WEDNESDAY: The Vivian Girls, craftswomen of some of the finest straight-ahead girl-not-grrl rock to roll through our town this year, do so at the Ottobar with Tyvek, Baby Venom, and Kill Meow; upstairs at the club, Brooklyn N.Y.'s Ninjasonik. A pair of Baltimore's finest urban rustics, Noble Lake and Small Sur, make you wonder why you're wasting a fall evening inside the Talking Head with the Antlers.
THURSDAY: The well-sauced, garage cultivated psych-rock of Bad Liquor Pond joins the frequently lovely shoegaze sounds of Thrushes and Scottish alternarocker Glasvegas at the Ottobar. Cake, still very alive and wearing the same smirk it did 10 years ago, performs at Pier Six Pavilion with the Winterpills. Tegan and Sara--imagine punk and folk moons orbiting around a large, gaseous pop planet--join City and Colour and Girl in a Coma at Rams Head Live. New Orleans jazz man Robert Walter performs with his trio at the 8X10. Japanese funk-rock alchemist Zazen Boys perform at the Talking Head with Geist.
FRIDAY: These United States, a sort of new weird Americana mélange, joins Baltimore's favorite [insert every '60s Brit rock band here] foaming foursome Payola Reserve at the Metro Gallery. Very much so unstoppable at this point, the Roots, essentially the gold standard for band hip-hop, bring it back to Rams Head Live with the love-or-hate Gym Class Heroes. Sonar's club room hosts the preliminary rounds of the MC/production battle Scribble Jam; in the main room Eminem cohort Royce Da 5'9" headlines a bill including Black Milk, Guilty Simpson, Elzhi, ET, and DJ P-Funk. The Talking Head welcomes a cast of the usual Baltimore punk-rawk characters, including Hollywood, Ratsize, Ex Humans, Love the Bomb, and guitar legend (and Chrome alumnus) Helios Creed. Hardcore/punk trio Wisdom in Chains bloodies up the Sidebar with Barricade. Baltimore sax man about town Greg Thompkins performs for his CD release at An die Musik. Adam Gonzo and Mark Brown's monthly Served dance party hosts Philly/Baltimore club-head DJ Sega at the Windup Space.
SATURDAY: Wait, was Staind the weepy, sensitive-bro nü-metal band or was that Papa Roach? Or was Papa Roach the loud, angsty one that assumed its listeners wouldn't remember grunge? And, Seether: Isn't that a song? All of these mysteries will be solved, and more, tonight at Columbia's Merriweather Post Pavilion. A silly car company and a silly social networking site host Chromeo, which the Short List finds to be an affront on true and proper soul/funk music, but you, maybe not; the Montreal/New York duo is at Washington's 9:30 Club with Treasure Fingers. The much-adored hyperactive bluegrass of the Yonder Mountain String Band takes over Rams Head Live. Proto rap-metal outfit Biohazard performs at Sonar with six openers that we're not going to list here for the sake of, you know, trees. The deft drone rock of the Skull Defekts goes after your own skull at the Talking Head with Talk Normal, Dar Sombra, and Ala Muerte. The Windup Space hosts the colorful pop of locals the Jennifers, along with Michael Holt and Person Parcel.
SUNDAY: Sonar welcomes the once ubiquitous electro-pop duo Ratatat--back in a surprisingly subdued fashion--with Panther, which really needs to make up for being somewhat of a yawn at the Talking Head a month or so ago, and E*Rock, bossman of the excellent Audio Dregs record label, Paper Rad accomplice, and unpredictable electronic musician. Thrash metal beast Graves of Valor eagerly await your corpse at the Talking Head with Car Bomb, Unhollowed, Condemn the Infected, and You Should Be Dead.
MONDAY: Obviously, I don't even have to try and sell this one, but Common and NERD are performing at Rams Head Live, in case you've been locked in a bunker. Pete Yorko and the One Man Music Band brings its dusty countrified punk to the Sidebar with Wisconsin's .357 String Band.
TUESDAY: The charmingly nerdy Hot Chip brings its full-band dance pop to Rams Head Live with the rather awkward touring partner Growing, which makes a sublime, relatively experimental, and not terribly dancey style of guitar sword fight.
WEDNESDAY: Oi! punks the Casualties perform at the Ottobar with Municipal Waste and the Shortage.
IN THE WINGS: DMBQ and Monotonix, two of the finest rock shows in existence, absolutely turn the Ottobar into a little pile of rock club dust Oct. 20 with Vincent Black Shadow. (For more information please visit www.theottobar.com or call  662-0069.) Excitable Toronto indie-rock outfit the Born Ruffians come to the Talking Head Oct. 25 with Plants and Animals and Sbach. (For more information visit www.talkingheadclub.com or call  207-8011.)
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201