WEDNESDAY: This thing called Ska Is Dead IV rolls through the Ottobar with the corpses of the Toasters, Deals Gone Bad, Eastern Standard Time, the International Jet Set, and the fucking Voodoo Glow Skulls. Emo/punk/etc. band Brand New is doing nothing new at Sonar with Thrice and Crime in Stereo. Garage-rock revivalists Black Hollies, featuring a big chunk of the Rye Coalition, drop off at the Metro Gallery with Title Tracks, the Snowmen, and Bryan Scarey and the Shredding Tears. All That Remains, another metalcore band that uses "infused" in its description like it's some kind of high-end honey, plays Rams Head Live with Lacuna Coil, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, and Taking Dawn.
THURSDAY: Electro-raunch rapper extraordinaire Peaches fucks the pain away in Sonar's main room with MEN, Ponytail, Cullen Stalin, and Simon Phoenix; meanwhile, campus-reggae band Lionize warms up the club room with Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad and Arden. Amazing bill at the Hexagon with hermetic psych-folk conjurer Amen Dunes, soul-healing experimental banjo picking from Paul Metzger, Starless and Bible Black, and Owen Gardner. Lizz King plays a rare all-acoustic show the Zodiac with Andy Abelow and Golden Ghost. Apparently, at some point in the last 10 years, the Cranberries broke up. Who knew? Well, they're back together tonight to entertain the certain sort of music fan that threw in the new-music towel around 1996. Find 'em at Rams Head Live with Griffin House.
FRIDAY: A bunch of attractive and fashionable young males from Ohio called Hit the Lights make probably some kind of indie-rock-that-used-to-be-called-emo-or-pop-punk at the Ottobar with other highly important and original bands There for Tomorrow, Vinnie Caruana, Sparks the Rescue, and I Rival. Hilarious live unit the Pleasant Livers have fun with toys at the Zodiac with industrial-noise spectacle Janitor and DJ Jason Willett. Seldom-seen hardcore avalanche Compression finds no peace at the Hexagon with Imperial China and the G. Baltimore indie-folk favorite Noble Lake charms the flannel off the Windup Space with Virgin Forests. Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys considers adding his middle name at Sonar's main stage with Justin Townes Earle and Jessica Lea Mayfield; somehow Shrinebuilder--a completely ridiculous doom supergroup with Wino, Al Cisneros, Scott Kelly, and a guy from the Melvins--squeezes into the club room with U.S. Christmas and Earthride. Electro-pop goofball Max Tundra wins some hearts at the Metro Gallery with Deastro, the Water, and Comeback Ranch. Washington D.C. pop-rock duo Judd and Maggie play the Golden West with Gary B and the Notions. Train is playing with Uncle Kracker, so there you go; Rams Head Live is the spot. Forward-thinking French pianist Eve Risser performs at An die Musik with her trio. There's a whole lot of punk, hardcore, and screamo at Charm City Art Space with the mostly local lineup of the Defect, Bike Maker, Sea of Words, Shadow Government, and Class of '85. Jam-funk-etc. outfit the Kyle Hollingsworth Band plays the 8X10 with Mad Sweet Pangs. Amanda Otto's mod monthly Reaction returns to the Sidebar with guests Mary Read, DJ Jem, and Polythene Pam.
SATURDAY: For the first time ever, reclusive songwriter Jandek performs in Baltimore. He's backed by an all-star local ensemble including Susan Alcorn, Jason Willett, Twig Harper, and Dan Breen; at Load of Fun. Art Brut, an indie-rock band with some actual good songs and sustained popularity, plays the Ottobar with Surfer Blood, Squååks, and Sal Bando. Times New Viking, aka why every indie and hipster-punk band you hear now sounds like it was recorded drunk from a dusty turntable in an oil barrel, crackles at Sonar with the Axemen, Slow Jerks, and Mr. Moccassin. Baltimore world-music standard Telesma sees with its inner eye at the Windup Space. We're not going to list all of the dozen or so bands/projects making a racket at MT6 Fest V, but expect more rock, psych, and outsider art-music weirdness at the Hexagon than you can shake an Ekdahl Moisturizer at (full lineup at hexagonspace.com). Thee Lexington Arrows, one of Baltimore's go-to rock units, celebrates an album release at the Metro Gallery with the Safes , Dead Mechanical, and Suspicious Devices. Less Than Jake, an aging ska-punk band with a live show like a PG-13 Gwar, plays Rams Head Live with the Casualties, the Swellers, and the Dangerous Summer. Classical vocalists Steve Rainbolt and Ah Hong team up at An die Musik. Splintered Sunlight, a Grateful Dead cover band, and Strange Designs, a Phish cover band, noodle and noodle some more at the 8X10. An absolutely all-star improv ensemble called 10-tet works some kind of magic at the Red Room at Normals Books and Records with the reeds duo of Hans Koch and Jack Wright.
SUNDAY: Hawthorne Heights, one of a few bands that started nicking screamo for mall youth way back in 2001, stops off at the Ottobar with Just Surrender, Punchline, Monty Are I, and Nightbeast. Baltimore-based jazz bass force-of-nature Michael Formanek brings his Cautious Optimism four-piece to the Windup Space. Devo starts a two-night run at Washington's 9:30 Club with a performance of classic Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! in its entirety.
MONDAY: Lights, a sort of pop girl-group gone weird, play the Windup Space with D. Charles Speers and a rare Dave Heumann solo set.
TUESDAY: Pedal-steel sorceress Susan Alcorn guests at this week's Out of Your Head collaboration with Chris Pumphrey and Eric Trudel at the Windup Space. Bayside, another band off the aughties emo-punk assembly line, plays the Ottobar with American Sixgun, Eat People, and Spark to Inferno.
WEDNESDAY: Dan Deacon is playing the Ottobar; Nuclear Power Pants, Sick Weapons, and the Creepers open. Narrows, a new band with some dudes from These Arms Are Snakes and Some Girls, performs at Sonar with Ruiner, Surroundings, and Trap Them. Bogglingly prolific jazz trumpeter Herb Robertson brings his ensemble to the Windup Space. Dirty Beaches, a Canadian band making shamanic pop music that sounds like it's coming from an elevator shaft, performs at the Hexagon with covert noisegaze duo Rosemary Krust and Slim Twig.
IN THE WINGS: The charming Holly Golightly and the Broke-Offs come to the Ottobar on Dec. 13. (For more information visit theottobar.com or call  662-0069.) Baltimore hair band Kix delivers its annual Christmas show on Dec. 19. (For more information visit ramsheadlive.com or call  244-1131.)
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201