WEDNESDAY: Seattle indie-rock quintet Minus the Bear performs an early show at Washington's 9:30 Club with Annuals and Sylvie; shoegaze avalanche A Place to Bury Strangers washes through the club for the late show with Sian Alice Group and Ceremony. The Mishaps blast out the punk rawk at the Ottobar with Atlanta's All Night Drug Prowling Wolves and local partners in crime Sick Sick Birds and Thee Lexington Arrows. Joe Satriani, guitar tamer extraordinaire, performs at Rams Head Live with Leslie West and Corky Laing. Alejandro Escovedo, another reformed punk-cum-pop-rock songwriter, is at Sonar's main room with the Satin Peaches and the Payola Reserve; in the club room, inscrutable math-metal outfit Stinking Lizaveta performs with Black Cobra, Clouds, and Dark Castle. The Anticon label's peculiar brand of abstract hip-hop owns the Talking Head with Sole and the Skyrider Band stopping off. Brinsk brings its peculiar style of acoustic chamber metal to the Windup Space with Cuddle Magic.
THURSDAY: There's good music for a good cause at the Ottobar with a benefit show for Cal Robbins, son of Jawboxer J. Robbins, who was born with spinal muscular atrophy, featuring Baltimore avant-rock favorite Ponytail, Jawbox on Cello (just what it sounds like), SoIhadto, Twine, and Fourth Grade Security Risk. Watery alterna/indie-rock jawn Copeland stops off at Towson's Recher Theatre with Lovedrug and Lydia. Baltimore blues favorite Kelly Bell celebrates the release of his new DVD, Live From Dr. Unks, and pays tribute to Bo Diddley at the 8X10 with All Mighty Senators and Lower Case Blues. Philly noise-rock outfit An Albatross lumbers through the Talking Head with Florida's Yip Yip, purveyor of charmingly goofy, rambling electro-rock, the Flying Eyes, and the Stolen Minks. Trad rock 'n' rollers the Black Crowes start a three-night run at the 9:30 Club (Saturday's sold out, though).
FRIDAY: Aussie live drum 'n' bass six-piece Pendulum swings into the Ottobar for one of its first U.S. shows. NOFX, crossover punk constant for some two decades, performs at Rams Head Live with Dillinger Four, Teenage Bottlerocket, the Flatliners, and Paperback Tragedy. Ill Bill, friend of House of Pain and brother of Necro, drops his shock-rap on Sonar with J-Optimo, T.E.F.L.O.N., Pro&Reg, DJ P-Funk, and DJ Addikt. Plaintive folk songwriter Dead Western gets all sorts of possessed at the Golden West Café with Twins and Snowblink. Local offbeat indie-pop mainstays the Jennifers play Joe Squared with folk-rock four-piece the Stalking Horses. Crowd participation mandatory as local indie-rock favorite Plans Plans celebrates the release of its newest full-length at the Metro Gallery with Eyeball Skeleton. Disco Biscuits spin-off Conspirator vs. Dr. Fameus is at Bedrock with Baltimore dubstepper Joe Nice, Telepath, MO2, Sonkin, and Commodore 64.
SATURDAY: Mirah, the matriarch of precious K-punk indie songwriting, brings her songs of sex, love, and insects to Washington's Black Cat with No Kids. Audiovisual multichannel mindfuck DRAW, the collaborative project of Michael Schumacher and Nisi Jacobs, lays some epilepsy on the Red Room at Normals Books and Records. Sax virtuoso and electro-acoustic composer/programmer Steve Lehman plays An die Musik. Toronto's Born Ruffians bring their enthused, tightly crafted indie rock to the Talking Head with Plants and Animals and Sbach. Post-Dropkick Murphys outfit Everybody Out! brings its beer-soaked, workingman's punk to the Sidebar with the Baltimore Bastards and the Shortage.
SUNDAY: The XYZ Affair brings its overflowing power pop to the Ottobar with FFHH, Person Parcel, and E Joseph. Avant-indie totem Deerhoof, on the heels of its newest record of suitably sharp, contorting guitars and glass-cracking J-girl vocals, stops off at the 9:30 Club with Experimental Dental School and Flying. Some of the heaviest of the heavy descend on Rams Head Live with Opeth, High on Fire, and Baroness all joining in the ear-imploding conspiracy.
MONDAY: Baltimore indie-punk institution Landspeedrecord! plays the Talking Head with feverish postpunk outfit Good Times Crisis and the Andalusians.
TUESDAY: Playing his third area show since springtime, gritty/catchy punk spaz Jay Reatard is at the Black Cat with Cola Freaks and Turbo Fruits. Quirky 4AD violist and songwriter Anni Rossie plays the Golden West with Emily Lacy and Bethany Dinsick. Eureka Birds, a rather charming, theatrical indie-rock outfit, roosts at the Ottobar with All the Saints, the Snowmen, and Northernmost. Billy Bragg brings his punk/folk anthems for the people to Rams Head Live with the Watson Twins.
WEDNESDAY: Classic pep-punk foursome Bouncing Souls skip through the Black Cat with Strike Anywhere, the Casting Out, and Gimme Drugs. Car company Scion hosts another of its free parties at the Ottobar with aggro Canadian electro-house from Jokers of the Scene, San Francisco hip-hop producer Trackademicks, Nick Catchdubs, and Sammy Bananas. The crushing talents of sax man Tim Berne and bassist Michael Formanek join forces for some kind of mutant jazz fission at the Talking Head with Quartet Offensive.
IN THE WINGS: Masterful indie-folk songwriter Iron and Wine comes to Rams Head Live Nov. 18 with the noisified country rock of Blitzen Trapper. (For more information visit www.ramsheadlive.com or call  244-1131.) Ex-Rager Tom Morello brings his Nightwatchmen to Sonar Nov. 19 with Boots Riley (of the Coup). (For more information visit www.sonarbaltimore.com or call  783-7888.)
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