WEDNESDAY: Third-wave dubstep heavy Excision performs at Rams Head Live. The Contagion Effect, a Baltimore-based death-metal band drawn from ex-band Whisteria Cottage, performs at the Sidebar with Disette, Distances, Legions Prevail, Waves, and, hey look, Vagina*. Violinist Er-Gene Kahng and pianist Sheng-Yuan Kuan join forces for a classical program at An die Musik. Wringer makes proper skate-punk at Charm City Art Space with Red Exit and Trashkanistan. Nu-dude-rock band Adema plays Towson’s Recher Theatre. Don’t miss: Kimya Dawson, the Moldy Peach turned punk-folk heartbreaker turned unlikely mainstreamer, sees only the good in 2640 Space.
THURSDAY: The DigiTour, seeming to consist mainly of musicians famous-via-YouTube, takes over Sonar with DeStorm, Ricky Ficarelli, Alex Goot, and more. Bad Biology makes noise-rock to benefit Team Bikeage in this year’s Moveable Feast at the Talking Head, along with Holy Tongues, Old Lines, and At the Heart of the World. Kurt Vile and the Violators, one of the lo-fi movement’s biggest success stories, performs at the rather high-fi Rams Head Live with Supreme Dicks and Sore Eros. Philly jamtronica band Brothers Past play the 8X10 with Second Self. Infinite Honey makes indie-rock as dreamy as it is grubby at the Windup Space with You Won’t and more. Welsh drum ‘n’ bass guy High Contrast performs at Baltimore Soundstage with Netsky and MC Dynamite. Maryland-bred cellist Valerie Kuehne mixes in a bit of everything at 2640 Space with Clara Engel and the Oops! Singer/songwriter Katie Herzig plays Baltimore Soundstage with Bison and Andy Davis.
FRIDAY: The Ottobar’s Girls Rule! party, in which pop music from female-centric music organizations is DJ-ed, returns to said club. El Ten Eleven finds ample room to land at the Talking Head with Deleted Scenes and Race of Robots. Psychic TV, the long-running A/V psych-punk band of Throbbing Gristle’s Genesis P-Orridge, plays Sonar with Celebration and Psychic Teens. New Riders of the Purple Sage, an old affiliate band of Jerry Garcia now sporting zero of its founders since the 2009 death of other co-founder John Dawson, keeps the flame alive at Rams Head Live with Devon Allman’s Honeytribe and Sweet Leda. The giant brain of Thomas Dolby leads the Time Capsule Tour through Annapolis’ Rams Head Tavern with Aaron Jonah Lewis and Ben Belcher. Charm City Saints make Celtic-fueled hard rock at the Sidebar with Ramshackle Army. Swiss sonic freethinker Christian Kobi does strange, new things with a saxophone and water at the Red Room with a lineup of local fellow travelers including John Berndt on saxophone, David Smooke on toy piano, and more. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra does a program centered around Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 with guest percussionist Colin Currie. Karen Collins and the Backroads Band do throwback honky-tonk at the Creative Alliance with Sweet Sweetback Sisters and the BlueMoon Cowgirl. Railroad Earth brings its newgrass/jam/roots to Baltimore Soundstage. New York’s Jason Anthony Harris, aka Public Speaking, creates semiabstract, densely packed soundscapes at the 5th Dimension with Microkingdom, Whoarfrost, and Andrew Bernstein.
SATURDAY: Polkadot Cadaver other-band Knives Out! plays the Ottobar with Orange Horse and El Grande. The by-now rather ancient prog band Crack the Sky is joined by the Crack Pack Horns at Rams Head Live; the LutherVillains open. Pianist Robert Hitz does a more populist sort of improvisation for his Equinox Concert at An die Musik. Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band presumably makes some kind of funk at the 8X10. Tall in the Saddle heads up a benefit for the Nikki Perlow Foundation at Towson’s Recher Theatre with Mister Wilson. Rhyton, drawn from outfits such as No Neck Blues Band and Psychic Ills, makes instrumental rock for healthy brains at the Golden West Café.
SUNDAY: Phoenix alt-hair band This Century plays the Ottobar. Mathcore/death-jazz/something-else band Dysrhythmia makes extremely nerdy extreme metal at the Talking Head with Cleric. Kevin Seconds, of BYO and 7 Seconds fame (among others), plays the Golden West with Kepi Ghoulie and Franz Nicolay. The Frankenstein Brothers, e.g. superguitarist Buckethead and superbassist That 1 Guy, do super things at Rams Head Live. The Flying Other Brothers other band, Moonalice, plays the 8X10. Larry Ochs’ Kihnoua puts traditional Korean folk music through the Western jazz improv blender at the Windup Space. Joe Budden’s supergroup with Royce Da 5’9”, Slaughterhouse, takes on Baltimore Soundstage.
MONDAY: Speedwolf puts NWOBHM together with hardcore and punk at the Sidebar with Ilsa, Bad Biology, and more.
TUESDAY: The Out of Your Head collective goes in for another round of improv spontaneous creation at the Windup Space. Dig with Landis Expandis and DJ Napspace returns to Joe Squared Station North. Dead Mechanical, one of a precious few local quality pop-punk outfits, returns to Charm City Art Space with Girlcrush. Thrash band D.R.I., aka Dirty Rotten Imbeciles, gives Baltimore Soundstage a taste of something a little different.
WEDNESDAY: France’s Alcest brings its blackened post-metal-qua-shoegaze to the Golden West with Deafheaven and Arbouretum. The Sidebar gets swamped by doom-y sludge of all varieties from At the Graves, Highpriest, Wall of Sleep, and Fortress. Oboe player Grace Shryock does a classical program at An die Musik with Paul Carroll on piano. R&B songwriter Van Hunt performs at Baltimore Soundstage.
IN THE WINGS: Poison guitarist turned fusion singer/songwriter Richie Kotzen comes to Baltimore Soundstage April 18. (For more information visit baltimoresoundstage.com.) Indie-folkstress Sharon Van Etten comes to the Ottobar April 19 with Flock of Dimes, aka Wye Oakstress Jenn Wasner. (For more information visit theottobar.com or call  662-0069.) GWAR sprays stuff all over Sonar April 21 with Kylesa. (For more information visit sonarbaltimore.com or call  783-7888.)