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The Short List

Photo: Brantley Gutierrez, License: N/A

Brantley Gutierrez

Dinosaur Jr. plays a sold-out Ottobar on Dec. 12.


WEDNESDAY: Canadian progressive-metal band Protest the Hero headlines the Ottobar with the Kindred and Rome Apart. Don’t miss: The Windup Space hosts a diverse night of music, with pianist Cesar Orozco fusing Venezuelan and Cuban music, and the Baltimore trio Snail Knights, which features members of Soul Cannon and the Cris Jacobs Band, taking on Brazilian choro music.

THURSDAY: The second night of WHFS’ HFSMas Nutcracker at Rams Head Live features Jimmy Eat World and Diamond Youth. Indiana-based a cappella group Straight No Chaser sings Chistmas carols at the Meyerhoff. The Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra performs the entire Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn adaptation of the Nutcracker Suite at An die Musik. Mannheim Steamroller plays holiday favorites at the Lyric Opera House. Local quartet Dreamcatcher celebrates the release of its debut EP, Wonderlust, at the Sidebar with Sarmust, Basement Flower, and Tiny Timbers. The 8x10’s month of Grateful Dead tributes continues with InDEADnation. Don’t miss: One of indie rock’s mightiest power trios, Dinosaur Jr.—its original lineup back together and three albums deep into a very fruitful new chapter—plays the Ottobar, with Call of the Wild opening.

FRIDAY: More radio station-sponsored holiday concerts abound: 98 Rock’s Not So Silent Night takes over Rams Head Live with All That Remains, Asking Alexandria, and Devour the Day. Meanwhile, Mix 106.5’s Mistletoe Meltdown brings pop stars including the Backstreet Boys, Avril Lavigne, and Sara Bareilles to the SECU Arena at Towson University. An die Musik hosts a holiday celebration with guitarist Gene Bertoncini featuring English Christmas music. Georgia sludge-metal duo Jucifer headlines Metro Gallery. Local soul man Bosley performs at the 8x10, with Miss Tess and Harmonic Blue opening. Christian metalcore band August Burns Red plays Baltimore Soundstage with blessthefall and Defeater. It’s Friday the Funkteenth at the Ottobar, with an ampersand-heavy bill including Brooks Long & the Mad Dog No Good, Lotus Song & the Black Light Asylum, and Sheriff Ariff & the Wali Sanga. But it’s also Face Melting Friday at the Sidebar, with performances from Sin 4 Sin, Odin’s Court, and more. Don’t miss: The Windup Space has a great lineup of Baltimore bands including Curse, Wing Dam, and Wildhoney.

SATURDAY: The 5 Seasons holds its biggest rap-battle event of the year, Death-mas 2, with host Shaka Pitts matching up 13 pairs of MCs for a war of words. Irina Nuzova gives a piano recital in the afternoon at An die Musik, and in the evening the venue will feature a collaboration between local bands Red Sammy and Palookaville. Baltimore Soundstage presents a Very Mobtown Christmas, with performances by Fatally Yours, Others May Fall, Loving the Lie, and more. California-based singer-songwriter Cass McCombs plays the Ottobar with Baltimore psych-rock heroes Arbouretum. Local screamo band MNWA holds a release party for their new 7-inch single at the Charm City Art Space with the Saddest Landscape and Tigerscout. Texas DJ/producer Crizzly headlines Baltimore Soundstage. Skeezy dad-rock icon John Mayer plays the Baltimore Arena with American Idol dad-rock champ Phillip Phillips. The Legwarmers play your favorite ’80s hits at Rams Head Live. Vermont duo Blanche Blanche Blanche performs at the Crown. Baltimore indie bands Raindeer and Early American play the Windup Space. Don’t miss: Two long-running Baltimore indie bands, the Honest Mistakes and the Seldon Plan, share the stage at Joe Squared.

SUNDAY: The Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestra performs at the George Washington Carver Center. Nineties R&B hitmakers Mint Condition performs at Baltimore Soundstage. Lupe Fiasco dodges tomatoes and previews his next sure-to-be-depressing album, Tetsuo and Youth, at Rams Head Live with Stalley and the Boy Illinois.

MONDAY: The third night of the HFSMas Nutcracker at Rams Head Live is a sold-out show starring up-and-comers Twenty One Pilots and the 1975.

TUESDAY: The Out of Your Head collective starts from scratch at the Windup Space. Rufus Roundtree and Da B’More Brass Factory toot their own horns at Club 347.

WEDNESDAY: Local folk-punk band Little Cricket performs at the Sidebar with Pocket Vinyl and Supercity. Beyoncé, of Beyoncé fame, brings her world tour to the Verizon Center in Washington. Don’t miss: Instead of saving it for later, see the English Beat tonight at Baltimore Soundstage; you know you want to.

IN THE WINGS: Platinum goth-punks AFI will headline Baltimore Soundstage on Jan. 28, 2014. (For more information, visit baltimoresoundstage.com or call [410] 244-0057.) Country star and ACM Awards Male Vocalist of the Year Jason Aldean will play the Baltimore Arena on Feb. 1. (For more information, visit baltimorearena.com or call [410] 347-2020.) Israeli violin superstar Itzhak Perlman will perform Beethoven and Mozart at the Meyerhoff on April 12 and 13. (For more information, visit bsomusic.org or call [410] 783-8000.)

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