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Mars Volta

By Michael Byrne | Posted 1/16/2008

WEDNESDAY: "Positive" and political, Kansas City's Bent Left makes sort of goofy, sort of Rancidic punk rock at the Sidebar with New Jersey's like-minded Phooey! Sparta Philharmonic, a whip-smart drum and guitar duo that sorta makes us think of that other Sparta band, headlines the Ottobar with local Mary Nova. We plugged Yeasayer's Black Cat show elsewhere in these pages, but opening electro-glam spectacle MGMT could alone be worth the trip to Washington.

THURSDAY: If you're coming up short for the Black Dahlia Murder show at the Ottobar, the Sidebar's got you covered--sort of--with a night of death and alive-but-still-really-pissed-off metal with Bloodsplattered Satisfaction, Whisteria Cottage, Buried Beneath the Ruins, and Burn Your Wings. Local groove sorcerer Lo Moda provides the soundtrack to a City Paper 30th-anniversary art show at the G-Spot. Down in Washington, adorable pop fiends the Rosebuds play the Rock and Roll Hotel with Drug Rug and Brol Bui. Opening for the equally adorable Wye Oak at Talking Head are Boston's jangly popsters Hands and Knees and local indie-rolk foursome Small Sur.

FRIDAY: Local improv supergroup 3081 re-forms for a night of who-knows-what at the Talking Head with Quartet Offensive, Ben Frock Trio, and Jon Rogerson Group. It's good to have friends, particularly many of them: At the (New) Turntable Club Ogun, A Class, Abrock, E Major, Parts Unknown, Unreal Bomb, and First Family Ent. drop some rhymes and beats to benefit local rapper Sonny Brown. Brit-flavoured indie-rocker the GoStation--kinda like a New York version of Oasis (if that does it for you)--plays the Lo-Fi Social Club with Baltimore's Filthy Rotten Sex Machine, the Headwounds, and Rodney Henry and His Angry Banditos. Pop magician MAE sweetens up the Ottobar with jammy New Jersey indie-rocker Steel Train and Arden. Bringing the long-winded prog-metal jams is the frequently worshipped Mars Volta at Rams Head Live. Massachusetts' screamo finery Relics stab some eardrums at Charm City Space with Blind the Thief.

SATURDAY: Philly's Reef the Lost Cause, a key player in the Army of the Pharaohs underground hip-hop collective, headlines tonight's edition of the Seen and Heard series at the (New)Turntable Club with Minlus n McCracken, 49ers, Verbatim, and DJ Minus 9. Local nü-jazz/soul fusion collective-type thingy Fertile Ground goes all out tonight to celebrate the release of local R&B singer JSoul's new disc, Love Soldier, along with Courtney Dowe and Olu Butterfly at Sonar. Baltimore alt-rock expatriates Girls Like Cigarettes come home for the night to the Lo-Fi Social Club; OFM, Bugs in the Dark, Stalking Horses, and the Broken Letters open. Local "muscle car funk" trio Oxter grooves and bumps at the Talking Head with the Shadowy turntablism/live reeds of Hybrid Groove Project, the hyperfusion world jazz of Satabdi Express, and Dominique Leone.

SUNDAY: Styx--yes, Styx--gives us all a reason to live at Rams Head Live. Someone please tell us how the hell the Queers got old? Who let our favorite slop-happy goof-punk band get wrinkly? No fair. Oh well, they keep on keeping on in fine grinning form at the Ottobar with the Leftovers, the Ergs, Ramrod. Phoenix, Ariz., hardcore tykes Scary Kids Scaring Kids, er, scare kids `n' stuff at Towson's Recher Theatre with the less scary Haste the Day, Drop Dead Gorgeous, and Gwen Stacy. At 2640, local songstress Ellen Cherry celebrates the release of her new album with a two-act play.

MONDAY: 2 Sweet, Chicago's finest croon metal, plays the Ottobar with Hey Chris Gutierrez, Bravo Romeo Bravo, Count Your Blessings, and Unless Your Willing . The riff and yawl happy punkers Estrogen Highs get the kids popping at the Sidebar with Lazlo Lee and the Motherless Children. Or you could drop more money for the snowboard punk of Sick of It All at Sonar with Madball, Death Before Dishonor, and Wisdom in Chains.

TUESDAY: All the way in from Tel Aviv, folk and blues songwriter Geva Alon takes the stage at the Sidebar with Pariah Beat and Mike Pursley. And that's about it tonight. Start your own band.

IN THE WINGS: The Supersuckers, the "greatest rock band in the world," graces the Ottobar Feb. 7. (For more information call [410] 662-0069 or visit www.theottobar.com.) Adam Duritz, aka the dude from Counting Crows, comes to Rams Head Live Feb. 1 for a Johns Hopkins Pediatric Center benefit. (For more information call [410] 244-1131 or visit ramsheadlive.com.)

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