WEDNESDAY: At the (New) Turntable Club a host of local cats rhyme and clamber their way toward the King of the Mic throne, with Baltimore's ubiquitous Shaka Pitts serving as host.
THURSDAY: Not much to report; clubs are kinda quiet as we collectively recover from New Year's debauchery. But down in Washington, indie-folkstress Kathy Cashel gets all kinds of pretty with Now Sleepyhead, Sean McAardle, and Portland, Ore., surf-punkers the Vonneguts at the Black Cat.
FRIDAY: The Talking Head burrows itself deep into the doomful depths of Baltimore metal with hell spawns Chowder, Rosetta, and Isthmus. Local punker Ramrod shoves its brand-new album down your throat and out your ears at the Sidebar with Domino Theory, So Damn Thirsty, and Fun Brigade. And, what's this? Even more heaviness? Yup. Lo-Fi Social Club flashes back to Seattle 1992 with kinda Big Black-y, kinda Bleach-y Wailsounds, and fellow garage lurkers Dirty Marmaduke Flute Squad, Butane Variations, and Savory James. Badfish is a Sublime tribute band. Judging by the venue (Rams Head Live) and the ticket price (double digits), we'd have to say being a Sublime tribute band is big business. Fancy that.
SATURDAY: Rams Head Live maintains the tribute-band steeze with Frontiers, a Journey cover band, which could be the best thing ever--or not at all. Alternarocker One Part Per Million takes over the Sidebar with local smarter-than-your-average-indie-band Mr. Moccasin. Talking Head's all over the damn place tonight with the indie rap of Frenemies, the indie pop of Jason Dove and the Magic Whip, the indie rock of Prabir and the Substitutes, and Labianca sharing the space. Lo-Fi's on the indie tip, too, with New York's Le Rug and locals Pianowire, Screaming Females, and spazzsters Abiku bringing the joy. Detroit's One Be Lo, half of now-split hip-hop superduo Binary Star, rhymes at the (New) Turntable Club with Pro n Reg, Mzery, Love's Company, and Educated Consumers. Tittsworth, Washington's finest club music ganker, throttles the dance floor at the 9:30 Club with Codebreaker, Will Eastman, and Metropolitan keeping things warm until late.
SUNDAY: Knife-sharp Baltimore punk trio Dead Mechanical has the monopoly on racket tonight at the Talking Head; Flukes, the Jennifers, and the Jons all share opening duties. Trans-Siberian Orchestra, a giant rock orchestra type of deal that your parents likely flip for, incites some Christmas music flashbacks at 1st Mariner Arena.
MONDAY: Pacific Before Tiger and Broken Connection have the monopoly on any live music tonight at Joe Squared, which is cool if you're into blissing out to some fine electroacoustic-zone tapestries. Otherwise, start your own band; it's a slow night.
TUESDAY: OK, parents, let's talk for a moment. This has gone on long enough. Buying your kid a ticket to see Miley Cyrus--that's Hannah Montana to you--is like serving them a TV dinner because you're too damn lazy to cook something nutritious. Sure, they might whine for it; Disney programmed them to. But that only happened because you took the hands-off approach to the most important part of raising a child: shaping his or her taste in music. It's not too late to save your kid from being permanently warped by tonight's manufactured image of suburban, whitewashed, nonculture. Or, if it is--shame on you--she plays at 1st Mariner Arena, but your kid already knew that. We'd venture to guess that even Enter the Haggis, playing at Annapolis' Rams Head On Stage with Guy Forsyth, is more worthwhile.
IN THE WINGS: Om brings its proggy sludge-metal finery to the Ottobar Feb. 6. (For more information call  662-0069 or visit www.theottobar.com.) Prog-rap mainstay Anticon showcases two of its best, Sole and the Skyrider Band and Telephone Jim Jesus, at the Talking Head Feb. 6. (For more information call  962-5588 or visit www.talkingheadclub.com.)
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201