DOCTOR NIGHTLIFE sends best wishes to Charlie Byrd, who's recuperating from surgery; but thanks to Carlos Barbosa-Lima, the Washington Guitar Quintet plays on (Friday at National Presbyterian Church in Tenleytown: $15; 202/291-0286). Elsewhere: FRIDAY

UNSPIKED SPIRITS -- Even without Spike, the Lee family has a point. A mini-version of the Natural Spiritual Orchestra, the jazz ensemble formed by father Bill Lee and featuring vocalist Susan Lee and drummer Arnold Lee, performs a variety of Bill Lee's jazz compositions, punctuated by anecdotes from his life as a jazz pioneer, at the Natural History Museum's Baird Auditorium ($12, students $7; 202/357-3030).


BODY LANGUAGE -- Keith Terry is a one-man band, all right, and he doesn't even need a roadie. He's got his own rhythm method. Terry packs all his instruments on his body: cheeks, chin, hands, chest, thighs, rear, soles, knuckles -- that's an octet right there. Body percussionist/dancer/singer Terry gets it all together at the Barns of Wolf Trap ($12; 703/938-2404 or 202/432-0200).

SMOOTH SAYLE-ING -- It's a local twofer at 15 Mins., starting at 8 when the D.C. Blues Society presents the R&B-electric blues-dance funk of downtown groovers Jimi Smooth & the Fabulous Omen Band; the late show features blues harmonica whiz Charlie Sayles, and $6 covers both.


GOTTA LIKE A BALALAIKA -- It's sort of like the formal Russian version of a minstrel show crossed with classical 'grass. The Andreyev Balalaika Orchestra, founded more than a century ago in St. Petersburg, is touring the United States for the first time since 1911. Composed of nearly 70 instruments, the orchestra inclues all sizes and tones of balalaika, bass to soprano, plus the lute-shaped type called the domra; plucked dulcimers, woodwinds, percussion and piano; international medal-winning bass Gleb Nikolsky supplies the vocals. The program includes Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Bizet, the junior Strauss and Russian folk music (3 p.m. at Kennedy Center Concert Hall: $5.50 to $34.50, 202/467-4600 or 202/393-3600).

FREAK FOLK ROCK -- If patriotism is the last resort of a coward, then shock value is the last resort of the shallow. David E. Williams spins rather enticing Lynch 'em dream-state music, on top of which he dumps little ditties about cripples of the emotional and physical sort. The EP is called "Pseudo Erotica," which is about half-right. Some people might call it gallows humor, but it's more like cannibalizing -- a wok on the wild sides (at the probably unwitting Grog & Tankard; 202/333-3114).


MACKEY'S BACK IN TOWN -- Well, she hasn't actually been gone, just quiet. Funny, feminist, wry and occasionally graceful songwriter Jeanne Mackey, ex- of Lifeline, and Steve Jones of Sassparilla play "Back to Back" at d.c. space for an evening of jazz, folk, blues and original material performed on viola, guitar, mandolin and piano (with bass help from Kris Kroth and Oren Sreebny) ($6 plus $5 minimum; 202/347-1445).


WADE IN AND OUT OF THE VAT -- It's a big fortnight for "Banjo Dancing" storyteller Stephen Wade, who celebrates his 19th anniversary at Arena Stage Tuesday ($13 to $15; 202/488-3300), makes an appearance to celebrate the release of his album "On the Way Home" with his band Wednesday at the Barns of Wolf Trap ($14; 703/938-2404 or 202/432-0200); and plays his final "Home" show Jan. 27 at Arena's Old Vat Room before embarking on a national tour. See it now.


POLITICS AS USUAL -- It's a joke, right? At least when Mark Russell gets hold of it. Former commentator-in-residence Russell revs up the old Ford (the Theatre, that is) for five shows, Wednesday through Saturday at 8 and a 3 o'clock matinee Saturday ($25 to $28; 202/432-0200 or 800/448-9009).

SWEETLY STRINGING -- Israeli-born Canadian viola soloist Rivka Golani, accompanied by pianist Bernadene Blaha, performs an early evening (6:30) program at the Canadian Embassy Theatre at 501 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. The concert is free, but reservations are required for the limited seating; 202/682-7797.

A DOUBLE GIBSON, STRAIGHT UP -- The beguiling Bob Gibson, bafflingly undervalued mainstay of modern folk music, makes two area appearances on the acoustic showcase front: Wednesday at the Weathervane in Frederick ($8; 301/694-6038) and Thursday at the Folkal Point in Ellicott City ($7; 301/982-0686) with Steve Key.