Hot Hot Heat spreads the nostalgia bug at Rams Head Live with Bedouin Soundclash and De Novo Dahl. Tower of Power, the perennial backing band (Santana, Bonnie Raitt)-cum-funk muzak ensemble, does its own thing at Rams Head Tavern. A bleary-eyed lineup of Del tha Funkee Homosapien, Devin the Dude, Bukue One, Pro and Reg, and Unison Collective gets the smoke swirling at Sonar. 8X10 hosts EOTO for a night of awkward hippie/technophile dance collisions. Bunnyranch, quite possibly Portugal's only garage-rock band, takes the stage at the Sidebar with Pup Tent. Getting your face clawed never felt so good as it does with Cat Power songstress Chan Marshall behind the paws. See for yourself at Washington's 9:30 Club with Dirty Delta Blues.
TUESDAY: Worldly songwriter Laura Love gets together with New York bluesman Guy Davis at Rams Head Tavern. Live shows don't get much better than Gogol Bordello's "Gypsy" assault--really, punk takes on a whole new meaning when filtered through a heavy Eastern European accent and circus outfits--and the madness goes down at Sonar.
IN THE WINGS: What better way to celebrate an extra hour of bar time than a good old-fashioned rave? On Nov. 3, the last night of Daylight Saving Time, Sonar brings in drum `n' bass wizard Dieselboy for the occasion (for more information call  327-8333 or visit www.sonarbaltimore.com). A softened-up acoustic version of Drive-By Truckers comes to Rams Head Live Oct. 28, still reeking of whiskey, of course (for more information call  244-1131 or visit www.ramsheadlive.com). Portland, Ore.'s punk Neanderthal Old Time Relijun brings the growl to the Talking Head Oct. 29 with AIDS Wolf (for more information call  962-5588 or visit www.talkingheadclub.com).
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