WEDNESDAY: The duo Polygons make slippery, skittery improv electronic music at the Hexagon with Ecstatic Sunshine, Beastmaster, and Bear and Pieces. The jazz freethinkers of Quartet Offensive play Joe Squared.
THURSDAY: Liturgy, safe but good black metal for the gallery set, doesn't dare ask for a substitution at the Golden West with Child Abuse. Korean piano virtuoso Yon-Joon Yoon performs at An die Musik. The Fed Hill band 3 Fifths continues on its 8X10 residency with the Greatest Funeral Ever. Misses Ellen Sunday and Her Fantastic Cats, think no-fi punkish folk music from folks that've probably ridden a freight train, play the Sidebar with Noah Engh, the Kid Fantastic, Matt Pless, and Sea Couch. Well, this is weird and kinda cool: the BSO is putting on a presentation of Planet Earth Live at the Meyerhoff, which is basically the symphony playing along to projections of said nature porn. The psych-punk trip of Witch Hat peels the paint at the Windup Space with Christopher Adams, Soft Cat, and Daytime.
FRIDAY: Anubis Unbound, a local outfit making solid death-y extreme metal, celebrates an album release at the Ottobar with Knives Out, Apophis, and Altruism. TaxLo hosts something called Throne Of Blood Vs. Barbarians--both of those being colorful party/dance projects--at Sonar with the Rapture's Gabe Andruzzi, Populette, AKA JK, One Auff, Tommy Moye, James Fucking Friedman, Cullen Stalin, and Simon Phoenix. The varied and sundry noisemakers, electronic artists, and punks of CAVEMEN!, Creepy Murdle, A) Torture Mechanism, the Agrarians, NARC, Forest Dwellers, Jumbled, Temp Sound Solutions, the Tritons, and Solar Temple Suicides put on a benefit for injured musician Mike Bell at the Hexagon. Go Rydell makes melodic hardcore music at Charm City Art Space with Vacation, Till Plains, Nightlights, and Dickkicker. An all-electric jazz ensemble called the Ivan Smart Mob gets a bit loud at An die Musik. The Slow Jets, Sick Sick Birds, and Impossible Hair make for indie-pop and pop-punk good times at the Metro Gallery. A Dave Matthews cover band called Crowded Streets takes 10 of your dollars at Rams Head Live with the Grilled Lincolns. Fantastic old-soul cover outfit the Bellevederes get you onto the floor at the 8X10 with Higher Hands. Amanda Otto's mod monthly Reaction returns to the Sidebar with guest performers the Above and DJ Mary Clancy Pace. Small Sur delivers another record of unassuming folk charm at the Windup Space with Ghost Life, Moss of Aura, and Lo Moda (of which City Paper contributor Sam Hopkins is a member).
SATURDAY: The Ottobar is all party with a '70s vs. '80s dance thing raging downstairs. The collection of MC battles, DJ battles, and production battles dubbed Speaker Boxin returns to Sonar. Baltimore's erstwhile techno night More Or Less returns to the Hexagon with Ryan Vanderbeck, 2N3904, Metaphreaq, and Psynet all doing weird things to brains and feets. The Afro Bop Alliance brings its take on Afro-Cuban jazz to An die Musik. Future Islands deliver a rare and surely weird acoustic set at the Metro Gallery for the Wild Nothing art opening. The All-Mighty Senators, Baltimore's all-mighty party band of yore, legislate themselves a good time at Rams Head Live with the Pietasters. The Pilgrim, a ruling Southern psych-rock tear you really should start following now, heads up a benefit for the Ash Street Community Garden at the Sidebar with Mutilation Rites, Rukut, and Revolta. 2econd N8ture and the Scotch Bonnets make roots, rock, reggae at Joe Squared. Latter-day R&B and soul legends Frankie Beverly and MAZE make your parents swoon at the Pier Six Concert Pavilion. San Diego's Weatherbox makes gnarled postpunk meets indie-pop to great effect at Charm City Art Space with Balance and Composure, Bike Maker, Pala, and Bad Biology. Tigersapien proves that electro-house is still alive and kicking at the Quarter with Machinedrum, Electrocracy, Mark Brown, and Adam Gonzo. Folks from the Egg Babies Orchestra, the Bellevederes, and Wye Oak get together for a night of tribute to Fleetwood Mack at the Windup Space.
SUNDAY: Jersey pop-punk unit Catch 22 bounces around the Ottobar. The Sparta Philharmonic, imagine a indie-pop band packaged in clever postrock, takes on the Hexagon with Delicate Steve, Baklavaa, and the Reptile Always Wins. Baltimore jazz-pop hopeful Ha'na premieres her debut record at An die Musik. Local jazz scorcher Lafayette Gilchrist returns to the Baltimore stage at the Windup Space.
MONDAY: Real Estate, a pretty indie-pop dream of a band, plays the Ottobar with Kurt Vile, Lands and Peoples, and Sri Aurobindo. Cullen Stalin and Scottie B's party No Rule returns to the Metro Gallery. Smashing Pumpkins--read: not at all the Smashing Pumpkins--make asses out of olden-days fans like me at Rams Head Live with Kill Hannah and Bad City. The Counting Crows deliver, huh, "much of the soundtrack of our times" at Pier Six Pavilion with Augustana.
TUESDAY: The Heartless Bastards, a particularly sharp garage-rock band, show some feeling at the Ottobar with the Builder and the Butcher and Peter Wolf Crier. Vic Ruggiero, of third-wave ska band the Slackers, plays solo at the Sidebar with the Forthrights, Chris Murray, and DJ Bobby Babylon. DJ Napspace and Landis Expandis burn some calories at their Dig weekly at Joe Squared. Ben Frock on trumpet, Tiffany DeFoe on sax, Alan Blackman on keys, and Alan Munshower on drums make up this week's edition of the Out of Your Head improv series at the Windup Space. New York City grindcore beast Warfear gnashes the Barclay House with DisArmaggedon and Shelter Shock.
WEDNESDAY: The sumptuous indie-pop confection of Mates of State charm the pants off the Ottobar with Free Energy and a comedian. Big Head Todd and the Monsters are still a band at Rams Head Live. Free-jazz heavy William Hooker performs at the Windup Space with Matta Gawa.
IN THE WINGS: J. Roddy Walston and the Business celebrate the release of their new disc at the Ottobar July 31. (For more information visit theottobar.com or call  662-0069.) A resurrected Arcade Fire comes to Merriweather Post Pavilion August 6 with Spoon. (For more information visit merriweathermusic.com or call  715-5550.)
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