Ted Leo and the Pharmacists at the University of RichmondFrenetic Ted Leo, somewhere between playing Austin's South by Southwest and opening for Wilco in Providence, heads up an indie invasion at UR's Student Commons, March 25 at 7 p.m. In addition to the Pharmacists' jittery rock, the U.K.'s Duke Spirit and Spain's Les Aus play as well, an international consortium of music brought to you by the good people at WDCE-FM 90.1. $5. 289-UR90.
Lesbians on Ecstasy at the Nanci RaygunThe band this week whose name most sounds like a fringe political party can be appreciated by folks who are neither, as long as they like the sound of Melissa Etheridge and k.d. lang songs remixed into thumping house dance tunes. Montreal's Lesbians on Ecstasy put the synthesizer through its paces to make people shake things on the dance floor regardless of gender, sexual orientation or dance aptitude. They play March 22 with Moon Boggle and some reggae from Widows at 9 p.m. $6. 353-4263.
Joe Morris and Ayman Fanous at the VCU Recital HallNow, don't panic at the fact that Morris is considered one of the finest free-jazz guitarists around. It may sound like you're about to attend a math lecture, but it's more improvisation than arithmetic, and besides, Morris' unique approach to music-making has led him into the company of Matthew Shipp, William Parker (who played Richmond last year), Ken Vandermark and others. Richmond guitarist Ayman Fanous opens the show with his own mix of flamenco, classical and Egyptian sounds March 23 at 8 p.m. $10-$15. 828-6776.
Black Cash and the Bad Trips at Cary Street CaféJoaquin Phoenix reminded an America that was strapped for Cash what a good tribute could be. Richmond's own Black Cash and the Bad Trips continue the proud tradition of hell-raising at the little Folsom Prison on Cary Street. In addition to covers of the Man in Black, expect (or at least don't be surprised by) sudden bursts of Tom Waits, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and even Ween, March 25 at 10 p.m. $7. 353-7445.
St. Patrick's Church Irish Festival in Church HillYou probably didn't learn your lesson from last week's shepherd's pie hangover, and probably you'll wander right up into Church Hill and forget that you spent three bleary hours explaining the joys of Guinness to a telephone pole on St. Paddy's Day. So for you, gentle pilgrim, there's more: Highland dancing, the return of the shepherd's pie that wouldn't die, many flowing taps and two days of music from The Janet Martin Band, Susan Greenbaum, The Atkinsons, Wrinkleneck Mules, Harrison Deane Band, Gary Gerloff, The Poisoned Dwarves and Tinker's Dam, among others, March 25-26 starting at 10 a.m. $2. 648-0504.