Fri. Big Boi, the "Speakerboxx" half of the amazing hip-hop duo Outkast, is at Dream (202-636-9030). . . . Stop by the Funk Box (410-625-2000) in Baltimore this weekend and wish it a happy first anniversary. And while there, catch some of the great music they have lined up to celebrate. The Funky Meters are blending funk and a New Orleans flavor Friday. The Godfather of Go-Go, Chuck Brown, is there on Saturday with the Rebirth Brass Band. And Fertile Ground lays down a jazzy groove Sunday. Who needs cake with a musical menu like that?
Sat. The fifth annual Country Roads Folk Festival takes place in Kearneysville, W.Va. The event, lasting from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., features John McCutcheon, Christine Lavin, the Mammals, Al Petteway & Amy White, Lisa Moscatiello & Rosie Shipley, Nerissa & Katryna Nields, Catfish Hodge, Iona and several others. Along with performers, the festival features a barn dance, children's activities, pony and hay rides, workshops, arts and crafts, and other activities. Call 304-267-7963 or visit www.mofolk.com for ticket information. . . . Chely Wright broke through on the country charts in the late '90s with the hits "Shut Up and Drive" and "Single White Female." She was practically an overnight success, if you don't count the several years of touring she had done prior to that. But all that road work means she definitely knows how to put on a live show. See her at the Rams Head Tavern (410-268-5111) in Annapolis.
Sun. If you take the funky beats of house music and mix them with the improvisational bent of a jam band you're likely to end up with Particle. The group is at Nation (202-554-1500) on the United Beats of Peace tour along with one of my faves, Dan "The Automator" Nakamura. Nakamura trained as a classical violinist but became a DJ-producer with a unique vision: witness his work with Handsome Boy Modeling School, Deltron 3030 and Gorillaz. Also taking part in the evening is BT, who is one of the top DJs around when it comes to creating lush sounds that still make a dance floor come alive.
Tues. Scissor Sisters draw from such 1970s styles as disco and glam rock to create a sound that's generating a lot of buzz in 2004. Check them out at the 9:30 club (202-393-0930).
Weds. Since the early 1980s there have been various permutations of Tackhead. Guitarist Skip McDonald, bassist Doug Wimbish and drummer Keith LeBlanc came together as the Sugar Hill label's house band. Later they teamed up with talented Brits Adrian Sherwood and Gary Clail. The group's shape still shifts, but the sound remains the same -- sharp-edged rock with big beefy beats. Catch these undervalued masters in their current incarnation at the Black Cat (202-667-7960).
Thurs. Another performer who has been doing it well for a long time is Solomon Burke, a soul icon who has delivered sensational songs since the '60s. He hasn't lost a step either. Hear him at the Birchmere (703-549-7500). . . . He's a little bit country, and he's a little bit rock 'n' roll, but he's no Osmond (Donny or Marie). And that's what makes Kid Rock so much fun. He's kicking it at Merriweather Post Pavilion (410-547-7328). . . . Jucifer can pin you against the wall with the force of their noise-rock sound, an impressive feat for a duo. Let them blow you away at Ottobar (410-662-0069) in Baltimore.
-- Curt Fields