For concerts, does it get any thinner than the final few weeks of the year? Judge for yourself with the list below, but don't be surprised if you're hitting the RedBox rather than the ticket office this week. Still, there are niche-specific acts coming to town this week, so there might be a diamond in the rough for you.
On Monday, 98 Rock's Noise in the Basement features Pikesville rockers Down to Everything. The show starts at 8 p.m. at Baltimore Soundstage. Tickets are $5.
On Tuesday (and Monday, too), it's an Annapolis Christmas at Rams Head on Stage. The Annapolis Musicians Fund for Musicians, Inc. is a non-profit that provides "temporary financial relief to professional Annapolis musicians who cannot work to due to sickness, injury or any other circumstance." Each show, which is comprised of local musicians' sets, starts at 7 p.m. and tickets cost $30.
On Wednesday, Philly screamo outfit Us, From Outside (really guys, you had to have that comma?) brings its double-bass workout and guttural expulsions to Sonar's Talking Head Lounge. Remember Chiodos? U,FO sounds a lot like them. 6:45 doors; $12 tickets in advance, $14 day of show. Also, Bret Michaels will play two sets (one at 7 p.m., the other at 10 p.m.) at Rams Head on Stage that night, too. Each show is $85.
On Thursday, Lyle Lovett and His Acoustic Group come to Rams Head Live. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $45. If Lovett's singer-songwriter deal isn't your thing, then perhaps Tank, the R&B singer Drake name-checks in his Grammy-nominated single "Best I Ever Had," is more your speed. The seductive crooner plays Baltimore Soundstage. Doors open at 6 p.m. General admission tickets are $26.
On Friday, A Very Mobtown Christmas, featuring Forgive the Fallen, Loving the Lie, Clear for Takeoff and Shelby Blondell, takes over the Sonar club stage. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance; $12 day of the show. Also, the much-hyped bluesman Gary Clark Jr., who will be featured in this week's Live!, performs at the 8x10, but the show is sold out.
On Saturday, Dub Nation Vol. 32, featuring DJ Hype, Skism, Original Sin and more, brings the ready-for-the-breakdown sets to Baltimore Soundstage. This year could be remembered as the year dubstep went mainstream, so if you fell under the subgenre's grimy trance, this could be your show (as long as you're 18 and older). Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15. If you're in D.C., the indie-darlings Woods perform at the Rock & Roll Hotel.
On Sunday, Jim Messina, who performed in Buffalo Spingfield and Poco, plays Rams Head on Stage. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $45.