Fri. Drum 'n' bass DJ Dieselboy headlines the Planet of the Drums Tour at Cubik (inside Nation, 202-554-1500). Also appearing are Dara, AK1200 and James Messinian. For more info, see Spotlight on Page 6.

Sat. The Washington Folk Festival is back for its 24th run with two days of events at Glen Echo Park. It features A Little Bit of Blues, the New Southern Cow Tippers, Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer, B.G. & the Mojo Hands and Jennifer Cutting's Ocean Orchestra to name just a few. (Call 202-546-2228 for info, or visit www.fsgw.org/wff/satsched.htm.) . . . Get uplifted at the Washington DC Gospel Fest at Lincoln Theatre (202-397-7328), where you can hear gospel in such forms as traditional, soul, jazz and roots. Among those performing are Regina Belle, Daryl Coley, Alyson Williams and several choirs from throughout the area. . . . Blending gospel and blues, soul and country, the Holmes Brothers create passionate, moving music with energetic playing and beautiful harmonies. Hear them at IOTA (703-522-8340). . . . The Gaskets are a synth-pop duo out of Richmond with an appreciation for the absurd and goofy, and the group is playing the Laughing Lizard Lounge (703-836-7885) in Alexandria. . . . When you see the face paint and capes, you know the Torch Marauder is different. When you hear him, you realize you didn't know just how different. Take a chance on his musical stylings at Galaxy Hut (703-525-8646).

Sun. Local funk-soul group Congregation is part of the entertainment at the Celebrate Mount Pleasant Festival (202-588-5272). The group is tight and knows how to lock into a groove. Check them out while enjoying the four stages of music and other activities.

Mon. Mark McKay is an impressive songwriter who sings smart, subtle roots rock. He's at Galaxy Hut (703-525-8646). . . . Just up the street, former glam-punk turned grown-up rocker Jesse Malin is at IOTA (703-522-8340) touring in support of his second solo album. Malin worked with Ryan Adams (who produced his solo debut), Pete Yorn, Tommy Stinson and Jody Porter (from Fountains of Wayne) on his new material. He's good. Good enough that Bruce Springsteen is a fan. Go discover why. . . . Blues Alley (202-337-4141) is known for jazz, but a different sound fills the club when the "Nashville Connections" show gets going. It brings together Nashville vets and D.C. performers for an evening of songs crossing genres. It features Buzz Cason, who co-wrote or co-produced such hits as "Everlasting Love," "Little Green Apples," "Soldier of Love" and "Love's the Only House"; Walter Egan, best known for the 1978 smash "Magnet and Steel"; Eric Brace of Americana band Last Train Home; Danielle Westphal, local jazz vocalist; and others. If you can't wait, Cason appears Sunday afternoon at Olsson's Old Town Alexandria (703-684-0077), where he plays and reads from his book, "Living the Rock 'n' Roll Dream: The Adventures of Buzz Cason."

Thurs. If you're in need of some excellent rap, it's the J.Beez with the remedy -- the Jungle Brothers are at Sonar (410-327-8333) in Baltimore.

-- Curt Fields