WEDNESDAY: Van Hunt, one of the current kings of R&B croon, makes your heart do little flippity-flops at Sonar with Natural Remedy and JC Jones. At Washington's 9:30 Club DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist bring their pro-vinyl "Hard Sell" tour back to the area a second time this year--basically, it's them spinning and scratching old 45s on several clubs' worth of turntables--kinda cool for a while, but even a Shadow die-hard could get bored of this pretty easily. The Warped Tour makes its area stop out at Columbia's Merriweather Post Pavilion with a whole mess of awful not-really-punk bands. Her majesty Donna Summer sings at Pier Six Pavilion.
THURSDAY: Clothing and Shoes bring their rather pretty, subdued folk-rock to the Lo-Fi Social Club with Jonathan Hape and Twine. Charming indie-fashioned piano-pop outfit Jukebox the Ghost makes another Baltimore appearance tonight at the Ottobar with Laura Burhenn and Honor by August. The cult of Sam Jayne is already on this one, but indie-pop big deal Love Is Laughter plays Washington's Black Cat. With several hundred years of amphitheater shows between them, the Steve Miller Band keeps on keeping on at Merriweather Post with Joe Cocker. Tonight kicks off Whartscape at the Charles Theatre--you can peruse the full lineup on page 78, but, for our money, tonight is where it's at--with the weirdos (and locals, natch) in Matmos, Nautical Almanac, Leprechaun Catering, and more.
FRIDAY: If fresh air, summertime, and, you know, smiling aren't so much your bag, you can hide from the Whartscape festivities at the Ottobar's Mozscape, featuring an acoustic set of Morrissey/Smiths covers by Johnny Love. Grubby New Jersey punk outfit Fight Amp starts some shit at the Talking Head with Dactyl, the Convocation, and Tournament. All Time Low, Maryland pop-punk done good, starts a two-night run at Rams Head Live with Hit the Lights, Valencia, and There for Tomorrow. Whartscape's "soft night" is at 2640 Space with local beloveds Beach House headlining, with Jana Hunter and a good lineup of assorted folkies supporting. The Greg Hatza Organ-ization gets wild on the B3 organ, starting a two-night run at the New Haven Lounge, while jazz drummer Nasar Abadey brings his Supernova to An die Musik. Headlining tonight's Artscape Saturn stage lineup--see the full thing on page TK--is femme-rock pioneer Joan Jett.
SATURDAY: The legendary H.R., of Bad Brains fame and now apparently a Baltimore resident, plays the Ottobar with his Human Rights Band. Sonar hosts tonight's Whartscape lineup, ranging from the much vaunted indie rock of Celebration to whatever the hell kind of Situationist theater Human Host is getting into tonight. Metro Gallery hosts one of the odder Artscape lineups with Quartet Offensive blasting out free jazz, Thrushes making pretty with swirling shoegaze, and a New York band called the Go Station making not terribly interesting but passable pop rock. Pennsylvania punks Wisdom in Chains start a small riot at the Sidebar with Maximum Penalty, Backhand, and Hell to Pay. The Charm City Space hosts indie-punks Teenage Cool Kids, the filling-rattling proggy hardcore of Trifle Tower, Timber, Phooey, and Brace Face Mini Punx. Southern rock/rock-fried country demigod Charlie Daniels plays with his band at Pier Six Pavilion with .38 Special and Shooter Jennings. George Clinton keeps on one of the longest reunions ever with his Parliament Funkadelic at Washington's 9:30 Club.
SUNDAY: The Ottobar gives a double-header tonight with local ambient project All the Oceans making the downstairs hum with Wilford Brimley and Sawhorse, while kinda fun/ridiculous Scandinavian goof-rap outfit Black Squid does just that for a late upstairs show. Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart plays with a helluva backup band--including Steve Kimock, George Porter Jr., Jen Durkin, talking drum charmer Sikiru Adepoju, and Kyle Hollingsworth--at Rams Head Live.
MONDAY: Some of Brazil's finest is thrash, Cavalera Conspiracy, makes Rams Head Live quake with an impressive supporting cast including Dillinger Escape Plan, Throwdown, Bury Your Dead, and Incite. Boston's Eroica sets a gloom at the Charm City Space with its just-skewed-enough instrumental postrock; Isthmus opens. Xrins, which sounds like a demon-spawned 10-year-old-fronted heavy thrash band in the best way you can imagine, clears out a 10-block radius from Scarey Studios with Earth Crown, Dylan Hay, and h3x5p34k.
TUESDAY: Georgia punks the Loose Skrews play the Sidebar with BGL. If you're feelin' like a drive and totally vacating your skull tonight, the Ting Tings make hipster-lab-tested everything-wave music at the 9:30 Club.
WEDNESDAY: Local metal reaper Crypt of Raix goes at your ears with little flaming pitchforks at the Talking Head with Infernal Stronghold, Nothing Is Over, Hip Cops, and Shit the Bed. Enjoy the self-serious butt rock of Florida's Shinedown at Rams Head Live with Theory of Deadman and Black Stone Cherry.
IN THE WINGS: Whoa: The Ex comes to the Ottobar Aug. 14 with a supporting cast of Ethiopian saxophonist Getatchew Mekurya and a jazz big band and Double Dagger opening. (For more information visit www.theottobar.com or call  662-0069.)
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201