Fri.The Austin-based Charanga Cakewalk blends Spanish pop (charanga and cumbia) with electronica for a hip sound. Catch this project of Michael Ramos, who has played with such folks as John Mellencamp, Patty Griffin and Paul Simon, on the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage (202-467-4600). . . . With a great name and a garage punk soul sound, John Wilkes Booze takes over the Warehouse Next Door (202-783-3933) for the evening. . . . The reliably entertaining Ludacris has been responsible for a stream of club hits ("Area Codes," "Splash Waterfalls") and memorable couplets such as "Hi, Mr. O'Reilly! / Hope everything's well! / Kiss the plaintiff and the wifey!" (in reference to the TV talking head's criticism of him) and "I'm gon' spit the truth / I won't stop until I get 'em in they birthday suit." He's rhyming at Dream (202-636-9030).
Sat.Veteran soul group the Dramatics perform at Fort Dupont (202-426-5961). Also taking part in the "evening of '70s soul" is H.A.L.O. . . . Wayne Wonder often fuses dancehall reggae with hip-hop for a groove-oriented sound. He's at the Crossroads (301-927-1056).
Sun.Legends take the stage at Wolf Trap (800-955-5566) in the forms of Elvis Costello and Emmylou Harris. Both have extensive recording histories, and they'll be dipping into them for their show. (Mark your calendars: Harris is also at the Birchmere on Aug. 25.) . . . Get down with the tasty R&B hip-pop of Destiny's Child at MCI Center (202-397-7328).
Mon.The difficult to categorize Erin McKeown is at Rams Head Tavern (410-268-5111) in Annapolis. She can play bass, piano, guitar, banjo and mandolin. Her style is a sort of funky folk with a liberal dose of cabaret jazz thrown in for good measure.
Tues.Chris Scruggs is at Jammin' Java (703-255-1566). A member of BR-549 and the grandson of bluegrass icon Earl Scruggs, he is a talented, rockabilly honky-tonker. Also on the bill are Virginia & the Blue Dots.
Weds.Interesting singer-songwriters Rufus Wainwright and Ben Folds bring their "Odd Men Out Tour" to Wolf Trap (800-955-5566).
Thurs.Liz Phair created good songs when she was doing the rock-chick thing (her early albums) and even a few during her pop-tart pose (her most recent CD). The best material should really shine in her acoustic show at the Birchmere (703-549-7500) on the first of a two-night engagement. Cary Brothers opens both.
-- Curt Fields