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These United States

By Michael Byrne | Posted 5/14/2008

WEDNESDAY: Way more MCs and DJs than I'm about to put in this space--though I'll give you Black Jezuz, just as a signifier--drop a whole mess of verse on Sonar. The Talking Head's new home in Sonar's lounge room gets its first taste of garage-punk violence with Montreal's CPC Gangbangs, the congestive punk attack of Vincent Black Shadow, the Golden Boys, and Hollywood.

THURSDAY: Southern gothic songwriter Jim White plays Annapolis' Rams Head Tavern. Pull the Zombie from White Zombie and you're left with Scum of the Earth, which makes slasher-flick metal at Sonar, with Etoktren, Rickets, and Burn the Fields. Serj Tankian, the dude from System of a Down, makes heavily orchestrated, politically saturated metal-lite at Washington's 9:30 Club. The 8X10 scores a good one tonight with These United States, bringing in solid folk-bent garage rock, along with the indie-pop angel song of Plants and Animals and the likewise digable Rock Plaza Central. Bask in the one-man sludge factory of Thrones--aka Joe Preston of Melvins, High on Fire, and everything else awesome fame--at the Ottobar with Headwounds, Gorge, and the 4th Horsemen. Blood on the Wall makes us yearn for the indie-rock glory days at the Talking Head with Lo Moda and Jason Dove Trio. New Orleans' Thruoutin introduces the Sidebar to IDM music, and hell freezes over; TempSoundSolutions, Johnny Jitters, and Abstract Artimus don't help.

FRIDAY: Devotchka brings its Gypsy indie to the 9:30 Club with songwriter Basia Bulat. Mad-Sweet Pangs make mad-jammy folk at Rams Head Live with Second Self, Old Man Brown, Spokey Speaky, and Wayback Inn. We know it's been nagging at you, so here it is: proof that the Gin Blossoms still exist--and can command $40 a ticket--at the Rams Head Tavern. Future Rock creates "electronic sensory overload" at the 8X10 with Earthtone and Segway. Philly nature lover Pattern Is Movement plays with Wye Oak at the Metro Gallery. Lafayette Gilchrist starts off a two-night run at the New Haven Lounge with his funky jazz combo the New Volcanoes and on Saturday with 3 Plus.

SATURDAY: The Punch Brothers bring their chamber bluegrass to the Rams Head Tavern. Get your fill of classic rock and classic rockified reggae at the Ottobar with the Rez and Lionize; Shoreline, Lucid, and the Fif share the bill. Another TaxLo supermegaparty is on at Sonar with the dance-floor swoon of Cut Copy and pop demibeast Black Kids feeding your legs; B-more's Ponytail opens. If hell couldn't get any colder, Sidebar goes folk tonight with Jeremiah Clark and the Lighter Thieves, Puddle, Jennifer, and John Hornsby. Anubis Unbound makes more overwrought crap-metal-hardcore-whathaveyou at Fletchers with Tolerance for Tragedy, For the Taking, and Cryptic Mind. Trances Arc brings its Atlanta-bred just-twangy-enough pop rock to Joe Squared along with Private Nation. Jazz multi-instrumentalist Warren Wolf plays with his six-piece band for the release of his new album, Raw, at An die Musik. Cream Center--one third groove, two thirds punishment, and pure MT6--skips the filling at SCarey Studios, but all you really need to know is that it's got a song called "This Song Is About Fucking Dragons"; No One and the Somebodies, Super Demon Forest, and Mr. Moccasin (with City Paper contributor Jared Fischer) round out the bill. Caleb Stine and the Brakemen bring their pretty mountain music down to the 8X10.

SUNDAY: Jägermeister brings the crap-metal all-star team of Hatebreed, Type O Negative, and Three Inches of Blood to Rams Head Live. Fawn over the merciless mustache of old-school country dude Hal Ketchum at the Rams Head Tavern. The Griefs shed some surf-punk tears at the Talking Head with the Jons and the Golden Jubilee.

MONDAY: Going on for a wtf !? 30-odd years, albeit considerably deformed by now, Brit ska touchstone the English Beat, still always saving something for later, plays the Rams Head Tavern. Get "metal as fuck" at the Ottobar with Chapter of Decay, Condemn the Infected, and Abomination of Desolation.

TUESDAY: Portland, Ore.'s kinda catchy, kinda boring electro-folk-pop-rock indie-complete-package-if-you-want-it duo the Helio Sequence plays the Black Cat with Pattern Is Movement. For your drunk oi! show of the week, hit up the Sidebar for Dead End Boys, Everybody Out!, the Reticents, and Honkey Kong.

WEDNESDAY: The immortal X hits the 9:30 Club with the Detroit Cobras. Cajun bluesman Tab Benoit brings some swamp to the Rams Head Tavern with Louisiana Leroux and Seth Walker. UnGoogle-able New York band So So Gos plays with the Detroit ska punks of We Are the Union at the Sidebar.

IN THE WINGS: Hipster-hop duo the Cool Kids come to the Ottobar June 6. (For more information visit www.theottobar.com or call [410] 662-0069.) Closing out TaxLo's Sixth Anniversary May party-athon, Diplo and Dan Deacon come to Sonar May 30. (For more information visit www.sonarbaltimore.com or call [410] 783-7888.)

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