WEDNESDAY: The Notwist brings its precise, melancholic electro-pop to Washington's 9:30 Club with Dosh. The now comically creepy-in-a-Sears-ad-sense Hanson surfaces at Rams Head Live with Dave Barnes and Everybody Else.
THURSDAY: Coalrockuh Oner takes his beat-down banjo blues to Joe Squared with the found-sound textured folk of local songscaper Bethany Dinsick. Local psych-rock mainstay Arbouretum plays Metro Gallery with the over-the-top retro pysch of Sri Aurobindo, along with the Why Because. Seven-piece hardcore throwback Skarhead bloodies up Sonar with Danny Diablo. Starfucker performs its passable indie candy-pop at the Talking Head with Steve Hefter and Friends of Friends, Jason Dove, and Magical, Beautiful.
FRIDAY: Virginia jug band Rootstone plies it quick-footed, primitive folk at the Golden West Café with local roots outfit Whale Show. Mexico's rock 'n' roll pride Jaguares plays Rams Head Live. The Water's swollen chamber-rock atmospherics fill up the Metro Gallery with Screen Vinyl Image, Luxa, and Monocle. Claire Huxtable, the side project of Baltimore club DJ Dlake and rapper Symbol, performs at the Ottobar with Blaq Starr, Dactyl Dactyl, Golgi Apparatus, and DJ Alex Osuch. Death-grind outfit Suicide Silence creates anything but at Sonar with Emmure, Beneath the Massacre, After the Burial, Architects, and As the Kingdom Falls. Jazz flutist Holly Hofmann duets with pianist Mike Wofford at An die Musik. Bmore Electro's More or Less techno party welcomes Detroit's Drew Pompa and New York's Rezound to the Hexagon for your body's pleasure. The sprawling, odd, and just plain awesome "hardcore" of Fucked Up gnashes the Talking Head and Sonar with Akimbo, the punky shoegaze of the Vivian Girls, Surroundings, Sick Weapons (featuring a significant splinter of the Death Set), White Mice, and 4th Horseman. An excellent show of local weirdness hits the 2640 Space with local improv kingpin John Berndt collaborating with interpretive dancer Meghan Flanigan, Byron Westbrook presenting his "Corridors" experimental light and sound composition, and sound and text artist Alessandro Bosetti collaborating with composer and horn player Peter Blasser. Black Vatican's surreal pop-floating-in-smoldering-noise is at the Annex Theatre with Peace Loving, True Primes, Salamander Crown, and Andy Abelow.
SATURDAY: Composer and piano virtuoso Wayne Horvitz performs with his band Sweeter Than the Day at An die Musik. The Red Room at Normals Books and Records has a great show with a collaboration between Martin Schmidt (of Matmos fame), improvising on electronics, and San Francisco experimental electronic musician Wobbly; Paul Winstanley also collaborates with improv trombonist David Dove. The Degenerettes (which includes City Paper contributor Rahne Alexander) take the all-girl garage rock to Joe Squared with Baby Aspirin's nostalgic indie rock. Oregonians Alexis Gideon, a crafty hip-hop/folk alchemist, and twee folkstress Shelly Short drop in at the Metro Gallery. The Elite Underground Metal Fest runs a long list of bands into the Talking Head, headed up by Holocaust-themed death-metal outfit Arghoslent, Detroit thrash trio Nocturnal Fear, and New York black metalsmith Dor Daedeloth. (For a full lineup, visit talkingheadclub.com.) In Sonar's main room, costume-metal outfit Gwar does its best to ruin your shirt, along with Kingdom of Sorrow and Toxic Holocaust; the club room hosts the gothy synth-punk of Shiny Toy Guns, Jonezetta, and the Delta Fiasco. The Hair Raid Band, kind of like a jukebox full of '80s hair metal with some alt-rock covers thrown in, plays the Sidebar with the Saviours and Pierce. Local prog favorite Yukon, "often compared to Genesis" (thanks, Wikipedia), performs at the Copycat with Little Women. Always a treat, leftfield jazz/racket duo/sometimes trio Microkingdom plays the Windup Space with Rick Weaver and Photovoltic.
SUNDAY: Steel Train, a pair of street buskers turned large-room indie-rock outfit, performs at the Ottobar with Arizona pop-rock band Dear and the Headlights and Forgive Durden. Method Man and Red Man get all kinds of blazed at Sonar with Keith Murray, Termanology, and DJ P-Funk. The jam band dance party that is Galactic takes over the 8X10 with DJ Gypsyphonic.
MONDAY: I'm not really going out on a limb at all in saying this Ottobar show could be the best live bill you see all year: DMBQ's marathon race of Japanese noise/psychedelic rock, Monotonix's live spectacle of a cathartic hard-rock beast, Vincent Black Shadow's punk that sounds as if composed of rusty power tools on unyielding surfaces, and Double Dagger making a mockery of your personal space. Straight-edge hardcore/punk/crust outfit Have Heart makes a vegan out of you at Sonar with Blacklisted, Ruiner, Ceremony, and Let Down.
TUESDAY: Christian metalcore outfit Underoath plays Rams Head Live with Saosin, the Devil Wears Prada, and P.O.S. The Octopus Project--with its tentacles of indie rock, noise, electro-pop, and just plain pop--wraps itself around Sonar with Yukon and Avocado Happy Hour (which includes CP intern Amanda Schmidt).
WEDNESDAY: Roots Americana totem Alejandro Escovedo casts his spell at Sonar with the Satin Peaches and the Payola Reserve. Sole--one of many in the swirling, short-circuiting pool of experimental hip-hop that is the monolithic Anticon collective--makes a return appearance at the Talking Head with the Skyrider Band. Cranked shoegaze band A Place to Bury Strangers suffocates your ears at the 9:30 Club with Ceremony and the lovely, heavily melodic melancholy of the Sian Alice Group.
IN THE WINGS: Proto art-punkers the Homosexuals show their years (like, 30 of them as a band) at the Talking Head Nov. 12 with the Octagon; Brightback Morning Light's simmering psych folk hits the club Nov. 14, with the solemn choir-folk of Philly's Fursaxa and Lungfisher Asa Osborne's new project of shamanic, looping guitar folk, Zomes. (For more information visit talkingheadclub.com or call  207-8011.) The Grails show off their churning, mournful folk-metal at the Ottobar Nov. 19 with the Silver Apples apparently opening. (For more information visit theottobar.com or call  662-0069.)
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201