Yerba Buena is an energetic collective that builds a Latin foundation and then adds various layers ranging from hip-hop to house. Songs such as "Bilingual Girl" are fun coming out of the speakers; you know they'll have even more oomph live. Catch Yerba Buena, along with Cordero, at the Black Cat (202-667-7960). . . . Joshua Redman continues a stint at Blues Alley (202-337-4141) that lasts through Sunday. He's a solid jazzman. As a jazzhead friend of mine puts it, if tenor sax players were waging an NFL season, Redman would be cruising toward the playoffs with a good chance of securing a high seeding.
Considering that they're electronic artists, Swayzak has a surprising number of songs that feel organic and emotional. Of course, the group still knows its way around a beat, too. Check it out at Club Five (202-331-7123). . . . Ralph Stanley was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor back in 1992, but he certainly hasn't rested on his laurels. The bluegrass icon continues to tour with the Clinch Mountain Boys, wowing fans all over the country. You can hear Stanley and the band at the Birchmere (703-549-7500). . . . Wade Matthews, a reed-wind-laptop musician who has lived in Madrid for several years, is in the states and teaming up with Jane Rigler (flute, piccolo, laptop), Jack Wright (saxophones), Reuben Radding (bass) and Andrew Drury (floor tom, percussion) for a night of innovative jazz at Sangha (301-891-3214) in Takoma Park.
Dancehall performer Sean Paul brings his pop-reggae-rap to the 9:30 club (202-393-0930) along with the intriguing Ms. Triniti, who has a lot of potential if she can find the right niche. . . . Sip some syrup and put on your white tee to get ready for the down South sounds of rap crews Three Six Mafia and Dem Franchize Boys at Crossroads (301-927-1056).
Passionate baseball fans will wax on about the music of the game, so it makes sense to mention this here -- St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Buzz Bissinger will be talking with author and baseball fan John Grisham at Lisner Auditorium (202-252-0012). La Russa, who has been manager of the year five times and also has a law degree from Florida State University, teamed with Bissinger on the book "Three Nights in August," a look into the managerial process during a three-game series between the Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs. Grisham will steer the conversation along, and the trio will show video clips as they discuss baseball from a variety of angles.
The Claymates in the area already know this (and probably are already in line), but here's a heads up for the less fervent fans of Clay Aiken. The one-time second-place finisher on "American Idol" with the voice made for adult contemporary playlists is at DAR Constitution Hall (202-397-7328) with a Christmas show.
I've always liked DJ? Acucrack. One reason is the duo's ear for just the right sample. You can hear DJ? Acucrack at Nation (202-554-1500) on a bill with Cyanotic and Acumen. . . . Rocker-turned-singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette is at Rams Head Live (410-727-5151).
-- Curt Fields