WEDNESDAY: What do you call 14 sober Irish folks on a stage? That would be Anúna, which is kinda like Riverdance with voices instead of footwork, at the Lyric Opera House. For the flip side of that coin, head to Rams Head Live for a room full of greasy manes and the metal music of Hellyeah, a supergroup drawn from Pantera, Damageplan, Mudvayne, and Nothingface--you had us at Pantera--with OTEP and Bloodsimple opening. At the Ottobar, Named Extinction thrashes and spits with the Hot Magic and T-Shirt T-Shirt. The Sword, the top of the heap when it comes to hipstered-out metal, drops the heavy at Washington's Black Cat with Valient Thorr and Black Cobra.
THURSDAY: Hearts beat in unison tonight at Sonar with a drum 'n' bass lineup of Concord Dawn, Actual Fact, Remix Renegades, and Chris Brooks all setting the tempo. Or head down to Washington's 9:30 Club and get spooge in your ear with Gwar, Three Inches of Blood, and Mensrea. Balance that out at the Lyric with jazz crooner Johnny Mathis and his touring Christmas show. Red Headed Temper blows up at the Ottobar with retro rockers the Blackjacks.
FRIDAY: Abiku, hopefully previewing some sounds from its upcoming record, fills the Lo-Fi Social Club with howls and electricity; Retarded Garfield--still the best-named band in Baltimore--opens with Engine and Jakuta and Carl. Celebrated post-classical pianist Georg Graewe duets with German jazz singer Almut Kühne at An die Musik. The recently opened Local Highrise hosts More Watership Down and Things That Fly, both playing the sort of trapped-in-the-suburbs hardcore something-or-other that your kids could well get into if you're not careful. Ex-Maverick Raul Malo gets in the spirit at Rams Head Live for a good old-fashioned Christmas hoedown. The True Vine hosts a night at the Talking Head with Stand Back, a who knows? "supergroup" of Eve Risser, Dan Breen, Jason Willett, Stewart Mostofsky, and Ron Anderson, along with Leprechaun Catering, creators of many a fine "bleeps and farts"; a trio of Ian Nagoski, Amanda Vickers, and Stewart Mostofsky; and DJs Dog Dick and Nagoski. If your skull needs it really, really heavy tonight, then the Sidebar's your stop with local metal mongers Zarya, Summer so Far, Stella Wake Up, and the Kindness of Strangers. Prog-punkers Ted Leo and the Pharmacists return to the 9:30 Club with Kristen Young and Partyline.
SATURDAY: A herd of cyclists with way more balls than you finish their alley-cat Alphabet Race at Sonar, with DJ Hip Hop Dan, Actual Fact,and Stereofaith handling music for the afterparty. Pissed and crusty anarcho-punks the Flash Attacks rattle the windows at Charm City Space with situationist punks (that used to be redundant) Zhenia Golov, Shit the Bed, the Gorons, and Trash Camp. Over in Annapolis, Hard Travelers take a load off at Rams Head Tavern. Recent Baltimore import Matmos makes its first local appearance at the Red Room at Normals Books and Records, taking weird noises--there could be some spanking tonight--and making them even weirder and blissful. Vincent Gallo's suitably unpronounceable band Rriiccee--which is "a gesture of composing and performing at the same time," according to the man himself--makes love to itself at Washington's Rock and Roll Hotel. Dactyl, Fight Amputation, Jail, Bog Wraith, and Absolvor get together at the Talking Head to do their best to vibrate your organs straight out of your body.
SUNDAY: Chris Brown proves that crooning with a vocoder is sexy to a certain inscrutable segment of America at 1st Mariner Arena with Bow Wow. Or if you like your rhymes with half a brain, be at Floristree for Oakland, Calif., queercore genius--yes, genius--Hawnay Troof supporting the already almost incomprehensibly rad lineup of Thank You, High Places, and Lucky Dragons. No idea what Valkilmer, a collabo between VideoHippos and OCDJ at the Lo-Fi Social Club, is going to come up with, and really, they picked a bad night to try it out, but with Cave, Cars Will Burn, Drums Like Machine Guns, and the Creepers all on the lineup, too, you might still be able to make it after the Floristree show gets out.
MONDAY: There's not much introduction necessary for tonight's Holiday Hate Tour at the Ottobar: It's the perfect antidote for the overdose of holiday cheer flowing through your veins with Psychostick, Screaming Mechanical Brain, and Indorphine dishing the hate.
TUESDAY: We've got to admit this is an off night around town--some empty calendars out there--but if you need a live music fix, you could head down to the 8X10 for its weekly "five bands for five bucks" thing. Or you could head to Joe Squared and listen to DJ Landis Expandis spin some funk. Or you could play Tom Waits all night on the Mount Royal Tavern's jukebox.
IN THE WINGS: Couple of New Year's Eve shows just announced: Maryland metal hybrid Clutch comes to Rams Head Live with Priestess and Puny Human. (For more information call  244-1131 or visit www.ramsheadlive.com.) R&B songstress Chrisette Michelle, collaborator with everyone who's anyone in hip-hop, comes to Sonar to ring in 2008. (For more information call  327-8333 or visit www.sonarbaltimore.com.)
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