WEDNESDAY: Hotel Lights, the North Carolinian indie-rock band sporting Ben Folds Five’s drummer, performs at the Ottobar. Juggalo lesser deity Twiztid performs at Sonar with the Kottonmouth Kings. Rammstein makes 1st Mariner Arena go “Wait, what?” Baltimore bar-rock heavies J Roddy Walston and the Business open up for Lucero at Washington, D.C.’s 9:30 Club. Shinedown fronts the Avalanche Tour at Rams Head Live. Jazz piano notable George Colligan duets with vocalist Debbie Deane at An die Musik. Superchrist brings its “storm of shit” to the Sidebar. Oakland producer/DJ the Polish Ambassador performs at Baltimore Soundstage. DJ Woman and Beth Varden helm a ladies’ night party at the Golden West Cafe.
THURSDAY: La Dispute, one of the banner names of the screamo/post-hardcore true-school revival, plays the Ottobar with Balance and Composure; upstairs at the club, Kowli Nights delivers techno love. Boston death-metal band Revocation punishes the Talking Head with Cannabis Corpse, Ramming Speed, and Universal Remonster. ELXR: Immortality! “feeds your bass addiction” at the Sidebar with DJ Ferosche, DJ Zircon, and more. Simplified brings “raucous guitar riffs, velvety vocals, and hook-laden melodies” to the 8X10. The Fight to Unite Tour: Blood on the Dance Floor takes over Baltimore Soundstage with Brokencyde and enough said. Dorm-rapper extraordinaire Mac Miller starts off the season at Pier Six with the Cool Kids. Felix Cartal guests at Bassdrop at Mosaic. Solo artist and songwriter for folks like Pat Benetar and Jackson Browne Dan Navarro plays Sykesville’s Baldwin’s Station. Don’t miss: John Wiese, powerhouse of noise music in its most “proper” sense, performs at the Red Room at Normal’s Books and Records with Matmos’/Johns Hopkins University’s Drew Daniel.
FRIDAY: Another edition of the Girls Rule! lady-centric dance party takes over the Ottobar’s downstairs region, with Antonio Harper and James Nasty’s Physical Education weekly competing upstairs. Brazilian groove-metal hybrid Sepultura performs at Sonar with Death Angel. Squeeze, the almost four-decade-old proto-new-wave band, plays Rams Head Live with the English Beat. Baltimore death-metal band Visceral Disgorge carves up the Sidebar with Scaphism and Illuminations. Sax player and Herbie Hancock sidearm Eli Degibri joins forces with composer and pianist Kevin Hays at An die Musik. The Cris Jacobs Band, featuring the erstwhile Bridge frontman, returns to the 8X10 with the Quick and Easy Boys. Strange Fur brings its quite-good, just-left-of-center folk-pop to the Windup Space with Eliza Rickman and Joseph Mulhulland. Colorado quad big name the Motet plays Baltimore Soundstage. Straight Up Tribal returns to Joe Squared Station North. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra does Beethoven’s Violin Concerto at the Meyerhoff. Don’t miss: Quintron and Miss Pussycat bring their New Orleans-bred techno-punk-boogie whatchamacallit back to the Golden West with Dope Body. The 5th Dimension hosts a benefit dance party for this year’s High Zero festival (a most worthy cause, by the by) with music from Baltimore out-music finery John Berndt’s Multiphonic Choir, Leprechaun Catering, and DJs Drew Daniel, Dan Deacon, and the Schwarz.
SATURDAY: Baltimore postpunk band Blank does a 20th-anniversary/reunion show at the Ottobar with Murder and Office of Future Plans. Noisecore-qua-proper-screamo band Racebannon lays into the Golden West with Bad Biology and Old Lines. LoCash Cowboys, the Nashville-by-way-of-Baltimore country duo, play Rams Head Live with the Cheaters. Wretch Fest 2012 takes over the Sidebar with a whole day’s worth of regional heaviness from As the Kingdom Falls, Carthage, Waves, Disette, and more. Neurologist turned poet Michael Salcman teams with composer Lorraine Whittlesey at An die Musik. Alt-/jam-world singer/songwriter Bob Schneider performs at the 8X10. Featuring a wide range of Irish music big names, the Baltimore Irish Traditional Music Festival takes over Liam Flynn’s during the day and evening, and the Windup Space during the afternoon, including Pat Egan, James Kelly, Tina Lech, Ted Davis, and more. The Sweetlife Food and Music Festival kicks off a new season at Columbia’s Merriweather Post Pavilion with AVICII, Kid Cudi, the Shins, Explosions in the Sky, Fitz and the Tantrums, A$AP Rocky, and much, much more. Maryland straight-edge hardcore band Mindset celebrates a record release at Charm City Art Space with the Rival Mob, Secret People, and more. Robbie Rivera, Bassjackers, and Peace Treaty perform at the Power Plant Live Plaza. Smash Gordon and Nerd Rage perform music at Towson’s Recher Theatre.
SUNDAY: Oregon noise-rock outfit Wizard Rifle plays the Golden West with Lady Piss and Dan Ivan. Baltimore alt-pop unit Me and This Army play the Metro Gallery with Monteclair and Mittenfields. The alt-rock big names of the All-American Rejects perform at Rams Head Live. Sax man Benny Russell plays with his quartet at An die Musik. Sid Wilson of Slipknot DJs dubstep at Baltimore Soundstage. Don’t miss: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists make for a great reason to drive to D.C., on a Sunday night with Noon:30 and Sun Wolf.
MONDAY: Soulfly, celebrating 15 years as a band, brings its “patented groove-driven war cry” to the Ottobar. The rather self-explanatory Peabody Classic Modern Jazz Ensemble performs at An die Musik. Don’t miss: Toronto punk band Burning Love, of Cursed and Left for Dead lineage, makes for a damn good reason to get out on a Monday at Charm City Art Space with Withdrawal, Eddie Borck, and Old Lines.
TUESDAY: Generally unfuckwithable songwriter Suzanne Vega performs at Annapolis’ Rams Head Tavern. The Out of Your Head collective returns to the Windup Space for yet more new-music exploration. Dig with Landis Expandis and DJ Napspace doesn’t miss a beat at Joe Squared Station North; Scottie B spins at Joe Squared Inner Harbor. Don’t miss: Ex-Baltimore heavy-rock/psych outfit Pontiak plays the Golden West with Guardian Alien and the Pilgrim.
WEDNESDAY: Chicago punk band 40oz.Sidekicks play the Sidebar with Seasonal, Barriers, and Vague Ocuplanes. Wendel Patrick and Erik Spangler’s monthly night of hip-hop exploration the Boom Bap Society returns to the Windup Space.
IN THE WINGS: Screeching Weasel, for whatever that could be worth in the year 2012, comes to Sonar May 17 with the Queers and Night Birds. (For more information visit sonarbaltimore.com or call  783-7888.) Proto-nu-dubstep pioneer Rusko comes to Rams Head Live May 14 with Sigma. (For more information visit ramsheadlive.com or call  244-1131.) Kitsune remixologist duo the Twelves come to Baltimore Soundstage May 16. (For more information visit baltimoresoundstage.com.)