Fri. Washington's second Fete de la Musique gets under way, lasting through Monday. All told, there are more than 150 free concerts on the schedule at various venues throughout the city, some expected (Farragut Square), some unexpected (the Department of Motor Vehicles). Performers include the Latin Jazz All-Stars, the Friday Morning Music Club, DJ Medusa, PanOrient Express, Yvette Rivers, Unity of Soul, Soldiers of Jah Army and QuinTango, along with many others. For details and a complete schedule, visit http://dcarts.dc.gov. . . . It's a party when the Grandsons play their musical melange of swing, country, rockabilly and old-fashioned R&B. The group is at Jammin' Java (703-255-1566) along with the similarly versatile
4 Way Street. . . . Fans of experimental electronica should check out the latest edition of the Electric Possible music series. On tap are Angus Brainpan, Caution Curves, Facemat, Solofi and Violet Panic with instrumentation including vintage electronics and hacksaws. The sonic adventures take place at the Millennium Arts Center (202-479-2572).
Sat. Considered by many to be the ultimate bar band, NRBQ is rocking at the Funk Box (410-625-2000) in Baltimore. . . . Mclusky is a bunch of witty Welshmen who clearly listened to a ton of PIL in their formative years. With a catalogue that includes such songs as "Whiteliberalonwhiteliberalaction" and "Your Children Are Waiting for You to Die," the group is highly entertaining. Hear Mclusky at the Black Cat (202-667-7960) with Oceansize (see CD review on Page 10). . . . Reggae band Culture has been making music for more than 25 years, and its recent output has been as strong as anything it has done in the past. Feel the groove at the State Theatre (703-237-0300). . . . Aimee Mann is an underrated songwriter and a fine singer. It's a crime that more people know her more for her 1980s work with 'Til Tuesday than for her strong solo outings of the past 10 years. See her at the 9:30 club (202-393-0930). . . . Bounty Killer brings his Jamaican dancehall sound to the Crossroads (301-927-1056) in Bladensburg. . . . Sasha, voted in at No. 4 in DJ magazine's reader poll of the top 100 DJs in the world, is spinning at Sonar (410-327-8333) in Baltimore.
Tues. You have to like Tom Jones because he gets it. He's been performing since the 1960s and has fun with it. Nowadays he's as likely to sing "Burning Down the House," "Are You Gonna Go My Way" or "Sex Bomb" as "It's Not Unusual" or "Delilah." So expect a fun show at Wolf Trap (703-218-6500).
Thurs. Superb soul singer Anthony Hamilton is at the Warner Theatre (202-397-7328). His songs mix old-school sounds (and, sometimes, topics) with of-the-moment instrumentation for a refreshing sound that's never boring.
-- Curt Fields