Otis Taylor's picks of the week

8 p.m. Saturday: Grasstowne at Bill's Music Shop & Pickin' Parlor. Grasstowne explores the music region between bluegrass and Americana. Bill's is at 710 Meeting St., West Columbia. $12 in advance, $15 at the door; (803) 796-6477

8 p.m. Saturday: Marshall Ruffin at UU Coffeehouse. Marshall Ruffin plays a smattering of blues, roots-rock and folk music. With Lauren Michelle Miller. The UU Coffeehouse is at 2701 Heyward St. $5 to $12; (888) 849-4224, ext. 4

9 p.m. Saturday: Zach Deputy at New Brookland Tavern. Writing that Zach Deputy plays jam music isn't a disparaging remark. For one, he doesn't guitar noodle. And two, his version of jam - mixing soul, folk and honky tonk rock 'n' roll - keeps the body moving, not spinning aimlessly in circles. NBT is at 122 State St., West Columbia. $10 in advance, $12 at the door; (803) 791-4413

10 p.m. Saturday: Throttlerod at Art Bar. Throttlerod, a bombastic metal band that fuels its sound from heavier '90s alternative rock, will release its latest CD, "Pig Charmer." The band, now based in Virginia, used to call Columbia home. A number of bands in Columbia's burgeoning metal scene would be wise to check out how it's done. For example, propulsion can be achieved without screaming nonsense. With Death Valley Driver, Carolina Chupacabra and Acid Roach. Art Bar is at 1211 Park St. $4; (803) 929-0198

8 p.m. Sunday: Bowerbirds at NBT. Bowerbirds, the band led by Phil Moore and Beth Tacular, plays fascinating acoustic-hinged music. The songs are ruminations about life and the wonderment that can be found within. Music can sometimes hurt, but it also has the power to cleanse. With Kill Anties. $8

6 p.m. Wednesday: Bayside at NBT. Bayside plays a brand of alternative punk that's cool enough to be played in mall stores while retaining enough cool to be on the playlists of the iPods owned by cool people. With Aviary Fire and Shallow Palace. $12 in advance, $15 at the door

7:30 p.m. Wednesday: Threefifty Duo at Spears Wright Music/Arts Center. Threefifty Duo is a classical guitar band (a duo, obviously, featuring New York-based guitarists Brett Parnell and Geremy Schulick) that intermixes contemporary styles into its repertoire. The concert, jointly hosted by bigSphinx Productions and the Columbia Guitar Society, will be held on Columbia College's campus, 1301 Columbia College Drive. $6; (803) 957-5565 or

8 p.m. Thursday: Charlie Louvin and Dexter Romweber Duo at The White Mule. Charlie Louvin, who performed in the Louvin Brothers, is in the country music hall of fame. When Johnny Cash, Gram Parsons and The Raconteurs cover your songs, you know you've written something special. Playing on the same bill is Romweber, a former member of the Flat Duo Jets, a band that highlighted the joys of bare-bones rock music. The White Mule is at 1530 Main St. $12 in advance, $15 at the door; (803) 661-8199