WEDNESDAY: Lounge heathens the Squirrel Nut Zippers bounce into Annapolis' Rams Head Tavern with the Firecracker Jazz Band. Chances to hear Dave Heumann and co.'s Arbouretum shamanic drift-folk are few and far between, so be at the Talking Head tonight, where opening acts Pontiak, Blake/e/e/e, and Television Hill mean you also want to get there early. Washington's Joppa brings some of that good old white-kid soul-funk to the 8X10 with the Legs.
THURSDAY: How do we feel about a Blondie whose ages now beat out some of our parents by a good margin? Confused, very confused--punks in a retirement home does not compute. See for yourself at Rams Head Live. Guttural growls, a horn section, and supremely huffable rock come courtesy of Boston's Bad Ash to the Sidebar with Survivors of Camp Crystal Lake, the Revelevens, and Private Radio.
FRIDAY: For the thirtysomething demo that stopped listening to new music when they left college and, you know, got babies and real jobs, the Recher Theatre hosts Lisa Loeb, of that one song fame, and Billy Redfield. Longtime shadow-player guitar virtuoso Adrian Belew gets in the spotlight at Rams Head Tavern. While $16 to see a band at the Ottobar that doesn't even have a real album out yet is just dumb--a band we saw open for M.I.A. last fall for less dough, no less--we gotta admit the Cool Kids brand of retro party-rap is a pretty good time. The Capital Jazz Fest kicks off the first of its three nights at Columbia's Merriweather Post Pavilion and Symphony Woods with Justin Young, Boney James, and Brian McKnight tonight; Chris Botti, Dianne Reeves, Spyro Gyra, Kim Waters, Roberta Flack, Ken Ford, and Wayman Tisdale Saturday; and Four80East, Randy Crawford and Joe Sample, Jonathan Butler, Eric Roberson, Average White Band, Howard Hewett, and Ledisi Sunday; Patti Austin and Tony Richards perform host duties. Or keep it low-key at the New Haven Lounge with the brother duo of Project Natale starting a two night run of traditional jazz. Lansdowne, a heavy alternarock band from Boston, plays Sonar with Love and Reverie, Summer Driven, 7 Story City, and the Second Sunrise. The Starscape pre-party goes down at Fletchers with Baltimore club cornerstone Scottie B and Los Angeles' electro-house darlings Guns n Bombs--and, yeah, calling that pairing a pre-party for a festival headlined by the Disco Biscuits felt as bad to type as it did to read.
SATURDAY: Starscape goes from 2 in the afternoon till dawn tomorrow at Fort Armistead Park for all of your indie, hippie, and tweaker dance needs, with a stupidly long roster that includes DJ Vadim, Low B (aka Low Budget), and several shittons of drum 'n' bass. Indie love object Rilo Kiley plays Rams Head Live with Thao With the Get-Down, Stay Down (probably the real attraction here), and Benji Hughes. The Ottobar hosts weirdo metal outfit and Dog Fashion Disco offshoot Polkadot Cadaver with Unhollowed, Catatonik, Rest Among Ruins, and Given. New York's Bloodsugars digs out some synth-pop cavities at Metro Gallery with Names Can Own and Ana Lola Roman. Half of Philadelphia's improvisational wunderkind Shot X Shot, Bryan Rogers (tenor sax) and Matt Engle (bass), get tossed into the pot at the Red Room at Normals Books and Records with regulars John Berndt and Ben Wright. The Baltimore Taper, the dude who's at about every local show with the microphone rig, presents some favorites tonight at the Talking Head with Bad Liquor Pond, the Prisoner's Dilemma, Imperial China, and Brian Adam Ant. Wallflower/son of Bob Jakob Dylan still isn't doing much to advance the family name--but neither is Jesse, director of such fine fare as How High--but you can bask in the DNA at Washington's 9:30 Club. Lush like an overripe peach, French bliss-rock savant M83 makes the kiddies all fall in love again at the Black Cat with the Berg Sans Nipple.
SUNDAY: It's been about 10 years, but shoegaze cult object Swervedriver, the genre's rabid bastard child, is on a reunion kick, and tonight's your only area chance to get in on it at the 9:30 Club with Longwave and Terra Diablo. Mercy Mercedes, another pop punk-gone-neon band, plays the Ottobar with Settings, the Sophomore Attempt, Interstate North, . . . Promise, and Halfway to the Moon. Shake your Laffy Taffy--sorry--in Sonar's main room with Shawty Lo along with 100 Grand Man, R.I.C.O., and Mr. Incredible. A whole lotta reggae happens next door in the club room with I-Warriyah and Revelation Chapters, DJ Pablo Fiasco, DJ Ceska, and Brother Ki. Folky Swede the Tallest Man on Earth crams himself into Baltimore Chop.
MONDAY: Oakley Hall brings its pop-Americana to the Ottobar with Pete Yorko and the One Man Music Band. Any band that can survive in Flint, Mich., is alright with us, so go buy a T-shirt or something from the poor bastards in Lies Like Meat the Sidebar with Lose the Name.
TUESDAY: Glee shout and Swedish indie-pop get along merrily in the ecstatic little psychedelic-punk Candyland of Love Is All, which headlines the sell-shit-if-you-have-to show of the week at the Ottobar with the Big Sleep (hells yeah), Future Islands (likewise), and Eyeball Skeleton (does it even matter?).
WEDNESDAY: The 9:30 Club pulls a nice last-minute booking with the very much alive and kicking Breeders, who have resolutely refused to start sucking.
IN THE WINGS: The Hold Steady, aka everything good and right with rock 'n' roll, comes to Rams Head Live with Birds of Avalon June 27. (For more information visit www.ramsheadlive.com or call  244-1131.) The posteverything gloom rock of Russian Circles comes to the Ottobar with Daughters June 30. (For more information http://www.theottobar.com"/>www.theottobar.com or call  662-0069.).
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Baltimore, MD 21201