WEDNESDAY: The incomparable Slick Rick performs his classics at Baltimore Soundstage, with one of Baltimore hip-hop’s best live performers Kane Mayfield opening. Washington prog metal instrumental band Animals As Leaders plays Rams Head Live with the Devin Townshend Project. Metal supergroupCorrections House plays the Metro Gallery with StatiqBloom and Curse. The Baltimore Boom Bap Society celebrates underground hip-hop at the Windup Space.
THURSDAY: The 8x10 kicks off its “DEADcember” celebration of Grateful Dead with a performance by The B’more Grateful Players. Platinum blues rock duo The Black Keys headlines Royal Farms Arena, with the acclaimed St. Vincent opening. Sac Au Lait plays Dixieland jazz at Joe Squared. Singer/pianist Todd Harrison Twining rings in the holidays with “When Christmas Comes To Town” at The Cabaret at Germano’s. Pop-culture punchline and smooth-jazz unit-shifter Kenny G plays holiday music at the Lyric Opera House. Seattle/Tacoma band Motopony headlines the Metro Gallery with openers Super City and Hollywood Blanks.
FRIDAY: Acclaimed New York power-pop band Nude Beach plays the Metro Gallery with Monster Museum, Thin Lips, and Balkan Falcon. The “Come Together” benefit at the 8x10 features an all-star lineup of local artists like the Kelly Bell Band and Brickfoot covering The Beatles, with proceeds going to the Maryland Food Bank. Kentucky post-grunge hitmakers Tantric perform at Fishhead Cantina. Traditional Irish band Lùnasa plays a Christmas show at the Patterson Theater. Frederick metal band Dweller in the Valley plays the Sidebar with Death Shroud, Archael, Ravn, and Athame. Kermit Ruffins & The Barbecue Swingersbring the sound of New Orleans to Baltimore Soundstage. It’s tribute-band night at Rams Head Live with Krush (playing the songs of Rush), Ozzman Cometh (Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath), and Non-Fiction (The Black Crowes). Don’t miss: The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performs Duke Ellington’s arrangement of The Nutcracker at the Meyerhoff.
SATURDAY: Jahiti of Brown F.I.S.H. hosts a monthly acoustic jam session, Fish Bowl, at the Play Hookah Room. Carey Ziegler’s Expensive Hobby, led by erstwhile Crack The Sky bassist Carey Ziegler, plays the 8x10. Soulful local rock quartet Slow Lights plays Joe Squared. Atlanta singer-songwriter Eliot Bronson and Annapolis indie-folk act Lily & The Pearl perform at Eutaw Place. Baltimore/Washington punk-scene podcast Unmutual Radio throws Unmutual Fest 2014 at the Sidebar with bands including Submachine, Copstabber, Walk The Plank, and Canker Blossom. New Jersey college-rock trailblazers The Feelies headline the Ottobar. Rams Head Live hosts Saved By The 90s: A Party with the BaySide Tigers. Frederick, Maryland stoner metal band Weed Is Weed plays the Metro Gallery with Sixty Watt Shaman, Volume IV, Borracho, and Foghound. Don't miss: Drew Scott of the groups Blacksage and Something compleX celebrates his solo release "The Drewcifer Tape" at the Windup Space with local MCs Eze Jackson, Butch Dawson, and Al Rogers Jr. opening.
SUNDAY: The Red Room hosts Double Rubble, an evening organized by Jack Wright with performances by two duos. City Paper contributor Geoffrey Himes hosts the Roots Café Christmas Show at An die Musik Live, featuring Alan McEwan. New York rap star French Montana yells “HANH!” at Baltimore Soundstage. Rams Head Live hosts School of Rock Baltimore’s Winter 2014 showcase. Local indie bands Joy Classic and Small Apartments play the Ottobar.
MONDAY: The Red Room’s Volunteer’s Collective workshop opens its doors to anyone interested in playing experimental improvised music. Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue toot their own horns at Rams Head Live. California hardcore band Soul Search plays the Charm City Art Space with Forced Order andSkinfather. Don't miss: New York punk band Pampers play a free show at Holy Frijoles.
TUESDAY: Charm City Folk and Bluegrass presents The Stray Birds and Letitia Van Sant at the 8x10.
WEDNESDAY: Baltimore’s The Flying Eyes headline a psych-rock-heavy bill at the Metro Gallery with Old Testament and The Shine Brothers. Brooklyn electropop duo Hank & Cupcakes performs at the Sidebar. Instrumental trio Elephant Wrecking Ball plays the 8x10. Don’t miss: Rams Head Live hosts 98 Rock’s hard-rockin’ Christmas concert, Not So Silent Night, with Chevelle, Crobot, and Lesser Key.
IN THE WINGS: New York third-wave ska kings The Toasters are returning to the Ottobar on Jan. 14, 2015. (For more information visit theottobar.com or call  662-0069.) Extreme will play Baltimore Soundstage on Jan. 25 for the 25th anniversary tour celebrating its 1990 album "Extreme II: Pornograffitti." (For more information visit baltimoresoundstage.com or call  244-0057.) OK Go will continue to try to drum up interest for its music outside of its novel music videos at Rams Head Live on April 12. (For more information visit ramsheadlive.com or call  244-1131.)