I'm going to try to revive the Weekend Pick segment as a slightly more comprehensive guide of this weekend's recommended local and national concerts. Top billing today goes to:

Columbus Discount Records 3-Way 7-Inch Release: El Jesus de Magico, Necropolis, Night of Pleasure with Cleveland's The Pages. This rock extravaganza is happening at Carabar, 115 Parsons Ave., and it's going to be the equivalent of a massive, whiskey-filled detonation over Columbus. I can't speak for our visitors (beyond the fact that Series, a band with which they share members, puts on a masterfully fun show). But each local appearing is at the top of its game right now, and each one will have a new record for sale. These acts all fall somewhere on a scale between pure punk and art rock, and each is growing more and more comfortable in its niche. If you like your rock dark, dirty and a little demented, this is your night. Showtime is 10 p.m. For more info, check out my preview from this week's paper.

Saturday, indie hip-hop legend El-P will make two stops in the Short North, first for a 4 p.m. in-store at Magnolia Thunderpussy, 1155 N. High St. (FREE!), then for a 9 p.m. gig at Little Brother's, 1100 N. High St. (less than two months til this local treasure disappears). Wes Flexner wrote up his interview with the producer/MC/label head in this week's paper, and he's been calling El-P "probably the most important figure in indie rap history." So there you have it.

Much more after the jump...

I'm going to try to revive the Weekend Pick segment as a slightly more comprehensive guide of this weekend's recommended local and national concerts. Top billing today goes to:

Columbus Discount Records 3-Way 7-Inch Release: El Jesus de Magico, Necropolis, Night of Pleasure with Cleveland's The Pages. This rock extravaganza is happening at Carabar, 115 Parsons Ave., and it's going to be the equivalent of a massive, whiskey-filled detonation over Columbus. I can't speak for our visitors (beyond the fact that Series, a band with which they share members, puts on a masterfully fun show). But each local appearing is at the top of its game right now, and each one will have a new record for sale. These acts all fall somewhere on a scale between pure punk and art rock, and each is growing more and more comfortable in its niche. If you like your rock dark, dirty and a little demented, this is your night. Showtime is 10 p.m. For more info, check out my preview from this week's paper.

Saturday, indie hip-hop legend El-P will make two stops in the Short North, first for a 4 p.m. in-store at Magnolia Thunderpussy, 1155 N. High St. (FREE!), then for a 9 p.m. gig at Little Brother's, 1100 N. High St. (less than two months til this local treasure disappears). Wes Flexner wrote up his interview with the producer/MC/label head in this week's paper, and he's been calling El-P "probably the most important figure in indie rap history." So there you have it.

Much more after the jump...

Another sexy all-Ohio bill can be found Saturday at Ravari Room, 2661 N. High St., when local movers and shakers The Black Canary head a bill also featuring The Cabdrivers and Akron's current standard-bearers, Houseguest. These are three very different bands—Houseguest is uptight but full-throated pop-punk—"the Feelies on speed" as folks have been known to say. Their High Strangeness LP made my top 10 last year, and they're one of the tightest live bands around. Considering they don't have another Ohio date listed for months, their presence alone makes this a hot ticket. Then there's the Cabdrivers, who have been finding their feet live as of late. The band's catchy rock tunes recall the '60s, but they're not exactly retro. Brett Helling has a rich, compelling voice and a unique songwriting muse. Plus Erik Kang is back from touring with Margot and the Nuclear So and So's, so the lineup should be extra formidable.

Perhaps most interesting about this show is the fact that The Black Canary will be coming off an appearance today at the Virgin College Mega Tour's stop in Athens. They were invited to play the Emerging Artists stage by CMJ New Music Monthly, the college-centric music magazine that will also be including one of the band's songs on its free monthly mix CD. The mag seems quite taken with the Canary—singer David James claims his band will be the only unsigned act on that edition of the comp. He also says some labels are sniffing around, so the "unsigned" tag might not last for long. To preview the show, we ran a selection of some of James' favorite records this week; check it out.

More shows of note: •The irrepressable Gil Mantera's Party Dream is finally playing a Columbus show outside of Skully's, so anybody who's been avoiding that club (it has its lovers and haters) can get a chance to catch Youngstown's weirdest in a fittingly strange setting: Don Pablo's. For Cinco de Mayo, the Lennox location, 1803 Olentangy River Rd., the restaurant is hosting quite the variety show. Besides the outrageous electro-rock sleaze show that is the Party Dream, the show features local radio faves Earwig, post-hardcore torchbearers Ease the Medic and Bruce in the USA, a look-alike Springsteen tribute band from Vegas. Things get going around 6 p.m. For more info, check out promowestlive.com.

•The Guinea Worms will play Saturday at the Hey Hey in German Village (361 E. Whittier St., to be exact). I don't hear about many shows down there, so they either don't usually host music, or they just don't host music like this. The Guinea Worms are always a good time. Also on tap: The mysterious Mr. Tiger.

•Tonight at CCAD's Acock Gallery, Heavy Mole makes its long-awaited return. The breezy piano pop group (who seemed to be moving more towards guitar when last sighted) is appearing at artist Renee Zamora's Jell-O themed senior thesis show. The music is rumored to start at 9.

•Another Cinco de Mayo show competing for your attention is at Skully's, 1151 N. High St., where Ocean Ghosts, who aren't really my cup of tea, bring their disco-sampling, freaky mask-wearing, kitschy garage-sale hip-hop to the stage. Joining them will be rowdy rockers Shotgun Kelly, psych-y garage rockers The Exceptionals and DJ Dave Espionage.

•I haven't heard much of anything about the CD release show tonight at Andyman's Treehouse, 887 Chambers Rd., but Mark Turns, the jokey spoken-word artist in question, is hilarious. His dictations, laid down over casio beats, recall Wesley Willis, only insane in a much subtler way. Joining him are Hope Vitellas, Steve Shanks and Josh Fitzwater.

•Rounding out the weekend is a Sunday show at the Treehouse featuring some friends of mine, space-pop combo The Kessel Run and pure indie rockers The Polyatomic, along with visitors Husband and Wife.

Enjoy.