WALTER BEASLEY -- Today at 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. The Berklee College of Music professor mixes his sensuous R&B sound with strong jazz influences. Rams Head Tavern, 33 West St., Annapolis. $29.50. 410-268-4545.
THE ZOMBIES -- Today at 8 p.m. The Arrow (94.7 FM) and Little Steven's Underground Garage take over the Black Cat's main stage for a show featuring rock both classic and new. British invasion band the Zombies, with original members Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent, headline, while the Mooney Suzuki, a band that sounds old school, rounds out a group that includes the Fleshtones, the Woggles and the Five Maseratis. Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. $20. 202-667-7960.
LADYTRON -- Monday, doors at 7:30 p.m. The foursome crafts electro-dance tunes that marry sleek '80s beats with a modern sheen and a flair for dramatics. Opener CSS is a Brazilian dance-rock sextet that rose to prominence with savvy Internet self-promotion. 9:30 club, 815 V St. NW. $20. 202-265-0930.
ARCHITECTURE IN HELSINKI -- Monday at 8:30 p.m. The Melbourne, Australia-based octet isn't afraid to cram its compositions with multiple musical ideas and a dizzying number of instruments. What would be overkill for most bands seems to work for them. With the Blow. Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. $13. 202-667-7960.
YO LA TENGO -- Tuesday, doors at 7:30 p.m. The Hoboken, N.J., favorite has been a critic and fan darling for two decades. Its new album, the playfully named "I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass," marks a return to the band's noisy roots. With experimental hip-hopper Why? of the Anticon collective. 9:30 club, 815 V St. NW. $20. 202-265-0930.
SUBTLE -- Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. When several members of the avant-garde California hip-hop label Anticon formed Subtle, an act mixing rap, pop, experimental electronics and atmospheric beats, expectations were high. The first album didn't disappoint, but when a tour bus accident partially paralyzed keyboardist Dax Pierson, the future of the group was uncertain. Subtle didn't fold it up, though, and later this year it will release the anticipated album "For Hero for Fool" on Astralwerks. Fans of experimental hip-hop should not miss this chance to give the new tracks an early listen. With Son of Nun and Food for Animals. Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. $13. 202-667-7960.
HAL KETCHUM -- Wednesday at 8 p.m. The country neo-traditionalist has worked with industry greats such as Lyle Lovett, Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel but is most successful with his own well-crafted tunes. Rams Head Tavern, 33 West St., Annapolis. $35. 410-268-4545.
RELAPSE CONTAMINATION TOUR -- Wednesday at 8 p.m. Philadelphia label Relapse is sending Jucifer, Unearthly Trance, Hex Machine and a couple of bands whose names aren't family-newspaper friendly to represent the imprint's hard, harsh experimental metal sound. Known for cultivating artists who push metal's creative envelope, this label showcase is a show for the thinking headbanger. Warehouse Next Door, 1017 Seventh St. NW. $10. 202-783-3933.
SUNSET RUBDOWN -- Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. Spencer Krug, of Frog Eyes and Wolf Parade, tackles space-glam indie rock with this side project (or is it a side side project?) that is far better than its terrible name suggests. The band tours in support of its new album, "Shut Up I Am Dreaming." Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. $12. 202-667-7960.
MATES OF STATE -- Wednesday at 9 p.m. The State Theatre favorites (they obviously feel a kinship) are a husband-wife duo known for their sweet, melodic pop. State Theatre, 220 N. Washington St., Falls Church. $13. 703-237-0300.
THE CAT EMPIRE -- Thursday at 8:30 p.m. A six-piece band from Melbourne, Australia (that's right, two Melbourne groups are in town this week), known for its fusion of jazz, ska, funk, rock and Latin influences. State Theatre, 220 N. Washington St., Falls Church. $17-$20. 703-237-0300.
THE MOUNTAIN GOATS -- Thursday at 8:30 p.m. John Darnielle's indie-folk band has maintained its lo-fi identity even after moving away from cassette-tape-only releases in the mid-'90s. Darnielle has a knack for intricate but essential lyricism, and his songs are regarded as much for their storytelling elements as their excellent musicianship. Bonus tip: He also writes some pretty entertaining music criticism, which you can check out at http:/