Sat. May 12 -- A couple days of women doing strange things with their voices starts with Anna Homler, a most proficient and spontaneous whooper, babbler and toy abuser joined by practiced teammate Michael Intriere on cello and Spencer Savage on percussion. At Café Metropol, 923 E. Third St., downtown, 5pm, $5.
Sat. May 12 -- Stay for dinner and catch Gutpuppet. Good to see Scot Ray back in town; if you think he’s a good tuba player, prepare to be slain by his slide-guitar grind, which is as clean, tough and rootsy as it comes. The other half of Gutpuppet is Bill Barrett, the world’s face-blastingest harmer of chromatic harmonica. It’s a privilege it is to be able to check out masters like this in a nice little bistro with elbow room and a schooner of hand-selected beer/wine. At Café Metropol, 8pm; $5.
Sat. May 12 -- Dream-bleeding performance artist Johanna Went scares/scars your soul on the second of three Saturdays. Rumor is these may be her last stage shows ever; see you there. Track 16 Gallery in Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica, 8pm, reservations required at (310) 264-4678; $18.
Sun. May 13 -- What are you gonna do with Non Credo? Kira Vollman and Joseph Berardi make the most improbable music imaginable, but those who listen are likely to be amazed. Now that she’s been perfecting her vocal techniques for a quarter century or something, Vollman can produce expert juxtapositions of opera, whispery narration, animal howl, witch gibbering, assorted mimicry -- it’s goddamn creepy, and perversely fascinating. (Her bass-clarinet playing makes the grade, too.) Meanwhile, Berardi lays down sampled loops, steamy atmospheres and dark rhythms that complement the insanity in ways only longtime collaboration can achieve. This is the definition of originality -- “deep resonance,” says my wife. They’re on a remarkable bill with singer Nora Keyes (http://www.myspace.com/norakeyes; “strange and beautiful songs,” says Joe), plus improvisations from another great pair of practiced collaborators, vocalist/electronicist Kaoru and percussion man Brad Dutz, augmented here by guitar subverter Carey Fosse. Happy Mother’s Day; bring your mom. Another inspired production at Dangerous Curve, 1020 E. Fourth Pl., downtown, 4pm; $10.
Tues.-Wed. May 15-16 -- Somebody had to get non-geeks listening to jazz, and The Bad Plus have shouldered the cross by pulling out grand, dynamic covers of tunes by the likes of Blondie and Black Sabbath. Their new CD, “Prog” (great title) keeps up the neotraditional tradition by covering Bowie, Rush (!) and Tears for Fears (!!!) -- the idea is to lock into a good melody, play push-pull with the rhythm and build it up like Vladimir Horowitz. Their original material is kind of intellectual and quirky, with pianist Ethan Iverson acting the bent schoolteacher, drummer David King almost a heavy rock dude, and bassist Reid Anderson the glue/bridge between. I saw them last year at Catalina’s and enjoyed their Midwestern freshness, though the audience seemed rather puzzled. The current venue will suit them better: The Mint, 6010 Pico Blvd., LA 90035, 9:45pm, http://themintla.com, (323) 954-9400, dinner reservations recommended; $25.
Wed. May 16 -- If anyone was right for the job of reconstructing Charles Mingus’ uncompleted epic masterwork “Epitaph,” it was Gunther Schuller, stoker of the Third Stream jazz/classical boiler that, despite its influence on the likes of Eric Dolphy and Carla Bley, never quite made a major cultural bang. I loved the horrific massed dissonances of the double CD Schuller assembled for 1990 release, and my hair was blown back even farther by seeing “Epitaph” detonated at the Hollywood Bowl around the same time. From swing to Schoenberg, Mingus wanted to stuff the entire history of modern music down his throat, wash it down with a gallon of Mad Dog and shit it out fuming, and Schuller’s classical training didn’t much mute the stench. I hope this presentation has not mellowed the ghost of Mingus, which at any time may rise again to rip Wynton Marsalis’ arm off and beat him hollow with it. At Disney Hall -- don’t pay; sneak in at intermission after all the cowards have abandoned their seats. I’m told by reliable informants that this is easily accomplished. The best stuff’s at the end anyway.
Wed. May 16 -- Take Gutpuppet (see above), add the spicy lounge soul of Puttanesca and the punk blues of Fatso Jetson, and you got a great night at Café 322, 322 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, 10pm, (626) 836-5414. Past Pasadena and Rosemead Blvd. but not as far as Arcadia, north of the 210.
Thurs. May 17 -- Dimebag’s Black Tooth Bash. The words “Dimebag” and “kids” go together so well, it was only natural that a roomful of rock addicts would band together in honor of the slain Dimebag Darrell to hold a benefit for the Little Kids Rock Foundation. They’ll be auctioning guitars “decorated” by Zakk Wylde, Ace Frehley, Ted Nugent, Rob Zombie and lots of others (6-8pm); then there’s a superstar jam featuring Vinnie Paul (Dime’s drummer bro), Ace, Jerry Cantrell, Dave Navarro and lots more. At House of Blues, (323) 848-5100; $33.
Thurs. May 17 -- Dimmu Borgir is the biggest black-metal act in Norway, the nation of anti-Christian church burnings and classically influenced heavy rock. My Borgir interview is in LA Times today, or maybe yesterday. The all-around great bill also features Unearth, DevilDriver and Kataklysm. At the Wiltern, 8pm.
Thurs. May 17 -- Infallible tip: If you want to hear the best musicians in town, just follow bassist Steuart Liebig around. Tonight he’s got one of his usual spontaneously brilliant ensembles featuring Scot Ray (tuba I think on this occasion), Dan Clucas (trumpet) and Joe Berardi (drums). Liebig always brings both the freak and the funk. At Taix, 1911 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake, late set.