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The Short List

Violet Hour

By Michael Byrne | Posted 9/16/2009

WEDNESDAY: Mos Def, who turned out an excellent record earlier this summer that didn't get nearly the love it deserved, hits Sonar with Talib Kweli, Jay Electronica, and Soul Cannon. Illinois emo outfit the Graduate gets into plastics at the Ottobar with Better Without You, the Kindness of Strangers, Oh, the Story!, and Rosiere. Sian Alice Group brings its winsome cloud-pop to the Talking Head with Chain and the Gang, Polite Sleeper, and Stephen Strohmeier. Gowns, a whispy benzo-pop drug, performs at the Hexagon with Spirit Cruise, NARC, and Schwill. Avant-garde/new music series Mobtown Modern kicks off at the Metro Gallery; later at the club, disco sorcerer Alexander Robotnick turns some legs to jelly. Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes, a funk-rock ensemble out of New Orleans, hits the 8X10 with lower case blues.

THURSDAY: Metalcore band Bloodlined Calligraphy barks and wails at the Ottobar with the Burial, Salvaged Souls, Debelia Debelia, and Harlequin Ichthyosis. Kind of a weird line-up at Sonar with giddy pop duo Matt and Kim joined by lukewarm raunch-rapper Amanda Blank and fucking awesome post-A Frames ADD-punk outfit the Intelligence. On the heels of its brand new Popular Songs, Yo La Tango takes another lap at Washington's 9:30 Club with Endless Boogie. Moby, who really doesn't deserve (most of) your shit, kicks off his North American tour at Rams Head Live.

FRIDAY: John Berndt's Afrobeat-meets-electronics ensemble the Multiphonic Choir performs at the Windup Space with Relabi. K'Jon, an R&B songwriter for the mature set, brings his croon to Sonar's main room with Baltimore old-schooler Reggie Reg and comedian Meshelle. Tax Lo blows up Sonar's club room with grubby British garage-rockers the Horrors, Crocodiles, and DJs Cullen Stalin and Simon Phoenix. Lightning-tongued MC Busdriver owns the Talking Head with Mickey Free, Abstract Rude, and Rapdragons. Trauma Deville, a hilarious-looking band that probably plays some sort of gothy emo-metal, stops off at the Ottobar with Loving the Lie, Sore Eyes, and Sin 4 Sin.

SATURDAY: Old-school Fat Wreck skatepunk band Face to Face dishes some nostalgia in Sonar's main room with Pegboy, Polar Bear Club, and Dead Mechanical; in the club room, charming pop songwriter Abby Mott celebrates the release of a new record with Flanagan Smith and Mr. Beresh vs. Pardew. Swedish speed metal band Enforcer loves it some Iron Maiden at the Talking Head with Cauldron, Mantic Ritual, and Warhawk. The Violet Hour brings its foggy out-rock dream to the Metro Gallery for a record release show with Sri Aurobindo. Kix delivers a Baltimore hair-metal history lesson at Rams Head Live. After an opening talk, the Carl Grubbs Quintet pays tribute to John Coltrane for two evening shows at An die Musik. Alan Jackson kicks up some dust at Columbia's Merriweather Post Pavilion with Kellie Pickler. Downtempo duo Thievery Corporation lulls the fishes at Pier Six.

SUNDAY: If you haven't seen GWAR in your lifetime, you should probably get on it, because any day now this band is gonna get struck by lightning or sucked back into hell or finish its art degrees; the show's at Sonar, with Job for a Cowboy and Mobile Deathcamp. Austin's Woven Bones, a beat-to-hell garage-psych stomp, peels the paint at the Golden West with Reading Rainbow and We Used to Be Family. Swedish pop outfit the Sounds play Rams Head Live.

MONDAY: Funky indieground hip-hop mainstays People Under the Stairs take the mic at the Ottobar with Jade Fox and Wordsmith.

TUESDAY: Gojira, an omnivorous French extreme-metal band, brings its ear violence to the Ottobar with Burst and Zoroaster. Northwestern blues-rock crunch Branden Daniel and Everybody Gets Laid play the Golden West.

WEDNESDAY: Finnish power-metal band Stratovarius dominates the main stage at Sonar with Pagan's Mind, Visionary, and Mikhail; in the club room, mighty drone-metal beast Sunn 0))) makes your ears hum with Eagle Twin. Tepid reality-TV songwriter Sara Haze plays the Ottobar with the Baby Grand. Suitably insane one-man synth-punk beast Digital Leather blows a vessel at the Sidebar with Death Domain, Minstrel Blood, and the Pfisters.

IN THE WINGS: The unfuckwithable Eyehategod comes to the Ottobar on Oct. 23 with Pig Destroyer, Goatwhore, Strong Intention, Swarm of the Lotus, and Triac. (For more information visit theottobar.com or call [410] 662-0069.) The fucking Hollywood Undead come to Sonar on Oct. 30 with Atreyu, Escape the Fate, and the Sleeping. (For more information visit sonarbaltimore.com or call [410] 783-7888.)

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