WEDNESDAY: Mall punker Saves the Day gives a lesson in longevity at the Rams Head Live with Armor for Sleep, Set Your Goals, Metro Station, and Lydia. For mall-punk on the cheap, hit up the Ottobar for I Am the Avalanche, Dr. Manhattan, Breathe Carolina, and Summer so Far.
THURSDAY: Hot Buttered Rum--a "high altitude acoustic experience"--brings good cheer to the 8X10 with roots children Hoots and Hellmouth. Fusion nightmare Mindless Self Indulgence brews up some punktronic-hop stew at Rams Head Live with the Birthday Massacre. If you miss thrash lord Converge tonight at the Ottobar, you don't deserve the ears they would have torn off your head; openers the Red Chord, Ghengis Tron, and Coliseum all make it well worth getting an early start. A bleating example of emo-pop-punk monotony, the Audition, Hit the Lights, Every Avenue, the Morning Light, Kiros, and Kid Is Qual add up to something so gray at Sonar we could just cry. Indie-poppin' Texan Fishboy flops through the Charm City Space with Thee Lexington Arrows, the Up Set, and Markitekt.
FRIDAY: A considerably darker, aged version of Crowded House keeps moving on its halfway-legit comeback at Washington's 9:30 Club. Bootsy Collins and the Hardest Working Band, along with a list of bands long enough we're gonna make you Google, pay their respects at tonight's "Tribute to the Godfather of Soul" at Rams Head Live. Felicia Carter's near-perfect jazz vocals put a spell on the New Haven Lounge. Adult-contemp songwriter David Glaser celebrates both his CD release and his birthday at the 8X10 with Oblivion Sun and the Anthony Setola Band. Lake Trout dance party spin-off Big in Japan gets your legs working at the Ottobar with Gunwife Gone, Corn Mo and the 357 Lover (seriously?), and the Old Souls. Out in Annapolis, Jayhawk Mark Olson hits the Rams Head Tavern. The Protomen, who perform a rock opera based on the Mega Man video game, do their thing at Metro Gallery (for free). Ben Taylor, the literal brood of Carly Simon and James Taylor, does his folks proud at the Rams Head Tavern with David Saw, who lists Carly Simon and James Taylor as influences, which is kinda creepy. Local folk mainstay Caleb Stine gets together with Among Wolves (making some kind of Beach Boys party folk), Beans, Lost Tourists, and Heavy Hangs the Head at the Charm City Space for a benefit for YANA.
SATURDAY: If there's anything more brain-hurting than industrial breakbeat music--like Nine Inch Nails trapped in a shoot-'em-up video game trapped in bondage porn--please keep it far, far away from me, 'cause I'm pretty sure Jackal and Hyde is where sinner beats go when they die; the duo is at Sonar with Haaps and Wickity vs. Bioteknik. Chris Barron--yep, that would be the Spin Doctors' Chris Barron--plays solo at the 8X10 with Hotbox and the Birthday Suits. Jason Willett and his Pleasant Livers get together with noise supergroup Rotten Mind Fuck, Heroin U.K., and Rosemary Krust at the Depot. Roots rhymers Salim and the Music Lovers let it flow at Joe Squared. Matt Weston, a freaky-outy electronics and drums dude, gets together with not-very-noisy cellist Rachel Gawell for what should be an interesting meeting of styles at the Red Room at Normals Books and Records. For more weird, An die Musik hosts Jewels and Binoculars playing the music of Bob Dylan with reeds, a double bass, and drums.
SUNDAY: Electric Prunes, riding high on/trapped in/parodying the Summer of Love, "freak out" the Rams Head Tavern. Punkabilly spacemen the Phenomenauts touch down at the Ottobar with the A.K.A.s and Maldroid. I've really got no idea whatsoever what tonight's about at Scarey Studios, but the bands--solo artists? creatures? substances?--listed are florida=DEATH, Beeping Sleuty, h3x5p34k, and Nothingberry Plasma; it sounds like a science experiment.
MONDAY: If Cinco De Mayo to you means getting loaded on Corona Light and swaying to "New Roots" music, then the Rams Head Live has you covered with Iration, Can't Hang, Ballyhoo, and Shoreline for its "fiesta." Old, white jazz-blues-folk fusion outfit Wishbone Ash hits Rams Head Tavern. Akiva, one of many things Ben Harper has to answer for, plays the 8X10 with Gareth Asher, John Taglieri, and Justin Trawick. Hardcore battalion Bane declares war on the Ottobar and everything around it with Wake Up Call, I Rise, and Surroundings.
TUESDAY: Post-hardcore foursome Thrice rips the Rams Head Live with Circa Survive and shadowy metal alchemist Pelican. Six-string savant Chris Duarte romances his blues guitar at the Rams Head Tavern. If you're in a gambling mood, and you leave the guns at home, see what the 8X10 has to offer with its "Five Bands for Five Bucks" night. The Teenagers love them some irony at the Ottobar; get there early for the legit dance-punk of Team Robespierre and Phil Collins-sample cyclone Smart Growth.
WEDNESDAY: DEA arch nemesis, proof of eternal life, and Funkadelic progenitor George Clinton leads the P-Funk All Stars at Rams Head Live. Vonda Shepard, the lounge singer from Ally McBeal, milks your parents (assuming you're under 25 and white) out of $35 at Annapolis' Rams Head Tavern. Headlining Sonar's evening of ear violence that is the "In Thrash We Trust" tour is San Francisco thrash-scene pioneer Death Angel; God Forbid, Soilent Green, Light This City, Burn Your Wings, and Buried Beneath the Ruins round out the bill. Washington state mathcore trio Fall of Troy marches into the Ottobar with the Dear Hunter, Tera Malos, and Foxy Shazam.
IN THE WINGS: Yeah, we're pretty much taught out by now, but respect the original, KRS-ONE, who takes Sonar to school May 22 with For the People Entertainment, Knotsworth, and Salim and the Music Lovers. (For more information visit www.sonarbaltimore.com or call  783-7888.) Say Wut, one of B-more's choicest club heads, hits the decks at the Talking Head on May 26 with XXXChange for Tax Lo's sixth anniversary party. (For more information visit www.talkingheadclub.com or call  962-5588.)
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201