WEDNESDAY: North Carolina post-punk band the Quarantines infects the public at the Ottobar with Snake Charmer and Old Line Regulars. Get sweaty and nasty with a bunch of attractive young 'uns at the Baltimore Bass Connection's annual holiday party at Sonar; Spank Rock, the Death Set, Amanda Blank, Ninjasonik, Sick Weapons, Blu Jemz, and Dave Nada perform.
THURSDAY: William Hicks, Neil Kurland, and Denys Envy bring the fours to Moog's Christmas Eve party at Red Maple.
FRIDAY: Merry holiday. Drink up to the tunes of DJs James Nasty, Logan, H Mazz, and the Moustache Crew at the Ottobar.
SATURDAY: The Ottobar hosts an "Otto Lotto" '80s dance party, with music from DJs Craig Boarman, Saars, and Starlight--and the possibility of winning free admission to every 2010 show at the club. The 4th Annual Cytoplastik Holiday Battle, what presumably is a laptop battle of some sort, turns bloody at the Talking Head with the Megadrives, Integron, Comeback Ranch, Psyent, Glass Knife, DJ Doc Brown, and VJ Chroma. Local frat-party soundtrack Hotbox gets lucky there isn't shit going on this week on and I have space to put this in the Short List; its show is at Rams Head Live with Of Broken and Jaeyu. Maryland jazz-piano virtuoso Cyrus Chestnut plays with the Warren Wolf Quartet at An die Musik. Baltimore rock 'n' soul institutions the All Mighty Senators return to the 8X10 with Stone's Throw. John Dierker and Will Redman, a free-jazz power duo you've probably heard if you've heard any local free-jazz at all, perform at the Red Room at Normals Books and Records. The 4th Annual Baltimore Hardcore End of the Year bash brutalizes the Sidebar with Billy Club Sandwich, Mickey's Crew, My Turn To Win, Scheduled Beating, Manthrax, Nothing Fucking Special, Pay No Mind, and 10 Ton.
SUNDAY: Local jazz unit Il Culo plays Joe Squared.
MONDAY: DJs Cullen Stalin and Scottie B throw down at No Rule's holiday party at the Metro Gallery. Some amazingly goth-looking bands--the Phoeniix, Dying Design, Shakeface, and Avoca--register their disgust at the Ottobar. Clutch brings its doom jams back to the area at Washington's 9:30 Club with Doomriders, Lionize, and Never Got Caught. The Maryland boys done pop-punk good of All Time Low hit Rams Head Live with Runner Runner and DNA (no, of course it's not that DNA). Ambient folk outfit In Heaven and You puts its glaze on Joe Squared with a Cat Called Cricket. A whole lot of hardcore--Heartless, Witness, Mind Wreck, and Brainlazerz--peel the paint at Charm City Art Space.
TUESDAY: Eric Trudel (sax), Rachel Gawell (cello), and Kyle Vinton (trumpet) take on the Windup Space at this edition of the Out Of Your Head improv series. Masters of full-band hip-hop, the Roots, perform at the 9:30 Club for two nights. Kinda jammy, kinda cheesy indie-pop unit Earthtone plays what's billed as a reunion show at the 8X10.
WEDNESDAY: The Kindness of Strangers "blend ambient guitar leads, hard rock rhythm guitars, and soulful vocals to make up a unique sound that sets them above the rest in their hometown scene of Baltimore, Maryland" (thanks, guys) at the Ottobar with Octaves, In Alcatraz 1962, I Saw A Ghost, and Of Empires. The Jersey punx of Black Wine drop into the Golden West with Cell Mates and Dead Mechanical. Slave Scene, a presumably punk band from Florida whose name turns up slave-girl, S&M porn online, tears into the Hexagon with local gnasher favorites the New Flesh and Needlegun, along with Nazi Dust. The Dark Star Orchestra, "Continuing the Grateful Dead Concert Experience," does its thing at Rams Head Live.
IN THE WINGS: The Supersuckers return to Baltimore Jan. 29 at the Ottobar. (For more information visit theottobar.com or call  662-0069.) Nile, the finest in Egyptian-themed death metal, comes to Sonar Jan. 15 with Immolation, Krisiun, Abigail Williams, and Dreaming Dead. (For more information visit sonarbaltimore.com or call  783-7888.) The almost comically vapid Owl City, what the Short List likes to imagine is an indie-rock hoax, comes to Rams Head Live Jan. 29 with Lights and Deas Vail. (For more information visit ramsheadlive.com or call  244-1131.)
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