WEDNESDAY: Bedrock--newish bar/venue/place-with-shuffleboard--hosts Smutnik, Telly, and Nuclear, three bands (we assume) that have absolutely no internet presence whatsoever. So you could be pleasantly surprised--or play shuffleboard. Sorta cheesy, sorta catchy alternadude band Sounds Under Radio stops off at Washington's Rock and Roll Hotel with the considerably less testosteroney indie-chamber kids of Once Okay Twice and the Wax Standard.
THURSDAY: If you got tickets to tonight's show at 1st Mariner Arena in some sort of heart-shaped container or taped somewhere gross--or something--then you must be pretty damn special, because the power lineup of old soul groups the O'Jays and the Whispers cost your dude or gal, like, $80. Or if you got tickets to see Lake Trout offshoot Big in Japan at 8X10, well, that's pretty swell, too.
FRIDAY: With their side pipes and wonderfully coifed hair, Fishnet Stalkers, one of Baltimore's finest garage throwbacks, make you feel like a whole lot less of a dude at the Talking Head with Luxury Pushers, the Ripovs, and Lazlo Lee and the Motherless Children. Zen Black, one of the many, many things Nickleback has to answer for, shows its prowess for modern rock Muzak at Rams Head Live with the FiF, the Speaks, K.O.E., and the Getaways. Death disciple Whisteria Cottage channels the dark lord at Sidebar with Misery Masquerade, In Dying Arms, Define Me as a Serial Killer, and Another Secret Told.
SATURDAY: The Audition tries out for the part of "most meh" pop-punk band in Baltimore tonight at Sonar with the kinda more interesting Envy on the Coast, Danger Radio (an emo-ish deal from Long Island), Another Day Late, and MIR and the Moon. It's all part of the "Pac Tour," which has something to do with a store in the mall. Chelsea Graveyard and the Screams at Midnight, which gets a B for its name, makes some good old-fashioned guitar rock at the Talking Head with Go-Devils and Filthy Rotten Sex Machine, which gets a B- for its name. New York's Juggaknots, a good-vibe rap posse--we're trying not to reference the Fugees, but, damn, they're kind of a sound-alike--with a hell of a scratch DJ, caps a night of Abrock, Salim and the Music Lovers, Jade Fox, and DJ Harvey Dent at (New) Turntable Club. Telenovela Star, part of the always growing club of got-on-TV-and-got-big bands, offers passable if totally dated--like, Veruca Salt-dated--all-girl alternarock at the Metro Gallery with Object.
SUNDAY: Stoned-out jungle DJ General Malice headlines Sonar tonight with Kaotix, Serial, Sabertooth, and Encrypton. Opportunist redneck-cum-rich jingoist country star Toby Keith is safely contained within 1st Mariner Arena. At Towson's Recher Theatre, Against Me!, one of the more worthy things your kids fawn over, plays with J-Roddy Walston and the Business.
MONDAY: Grammy-loaded smooth jazz singer Al Jarreau croons away the night at Annapolis' Rams Head Tavern. In Baltimore, things are pretty thin.
TUESDAY: Terminally bitter teens Linkin Park, whose sole claim to musical credibility is making rap-metal slightly better than Limp Bizkit, fucks up traffic around 1st Mariner Arena. Opener Coheed and Cambria doesn't help.
IN THE WINGS: Guns and Bombs electro-bangs the shit out of Sonar with Blaqstarr Feb. 29. (For more information call  327-8333 or visit www.sonarbaltimore.com.) On March 4, indie-Gypsy posse Man Man comes to the Ottobar. (For more information call  662-0069 or visit www.theottobar.com.)
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201