Fri.Dischord's Medications have been part of the D.C. scene for a while now (even longer if you count earlier bands the guys were in). They're at the Black Cat (202-667-7960) performing a show that benefits Ramona's Way, which helps abused and addicted women. Also on the bill are Mary Timony and Anousheh Khalili. . . . A free show on Woodrow Wilson Plaza salutes singer Van McCoy and features Herb Fame (of Peaches & Herb), Jean Carne and Melba Moore.

Sat.The D.C. Blues Festival is at the Carter Barron Amphitheatre (202-962-0112). Performers include Ruby Hayes, DeConstance, Candye Kane, Sharrie Williams and Saffire -- the Uppity Blues Women. See Spotlight on Page 6 for more details. . . . Noted DJ John Digweed is spinning at Glow at Fur (202-842-3401). . . . John Hiatt and Shawn Colvin are impressive songwriters with a knack for the telling detail. Hear them at Rams Head Live (410-727-5151) in Baltimore. They're also at the 9:30 club (202-393-0930) on Sunday.

Sun.Veteran roots reggae singer Freddie McGregor is at Zanzibar on the Waterfront (202-554-9100). Also performing are Atilla and the Sikafutro Band. . . . Catch the energetic and entertaining rockabilly of Jumpin' Jupiter at Iota (703-522-8340). Also performing are Sarah Borges and Los Diablos.

Thurs.Sandra Bernhard brings her sharp-edged humor to the Rams Head Tavern (410-268-5111) in Annapolis. "An Evening With Sandra Bernhard" includes comedy, commentary and music. . . . The justifiably much buzzed about band Rilo Kiley is at Sonar (410-327-8333) in Baltimore. . . . Okay, deep breath here, because I'm about to tell you something that may forever change how you view the recommendations in this column. In the early '80s, I liked ABC. The group's songs, such as "When Smokey Sings" and "Poison Arrow," were fun, highly synthesized bits of British pop R&B. Original member (and lead singer) Martin Fry is touring again and is at the 9:30 club (202-393-0930). Another enjoyable group from that era, the English Beat, is also in the night's lineup.

-- Curt Fields