Friday there's a fine bill of local bands whose names begin with S at the Black Cat (202/667-7960), with Sampson, Smartbomb and Slugger.

It's a classic rock weekend at Jaxx (703/569-5940), with Ambrosia on Friday and Johnny Winter on Saturday. Frenetic Canadian satirists Moxy Fruvous hit the 9:30 club Saturday (202/393-0930), along with local openers Marge Calhoun & Ron Holloway. Excellent local latin jazz band, Havana Select, performs Saturday at the One World Coffeehouse in Columbia (410/381-0097). If you're curious about the state of local rock, stop into the Garage (202/331-7123) on Saturday, where Sev, the Michael Sheppard Group and the Excentrics (with a new CD out) all will perform.

Jam band meets bluegrass in the form of Leftover Salmon, which will play both Saturday and Sunday night at the State Theatre (703/237-0300), along with excellent Austin band the Bad Livers. Strong Nashville rock band the Vigilantes of Love perform Sunday at the Metro Cafe (202/518-7900).

Pennsylvania folk-rockers the innocence mission come through the area with a new CD, playing Monday at the Birchmere (703/549-7500) and Tuesday at the Ram's Head (410/268-4545). Tuesday at the Black Cat (202/667-7960), it's the local instrumental band Telegraph Melts (who've got an excellent new CD), with Sonna. Also Tuesday at Lisner Auditorium, it's Cheb Mami, the foremost proponent of "rai," the North African dance music (filtered through Paris clubs) that's becoming a global phenomenon.

On Wednesday at Paddy Mac's (301/608-3360), local guitar whiz Bill Kirchen plays an all-acoustic show featuring mandolinist Akira Otsuka and Dobro man Dave Giegerich. They'll do the same thing Thursday at the Sunset Grille (703/658-0928). Also Thursday, Maryland rocker Mary Prankster celebrates her new CD with a show at the Garage (202/331-7123).