Howard Johnson, Yasiin Bey, Anoxia, and more

WEDNESDAY: Justin Trawick's Nine Songwriter Series at the Metro Gallery features Craig Cummings, Cris Jacobs, Joseph Scala, and, obviously, many more. Instrumental explorers Microkingdom has special guests at the Windup Space. Iron Reagan and local feminist-punk ass-kickers War on Women is at the Golden West. Cool Hand and the Swagger get funky at Joe Squared Station North. New York noise punks Tom Blacklung and the Smokestacks play Club K with Sister Model and Wool.

THURSDAY: Jazz tuba legend Howard Johnson performs at An die Musik. Cinderella frontman Tom Keifer performs at the House of Rock in White Marsh. The trash talkin', drink guzzlin' Slow Jerks play the Golden West with Short List pals Thee Lexington Arrows and the Plurals. Experimental jazz trio Whoarfrost plays the Windup Space with Canary Oh Canary. Don't miss: Eclectic Baltimore rap phenoms Rye Rye and DDm bring fast beats and faster rhymes to the Ottobar.

FRIDAY: Yasiin Bey, the rapper better known as conscious hip-hop veteran Mos Def, headlines Rams Head Live, with opening act Watch the Duck playing its bizarro dubstep rap hit "Poppin' Off." The Night Marchers, led by John Reis (Rocket From the Crypt, Hot Snakes), headline the Ottobar with Dan Sartain and Mrs. Magician. Upstate New York folkies Caravela and This Old Ghost play Joe Squared Station North. Flock Baltimore presents Nu Fusion, with Skydivers and Fat Man Cat Bite at the Sidebar. Talking Heads tribute band Psycho Killers play naive melodies at the 8x10 with Trace Friends Mucho. The Queers head into their fourth decade of good old-fashioned punk rock at the Metro Gallery with Teenage Bottlerocket. Philly R&B duo Kindred the Family Soul keeps it all in the family at Baltimore Soundstage. Don't miss: Forever Shining, Baltimore's seventh annual tribute to J Dilla, will feature appearances from the late hip-hop producer's mother, as well as his friend DJ House Shoes, and performances by local MCs like Greenspan and Al Great at the Windup Space.

SATURDAY: Anoxia holds a release party for its new video at Rams Head Live, with opening acts Carbonstone and Chemical Red. Lyrical Harlem rapper and sometime Cam'ron sidekick J.R. Writer headlines the 5 Seasons. Avant-jazz supergroup Ches Smith and These Arches hits the Windup Space. The Metro Gallery hosts Moveable Feets, a dance party fundraiser for Moveable Feast, with music by DJ Landis Expandis and DJ John Eaton. The Omensetters play bluegrass at Joe Squared Station North. Bass Nation at Baltimore Soundstage presents Koan Sound, Gemini, and Bare Noize. Necropsy gets morbid at the Golden West with At the Graves and Dead Gods. Don't miss: The Red Room hosts a night of noise including Brooklyn's Bob Bellerue and Baltimore's Alex Strama.

SUNDAY: Baltimore Soundstage hosts Gorilla Music's battle of the bands, featuring Your Last Descent, Jenny Hates Techno, and many more. D.C. jazz trio Blackman Murray Russo plays An die Musik with special guests Jeff Antoniuk and Rogerio Boccato.

MONDAY: 98 Rock's Noise in the Basement brings Pain, Soulful Aggression, and Street Parade to the showcase's new home at the Ottobar. Don't miss: The veteran madcap, genre-bending California band Fishbone headlines Rams Head Live with Kill Lincoln.

TUESDAY: An die Musik continues the eighth season of the Evolution Contemporary Music Series with Missy Mazzoli. Lazlo Lee and the Motherless Children rock the Sidebar with Hard Dads and Dirty Fences.

WEDNESDAY: Local psych-rockers Flying Eyes play the Metro Gallery with VietNam and Shark Week. Channing and Quinn play folk at Joe Squared Station North.

IN THE WINGS: The Recher Theatre is officially getting out of the concert business, to be remodeled as a nightclub called the Torrent Nightclub, and it looks like the last show at the Towson venue will be Tall in the Saddle, which plays a benefit for the Nikki Perlow Foundation on March 30. (For more information, visit or call [410] 337-7178.) Best Coast will headline the Ottobar on April 2, sans any famous cats or boyfriends. (For more information, visit or call [410] 662-0069.) Creative Differences will bring Dutch jazz ensemble ICP Orchestra to the Windup Space on April 12, but please spare us the juggalo jokes. (For more information, visit or call [410] 244-8855.) Hometown R&B heroes Dru Hill probably helped make some babies in the '90s, and some of them may now be old enough to see the group at Rams Head Live on April 26. (For more information, visit or call [410] 244-1131.)

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