Drowning Pool at the Canal Club
It's fitting that a band called Drowning Pool is playing across the street from a canal, but beneath their tough-guy metal exteriors, the members of this platinum rock band is playing for a good cause. As part of the "This Is for the Soldiers" campaign, Drowning Pool along with the Exies, Separation and Fallen Under are playing a benefit concert for the USO and the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. The band, which rose to fame with its 2001 release "Sinner," has toured extensively overseas, playing concerts for deployed soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. A dollar from each ticket sale for the Friday, Aug. 24, show will go to benefit the above groups. In addition, a new single titled "Soldiers" can be downloaded from the band's Web site (www.drowningpool.com). Tickets are $15-$17. Call 643-2582 or visit www.thecanalclub.com. Colby Rogers
Mo'nique at the Landmark Theater
Baltimore native Monique might be a big girl, but the only thing she'll ever bypass is an elliptical trainer. Just read her book, "Skinny Women are Evil," or, hell, read its title, and you should get an idea of where she stands on body image -- she even hosts her own beauty pageant for those large and... authoritative. Such love for the voluptuous has made it into her stand-up comedy, coming to Richmond's Landmark Theater on Saturday, Aug. 25 at 7 p.m. Monique got her start in 1999 with a lead role on UPN's "The Parkers" and has been involved in numerous TV and film projects since. She recently whipped a class of reality-show alumni into shape on VH1's "Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School." So, whether you're a charm school dropout, a buffet enthusiast or just a confused size zero, Monique should provide some food for thought come Saturday. $40. 646-4213. Sarah Mogin
Plies at The Cotton Club 2.0
Algernod Lanier Washington, also known as Plies, has all the trademarks of a modern-day rapper: a platinum grill protruding from his mouth, a recent conviction for a violent crime and a hit single made infectious from constant airplay. Plies, known for his song "Shawty," was charged with having a concealed weapon in 2006 after members of his entourage fired rounds into a Florida audience, wounding five men. The shooting was apparently sparked by a request to cut their performance short. An extended set and bulletproof vests will certainly be preferred Thursday, Aug. 23, at 9 p.m. $20. 644-3999. Craig Belcher
Webb Wilder at Capital Ale House
His name has the makings of a good ol' Virginia political dustup, but the Webb Wilder moniker refers to a man who sings about working as a human cannonball and conversing with supersmart apes, all while backed by a rockabilly band. Webb Wilder is a little bit country, a little bit rock 'n' roll, a little surf music and a whole lot of originality. It's fair to say that Wilder's music sounds half stuck in the '90s somewhere between the "Saved by the Bell" theme and the "I Want My MTV" campaign. The artist can't be pigeonholed, which Wilder from his iconic glasses to his eye-watering suits probably loves. The show is Friday, Aug. 24, at 9:30 p.m. at Capital Ale House. $7-$10. Call 780-2537 or visit www.capitalalehouse.com. C.R.
Larry Keel at Ashland Coffee & Tea
At age 18, Blue Ridge Mountains native Larry Keel traveled halfway around the world to Tokyo Disneyland for a seven-month stint performing bluegrass. He then returned to the States, where he did what any self-respecting gee-tarist would do: He married a fiddler. Keel's wife, Jenny, plays in his band Natural Bridge, alongside Mark Schimick on mandolin and Jason Flournoy on banjo. Keel performs Thursday, Aug. 23, at 8 p.m. $15-$20. Call 798-1702 or visit www.ashlandcoffeeandtea.com. S.M.