WEDNESDAY: Dutch multi-instrumentalist Jacco Gardner performs at the Golden West with Little Rib. The Baltimore Boom Bap Society is at the Windup Space. Ontario punks Single Mothers play the Charm City Art Space with Orchards and Tigerscout.
THURSDAY: Canadian indie-poppers Stars play Rams Head Live with Milo Greene. Sac Au Lait brings Dixieland to Joe Squared Station North. Don't miss: Flannel Church, the new band from Col. Bruce Hampton sideman Duane Trucks, plays the 8x10 with Dropping Sully.
FRIDAY: TV actress-turned-country radio star Jana Kramer performs at Towson University. Friends of the Short List Mobtown Studios and the Windup Space kick off their fourth annual NOVO Instrumental Music Festival, with Echo Hey Hello, Talking Points, and more. Who's Bad tells you once again about Michael Jackson's greatest hits at Rams Head Live. The Baltimore Composers Forum holds a 20th Anniversary Alumni Concert at An die Musik. Grammy-winning a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock performs at Morgan State's Murphy Fine Arts Center. Creative Alliance at the Patterson hosts pianist Deanna Bogart and the Ursula Ricks Project. The Charm City Folk and Bluegrass Festival is coming in April, but in the meantime there's a festival pre-party at the 8x10 with Letitia VanSant, Pretty Gritty, and more. Rick Froberg of Hot Snakes and Drive Like Jehu, whose old bandmate John Reis was just in town a couple weeks ago, comes to the Golden West with his own new band, Obits.
SATURDAY: The Honest Mistakes and the Firecrackers play big riffs and sing big choruses at Joe Squared Station North. The Notorious B.I.G. was murdered on this day in 1997, and rappers like Huli Shallone and Torch will pay tribute with a Profitt Productions event at the Glass Grill. Marshall Keith, formerly of D.C. punk legends the Slickee Boys, plays the Metro Gallery with Chelsea Graveyard and the Screams at Midnight. Aaron Wold of Minimus the Poet plays solo at the Village Square Café with Deirdre McAllister and Dave Engwall. The Windup Space's NOVO festival continues with Steady Pleasures and USSA Pleasuredome. Jazz duo the Caswell Sisters, with Sara on violin and Rachel on vocals, performs at An die Musik. The 8x10 holds a pre-party for the Camp Barefoot Festival, going down in West Virginia this summer, with performances from Segway and Second Self. Don't miss: The Creative Alliance at the Patterson hosts the Baltimore Mandolin Orchestra, which is joined by soprano vocalist Beatrice Gilbert.
SUNDAY: Machine Gun Kelly, the poor man's Yelawolf, performs at Baltimore Soundstage. Short List pals Mobtown Studios wind down this year's NOVO festival at the Windup Space with a night curated by Creative Differences, featuring Lafayette Gilchrist and the New Volcanoes and the Michael Formanek Ensemble. Bang Tango brings the forgotten funk-glam metal of 1989 to the House of Rock in White Marsh. The Walters Art Museum features soprano Nola Richardson and trumpeter Andrew Balio in its Early Music at the Walters series. Don't miss: The wonderful North Carolina band Birds and Arrows preview their upcoming album at the Metro Gallery with June Star.
MONDAY: 98 Rock's Noise in the Basement local showcase at the Ottobar features Rebel Inc, Guns out at Sundown, and Born of Kings.
TUESDAY: World-conquering superstar Rihanna touches down at 1st Mariner Arena with opening act A$AP Rocky. The Out of Your Head collective improvises at the Windup Space. Trapt, the worst mainstream-rock radio band out of all the terrible mainstream-rock radio bands, headlines Rams Head Live.
WEDNESDAY: Jen Mack plays acoustic at Joe Squared Station North. Mario's Birthday Bash at the Ottobar features music from This or the Apocalypse, the Air I Breathe, and Honour Crest. Don't miss: Bone Thugs-N-Harmony is gonna miss everybody that doesn't come to see them at Baltimore Soundstage.
IN THE WINGS: The Creative Alliance at the Patterson will hold an open house on April 12 with free performances from Baltimore indie bands Arbouretum and Secret Mountains. (For more information, visit creativealliance.org or call  276-1651.) Paganfest America will bring an international lineup of metal bands to Baltimore Soundstage on April 15, including Ensiferum, Tyr, Heidevolk, and Helsott. (For more information, visit baltimoresoundstage.com or call  244-0057.) Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z just announced their Legends of the Summer joint tour, which will include a Baltimore date on Aug. 8, the first concert at M&T Bank Stadium since U2 in 2011. (For more information, visit ticketmaster.com or call  856-7835.)