Fri.Superb jazzman Terence Blanchard plays the first of three nights at Blues Alley (202-337-4141). . . . Hip-hop's literate and quirky Prince Paul is at the Black Cat (202-667-7960) along with W. Ellington Felton and the Platinum Pied Pipers.
Sat.Armin van Buuren consistently ranks among the top 10 DJs worldwide, and he's spinning at Fur (202-842-3401). . . . Two members of the Wu-Tang Clan are bringing it at Jaxx (703-569-5940) when Inspectah Deck and Cappadonna grab the microphone. . . . The Takoma Park JazzFest (301-589-4433) has a nice mix of performers. On the bill are the Soukous Stars, the Chuck Redd Quartet, pianist Tom Roberts, Roberta Washington's Jazz Zen Ensemble, the Ron Holloway Group with Nicki Gonzalez and Postmodern Blues, winner of the Jazz Band Brawl. Go to Jequie Park (at Fenton Street and Takoma Avenue) to check it out.
Sun.Rapper M.I.A. has garnered a lot of buzz with her mix of global sounds (she grew up in Sri Lanka before moving to London). She's at the 9:30 club (202-393-0930) with LCD Soundsystem. For more on LCD Soundsystem, see Spotlight on Page 8. . . . Think of Holcombe Waller as a troubadour for "Troubled Times" (that happens to be the name of his new CD). You can hear his spare, melodic tunes at the Velvet Lounge (202-462-3213). . . . It's a strong show at the Crossroads (301-927-1056) with excellent reggae vocalist Beres Hammond, legendary calypso performer Mighty Sparrow and soca singer Edwin Yearwood. . . . The Capital Pride Street Festival (202-797-3510) has a mainstage lineup that's impressive. Namoli Brennet, Frenchie Davis (the fine singer disqualified from "American Idol" a couple of seasons back), Rip Taylor, rocker and DJ Bob Mould, Chi Chi LaRue, Amber and Deborah Cox, whose soaring vocals wowed an Orlando crowd last week. The festival takes place on Pennsylvania Avenue NW between Third and Seventh streets.
Mon.Reunited rockers the Pixies are at Merriweather Post Pavilion (202-397-7328) along with up-and-comers Bloc Party and the BellRays. . . . The Wallflowers (you know, Jakob Dylan's band) play straight-forward, catchy pop rock that's worth a listen at Rams Head Live (410-727-5151).
Tues.Speaking of Jakob Dylan, his pop, the incomparable Bob Dylan, performs with reggae man Willie Nelson (seriously, the country icon has a reggae album due out soon -- it makes sense if you think about some of his well-known, um, pastimes) at Prince George's Stadium in Bowie (202-397-7328). . . . Latin jazz pianist Eddie Palmieri begins a multi-night run at Blues Alley (202-337-4141). He is there through June 19.
Thurs.The Tarbox Ramblers put on a fun live show, playing old-time music with an occasional modern twist. Catch them at Iota (703-522-8340). . . . Alexandria's Travis Morrison is at the Warehouse Next Door (202-783-3933). Morrison used to be the frontman for underground emo faves Dismemberment Plan. . . I tend to ignore tribute bands, but I must point out that Lez Zeppelin, an "all girl tribute to Led Zeppelin," is at the State Theatre (703-237-0300).
-- Curt Fields