Any of these gigs is better than every St. Patrick’s Day party combined

Montreal Oi! Fest, guitar heroes, brutal harcdore and more heavy ways to evade the scum that will flood the streets this weekend

If you’re out and about on Sunday afternoon and are noticing a disproportionate amount of tourists wearing “Blow Me I’m Irish” shirts while asking for directions to Crescent Street in slurred speech, let me remind you that the happiest of all alcoholic daze, St. Patrick’s, is indeed upon us. Thankfully there are more than enough gigs this week to provide refuge from the sports cable subscribers that will be invading our streets over the weekend.

Thursday: Things come bursting out of the gate tonight with the big pick of the week, Earthless, who will have you smoking some bad banana peels out of carved out piece of fruit. If you’re guitar-solo phobic, then l’Astral is the worst place to be as Earthless (featuring Hot Snakes, Off! and Rocket From the Crypt drummer Mario Rubalcaba) hit the perfect meeting place of the Dead’s Dark Star jams and J Mascis at his most sonically exploratory moments. Opening is Kikagaku and Jjuujjuu. 305 Ste-Catherine W., 8 p.m., $22.50/$25.50, all ages

In other major neck-shredding news, you may also want to check out the major shred (and the songs that can back them up) of Screaming Females with Radiator Hospital and the catchy aggression of Priors at la Vitrola. I am willing to bet this will be packed. 4602 St-Laurent, doors 9 p.m., $12/$15

For something a bit heavier, check out onetime Dictators guitarist Ross the Boss when he dedicates an entire set to his “other band” Manowar at Katacombes. For those who can’t remember this far back in the world of metal, think Tom of Finland with fur pelt g-strings meets Conan the Barbarian but, uh, with riffs. Opening is the Ethan Brosh Band, Old James and the mighty, mighty Metalian. 1635 St-Laurent, 8 p.m., $20

For something with a bit more twang and strum, head to l’Esco for the Ol’ Savannah’s Hobo Party (ie. Hobo EP launch) with their old friends Bats in the Belfry. 4461 St-Denis, 9:30 p.m., $8/$10

Friday: Profane Order better lay it down like a sledgehammer as the black metal surge of Spectral Wound and the bludgeoning death metal of Blood Sacrifice will definitely be nipping at their heels. This full-blown metal fest will be happening at the total metal confines of Brasserie Beaubien. 73 Beaubien E., 9 p.m., $5-$10 sliding scale/PWYC

If you were hoping to squeeze in for Yesterday’s Ring at one of the last shows to be held at Divan Orange, you are fugged as it has long been sold out.

No fear though ’cause just down the hill at Katacombes, you can catch the first night of the Montreal Oi! Fest featuring one of oi’s most legendary bands, the Last Resort, with their first Montreal show eva. Celebrating this classic moment in Montreal oi history is Street Troopers, Thunder and Glory, Streetlight Saints and Reckless Upstarts. Chances are if you ever drained pitchers at long-gone Looneys, you will be putting the boot in here. 1635 St-Laurent, 8 p.m., $20

Saturday: If oi is yer lot, you will want to make it down to the second night of the Montreal Oi! Fest with Bonecrusher, the Generators, the Welch Boys, the Droogettes and Ibrahim et les Dompteurs de Tigre at Katacombes. 1635 St-Laurent, 8 p.m., $35

For some brutal hardcore that should have you pining for the early days of Victory Records, you will want to get in the pit at le Ritz for Trail of Lies, Blind Justice, Regulate and Violent State. If this were truly going back to the days of Judge etc., le Ritz can expect to make absolutely no beer sales at all. 179 Jean-Talon W., p.m., $15/$13 advance

Current Obsession: Motorhead, Overkill