Fri. You can get the blues for free at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage (202-467-4600) with help from Bruce Ewan and Miguel Botafogo. The harmonica-blowing Ewan has fronted the blues band the Solid Senders for 13 years now and has several tours of Europe and Latin America under his belt. (All that and he still finds time to work in The Washington Post's advertising department.) Botafogo is a fine Argentine guitarist who has teamed with Ewan on numerous occasions. . . . Top-flight hip-hop band -- emphasis on the word "band" -- the Roots are at Nissan Pavilion (703-573-7328). A show of theirs a couple of years back at the 9:30 club remains high on my list of all-time fave concerts. They're (inexplicably) opening for 311. Later in the evening, the Roots' ?uestlove DJs at the Black Cat (202-667-7960), spinning an eclectic mix of tunes. (For more, see the Spotlight, page 8.) . . . It's a homecoming for part of Kindred the Family Soul when the group plays the 9:30 club (202-393-0930). Aja Graydon is from Washington, but the contemporary soul group is based in Philadelphia. Also performing is local group Oktbrwrld.

Sat. If you love the way he moves, catch Big Boi of Outkast in action at Merriweather Post Pavilion (410-547-7328). R&B singer Van Hunt, who knows a thing or two about smooth moves himself, is also performing. . . . Maybe it's Atlanta-appreciation night? Like Big Boi and Van Hunt, Delta Moon is based there. The blues group is playing at Madam's Organ (202-667-5370). . . . DJ George Acosta is at Dream (202-636-9030) as part of "Glow Summer Sessions" and promoting the release of his latest CD, "The History of Trance." Oh, and he's from Miami, not Atlanta. . . . It's the sixth annual "Thank the Generation That Brought You Swing" dance, which benefits a housing program for low-income seniors in Northeast Washington. The Tom Cunningham Orchestra is playing, and the Smooth and EZ Hand Dance Company also performs. It all takes place at Catholic University's Caldwell Hall (202-645-9384). . . . Arthur Loves Plastic celebrates the release of "Second Avenue Detour," an ambient techno CD of remixes derived from folkie Lisa Moscatiello's "Second Avenue" album, at Cafe Japone (202-223-1573). . . . The Stingers ATX blend roots-reggae rhythms, horn lines and multi-part vocal harmonies and put on an energetic show. The Austin-based group is at DC9 (202-483-5000). You can also catch them at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage (202-467-4600) on Sunday.

Weds. Dillon Fence brings its jangly pop-rock to the Clarendon Grill (703-524-7455). The group had a regional/cult following in the early '90s, split up after failing to break through to the mainstream and then got back together about three years ago. . . . The Vans Warped Tour rolls into town with a ton of hard-rockin' bands at the Nissan Pavilion (703-573-7328). Bad Religion, Coheed & Cambria, NOFX, New Found Glory, Washington Social Club and Yellow Card are just a few of the performers in the lineup.

-- Curt Fields