WEDNESDAY: Crypt of Raix feeds its inner demon at the Talking Head with fellow brimstone metal pain-bringer Infernal Stronghold, Nothing Is Over, "fangorian" hardcore abusers Hip Cops, and Shit the Bed. California's Last Priority heads up a barking bill of punk rock at the Sidebar including Corporate Agenda, the Risk, the New Suburban Sprawl, the Great Operation.
THURSDAY: The Ottobar fills a calendar hole--the Gutter Twins were originally scheduled for tonight--with passable alternapunk from Tom Foolery. Local death-metal predator Oak makes tiny ribbons of your ears at the Talking Head with Ol' Scratch, Wizard Eye, and Admiral Browning. The kinetic energy of Ponytail on top of the already sauna-hot warehouse space gives someone heatstroke at Floristree; Joan of Arc and Bear and Pieces open. Jersey punk outfit 9:18 plays the Sidebar with the Argonauts and the Acetones.
FRIDAY: The avant-everything tribe known as Gang Gang Dance connects with at least one part of your inner weird at the Ottobar with Lo Moda and Ecstatic Sunshine. Lamb of God spin-off Halo of Locusts infest Sonar with Anubis, Beyond the Scar, Burn the Fields, Tolerance for Tragedy, and Inkarnit. The Baltimore techno pilgrims of the More or Less label/message board bring their party to the Talking Head with Washington's DJ Simon. Fusion jazz outfit Metaphor gets a stew cooking at An die Musik. Hard-bop jazz pianist Larry Brown brings his quintet to the New Haven Lounge. The nearly deceased and much mourned space rock of Spiritualized comes back to life at Washington's 9:30 Club with the Dirtbombs.
SATURDAY: The insufferable O.A.R., yet another roots/reggae/rock college-gestated band of suburbanites in denial, plays Columbia's Merriweather Post Pavilion with the Beautiful Girls. The Dirtbombs make a return to Baltimore with their scuffed-up brand of Detroit garage rock at the Ottobar with the Ex Potentials and the Wet Faces. The Marley children--Ziggy, Damian, and Stephen--warm Pier Six Pavilion with Barrington Levy, SOJA, Can't Hang, Jah Works, and Jabali Afrika. Cloak/Dagger brings its not-so-covert hardcore punk to the Talking Head with Disappearer, Deep Sleep, Head Home, and Sleepwall. Voice artist Chris Mann, whose freakish styles either makes singing look primitive or like something from the future, performs at the Red Room at Normals Books and Records. Tilly and the Wall bring their tap dance pop to Washington's Black Cat with the Ruby Suns and Exit Clov.
SUNDAY: The Rock the Bells Tour--a ridiculous and kinda awesome hip-hop collection including Nas, Mos Def, Q-Tip, and a big ol' backpack-full more--stops by Merriweather Post. Valient Thorr brings its Venusian power metal to the Black Cat with Early Man and Monotonix, which is a phenomenon of hair, hard rock, and garbage tossing/acrobatics/microphone molestation that we'd advise seeing soonest, before the shit starts getting banned. More power to you if you love this stuff, but we're gonna stay clear of Pier Six tonight, which is hosting the jam-band electronics of Sound Tribe Sector Nine and "goofy" jam band Umphrey's McGee. R&B singer Lyfe Jennings gives up his street stories at Sonar with Ray Lavender, Yolanda Renee, and DJ P Funk. This weekend's Bicyculture festivities wind up at the Talking Head with a trio of hardcore punches from Reproach, Ans, and Perestroika.
MONDAY: The Luxury Sweets toss out some retro-rock riff candy at the Sidebar with the Revelevens and the Mandroids. Gary B and the Notions lo-fi indie alter ego Person Parcel plays Joe Squared with 2 Time Quitters.
TUESDAY: Third-wave ska refugees Rx Bandits, Alaskan traditional indie outfit Portugal. The Man, and the math-class indie rock of Maps and Atlases all round out a bill tonight at the Ottobar. Argumentix, aka James Squeaky, the grand marshal of underground Portland, Ore., noise, does something fucked up with tapes and effects at Scarey Studios with Needle Gun and Rock Banned.
WEDNESDAY: The Sidebar hosts Philly's Ugh, God, which does jazzy heavily rhythmic postrock in the vein of, say, Do Make Say Think quite well with Gunna Vahm, Dactyl, and Drums Like Machineguns.
IN THE WINGS: Buzzoven descendent Weedeater brings its metal sludge to Sonar Aug. 12 with Black Cobra, Lair of the Minotaur, Misery Index, and Deathhammer. (For more information call  783-7888 or visit www.sonarbaltimore.com.) The Melvins return to Baltimore Aug. 15 with Big Business.
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