A few engagements worth leaving home for, at least momentarily, this weekend and beyond:

* Two popular good-time rock bands -- Charlottesville's Johnny Sportcoat & the Casuals, and Junior Cline & the Recliners, from close-in suburban Maryland -- are due at the Roxy this weekend. Friday, the Choirboys open for Johnny; Saturday, A.J. and the Heartshockers do the same for Junior. Such cute names. Such long lines.

* You want signs of creative vigor in the local music scene to boogie up and grab you by the ears? You stop at the Grog & Tankard this Saturday and see Arlington's Rods and Cones (or see them Thursday at Ted Liu's, with Active Measures). You want those same signs to kind of run up and punch you in the chest, you visit the 9:30 Club this Friday -- when the three local bands (for three bucks) are

B-Time, Eubie Hayve, and The Generation -- or the Bayou next Wednesday, for Growing Up Different, Maryland's three-man answer to Howard Jones. (GUD, composed of ex-Face Dancers gone synth-pop, also plays Thursday night at Annapolis' non-alcoholic nightclub, Soundsations.)


Folks trying to raise money to renovate an abandoned storefront at 14th and T NW -- into a coffeehouse with a small stage and piano -- are having a benefit party next Wednesday at D.C. Space. Performers scheduled include jazz guitarist Paul Bollenback, storyteller Marc Spiegel, saxophonist Kenneth Plant, the poetry-dance duo Janus Semark, and Baltimore acoustic trio Lambs Eat Ivy, plus Unannounced Others. It starts at 8:30; the suggested donation is $5. For more details, call the Jarry (462-2774) -- the smallest of four performance spaces already open, incidentally, on that same block of 14th Street.


To benefit this year's St. Patrick's Day parade, consider showing up for Irish singing and dancing this Sunday at Ireland's Four Provinces, in the last of a series of pub-based fundraisers for the annual parade this March 16. It's $3 to get in and see, among others: Liam Maguire & Fergus Kennedy, Danny Doyle, the Shannontide, Paul Martin and the Laureen O'Neill James Irish Dancers. Runs from 3 to 7 p.m.; call 244-0860 if you can't find 3412 Connecticut Ave. NW.