WEDNESDAY: Carrie Underwood curses those revamped Billboard country chart rules that kept her new single from going to No. 1 at the 1st Mariner Arena. Percussionist Michelle Purdy gives a recital at An die Musik. Matt Graboski plays acoustic at Joe Squared Station North. Dick Hensold plays traditional Scottish music on bagpipes at Guitars of Pikesville.
THURSDAY: The Fabulous Thunderbirds, or at least the current incarnation, in which frontman Kim Wilson is the only original member, play the Maryland Live Casino in Hanover. Ohio bands the Sidekicks and Saintseneca swing into the Charm City Art Space. Upstairs at the Ottobar, Call of the Wild and Spitting Images play a pre-party for Unregistered Nurse Fest, while Anamanaguchi headlines downstairs. Adrienne and the Merrylanders get jazzy at Joe Squared Station North. The Carolina Chocolate Drops play the Weinberg Center for the Arts in Frederick.
FRIDAY: Great White, or at least the current incarnation, in which frontman Jack Russell is the only original member, plays the House of Rock in White Marsh. The Baltimore Composers Forum presents Sound Connections II, with performances from pianist Ruth Rose and others at An die Musik. Unregistered Nurse Fest kicks off with Sick Weapons, Leather, Slow Jerks, and more at the Metro Gallery. Don't miss: Inca, the new project from Soul Cannon keyboardist Jon Birkholz, opens for Class Actress at the Ottobar.
SATURDAY: Brandy arrives at Rams Head Live with her recent comeback hit, "Put It Down." Meanwhile, another staple of '90s R&B radio, Mint Condition, is across the street at Baltimore Soundstage. Rocky Loves Emily and Late Nite Reading play a matinee at the Ottobar. The Recher Theatre hosts Rock Harvest 2012, the annual Fallen Blue police benefit, with a hard-rock all-star lineup including Don Dokken, Neil Turbin, Fallen Martyr, and more. Alabama garage rockers the Dirty Clergy plays at Joe Squared Station North. The Creative Alliance at the Patterson presents the Sweet Sweetback Sisters and Manly Deeds. Awesome Welsh trio the Joy Formidable plays an intimate show at St. Stephen's Church in Washington, D.C. Don't miss: The second and final night of Unregistered Nurse Fest features Grass Widow, Purling Hiss, and a very special reunion set from Moss Icon.
SUNDAY: Baltimore psych rockers the Flying Eyes open for one of the sound's forefathers, Roky Erickson, at the Ottobar. Gorilla Music presents a battle of the bands, featuring formidable opponents like Axe the Stache and the Fuzzwoks, at Baltimore Soundstage. An die Musik's Roots Café Singer-Songwriter Series (hosted by City Paper contributor Geoffrey Himes) features Sam Nitzberg and Matt Douglass.
MONDAY: The Hank Levy Legacy Big Band digs into the late Baltimore jazz composer's unusual time signatures and harmonies at An die Musik.
TUESDAY: Baltimore's own Rye Rye opens for Kreayshawn, another internet-beloved female rapper who released her debut album this year, at the Recher Theatre. WTMD brings singer-songwriters Justin Townes Earle and Tift Merritt to Rams Head Live. Curren$y and Fiend, two New Orleans rappers who moved on from No Limit Records to much more interesting current careers, play at Baltimore Soundstage. Dope Body opens for Deerhoof at the Ottobar. Nonsensically rebellious major-label rap-rockers Death Grips rage against the machine at the Rock and Roll Hotel in Washington. Don't miss: Pianist Freddie Redd plays music from his score for the 1959 Jack Gelber play, The Connection, at An die Musik.
WEDNESDAY: The Metro Gallery presents Embody Lab: a Catalyst of the Vocal Arts, with Baltimore beatbox talents like Shodekeh and Chuck Da Mad Ox. Baltimore indie band Mr. Moccasin plays a release party for its new album at the Windup Space with Other Colors and Leaf House (featuring City Paper contributor Michael Shank). Rome, the pathetic Bradley Nowell wannabe who sometimes pretends to be a member of the band Sublime, plays solo at the Recher Theatre. Torche brings sludge-metal from Miami to the Ottobar. Don't miss: The first annual WRNR holiday season Smorgasgourd concert brings Chappo, Civil Twilight, Delta Rae, and Maryland's own Pasadena to Rams Head Live.
IN THE WINGS: Innovator of filth Blowfly comes to the Metro Gallery on Dec. 2. (For more information, visit themetrogallery.net or call  244-0899.) Baltimore's inimitable '80s hard-rock heroes Kix will have their annual Kix-mas holiday celebration at Rams Head Live on Dec. 29. (For more information, visit ramsheadlive.com or call  244-1131.) Maryland Deathfest X has been announced for 2013, with four days of heaviness from May 23 to May 26 at both Baltimore Soundstage and the "former Sonar compound," where the festival has been held the last seven years, featuring bands like Exodus, Converge, and Pig Destroyer. (For more information, visit marylanddeathfest.com or call  244-0057.)