DOCTOR NIGHTLIFE is feeling the need for a new grass revival after all that concrete drizzle, so she's headed down to the Birchmere Friday to rejoice again in the fiery fiddle and wiry high-country vocals of Alison Krauss & Union Station ($12.50; 432-0200). Elsewhere: FRIDAY
SHOTGUN WEDDING --
Thanks to the designer-fringies, "cowpunk" is getting a sort of mealy-mouthed reputation. It's anything but -- in fact, Washington's cowpunkers are churning out some of the most potent, irresistible, archival, raucous, Rorschach-test (a riff for every taste) rockabilly imaginable. The Grandsons of the Pioneers are a prime example -- a heavy-hillbilly quartet that tosses in trumpet, accordian and "Monster Mash" sax with a sure hand. The writing is clever, high-octane highway stuff ("I know what I want, I know what I need/These kids 'n' I don't know our own speed/We're on the road to no good"); and they've chosen the ideal producer: Slickee/Wanktone Mark Noone. Grandsons horn section Alan MacEwen and Chris Watling also blow in the Basin Street back row of Little Red & the Renegades, and the two bands pile down the aisle together at d.c. space ($8; 347-1445).
BLUIE SOCIETY --
Traditional strings master/storyteller "Louie Bluie," a k a Howard Armstrong, makes a rare concert appearance, backed by Rich and Maureen DelGrosso, at the First Congregational Church at 924 G St. NW. Armstrong, the only surviving member of the great Martin, Bogan & Armstrong string band and staff artist for the August Heritage Bluesweek in Elkins, W. Va., plays fiddle, mandolin and guitar; the DelGrossos, a rollicking folk/swing duo on their own, specialize in mandolin, bottleneck and boogie piano. Opening is Olney up-and-comer Warner Williams. Tickets ($10 in advance, $12 at the door) at House of Musical Traditions, Appalachian Bluegrass and New Wax Unlimited; call 369-6781.
GENERATION GAP --
Protest/folkie/beatnik revivalists march to Wolf Trap for Peter, Paul & Mary ($20 pavilion, $13 lawn; 432-0200); line-dance/DJ groupies stroll up to Merriweather Post for the Four Tops and Temptations ($20 pavilion, $15 lawn; 800/543-3041). SUNDAY
PLATTERS ON PARADE --
Speaking of revival tours, this is one of the goldest oldest: Dion, Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, the Righteous Brothers, original Temps Eddie Kendrick & Dennis Edwards, Tony Williams & the Platters and Ben E. King, all in one show at Bull Run Regional Park ($19.50 in advance, $22.50 at the gate; 800/488-9009). And just think: Remakes of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin" and "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone" are on the charts even as we speak. Old Top 10 hits never die, they just replay away.
WILD IRISH THROES --
Sinead O'Connor's confessional truthfulness seems either to make people a little less comfortable, or to fire them with a sort of menhir-like passion. It's a powerful combination -- weary, bone-bruising introspection splintered by fervent, sensual exaltation, like a cenobite who tears herself open in a mystical vision. And yet this is no precious lyricisim; in fact, sometimes the beat is so strong, like a heart monitor, that it seems the rhythm will take her (at Merriweather Post ($22.50 pavilion, $16.50 lawn; 800/543-3041).
HELL-ACIOUS FUNDRAISER --
Kenny Carnes of Annapolis, known in competition circles as "Hell on Wheels," lost the use of his legs in a motocross accident as a teenager. He spent 10 years as a multiple addict, but fell in love and joined AA and NA; a year later, on Thanksgiving night, Carnes's van was rear-ended, his fiancee was killed and his legs were smashed again. Three years ago, he entered his first wheelchair race, and has since become a world-class athlete. This is the stuff of drama -- indeed, CBS-TV is working on "Hell on Wheels" for next season -- and in the meantime, an Annapolis Music Scene showcase at Mike's Crab House on Riva Road is raising funds to send Carnes to the '92 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. Two Skirts kick off at 3, followed by Renegade, Fair Warning (who are scoring the TV flick), the David Rose Band and Radio City ($5; 301/263-0635).
GO GO GOYA --
The Goya-sponsored free Festival de Musica tour swings through Washington, with a little hot August salsa on the Ellipse. Headliners El Gran Combo, merengue-modish Chantelle and Tony Rivas are joined locally by Esmeralda; the music starts at 2. MONDAY
YOU CAN TUNA GUITAR . . . --
You know how Weasel is always pointing out that David Byrne and Ric Ocasek are really from Baltimore? Well, Jack Casady is really from Washington. So there. For acoustic improv fans, this is the Greater Tuna -- Hot Tuna, the anti-Starship sidetrip of blues/jazz envelope-pushers Casady and Jorma Kaukonen, at the Birchmere ($17.50; 432-0200).
HAIL, HAIL, ROCK 'N' ROLL --
Back in St. Louis in the '50s, Chuck Berry was just the guitarist in Johnnie Johnson's trio, but it wasn't long before Johnson agreed to be the pianist in the somewhat refocussed Chuck Berry Trio. Still sharp and sly, ivories hunter Johnson joins up with Daryl Davis, another former Berry picker, for a night of "dueling pianos" at Manny's ($8 in advance, $10 at the door; 881-7868). They're startin' back doin' the things they used to do.
ON TRACK --
One musician's shortcomings are another's virtues. Commercial or not, Phil Collins writes some of the best running music around: All those swelling synthesizers and drum exhortations and horn hooks can set your beta waves in motion and get your endorphins flowing. It's a great way to cover ground (and give your brain a rest). Collins and company at Capital Centre, Tuesday and Wednesday ($28; 432-0200). TUESDAY
BROWNE-EYED SOUL --
Emmylou Harris and Jann Browne have more in common than their taste in new-traditional country music. Harris's wildflower voice is foster mother to Browne's trace-of-quaver simplicity, and Harris supplies a few harmonies on Browne's debut album "Tell Me Why," produced by Hot Band steel guitarist Steve Fishell. In fact, there are Hot Band, Desert Rose, Range and New Grass stringers all over the record. Of course, Browne is pretty much on her own at Zed (768-5558), but like Alison Krauss, her old-fashioned sateen styling should bring the purists out.
ROSE OF SHARIN' --
Meanwhile, in a tantalizing piece of scheduling, Desert Rose, the cosmic country supergroup (Chris Hillman, Herb Pederson, John Jorgenson and Jay Dee Maness) picks up the pieces for two nights at the Birchmere ($18.50; 432-0200). Their only problem is that they're too proficient -- sometimes they can't decide whether it's the country, the western or the cosmic pickin' that comes first. WEDNESDAY
BLUES BOY'S BLUES BROTHERS --
Look out, boys, Lucille is back in town. Electric blues great B. B. King heads up a feast of jelly rolls and jams, also featuring Johnny Winter and local tastycakes the Nighthawks at Merriweather Post ($20 pavilion, $15 lawn; 800/543-3041).