Fri. De La Soul puts on an energetic live show, and the group's skills are undeniable. The rappers are at the 9:30 club (202-393-0930) along with Federico Aubele and Thunderball (doing a DJ set). You can also see Aubele on the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage (202-467-4600) on Sunday. . . . Justifiably respected indie-rock vet Mike Watt is at the Black Cat (202-667-7960). From co-founding the Minutemen to fIREHOSE to his solo work, Watt has rocked steady. . . . The party don't stop when Astro & Glyde are at the controls. Slip, slide, socialize at Club Five (202-331-7123). . . . Donald Glaude brings more enthusiasm than most to his DJ sets. He interacts with crowds and works hard to pump 'em up. Join the fun at Cubik (at Nation, 202-554-1500).

Sat. The string of top-notch DJs continues as Christopher Lawrence spins at Glow (at Fur, 202-842-3401). He consistently lands near the top of various DJ polls thanks to his solid trance sets. . . . A couple of legends grace the stage when Smokey Robinson and Gladys Knight perform at DAR Constitution Hall (202-397-7328). They're also performing there Sunday night.

Sun. Take the kids if you've got 'em and see Farmer Jason in an afternoon show at Iota (703-522-8340), or for a more grown-up outing, see him that evening when he sheds that persona and transforms back into rocking alt-country pioneer Jason Ringenberg.

Mon. It's a special evening at the Birchmere (703-549-7500) with what may be the show of the week. Guitar master Richard Thompson brings his "1,000 Years of Popular Music" tour to town, which means you might hear him turn his unique style to treatments of songs by Abba, the Who or Britney Spears. (The very thought of him delivering "Oops! . . . I Did It Again" makes me chuckle.) Or perhaps he may play a selection from "The Mikado," because he's got 1,000 years of material to choose from. Thompson is also there Tuesday night.

Tues. It's a rocker's delight Tuesday night. If you like a leavening of S&M shtick in your industrial beats, then catch the Genitorturers at Jaxx (703-569-5940). . . . If you prefer a straight-ahead, Southern California hardcore sound with a dose of political awareness, then Bad Religion is the band to see. The group is at the 9:30 club (202-393-0930).

Thurs. Van Hunt is a superfine soul singer, and he's opening for Boney James, a sax man who plays R&B-flavored jazz, at DAR Constitution Hall (202-397-7328).

-- Curt Fields