this week's highlights
Tyrese -- Rams Head Live / He has posed for Tommy Hilfiger, hosted shows on MTV, crooned R&B; hits such as "One" and starred in movies. In 2006, Tyrese unleashed one more side of himself -- his inner rapper -- in his fourth studio release, the double album Alter Ego. Baltimore fans can check him out at Rams Head Live, 20 Market Place, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets are $25-$29.50. Call 410-244-1131 or go to ramsheadlive.com.
Sondre Lerche -- Birchmere / Just as the title of his latest album, Phantom Punch, may indicate, Sondre Lerche has taken on a sound with more grit and vigor than his previous works. Lerche performs at the Birchmere today. Willy Mason and Thomas Dybdahl open the show at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $19.50. The Birchmere is at 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria, Va. Call 703-549-7500 or go to birchmere.com.
Gary Jules -- The 8x10 / He may be best known for his haunting cover of Tears for Fears' "Mad World," recorded for the Donnie Darko soundtrack. But Gary Jules has done more than that. His 1999 critically acclaimed debut album, Greetings From the Side, channeled the sounds of Simon & Garfunkel and Nick Drake, while his vocals set the stage for David Gray and Damien Rice. Since then, he released Trading Snakeoil for Wolftickets in 2001 and his self-titled album last year. On Wednesday, see what Jules has to offer live at the 8x10, 10 E. Cross St. Tickets are $12. Doors open at 8 p.m. Call 410-625-2000 or 410-547-SEAT. [CHRISTINA LEE]
Frankie Beverly and Maze, with guests Ashford and Simpson -- Cavalier Telephone Pavilion at Pier Six on June 22. 410-547-SEAT or ticketmaster.com.
Meshell Ndegeocello -- The 9:30 Club in Washington on May 3. 800-955-5566 or tickets.com.
Bloc Party -- DAR Constitution Hall in Washington on June 3. 410-547-SEAT or ticketmaster.com.
Five for Fighting -- The 9:30 Club in Washington on May 4. 800-955-5566 or tickets.com.
Cake -- Cavalier Telephone Pavilion at Pier Six on May 11. 410-547-SEAT or ticketmaster .com.
Rush -- Nissan Pavilion in Bristow, Va., on June 23. 410-547-SEAT or ticketmaster.com.
All-American Rejects -- UMBC Fieldhouse on April 20. 410-547-SEAT or ticketmaster.com.Still available
Taylor Hicks -- The Birchmere in Alexandria, Va., April 15-16. 703-549-7500 or birch mere.com.
[NATHAN M. PITTS]