Fri. The legendary Mavis Staples is at the Birchmere (703-549-7500). And yeah, "legendary" gets tossed around a bit freely these days, but go hear the soulful singer and see why she's earned the description. . . . Speaking of soul, singers Angie Stone and Anthony Hamilton are two of the top contemporary soul vocalists, and they're at DAR Constitution Hall (202-397-7328). . . . Sweet Honey in the Rock continues its long run of superb singing with a show at the Warner Theatre (202-397-7328). . . . You just know folk singer Arlo Guthrie has something to say a few days after the election. Hear him at Rams Head Tavern (410-268-5111) in Annapolis as he starts a two-night engagement. . . . The Miami Heat take on the Washington Wizards on Saturday, but Shaq is at Dream (202-636-9030) Friday.

Sat. The Second Annual Dave Daly Scholarship Fund Benefit Concert takes place in an early show at Iota (703-522-8340), featuring Eric Brace of Last Train Home, James O'Brien, Amy Speace and Julia Othmer. It should be an afternoon of finely written songs and entertaining performances.

Sun. Marty Stuart can put on a live show equal to just about anyone's. He ranges from contemporary country to bluegrass with stops at styles in between. He is at the State Theatre (703-237-0300).

Tues. Judith Owen is a talented singer who happens to be married to Harry Shearer. They're both at Iota (703-522-8340) in support of Owen's "Christmas in July" CD, which includes, along with other holiday songs, a reinterpretation of Spinal Tap's "Christmas With the Devil." Need I say more? Okay, I will. Owen also is performing non-holiday songs of hers from an upcoming project. . . . Juliette & the Licks (featuring actress Juliette Lewis) is rocking at the Black Cat (202-667-7960). All reports indicate Lewis gets into the role of rock singer with the sort of over-the-top gusto you might expect based on some of her movie parts. . . . Russell Simmons's Def Poetry Jam has earned raves on HBO, Broadway and on a national tour. Let the show's talented poets speak to you at the Lincoln Theatre (202-397-7328). The show runs through Thursday. . . . Rapper Eyedea & DJ Abilities are part of a lineup that also includes Illogic and Los Navitos at Ottobar (410-662-0069) in Baltimore. Eyedea is a winner of several battle competitions and can spit rhymes with style.

Wed. Smooth R&B singer Raphael Saadiq is at the Birchmere (703-549-7500) and is well worth checking out. . . . El Guapo (on DC's Dischord label) creates electronics-infused art rock that rocks. The group is at the Black Cat (202-667-7960). . . . DJ Sander Kleinenberg is doing some interesting things in the house music scene, taking it back to the future as it were, by at times drawing on old-school approaches to the music. He's spinning at Club Five (202-331-7123).

Thurs. Kasey Chambers is an Australian who plays country-rock-pop songs that are well crafted and penetrating. Hear her at the 9:30 club (202-393-0930). . . . I know from experience that the Demolition Doll Rods put on quite a show, full of attitude and high-speed rock. The group is at the Black Cat (202-667-7960), along with Hot Snakes and Dan Sartain. . . . Dierks Bentley and his clever country hit "What Was I Thinkin' " are at the State Theatre (703-237-0300) along with Cross Canadian Ragweed.

-- Curt Fields