Behind the decks, D/DJ thumbs through a catalog of 17,000 songs burned onto hundreds of CDs. As one cut ends, he slowly turns up the volume on the next . . . and hopes he won't hear a "slam," when two songs with different beats play back-to-back. "It's horrible when you have to switch up and turn down the beat to match the previous song," he says. "I learned how to listen to a song and decode it." The 30-year-old Warren native has been spinning electronica and techno for 12 years. He started when he moved to Atlanta and surfed websites for how-to books on DJing. Four years later, he was hired for rave parties in Miami, Tampa, and Daytona Beach. In June, D/DJ (pronounced "Da Deejay") fled the Florida nightlife to return to Ohio. He quickly found a weekly gig with this behind-the-booth mantra: "Get on the dance floor and dance your butt off," says D/DJ. "Then I know I'm doing my job right." He spins at 10:30 p.m., 12:30, and 1:30 a.m. Wednesday at Club Decó, 11213 Detroit Avenue. Admission is $3; call 216-221-8576. -- Cris Glaser
Singer-songwriters Ray LaMontagne (pictured) and Sarah Blasko hail from different parts of the world (he's from the U.S., she's Australian), but their debut albums share a similar narrative and tone. LaMontagne loads Trouble with mournful acoustic guitar, tales of romantic woe, and a voice that slow-burns from a hush to a raspy howl. Blasko, too, laments lost love on Overture & the Underscore, a lush set that taps adult-alternative acoustic sounds. Together, the albums construct a portrait of modern devotion and old-fashioned songwriting. And even if they really don't say anything new, LaMontagne and Blasko find rhyme and reason buried in their experiences. It should be even more pronounced onstage, where battle-scarred singer-songwriters typically glow. They play the Odeon (1295 Old River Road) at 8 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $17; call 216-241-5555. -- Michael Gallucci
Huron Go Bragh!
Singer and fiddle player Paul Baker is determined to give folks what they want when Brigid's Cross steps onstage at the 25th annual Huron Irish Festival this weekend. "People are always up for listening to traditional Irish stuff and contemporary Irish stuff," says Baker. "We play a mixture, because we figure that there's a mixture of people out there." The New Barleycorn, Morrison McCarthy, the Mickey Finns, and the Irish Heritage Pipe Band also perform for the Guinness and boxty crowd. The fest happens 4 to 11 p.m. Friday and 1 to 11 p.m. Saturday at Huron Boat Basin, 330 Main Street in Huron. Admission is $2, kids under 12 get in free; visit www.huronparks.org/irishfest.htm. -- Katherine Fulton