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The Short List

Saul Williams

By Michael Byrne | Posted 4/2/2008

WEDNESDAY: Local rap posse Home Grown Heroes, kinda fun in a Jurassic 5 kind of way, celebrate their new album at Fletchers with Ab Rock and E Major. Upstairs at the Ottobar, Bmore club heads Scottie B and DJ Blaq Starr, along with Ninjasonik's DJ Teenwolf, turn it up for late night (that'd be after 10). All the way from Manchester, England, Sonic Boom Six brings its precarious genre balance of reggae, ska, hip-hop, and punk to Bedrock with Silver Spring's Lionize. Blues slide-guitar virtuoso Sonny Landreth shares Annapolis' Rams Head Tavern with fusion banjo whiz Tony Furtado. The punks done good in Time Again headline the Ottobar with the Reticents, So Damn Thirsty, and Stupyd Cow. Almost disgustingly sweet bass crooner Jens Lekman steals your girlfriend/boyfriend at Washington's Black Cat with Scottish indie-pop dude (singular) the Honeydrips and Marla Hansen.

THURSDAY: Someday, maybe, we'll be able to talk about Enon without dropping the name Brainiac--Enon guitarist John Schmersal's late, lamented junkyard-electronic spazz band--but until then Brainiac descendant Enon plays the Ottobar with Squaaks and Impossible Hair. Locals Thee Lexington Arrows make for a good time of throwback, bouncing surf-garage at the Sidebar with the Good Things, a solid, poppy-as-all-hell Detroit garage band doing their damnedest to capitalize on the White Stripes. Comets on Fire dude Ethan Miller's side project Howlin Rain--which sounds like Comets on Fire with maybe less "psych"--comes to Washington's DC 9. Former Moldy Peach and wide-eyed minimal-folk impresario Kimya Dawson rides her Juno-fueled wave of unlikely, however deserved, popularity all the way to the Black Cat with Angelo Spencer and Spoonboy.

FRIDAY: Jam band objection of affection the Bridge kicks off a three-night run at the 8X10 with Dirty Dozen Brass Band backing guitarist Jamie McLean and his band. The British Isles match Irish boozin' songs with the symphony at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. The Talking Head gets all kinds of pretty tonight with some of Baltimore's finest in folk, Caleb Stine, and pop, Jason Dove, along with with Finn Riggins and Infinite Honey. Worthy country megastar George Strait plays some tunes for Baltimore's cowboys at 1st Mariner Arena. Mark Kozelek collaborator Lisa Cerbone makes the sort of folk songs that might actually make us miss winter's gray days at Read Street Books and Coffee. Of Broken makes the sort of rock that makes us miss the days when frat kids were into sports and not guitars at Towson's Recher Theatre with Anamide, the Speaks, and the Autumn Sun. Atlanta's Evol Intent brings its prog drum 'n' bass-cum-"glitchcore" to Bedrock with Dylan, Proxxy and Lantern, and Leko. Baltimore dream-pop love object Beach House shows Washington what it's missing at the Rock and Roll Hotel with Papercuts and Stamen and Pistils.

SATURDAY: The Egg Babies Orchestra comes out of hiding for one of its somewhat rare cover song shows--this time around it's all movie themes--at the Ottobar with J-Roddy Walston and the Business and Brothers. Outreach brings its bitter alternadude rock to Rams Head Live with Atomic Motel, Earthdaze, Enemony, and Stockcar Syndrome. Pearlfishers make rifftastic indie rock that won't make you think too much at the Talking Head with City Paper contributing photographer Sam Holden's Chaser and Backroad Bastards. Segway plays "[i]n your face live, organic disco breakbeat house" (!?) at Bedrock with San Francisco's MO2 and Actual Fact. Laramie, Wyo.'s Teenage Bottlerocket brings its back-to-the-basics Ramones-loving punk to the Sidebar with the Copyrights, Dead Mechanical, the Rockvilles, and Ramrod.

SUNDAY: Baltimore's branch of the New York jungle/drum 'n' bass weekly party Konkrete Jungle happens at Sonar with Headhunterz Inc., Sabertooth, Noistek B2b Demize, Nside, Rev-e, and MC Diggadee. Santana makes the sweetest kind of love to his guitar at Columbia's Merriweather Post Pavilion with the Derek Trucks Band. Saul Williams, college-y poet/rapper turned hip-hop vanguard (almost), brings his Trent Reznor-built rock-hop to Annapolis' Rams Head Tavern with Dragons of Zynth. Carbon/Silicon, the superduo of Mick Jones and Generation X's Tony James, plays with Matt Pond PA at the 9:30 Club. Also in Washington, Aloha brings its airy indie-pop loveliness to the Rock and Roll Hotel with Anathallo and Roofwalkers.

MONDAY: Jazz bass badass Marcus Miller stops off at the Rams Head Tavern. Nautical Almanac puts a dark, skronking, and rattling charm on the Talking Head with Skaters and the awesomely named Dolphins Into the Future. The Dirty Projectors bring their rewired pop lilt to the Black Cat with Vancouver's No Kids.

TUESDAY: Grateful Dead artifact Bob Weir walks his Rat Dog to Rams Head Live. Dan Deacon and the Videohippos' Kevin Omera bring their Butt Stomach side project (think a less manic Deacon with live drums) to the Talking Head with Daniel Francis Doyle, Smart Growth, and Seth Sherman. Iowan melodic hardcore outfit Modern Life Is War comes to the Ottobar on its farewell tour, with Ruiner, Deep Sleep, and Bad Habit.

IN THE WINGS: Slint legend and indie totem David Pajo brings his new, and surprisingly genuine, metal project Dead Child to the Talking Head with Superchrist April 21. (For more information visit www.talkingheadclub.com or call (410) 962-5588.) Whatever the hell Ministry is these days, it comes to Rams Head Live April 26 with Meshuggah and Hemlock. (For more information visit www.ramsheadlive.com or call (410) 244-1131.)

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