all words by: Denman C Anderson, Shelly Bell, Ross Bonaime, Legba Carrefour, Emily Catino, Marcus Dowling, Katherine Gaines, Jeb Gavin, Phil Hiotis, Esther Hur, Chris Kelly, Svetlana Legetic, Ryan Little, Brittany Martin, Chris Naoum, Courtney Pitman, Ra-Jah aka Shamwell, Bryce Rudow, Farrah Skeiky, Clarissa Villondo, Brandon Weight, Brandon Wetherbee
We here at BYT love us some music-So, in continuation of our FALL/WINTER Guides week (FILM GUIDE went live yesterday!)– here’s our handy (lengthy, almost all-encompassing) guide to THE BEST in albums to buy, the best shows to blow your hard-earned $$$ on, what festivals are worth a damn, if that opener is worth coming early for, etc. etc. etc. Who do you love.
- Chvrches – The Bones Of What You Believe (September 24) – EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT “THE MOTHER WE SHARE.” I get it. You get it. And being the first track on their first album, it’s impossible to cycle through the other 11 tracks before playing “The Mother We Share” 11 times itself. But the hidden gem is the following song, “We Sink.” The throbbing bass coupled with Lauren Mayberry’s sugar-cane sweet vocals sound amazing, only to be amplified when the chiptunes kick in. If M83 had a sibling, CHVRCHES would be the little sister with a disdain for vowels and a SNES in the living room. It’s everything electronic music should be in 2013. – Brandon Weight
- Drake – Nothing Was the Same (September 24) – Unquestionably, rap’s most intriguing release of Fall/Winter 2013 belongs to Toronto-born superstar Drake. Nothing Was the Same is the actor-turned-rapper’s third album of his career, but in an era driven moreso by big singles than LPs, it feels as though he’s been around for at least three times as many album releases. This year has found Drake’s output to be amazingly both substantive and vapid at the exact same time. From “5AM in Toronto” to “Started From the Bottom,” “No New Friends” and “Hold On, We’re Going Home,” we find our hip-hop hero at odds with wealth, his adjustment to wealth, and the stress wealth brings. This may make the artist’s subject matter and delivery appear featherweight, as well, when around that level of opulence, you’re certainly not going to have the same level of angst and bitterness as say, Gucci Mane. However, Drake is absolutely the opposite, rap’s commercial heavyweight champion (in a era where we’re constantly told music doesn’t sell) selling 4.5 million albums and has recorded or been featured on 20 platinum singles in less than a decade. Clown this guy if you want for having a single called “Tuscan Leather” on his forthcoming release, but he knows that probably what you’re laughing at you can’t afford, so he’s ultimately getting the last laugh. -Marcus Dowling
- Haim – Days Are Gone (September 30) Haim sisters Danielle, Alana, and Este are set to release their first full length album “Days are Gone” after several months of leaving incredibly tasty treats in their trail like “Falling” and “Don’t Save Me” that had us wanting more. I’d say three of the best songs to be heard since 1999 are “Forever”, “Falling” and “The Wire”, and they’re all by Haim, who haven’t even released their first album.. Their mix of eighties, nineties, and tribal is anti-generational and shamelessly participatory. I think we are and have been ready for full length Este bass face and Danielle’s guttural echoes. – Esther Hur
- Lorde - pure heroine (September 30) – Thank Lorde for restoring your faith in YouTube as a platform for launching artists. Sure, Lana Del Rey and Justin Bieber may have profited from that model financially, but Lorde does so sonically as well. With her first EP, “The Love Club,” being released for free on Soundcloud, and her music video for “Royals” reaching 13 million views since May, she’s used the internet to the fullest advantage. Thankfully, she doesn’t fall flat like a Lizzy Grant-turned-Lana Del Ray Urban Outfitters soundtrack. Ella Yelich-O’Connor was signed at 12 years old based on a talent show video, and will be releasing Pure Heroine at age 17. Mature and collected, her vocals make her sound closer to 30. – Brandon Weight
- Matt and Kim – Lightning Remixes (October 1) – Matt and Kim will release their third album Lightning Remixes in 2013. I remember Matt and Kim in their “Lessons Learned” mv back in 2008, walking down Time Square in slo-mo, taking off items of clothing until eventually they were butt naked, and the best part was the faces of tourist mom and dad gawking and pulling their tourist child close. Their songs “Daylight” and “Lessons Learned” were anthems for my pre-pubescent, eighth-grade, catholic school girl rebellion. – Esther Hur
- Lissie – Back To Forever (October 8)
Kid Cudi said something about Lissie’s cover of “Pursuit of Happiness” trumping his original, and if you’ve heard the song, it is quite the contender. Her folk-rock lullabies matched with her strong high-pitched tone reminds me a lot of Tammy Wynette singing “Stand by your Man”. I love hearing old voices reprising with modern day twists. – Esther Hur
- St. Lucia - When The Night (October 8) – His steadily pounding funk beats make for the perfect “Strutting down the street in Raybans-wind blowing through hair- cued friend entering from left and giving highfive” soundtrack … aka his music makes me feel awesome. – Esther Hur
- Of Montreal - lousy with sylvianbria (October 8th) – Can you believe that OF MONTREAL have been around, weird and making beautiful music for 17 years now. And while the quirk has not left the building, what we’ve heard of the new record sounds a lot more rocking than usual, like a kick-ass band you discover playing in some awesome bar in Athens, GA. Which, as we all know, is a good sign. (Glam) rock on. -Svetlana
- Pusha T – My Name is My Name (October 8) – Pusha T’s solo debut comes with some heavy artillery support: The Neptunes, The-Dream and Kendrick all make appearances and with the release date finally set in stone, BYT hip hop fans should be pretty jazzed for this one. BONUS: Read this interview with Pusha we did a little while back. It should carry you over till the 8th – Svetlana
- Paul McCartney – New (October 15) – We don’t need to explain to you why this matters, right? And if you’ve decided it DOESN’T matter any more for some reason, read this review of Paul’s recent DC show to KNOW that the man still has it and will ALWAYS have it. -Svetlana
- Icona Pop – This Is…Icona Pop (October 24) – The ladies are back to prove there is way more to them than just “I LOVE IT”. We hope so too (And even if it turns out to be more of the same, we probably won’t be complaining). -Svetlana
- Yuna – Nocturnal [Verve] (October 29) – I first heard her when she covered Nirvana’s “Come As You Are,” which could have gone really wrong. Mainly because I think the song is more about Kurt singing it, than anything else. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Yuna gave it a sultry indie-pop, percussion pad twist, sang it with a little less aggression, and little more fragility. Her own work retains the same delicate style that lures listeners in. – Esther Hur
- Arcade Fire – Reflektor – Understandably, Arcade Fire’s guerrilla marketing meant to draw innumerable questions. Why use a K? Is Canada relevant again? What time-zone will the single leak at 9 p.m.? Is that David Bowie? But hell, having all of the hype plus James Murphy on as a producer only adds to the already huge anticipation for the band’s fourth album. Taking a note from the success of “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains),” the title single continues the trend of dance-worthy tracks. If the rest of the album follows suit people will no longer ask Who is Arcade Fire? -Brandon Weight
- Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – The Speed of Things – I once saw Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. twice in the span of 12 hours. The second time ended with my friends and I drunkenly hanging out with the band well after we should have, yelling at them during their performance and eventually sending them an apology note. But even through all the bullshit we put them through, they put on two great shows, each different from each other, and showing an incredible range for a band with only one album. I can’t even imagine how great The Speed of Things will be, but it’ll probably guarantee DEJJ will be your new favorite band. -Ross Bonaime
- Sleigh Bells – Bitter Rivals – For better or worse, with their two albums, Sleigh Bells have changed their sound slightly while still maintaining the high-energy that made them such an exciting band. Their third album Bitter Rivals will give us more of Sleigh Bells’ speaker-exploding, screaming and guitar riff filled albums that made them one of the most fun duos to watch. -Ross Bonaime
- The Avett Brothers – Magpie and the Dandelion (October 15) – Listening to the Avett Brothers makes me get in touch with my country bumpkin roots…except I’m from the DC ‘burbs. Their folksy flare and southern twang makes for easy (and often) listening that provide catchy tunes and poignant lyrics. Not to mention the fact that it has been less than a year since they released their last album, The Carpenter, so these dudes are no joke. So why not reward their hard work by buying their album? – Emily Catino
- M.I.A – Matangi (November 5) M.I.A is releasing new stuff, need I say more? In 2009, TIME named M.I.A one of the world’s most influential people. In 2012 she had women in hijabs, driving bmw convertibles on their sides, singing “bad girls do it well” I can’t wrap my head around how politically, musically, and stylistically tasteful this woman is. – Esther Hur
- Eminem –The Marshall Mathers LP 2 (November 5) -When Jay Z releases an album to assist Samsung in attempting to drive Apple to release $99 iPhones, he became rap’s emperor in new clothes. When Eminem releases the second coming of his most iconic album to help Activision become the industry leader in a rapidly shrinking video game market, it feels like he’s Milton Waddams about to explode because he just wants to be left alone with his “red Swingline stapler” of his family, wealth and relative calm. “Beserk” is a pretty horrible lead single, actually. However, so many of us are so happy to hear from Eminem again that we wouldn’t dare tell him that Rick Rubin rehashing Beastie Boys-style production in 2013 is an idea that only a woefully misinformed marketer could love. However, he knows we know, and when he sat down on ESPN on September 7th and told Brent Musberger, it showed. “No, when it’ll be out Nov. 5, I’ll probably be most excited to be done with it.” Exactly. Eminem’s already cashed the check, and unlike Jay Z, can’t be bothered to care. Buyer beware. -Marcus Dowling
- Iggy Azalea – The New Classic (November sometime) – the Australian diva and BYT’s MUSIC FOR GIRLS BY GIRLS alum has been grabbing all the bits of hype she could get her well manicured hands on in the last few months she can, from a tour with Beyonce to a mentorship with T.I. and is now ready to (hopefully) deliver on her debut first length. I once described her as: “Iggy Azalea looks what I imagine Zola Jesus would look like if she raided Kreayshawn’s closet and headed to the best pool party EVER, and sounds like Azealea Banks’ slightly less crazy but way funnier cousin. In other words, if you’re looking for a spirit animal this season you could do way worse than her. In fact, we dare you to try and do better. DARE YOU.” And it still stands. – Svetlana
- Lady Gaga – ARTPOP (November 11) – Mother Monster’s comeback album drops on November 11th and the whole world will be watching—if just in the hope of seeing her fall flat on her face. How much more is there to say? Whether ARTPOP proves to be amazing, awful, or just “Applause”-like, the dialogue surrounding it is bound to be interesting. For now, let’s just reminisce on memories of brilliance past: “Marry the Night;” JO CALDERONE at the VMAs; “TELEPHONE” video; “Bad Romance” video; acoustic “Speechless,” “Paparazzi” and “Poker Face;” and all of the other ridiculous antics the have stood up for a cause, ushered in the current trend of dance as the most prominent form of pop music, gave us something to discuss, and just generally moved people outside of their comfort zones. Also, Purity Ring remixed “Applause” and it’s wonderful. -Courtney Pitman
Where we focus on some awesome lady made music, to balance out the inevitable fanboy-dom that rules the BYT music guide – Svetlana
- MUSIC GO MUSIC - My love for MUSIC GO MUSIC (the mysterious side project of Bodies of Water folks) is well documented on BYT. Now, a WHOLE 4 years later after their flawless EP/Best-Of “Expressions” series on Secretly Canadian (you need to buy it, because IT TRULY IS FLAWLESS) the gang is back and sounding as crisp and lovely as ever. “Love is All I Can Hear” is the new single of the upcoming “Impressions”, and it drips in perfect 70s pop and disco as ever before, further cementing them as the band I WISH I had play my super sweet 16th birthday party (you know the one, the one where we rollerskate in kaftans).
- BOY -While googling “BOY BAND” is pretty high on my top 10 list of frustrations for this fall, the two ladies behind BOY more than make up for it with their finger snapping, toe tapping, finger snapping pop anthems off of “MUTUAL FRIENDS”. With their Swiss/German origins, outstanding cheek-bones and any-girl-can-relate-to-this lyrics think of them as this season’s ICONA POP, only less bratty and more BFF Material. BONUS: they’re playing 9:30 club this week (October 4th)
- AU REVOIR SIMONE – BYT readers older than our interns may remember the fact that AU REVOIR SIMONE was one of our first interviews ever back in 2007, and our girl crush on this triple-keyboard/harmony operation is as strong as ever. “Move In Spectrums” is available now, and Pitchfork described it as what would happen “If you relocated Stereolab from a retro-futurist bachelor’s pad to an indie rocker’s Williamsburg walkup” and we agree. Plus, you guys, how could you NOT love that name? BONUS: Ladies make a DC pit stop on their tour @ U Hall on October 15th. Woooooooo.
- JESSY LANZA - Remember that sweet, glorious heartbreak you felt when you heard Antony & The Johnsons for the very first time. Well, I am willing to venture that similar feelings will emerge upon listening to Jessy Lanza’s “Move Closer”, her cover of Phyllis Nelson’s 1984 hit of the same name. Her debut “Pull My Hair Back” is out now and shows off both her stark, lovely voice, as well as some skills she picked up while working with those talented Junior Boys men. Prepare to fall hard.
- Sapphire Slows – Tokyo’s Sapphire Slows makes the kind of bedroom disco that is equal parts awkward and sultry (just like most bedroom anythings are). Tracks have been slowly popping up since LAST WINTER, and finally, on November 5th the full “Allegoria” record will come out on Not Not Fun. Listen to DRY FRUITS here while heavily moisturizing your legs, in anticipation of them being touched sometime very, very soon.
- Portugal. The man – October 1 @ Fillmore Silver Spring – Take note, Fillmore: Portugal. The Man is exactly the type of show you should be booking. The expansive venue and stage afford the band and the crowd space to appropriately freak dance to the veteran Portland band’s psych-infused rock jams. From our review of their June show at 9:30 Club: “Refusing to break even briefly between songs, the set felt like a live DJ playing nonstop PTM party tunes, feeding off the energy of the crowd and appropriating remixes to allow for maximum body rolls and finger points.” Meanwhile, Crystal Fighters and their irresistible synth-pop are setting the tempo for the evening—get ready for a dance bonanza. CHECK OUT PTM’s “Atomic Man” and ‘Love Natural’ by the Crystal Fighters. -Courtney Pitman
- Daughter – October 1 @ 9:30 Club – From a marketing perspective, a spring album release followed by a summer tour playing festivals and big outdoor venues probably makes sense for a band – but it hardly seemed to fit Daughter’s sound. The trio’s record, “If You Leave,” was released in April, but it always felt cold, damp, and dark (in the most appealing of ways). And while Daughter spent much of the summer playing big venues as the very well-matched opening act on tour with The National, their music will likely feel far more appropriate in the intimacy of a club setting on an October night. -Brittany Martin
- Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg with Andrew W.K. – October 2 @ 9:30 Club – The last remaining original Ramone is taking out the never-going-to-die ambassador of all things party. In a way, this could be better than seeing the original Ramones. It’s more than likely Marky and AWK actually like each other. -Brandon Wetherbee
- Drop Electric, Honest Haloway, Technophobia – October 3 @ Fillmore Silver Spring – With their new album, Waking Up to the Fire, being released on October 22, DC rockers Drop Electric have a lot of eyes on them and a lot of ears anxious to hear the new sound which they have teased in already-released material like “Blue Dream” and their album trailer. They’ll be headlining a show at the Fillmore Silver Spring on October 3rd to promote the album, with Honest Haloway and Technophobia opening. While their music should be enough to inspire you to nab a ticket of this, remember that they also employ a full-time projectionist whose accompanying videos are hypnotizingly beautiful. I’m still having flashbacks to their show a few months ago at Black Cat when ACME lead-singer Cheakaity Brown and I lost our minds after an hour of experiencing them from the very front row (apologies to all those people shorter than us…). -Bryce Rudow
- The Flaming Lips, Tame Impala, The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger – October 4 @ Merriweather Post Pavilion – A Flaming Lips concert isn’t about the music, it’s about the experience. Though statements like this are usually associated with bands that suck, the Lips do not suck, it’s just that the group experience is so much more than sitting in an amphitheater to listen to some tunes. The giant balloons, costumed characters, confetti and Wayen’s megaphone have turned the last 10 years of Flaming Lips shows into musical masses. -Brandon Wetherbee
- James Murphy – October 4 @ 9:30 Club – James Murphy is going to be spinning at the 9:30 Club late on October 4, and I’m going to be there trying to dance myself clean. I’ll try desperately not to be disappointed should he skip his own LCD Soundsystem tracks, and yet probably still totally elated when he justifies my love playing crate digging deep cuts I desperately crave. The thing about DJing is it’s live curation, a spur of the moment collection of music leading the crowd through an emotional journey while physically just moving in place. You’re using other people’s art to express your own point of view, and doing it in real-time. Even if Murphy hadn’t spent a decade soundtracking my life, bolstering my perpetual existential crisis with the kind of rhythms capable of defibrillation, his exceptional taste and workman like attitude towards enticing folks to move their bodies irrespective of their emotional state makes this a can’t miss show. -Jeb Gavin
- Two Door Cinema Club – October 4 @ DAR Constitution Hall – Seeing Two Door Cinema Club open for Phoenix in 2010 made for the best possible combination of euro-rock dance tunes. While lead singer Alex Trimble’s presence wasn’t electrifying – he kept jutting his knee out as if the joint were dislocated and was trying to pop it back into place – the music sure was. High-frequency riffs paired with vocals-turned-drum pads got everyone out of their seat at DAR. And now, three years and another major release later, they’re returning. Forget about the excess radio play, there’s no denying this is the closest to pop-y dance music you’ll get in DC without going full neon. -Brandon Weight
- Colin Hay – October 4, 5 and 6 @ Birchmere – Colin Hay’s smoky, deep voice is always in perfect combination with his storytelling, great lyrics and Scottish charm. From what I hear, at this show you can expect awesome music, great guitar playing, and an almost stand-up comedian air about his conversations with the audience. There’s nothing better than a musician in a small venue setting that cares about interacting with the audience instead of talking at them and playing to them. All in all, it seems like a show that shouldn’t be missed. -Emily Catino
- Brian Wilson and Jeff Beck – October 5 @ Warner Theatre -Brian Wilson isn’t all there, but the fact that he’s going back on the road may be enough of a reason to see the Beach Boys musical genius. The band he took out on the Smile tour is full of accomplished players half Wilson’s age. Hopefully he’s smart enough to keep the kids by his side. -Brandon Wetherbee
- The Weeknd – October 5 @ DAR Constitution Hall – Abel Tesfaye, aka the sinister 23 year-old R&B mastermind behind The Weeknd, was a shadowy entity when he released his 2011 mixtape House of Balloons as a free download on his website. His trajectory has been straight into the spotlight, but his two ensuing mixtapes, compilation LP, and just-released full-length Kiss Land have maintained the murky ‘back room at an upscale strip club’ sound with impressive consistency. Which is to say that he’s nearly replaced The xx as the go-to sexy time soundtrack for every schmo who wants to appear intriguing. Another reason to get excited for the DAR show is supporting act BANKS, arguably The Weeknd’s counterpart who is set to blow up in the next year riding the wave of praise generated by the few songs to her name. CHECK OUT The Weeknd imploring you to “girl, put in work, girl girl, put in work on ‘The Morning’ and ‘Waiting Game’from the new EP London by BANKS. -Courtney Pitman
- Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – October 5 @ 9:30 Club -Last time I saw Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, it was just days before several members had left, even though they were still as great live as when they dropped their debut. Their lineup may have changed and their popularity may have waned, but CYHSY still elevate their material live and if you’ve missed them up until now, there’s still greatness to see in CYHSY. -Ross Bonaime
- Angel Olsen, Pillars and Tongues – October 6 @ DC9 – I booked Angel Olsen to open for a Daniel Knox show in Chicago in 2009. She played a solid set to a crowd that wasn’t hers. I saw Angel Olsen this summer at the Pitchfork Music Fest. She played a very good set to a crowd that was waiting to hear some more energetic music. She won a lot of people over. I wished she was playing in a small club, headlining a night of her own. Now she is. -Brandon Wetherbee
- The Naked and Famous – October 6, 7 @ 9:30 Club -Remember the first time you heard ‘Young Blood;’ the soaring rush of joy it brought seemed to shed light on the fact that you’d been miserable your whole life up until that very moment? With a song that good, a name that bad, and a sound so firmly in the electro-pop camp, it’s easy to write off The Naked and Famous as a one-trick pony. The thing is, they’re good. Though it doesn’t cut deep, their debut LP Passive Me, Aggressive You is packed with a deep roster of pop gems. Along with new tunes, these gems are sure to be unpacked in all of their danceable glory during their two-night residency at 9:30 Club in October in support of the upcoming album In Rolling Waves. CHECK OUT a full concert film on their YouTube page from The Warfield in San Francisco. -Courtney Pitman
- AFI, Coming, Touche Amore – October 8 @ 9:30 Club – Each time AFI goes on the road I’m somewhat surprised. Davey seems too fragile to leave the house, let alone keep going on the road. If you have any eyeliner laying around the house, this October date is a perfect chance to sing out loud to “Miss Murder” and act like you’re back in college. -Brandon Wetherbee
- Quasi, Jeffrey Lewis – October 10 @ Black Cat -On a very superficial level, we are all defined by what we like. You can go back and rehash the High Fidelity argument all you’d like- before people get to know you, they see you holding a book, or at a concert, or chugging your fourth pumpkin spice latte in a row, and that’s the foundation of their image of you. After that you’re struggling to either live it down or live up to it. But even the superficial aspect of it isn’t a negative one- lifelong friendships (and to be fair, mortal enemies) are made from mutual awareness of and deep seated attraction to/repulsion from certain cultural touchstones. By my calculation, liking Jeffrey Lewis makes you one of thirty five thousand nerds on the planet even aware of him. Sure, not everybody wants to even listen to something called “anti-folk”, and there will always be something unsettling about a guy who looks and sounds like your dweeb cousin unearthing your deep-seated fears in public in a high, nasal drone- but the folks you meet who do “get it”? That’s the kind of secret, life-long bond you’d otherwise need to become a Stonecutter to achieve. See him live, find yourself a cult boyfriend, be one in 200000. And he’s supporting Quasi, which is just gravy. -Jeb Gavin
- Selena Gomez – October 10 @ Patriot Center -I’m not recommending this show. I am thinking about going to this show to sell some of the Spring Breakers merchandise that’s lying around the BYT office. We have Spring Breakers sun glasses, Spring Breakers coasters and Spring Breakers beer pong sets. That’s cool, right? It’s OK for an adult man to set up a merch stand of Spring Breakers swag outside a Selena Gomez concert, right? -Brandon Wetherbee
- The 1975 – October 11 @ Black Cat - The 1975 are one of the many bands I first learned about from NPR’s All Songs Considered. On that episode back at the beginning of April, host Bob Boilen described attending a DC show of The 1975 and that the crowd already knew to sing along with all the songs – so I figured I was pretty long-tail on this Manchester band and their already-polished pop sound. Imagine my surprise when, months later, billboards for the band started going up all over my neighborhood and I learned that their debut full-length was only coming out in September. (Okay, so maybe not all that surprised, because, well, internet – but a little surprised.) So here is your chance to get in on the fun that Bob Boilen had months ago and get to know that secret groundswell of The 1975 stalwarts in DC. -Brittany Martin
- Mary Alouette, Greenland, Bella Russia – October 12 @ The Lot -It’s safe to assume hosting shows in your kitchen would eventually become pretty unsanitary. Certainly among the reasons owners of culinary incubator Union Kitchen instead opted to use their parking lot. Add food trucks and beer it’s basically a mini fairgrounds minus that confusing southwest commute. Plus (and perhaps most importantly) Mary Alouette plays gypsy-jazz-electronic music. -Ra-Jah aka Shamwell
- The Helio Sequence, Menomena – October 13 @ Black Cat - Helio Sequence and Menomena combined on one tour is an opportunity to see two of the best indie acts of the mid-to-late-2000s live. The Helio Sequence’s incredible electro-pop and Menomena’s staggering amount of instruments and experimentation will be a powerful example of just how much these two duos can do. -Ross Bonaime
- Janelle Monae – October 14 @ Lincoln Theatre – GO SEE JANELLE MONAE. GO SEE JANELLE MONAE. GO SEE JANELLE MONAE. I want to keep repeating this ad nauseum, badgering people, hectoring them worse than I’ve ever done, because she is pure joy, and the music she makes is the most effective delivery system for that joy. On a critical level, her funkiness cannot be understated: Prince is a fan. (Prince has only ever publicly admitted to liking his own music. He’s never even explicitly stated his feelings on the color purple, but he’s willing to metaphorically beat the drum for Ms. Monae.) Better yet, the funkiness is earned; now that James Brown is dead, Janelle Monae is fast dancing up on the heels of Sharon Jones as the hardest working person in show business, AND she makes good music. Not just good music, yeesh, I keep having to correct myself. She’s like the personification of Outkast’s “Hey Ya”- everyone should hear it, including your mother and grandmother, and everyone should dance to it. Monae’s latest album The Electric Lady should replace the pablum usually played at low volume in supermarkets and spin classes, all the neo-bubble gum pop crap utilizing the same chord structure, crooned by people with middling talent willing to make Faustian bargains in hopes of being the next Adam Levine (fun fact: while Monae’s music won’t cure actual ailments, it will once and for all rid you of the urge to hear “Moves Like Jagger” ever again. And not just because of this.
I first saw her open for of Montreal at the 9:30 Club and blow them off the stage. There wasn’t even a stage left for them to perform on when she finished her set, just people in neon fish costumes wandering around in a pit where the stage was, trying to syncopate and amuse. This time Monae has top billing, as it should ever be. I know this show is sold out, but you’ve got two kidneys and somewhere out there is a spare ticket. Do the math. -Jeb Gavin
- Franz Ferdinand – October 17 @ Strathmore - Franz Ferdinand killed their Virgin FreeFest performance several years back on the West Stage, which could barely hold their awesomeness. The beautiful Strathmore will be the perfect place to hold Franz Ferdinand’s return to the area. -Ross Bonaime
- Bells and Hunters – October 17 @ Velvet Lounge - You never know when you’ve met the next big thing until it becomes the BIG THING! I met Bells and Hunters while stage managing for the 2012 Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie Festival. With Kelly Ann Beavers on vocals, Keith Fischer on guitar/vocals, Igor Ivanov on guitar, Terry Willis on drums, and Eric Putnam on bass there’s no way to sit still during their set. The urge to groove to a balance of acoustic folk tugging at the left side of your body, garage rock tugging at the right side of your body and soulful vocals streaming at your core is undeniable. Their second album “Weddings and Funerals” is a full of electric sounds to match the vibration in a story that’s not really chronological, but varying perspectives on their truths. After several listens a few of the songs begin to sound alike in instrumentation, yet the breadth of the production isn’t sacrificed. As their consistency strengthens this is a band to follow for years to come. The big thing idea may shift with the pop culture wind, but while the world is not looking up pops what we should have been paying attention to all along….Bells and Hunters. -Shelly Bell
- Nine Inch Nails – October 18 @ Verizon Center- It’s a show. It’s a big budget, tightly planned show. It’s this generation’s The Wall. And this is a good thing. Trent dusted off the old laptop, recorded a new album with his ‘band’ and recently completed an outdoor, summer festival tour. From the opening night in Japan to a Lollapalooza stealing August gig, NIN have morphed from one guy with a synth to glam invaded by industrial noise and baby powder to rock company specializing in then cutting edge LED screens to a fully formed Vegas ready productions. “Hurt” and “Closer” are no longer anthems for teens to hate themselves while having sex. Now they’re two elements of an experience. Newer songs like “Copy Of A” and “1,000,000” are as exciting to see as “Head Like A Hole.” It took a while, but Mr. Reznor may have figured out the best possible way to present Nine Inch Nails: an arena act. -Brandon Wetherbee
- The Dismemberment Plan – October 19-20 @ 9:30 Club - When people ask me who my favorite band is, I tend to rattle off a few because I hate definite hierarchies, but The Dismemberment Plan always makes that list. The indie-rock pioneers and DC legends, after a 10-year hiatus that finally crumbled away, are back with a new album, Uncanney Valley, and to my incredible delight, they’re supporting it by playing two nights at the historic 9:30 Club in October.
I know I could talk about how their 1999 album Emergency & I is a phenomenal soundtrack to the life of an aimless 20-something or how the follow-up album, Change, is front-to-back one of the best albums of the century, but I don’t think I need to hype this band or these shows. They’re one of the best groups to ever come out of this city and these shows are going to be one hell of a homecoming. -Bryce Rudow
- Hugh Laurie – October 23 @ Birchmere House is a piano player. He’s a good piano player. Anyone that was a fan of Sherlock Holmes as a doctor with a cane/pill addiction knows this (see Dave Matthews (yep) episode). Hugh Laurie is also an accomplished comedian. Hugh Laurie may be Great Britain’s answer to Justin Timberlake. He can sing, he can act, he can get a laugh. I may go to this show just to befriend the performer. -Brandon Wetherbee
- John Legend, Tamar Braxton October 23 @ DAR Constitution Hall Can a song impregnate you? I’d say probably, if John Legend is singing it. Songs like “P.D.A” and “Ordinary People” can give you quite the scare. His soulful sound stands out from other r&b artists mainly because of his signature raspy riffs that will have you melting in your seat. Legend could probably also do wonders on your romantic relationships. So single or taken, go for all reasons. -Esther Hur
- Father John Misty – October 23 @ 9:30 Club Joshua Tillman couldn’t be contained behind a drum kit as a member of Fleet Foxes, and now it seems he still feels held back by his own band. He’ll be at the 9:30 Club on October 23rd to perform a “solo” act, which has been obliquely characterized as some sort of a variety show. If you’re rolling your eyes at another performer who assumes their talents cross performance mediums (ahem), you definitely haven’t seen Misty and his hips in all of their charming glory. The man is a revelation of sass and wit. And hips. – Courtney Pitman
- Fiona Apple, Blake Mills – October 25, 26 @ Lincoln Theatre Recently Fiona Apple told her audience at a Louis Vuitton hosted party in Tokyo to “Shut the f-k up” because they were being rowdy and just plain rude. She later said “..They all miss the fact that there is a difference between the back-of-the-room-chatter that is simply annoying,–and the operatic drunken blather, or the heckling that is really just INTERRUPTING that makes it impossible for us to do our jobs.”
Her gut pounding lyrics and jazz-blues vocals are what makes her one of my personal favorites. In her song “Valentine”, there’s a line where she repeats the word “you” over and over. She could repeat the same word for the entirety of a song and you’ll feel it. Go see her. And pay attention. – Esther Hur
- You Won’t – October 25 @ IOTA I’ve written about the Cambridge duo You Won’t twice now on Tunes You Should Fucking Know, once when I discovered their heartwarmingly quirky single “Who Knew” and again after they blew me away opening up for Joy Formidable. With a sound so large it seems impossible that it stems from only two people, their live show is a combination of earnest, unpretentious folk and raw, melodic indie rock.
I have been anxiously awaiting their return to DC since that Joy Formidable show, and they are one of the few bands that I would venture to Arlington for. Do yourself a favor, check out their album, get a ticket to their show, and buy me a beer when you see me in the audience as a thank you for making you go see them. -Bryce Rudow
- Zola Jesus, JD Thirlwell – October 25 @ Hirschhorn Museum I could care less about Zola Jesus’ new music. I’m sure it’s perfectly fine. I do care about her live show. Whether in a club (good), at a festival (a must see) or in a unique venue like the Hirschhorn (perfect), there’s always a reason to see the Wisconsin electro-whatever performer. Gaga without the glitz. PJ Harvey without the guitars. Klaus Nomi with a different gender. -Brandon Wetherbee
- Big Gigantic – October 26 @ Rams Head Live! If you need an EDM primer, let Big Gigantic be your introduction. Huge on horns, dubby enough to keep the young kids coming, Big G hits the sweet spot between funky dance music and grimy bass. Sure, you can see the hundreds of thousands of plays they have on Soundcloud. But seeing them perform live supersedes your headphones in every sense. Mostly because there is a live drummer and saxophonist on stage instead of dudes loading up a Macbook Pro into two turntables. But hearing a group with a name so big they had to emphasize it further will rattle Ram’s Head Live’s rafters. – Brandon Weight
- A Place in Time, Toy Store Riot, BraceFace, The Parsecs, Centerfield, Go Home Freshman, Sweat Life, The Audacious (DC Humane Society Halloween Benefit Show) – October 26 @ The Pinch The Audacious will be Green Day and Go Home Freshman will be My Chemical Romance. The Parsecs are space pirates and A Place in Time are filming a music video. This is going to be one weird, free benefit show with punks, dog food, and kitty litter everywhere to support the DC Humane Society. – Clarissa Villondo
- Pearl Jam – October 27 @ Baltimore Arena I will go to this show and I will sing out loud to all of the songs and I don’t even like Ten. I am also not a dad. It is possible to love and understand Pearl Jam like they’re Neil Young & Crazy Part part 2. – Brandon Wetherbee
- George Clinton – October 27 @ Howard Theatre Even without his massive dreads and colorful costumes, George Clinton is still able to bring a funky experience to all ages. His appearance on the Mall last year proved it. So how does the leader of Parliament still wow the crowd? He’s still surrounded by people with massive dreads and colorful costumes. It’s still funk. It’s going to smell green. -Brandon Wetherbee
- Cults – October 29 @ Black Cat Cults makes upbeat music with haunting lyrics, leading to multi-layered songs that evolve with each listen, which has also been the case in their live shows. The band will return to Black Cat on October 29th in support of their sophomore LP Static. First single ‘High Road’ bodes well for the group, which might be facing some pressure to live up to the blog darling status of their self-titled 2011 LP. – Courtney Pitman
- Frightened Rabbit, Augustines – October 29 @ 9:30 Club There aren’t many bands that I wish bad things for the lead singer/songwriter. I want bad things to happen to Frightened Rabbit. Not horrible, tragic things like death and illness, but garden variety bad love life experiences. If they’re able to make a few more LPs like The Midnight Organ Flight and The Winter of Mixed Drinks, it’ll be worth it. Their live shows are even better than their albums. The musical quality is there, the emotions are ratcheted up a few notches. If you’re heartbroken, go to this show. If you’re in love, go to this show with your loved one and hold onto what you have. -Brandon Wetherbee
- Disclosure – October 29 @ 9:30 Club Disclosure at 9:30 club, A MUST EXPERIENCE. The English duo attracted immediate attention after their first single “Latch”, a dance/workout/fist pumping/wall pounding track laced with Sam Smith’s smooth serenade. If just listening to their stuff through my jvc gumys can make me throw a musical fit, imagine a live show…. -Esther Hur
- Matt Nathanson, Joshua Radin – October 29 @ The Lincoln Theater You know Matt Nathanson from his many hits on the radio and Joshua Radin from, like, tons of episodes of Scrubs (Zach Braff and Donald Faison are his best friends…if that’s not motivation enough to see this show then I don’t know what is). I saw Joshua Radin last year, and if you like to hear the personal stories of the artist that explains his songs with sweetness and humor, then this is the show for you. The pairing with Matt Nathanson promises a night of alt-rock awesomeness. -Emily Catino
- Neko Case, Shona Tucker and Eye Candy – October 30, 31 @ Lincoln Theatre The most important American voice in American music is from Canada. Neko Case’s new album is yet again, a heartbreaker. A 5-star album about gender and love and childhood and pain. It was worth the wait. Her live shows are not nearly as heavy as her album. Along with singer Kelly Hogan, the two banter between songs like they’re hosting a late night variety shows from the late 70s. You may actually laugh after a performance of a song about a mother not loving her child. Really. They’re funny. And they sound better than anyone singing popular music today. The Lincoln may be the best possible place in DC for this show. -Brandon Wetherbee
- Bootsy Collins – October 31 @ Strathmore Go to this show if you want to dress up like Bootsy and do not care about seeing a performance. Collins is sporadic when it comes to live shows. Sometimes you’ll get a real set, sometimes you’ll get 20 confusing minutes. Since it’s Halloween and you’ve always wanted to dress like you’re in Parliament, why not take a chance? -Brandon Wetherbee
- Blue Oyster Cult – October 31 @ The Hamilton Seeing one of the founding metal bands on Halloween in a beautiful basement space in downtown DC is more than great. If you’re a conspiracy theorist, this might be the best show of all time. If you’re just a fan of things like music, metal and fun, it’ll be an excellent way to party with the reaper. -Brandon Wetherbee
- Jessie Ware – October 31 @ The Fillmore Silver Spring Jessie Ware is everything. She’s delightfully British, absolutely adorable, and incredibly talented. Her soul-infused blend of R&B is simultaneously a throwback and a new concept, and she’s collaborated with some of the top new producers in the UK, providing vocals for SBTRK and Joker songs. Also, her cover of 90’s girl group Brownstone’s “If You Love Me” is world-altering. She’ll be back in the DC area on Halloween and you should be there with her. – Courtney Pitman
- Drake – October 31 @ Verizon Center - Drake. At Verizon Center. On Halloween. I mean, everyone needs to dress up like Jimmy from Degrassi for this performance, or I’m going to be pissed. Hope Verizon Center has enough handicapped entrances. -Ross Bonaime
- Holy Ghost! – November 1 @ 9:30 Club When Holy Ghost! played at Sweetlife a few months ago, their set was delayed for quite a while, but once the band started playing “Do It Again,” the wait was well worth it. An entire night of Holy Ghost! at the 9:30 Club, well that’s definitely worth the wait until November.- Ross Bonaime
- Built to Spill, Slam Dunk, Genders, The Warm Hair – November 1 @ 9:30 Club Do you like wearing t-shirts? Do you like wearing not-very-tight jeans? Do you like hearing the album played really well live? Do you like white guys? Do you like educated people? Do you like craft beer? Do you like guitar solos? Do you like note-for-note covers of Neil Young’s “Cortez the Killer?” If you’ve answered yes to all of these questions, you may like this show. -Brandon Wetherbee
- Pelican, Coliseum, Highway Cross – November 2 @ DC9 Instrumental metal is thinking man’s metal. Pelican is one of the best instrumental bands, metal or otherwise, and have been for the last decade. If you want to feel like you’re in a dramatic indie film, go to this show. Wear earplugs. -Brandon Wetherbee
- James Blake – November 2 @ 9:30 Club No one is ever able to categorize James Blake. Mainly because there is no genre that envelops his electro-synth, jazz-blues r&b like style. Listening to James Blake is like being submerged into the Mediterranean and having Adonis’ sweet voice reverberate against your fawning self, kind of like a 5 gum commercial. I’ll be there. – Esther Hur
- Solange – November 2 @ Lisner Auditorium What’s it like to be B’s sister? What’s it like to be B’s sister and try to make a name in the same industry? She released her first album in 2003 around the same time Beyonce’s “Dangerously in Love” came out…and you can imagine how that went down. After a few understated releases, she deviated from pop-r&b and came out with Motown inspired, “True”. Solange donned a fresh new indie-funk style and made it impossible for us to compare her to Beyonce. She did the whole being B’s sister, and making it as a musician just right. – Esther Hur
- Born Ruffians – November 3 @ Rock and Roll Hotel What makes Born Ruffians interesting and different from other indie rock bands is their shrilled, pop like vocals that wake listeners up from all the other mediocre indie-rock artists that we seem to have too many of. When the vocals are the main act, you have to experience a live show. – Esther Hur
- The Head and The Heart – November 4th @ 9:30 Club Irresistible indie-folkers The Head and The Heart are no strangers to the 9:30 Club, but their November 4th show will mark the first time they have more than a one-album catalog from which to pull music. Their sophomore offering Let’s Be Still, out October 15th, promises more soul-swelling goodies, starting with lead single “Shake.” Throw in another opening performance by the always-solid Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, and this show is a no-brainer. Which means the only remaining questions are which side of the stage to stand on to be closest to THATH’s singer/violinist Charity Thielen, and how can we become best friends? -Coutney Pitman
- Poliça – November 6 @ 9:30 Club Poliça burst onto the scene in 2012 with their debut album Give You the Ghost, offering obscured synth-infused songs driven by dark percussion, and tempered by Channy Leaneagh’s syrupy autotuned vocals. They’re set to play 9:30 Club in November supporting their upcoming album Shulamith, out October 22nd, which features one of their biggest fans and former Gayngs bandmate Justin Vernon on lead single “Tiff.” Powered by two drummers and multi-layered songs, Polica will soar on the 9:30 sound system. CHECK OUT the seductive highlight “Lay Your Cards Out” off Give You the Ghost, or the gloriously upbeat single “Chain My Name” off the upcoming album -Courtney Pitman
- Lucero – November 7 @ Baltimore Soundstage Lucero’s never played a bad show. Hell, that’s a pretty big claim, maybe they have. I can be certain, however, they’ve never played show that wasn’t a party; a rollicking, honky-tonkin’, good time that feels like the best Southern house party you’ve always wanted to attend. Sadly, more often than not I have to truck up to Baltimore to see them, maybe DC is just too uptight. Anyhow, Lucero’s coming to the Baltimore Soundstage on November 7, and you should go to satisfy your Southern punk rock/soul needs. Consume bourbon. Dance heartily. Feel good. Try not to steal Brian Venable’s heavy metal redneck nerd style. That’s my thing. -Jeb Gavin
- New Found Glory/Alkaline Trio – November 7 @ Fillmore Silver Spring I hope Alkaline Trio performs before New Found Glory. The pop-punk bands are co-headling a fall tour that sort-of makes sense. NFG is for the kids, the high school kids, now mid-20’s adults and AK3 is for the drunker, older kids, the high school and college kids, now mid-20’s to mid-30’s adults that used to sneak in 40s to shows at bowling alleys. AK3 have matured at a steady and respectable pace, tracks like 2008’s “Calling All Skeletons” is a stand-out and the new album is a small step towards the future. They may not make another “Goddammit” or “Good Mourning,” but they’re smart enough to play a healthy amount from each album at each show. I really hope they go up before New Found Glory. I have work in the morning. -Brandon Wetherbee
- Grouplove – November 8 @ AU Bender Arena Chances are you missed their two October appearances at U Street Music Hall and The Hamilton because those sold out in seconds. I’m not going to repeat how amazing they are because those two write ups explain it already. Just thank AU for bringing them back so Grouplove can sell out one more DC show this year. – Clarissa Villondo
- Mavis Staples – November 8 @ Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center We’re not going to recommend this show out of obligation to a legend. We’re going to recommend this show because Staples has released her second LP produced by Jeff Tweedy of Wilco and it’s her second modern record in-a-row that will make a lot of critic’s top 10 lists. Mavis still sounds good, appearances on “The Colbert Report” and NPR are proof. Why not go to a show that can and should be enjoyed by multiple generations? -Brandon Wetherbee
- Paramore – November 9 @ Patriot Center Paramore is back! After a four year hiatus, Hayley Williams returns with the same anthemic songs, glass shattering vocals, and fiery red hair. Before you see this show, please listen to their first album, All We Know Is Falling. If you’re going to this show, you must know why I’m asking you to do this. Paramore revived my little seventh grade heart time and time again with this album. -Esther Hur
- Kate Nash, La Sera – November 11 @ 9:30 Club It might just be me, but whenever I sing along to Kate Nash songs (which is every chance I get when alone in my car) I like to belt them out with the worst British accent you’ve ever heard. There’s something so fun about her over-the-top accent and ridiculous, funny, and sometimes deceptively sweet lyrics (see “Birds” from Made of Bricks). Since her debut album she has kind of faltered with her identity as a musician, but I would totally go to this show to sing obnoxiously along to her songs, hopefully with the rest of the audience to join me. -Emily Catino
- Daft Punk Tribute – November 13 @ The Howard Theatre You’re never going to see Daft Punk play a show, a real, full-budget show, in a venue the size of the Howard, so this is a pretty good option. Why would you want to see Daft Punk anyway? They refused Colbert, they didn’t perform at the VMAs and their pyramid can’t fit in a club. Just go to this and dance. Think of it as DIY Daft Punk. -Brandon Wetherbee
- Elton John – November 14 @ Verizon Center I mean, it’s Elton John. Can he do wrong? (Yes. Yes, he can. -BRW) He’s a living legend, he makes beautiful and fun music, you know so much of his music so you can easily sing along…I can’t think of a reason NOT to go to this show, except you probably won’t be able to get a ticket. -Emily Catino
- RAC – November 15 @ Rock and Roll Hotel Remix Artist Collective go beyond the traditional repetitive remixing: distorting, fast forwarding and slapping on a fast-paced beat. RAC are praised for their re-production and re-invention of already great songs. They are the best at keeping the backbone of a track, while adding completely foreign flairs that keep us interested. What will be most exciting to hear at a live show of theirs will be this creative improv. – Esther Hur
- Gwar, Iron Reagan, A Band of Orcs – November 17 @ 9:30 Club Halloween in November. Bring a change of clothes. -Brandon Wetherbee
- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – November 18 @ Verizon Center When the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” reads Malcolm Gladwell then journey’s into socially conscious rap you have no choice but to like it or love it. The DIY story of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis made its way into your radio waves and before you knew it you were at a thrift shop popping tags as a way of life. Bringing home Best Hip-Hop Video for “Can’t Hold Us” and Best Video with a Social Message for “Same Love” was like adding extra apples to the Hip-Hop American Pie! In turn, Hip-Hop analysts & bloggers have varied views of this dynamic duo calling into question exactly how organic their rise to fame is. How did they become so large without a large funding machine? Is their success evidence of a larger systemic race issue? While the belief in “unidentified funding objects” or white privilege being the basis of their success the tight knit “no new friends” type of model they’ve created is working the hell out of these theories. The Macklemore camp has been keeping the idea of a new album as whispers and speculation. Yet The Fall Tour for their debut album The Heist is full steam ahead! Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are due to blow the roof off of the Verizon Center on November 18th. All conspiracy theories aside not only is the album a great album. They put on a high energy, fun, yet socially conscious show that’s worth attending. -Shelly Bell
- Slayer – November 19 @ Fillmore Silver Spring Why isn’t Slayer playing arenas? Is it their extremely abrasive music with limited commercial appeal? Probably. It’s a shame. They’re the band that should have Metallica level success. They’ve never sucked. Each album sounds like a Slayer album: fast, angry, tight, aggressive. Their live show is the same. -Brandon Wetherbee
- Sleigh Bells – November 19 @ 9:30 Club The duo is signed to M.I.A’s boutique label N.E.E.T which means they have already been through the sickest filter and made it. Vocalist Alexis Krauss shouts in the most pleasing form on all tracks. Their songs are strong pop rock and to be at one of their shows will be like protesting with the FEMEN feminists. – Esther Hur
- Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar – November 21 @ Verizon Center You guys know he’s the best, right? Not the best performer or singer or lyricist or producer, but the best. Smart enough to know his faults, dumb enough to brag about those faults. Smart enough to take a challenging record on the road, dumb enough to, once again, be outshines by Jay Z. Smart enough to surround himself by some of the best live concert production teams, dumb enough to show up to his own concerts hours late. He’s the best. He’s a god. He’s horrible. He’s wonderful. He’s the only performer that is impossible to predict. -Brandon Wetherbee
- Baauer – November 22 @ U Street Music Hall You might know him for his most popular track “Harlem Shake”, but Baauer recently released tracks with Jay-Z, Disclosure, Just Blaze and K-pop prince G-dragon, and they’re all very impressive, especially “Higher” with Jay-Z and Just Blaze, it’s the most satisfying mix of hip-hop and Electronic. – Esther Hur
- Smash Mouth – November 22 @ Howard Theatre Maybe you should go to this just to see if they have another song other than “All Star.” Also, to sing along to “All Star.” -Emily Catino
- Mazzy Star – November 23 @ Fillmore Silver Spring I have a theory that everyone who listens to much in the way of pop music can think of a list of singers they wish they sounded like. These might not be your all-time favorite voices, just the ones you wish came out of your own mouth should you ever get the notion to sing. Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval has been on my list since early on in my musical education. The band’s most noted albums came out before I was old enough to go to shows, so I never got a chance to experience that voice live. Now, after 17 years, the influential dream-pop duo has put out a new album and is touring again, tapping into the major 1990s nostalgia zeitgeist which only seems to be growing in intensity. Catch them in Silver Spring or risk being left out of the most “relevant” of this fall’s reunion tours. -Brittany Martin
- Chris Cornell, Bhi Bhiman – November 23 @ Lincoln Theatre This show is sold-out. I think I understand why. I am not recommending this show. I am recommending going to Solly’s to see who pre-games for this solo acoustic date. -Brandon Wetherbee
- Tiesto – November 23 @ Echostage Tiesto showing up in DC shouldn’t be that big a deal. It’s not like Echostage isn’t a big, steaming speakerbox geared towards destroying your guts with bass. You’re going to show up, get blinded by neon, and dance to some pretty impressive, live-tweaked versions of songs you’re sick of hearing at bar mitzvahs. Maybe that’s just me. I’ve gotten off-topic. Tiesto spins pop electronic music better than almost anyone out there, and should you want to party at Echostage, particularly if you love well engineered sound systems and have more than 500 friends in tow, as then you all wouldn’t fit into Uhall. -Jeb Gavin
- MGMT – November 26 @ DAR Constitution Hall Descending cats wearing traditional kimono, electric trees secreting Florida’s Natural orange juice and performers in giant baby costume. I’m not MGMT’s set designer or anything, but I can pretty much guarantee these things will be there, complemented by their tasteful psychedelic/funk sounds. -Esther Hur
- Animal Collective – December 1 @ 9:30 Club It hasn’t been that long since Animal Collective graced the stages of 9:30 Club, but their last show was a sweaty, dancing blur. If you missed that night, or want to relive the tripped out dance party that the Baltimore band brought to DC, this is a sure thing for a great time. -Ross Bonaime
- NOFX – December 6 @ Fillmore Silver Spring Last time I saw NOFX was in the photo pit at a Wisconsin Warped Tour stop. I got hit in the back of the head with a half-full juice box. Fat Mike was drinking White Russians in 90+ degree heat. George W. Bush was not my president. A few things have changed. I don’t think the Fillmore sells juice boxes. -Brandon Wetherbee
- Jay-Z – January 16 @ Verizon Center In what has arguably become rap’s least threatening era, Jay Z – drug dealer-turned-President of All Things Popular Culture – with a prodigious level of precision will present a perfectly perfunctory performance on January 16th at Washington’s Verizon Center. It will have been a decade since Jay’s “Fade to Black” performance at Madison Square Garden, which, for the first 30 years of rap’s history was the pinnacle of live performance in the genre. Now, hot on the heels of creating rap’s most ultimate corporate synergy-to-date, he celebrates the double platinum by way of Samsung mobile app Magna Carta Holy Grail album with the Magna Carter arena tour. On the strength of Mr. “Magna Carter,” rap’s now bigger than “selling out the Garden in a day,” and now attempts to sell out every arena in the world, forever. In most likely succeeding at this, the idea that Jay can be marketed as a “perfect rapper” is entirely true. Jay’s raps now sound more like him flipping details of his own life like so many bricks of cocaine to so many fiend-ing for so much dope rap. In the honesty of Jay’s exposition there’s a little bit of a “new American dream” that feels like Superfly: The Saga Continues that, amazingly enough, everyone can love. When an audience can find safety in fear and knows every word that has taken a man through a “Hard Knock Life” to gaining ownership of the “Holy Grail,” it’s a truly impressive notion to consider, a perfect close for one level of rap music’s aspirational journey and the open to yet another. -Marcus Dowling
- John Legend – January 25 @ Lisner Auditorium Couldn’t get ticket to the October show at DAR? Still want to get pregnant? -Brandon Wetherbee
- Neutral Milk Hotel – January 31 @ DAR Constitution Hall Did you cry when Jeff Mangum played solo at Lincoln Theatre in 2012? You’ll probably cry at DAR in 2014. -Brandon Wetherbee
- Justin Timberlake – February 24 @ Verizon Center Possibly the winner of pop music’s Mister Congeniality Award for 2013, Justin Timberlake takes to the stage on February 24, 2014 at the Verizon Center to carry forth his “era of good feeling” into another year. What may be most telling about Timberlake’s 2013 success is that he’s excelled in the face of many music pundits feeling that his work is both tired and underwhelming. The protracted length of 20/20 Experience Part I and the early solo-era JT feel of 20/20 Experience Part II as well are often considered at fault, but have not denied extraordinary album sales. However, with tracks featuring literally a who’s who of your favorite artists over a 20-year span, the live concert experience of Justin’s music and legacy (I’m totally expecting SNL favorites “Dick in a Box” or “Veganville,” as well as cameos from folks like Jimmy Fallon as well) may provide the spark that so many feel is lacking in Timberlake’s work as of late. With live performance being the most important earning variable in music at the moment, the Timberlake live experience – in rendering album talk into being so much click-bait palaver – may be the must-see concert of the winter. -Marcus Dowling
- Robin Thicke – February 27 @ Patriot Center Read our review from Virgin FreeFest. Expect more of the same.
- Caustic Casanova, Chute, Gloria Adios – October 5 @ St. Stephen’s -I’m not even sure what to make of this benefit show and I’m a co-founder of the company presenting it. The show starts off with indie spacey punk songs by Gloria Adios, which is followed by Chute’s hard industrial rock sound. Caustic Casanova rounds out the show with both styles, a sort of heavy but spacey rock. Did I mention that part of the proceeds goes to Sasha Bruce Youthwork? And boxes will be at the show for a food collection drive for We Are Family. THEN, Indie Bands with a Mission is putting on a pay-what-you-want bake sale. I mean, we have homemade chocolate chip cookies inside of brownies with rock/punk music. What more can you want? – Clarissa Villondo
- Kill Lincoln – October 7 @ Rock and Roll Hotel - I may get punched at almost every hardcore show, but seriously, I’m willing to take that risk again after photographing them a few months ago. I love their literally in-your-face energy. -Clarissa Villondo
- Janelle Monae – October 14 @ Lincoln Theatre – Duh. -Katherine Gaines
- Zola Jesus, JD Thirlwell – October 25 @ Hirschhorn Museum One of my absolute favorites for years, and now she’s got a string section led by the legendary JG Thirwell, who’s written shit like this…-Katherine Gaines
- Blacksmithtomahawk, Playtime Revenue, Collapser, Over & Out, Boardroom Heroes, Kill Lincoln (Halloween Cover Show) – October 27 @ Casa Fiesta I don’t think I have to explain this show anymore than telling you to imagine punks wearing Halloween costumes while covering Descendents, The Lawrence Arms, Lifetime, and NOFX above a Mexican restaurant. How could this not be a good night? – Clarissa Villondo
- The Pretty Reckless – November 3 @ Fillmore Silver Spring – Actresses are always photogenic and barely legal actresses with controversial style especially so. -Katherine Gaines
- BraceFace, Electric Fireworks – November 8 @ Velvet Lounge – BraceFace played in their boxers the first time I saw them. Plus, members of BraceFace are also in Electric Fireworks. Are they going to make it through two sets most likely full of booze and potentially half-naked? -Clarissa Villondo
- Charli XCX – November 16 @ U Street Music Hall - Seriously, just look at my pics of the last show and you know why. -Katherine Gaines
- Cymbals Eat Guitars, Mood Rings – November 21 @ DC9 Cymbals Eat Guitars played at 9th & Beats earlier this year and they were fantastic. I wasn’t sure what to expect that first time, but I have expectations that it’s going to be a high energy show at the smaller venue. I have to admit, it’s going to be refreshing to see them again and not be eating sushi in the next room over or running around trying to photograph the bands while keeping people happy this time. – Clarissa Villondo
- Phantogram – December 5 @ 9:30 Club Killer light show. -Katherine Gaines
- Beyonce – December 18 @ Verizon Center She’s Beyonce. -Clarissa Villondo
- Justin Timberlake – February 24 @ Verizon Center He’s Justin Timberlake. -Clarissa Villondo
By Farrah Skeiky
More often than not, the addition of a great opening act is what makes the ticket price worth it. This fall, the district is graced by some incredible talent sharing the stage with the headliners you know and love. Don’t miss the chance to say you were there before they blew up. If you’re going to any of these shows, this is who you should come early for.
- 10/1 – Crystal Fighters (opening for Portugal. The Man @ The Fillmore) With soaring harmonies and infectious dance tracks, Crystal Fighters present brighter melodies and a more accessible brand of weird than P.TM, and that’s a good thing. These songs easily have the potential to become singalong radio anthem hits, and with a cantankerous personality like this, it’s even more likely that Crystal Fighters will get their shine soon.
- 10/5 – King Tuff (opening for Wavves @ Black Cat) Once again, we’ve got a lineup that was just meant to be. King Tuff and Wavves together create the ultimate bottle rocket summer, surf pop heavy night. Significantly more melodic and presenting a somehow endearing nasally snarl, King Tuff offer up a happier and brighter version of what Wavves have to offer.
- 10/11 – Caveman (opening for Ra Ra Riot @ 930) Caveman have struck a balance between rich, swelling melodies, and persistent driving rhythms. This translates to saccharine yet danceable ballads that are truly tracks to set the mood. Easily more mellow than Ra Ra Riot, it’s easy to feel enveloped in the warm melodies and harmonies of Caveman’s simple sounds. BONUS: Check out this interview with CAVEMAN we did a min a go.
- 10/13 – Bass Drum of Death (opening for Hanni El Khatib @ Rock and Roll Hotel) Bass Drum of Death never fail to bring the energy of a sweaty summer night to the room, and they expertly do this without being nostalgic or kitschy. Their sound is a mastery of influence without imitation, and that truly sets them apart from every summertime punk band making music right now.
- 10/19 – Deleted Scenes (opening for Dismemberment Plan @ 930) This recommendation is a direct result of experiencing this exact lineup at Metro Gallery just over a year ago. The DC indie quartet are just as entertaining to watch as the D Plan, and their latest effort Young People’s Church of the Air is easily one of the best local releases of the past year.
- 10/26 – The Orwells (opening for FIDLAR @ Rock and Roll Hotel) FIDLAR present inane and infection party jams about smoking weed, drinking cheap beer, girls, and generally not giving a fuck. It makes perfect sense that The Orwells would open this show, with a similar frantic and spastic energy that relies on youthful subject matter– in fact, their biggest single was the lead track in the latest Myspace campaign. However, unlike Myspace, the Orwells are headed for success with their fast talking vocals and undeniable summer vibes.
- 10/27 – Beach Fossils (opening for Kurt Vile and the Violators @ Ram’s Head Live) One of the prettiest and eeriest releases of recent memory, Clash the Truth has great potential to translate well live. It’s got tremendous relisten value, revealing hidden gems with each new listen in a charming bass line, or fleeting seconds of harmonizing. Most importantly, Beach Fossils sound just sweet enough to be paired with Kurt Vile for this tour, and it’s easy to see them perfecting live performances by watching each other.
- 11/4 - Thao and the Get Down Stay Down (opening for The Head and The Heart @ 930) If you’re late to the Thao party, we feel genuinely bad for you– but this show is a perfect introduction. Sweet and masterful in vocals and instrumentation, Thao Nguyen creates beautiful blooming and immensely fun music without being cutesy about it. Solo or otherwise, her projects keep us falling in love over and over again, and obsessive music lovers everywhere are following suit.
- 11/4 – Hundred Waters (opening for Braids @ DC9) Hundred Waters bring mellow, sweet vocals layered over darker, eerier noise. Glittered with gorgeous instrumentation and sparkling piano, the electronically inclined group are now signed to Skrillex’s OWSLA label, giving them the exposure they deserve.
- 11/6 – Marijuana Deathsquads (opening for Poliça @ 930) Marijuana Deathsquads are an odd opener for sounds as serene and haunting as Poliça, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Both bands feature reverberation and garbled, almost underwater vocals, but Marijuana Deathsquads are noisier, weirder, and more aggressive– basically, Poliça’s freakier, experimental cousin.
- 11/11 – Pink Mountaintops (opening for Destroyer @ Sixth & I) Pink Mountaintops, the side project of Black Mountains’ frontman Stephen McBean, has its own beer. Imagine that cozy, contemplative weather you’ve been yearning for, and add a muted acid trip to it. This is the sound you get with Pink Mountaintops– a warm, familiar place to allow for experimentation and psychedelia.
- 11/12 – The Front Bottoms (opening for Manchester Orchestra @ Ram’s Head Live) If you live for playful songs filled with lyrics that ache with familiarity, you’ll want to be in the crowd singing along to every single Front Bottoms song. These Jersey oddballs present heartbreaking yet blunt lyrics that spin stories everyone can relate to.
- 11/18 – Single Mothers (opening for A Wilhelm Scream @ Metro Gallery) Single Mothers reside within the darker, nastier side of the summer house party brand of punk, eliminating any nostalgia that could be linked to that label. The levity lies in their uptempo energy, but the vocals give way to instrumental experimentation and general weirdness. Just because the singalongs are gone doesn’t mean they aren’t one of the most fun bands to watch.
- 11/16 – Kitten (opening for Charli XCX @ U Street Music Hall) Kitten’s darker and meticulously constructed soundscapes are far too expert to be opening for the likes of Charli XCX. Lead singer Chloe Chaidez has a raw, masterful voice reminiscent of everything we love about dance jam divas of bygone eras, but has the discipline to be influenced without imitating.
and now…for some THOUGHTS ABOUT SOME THINGS from people we and you trust:
By Bryce Rudow
Football season just started, and with that comes my annual addiction to Fantasy Football. “Don’t get it” all you want, but I love it. And one key aspect of being successful at fantasy football is the ability to scout undervalued players before they become popular so that you can pick them up on the waiver wire (basically a big pool of players that are available to be picked up by anyone) before someone else realizes their talent and scoops them up. Since these music guides come out far too frequently, I’m going to throw down a bit of fantasy-style advice about bands that haven’t really exploded yet but have the potential to blast off to superstardom in the next few months and are worth your attention.
The 2013 Fall/Winter Waiver Wire Watch List:
Pete Lawrie Winfield, the man behind Until The Ribbon Breaks, is the player that switched positions mid-career and found his calling. The same guy behind this radio-rock silliness now creates music that my compatriot at All Things Go, Jia Tolentino, once perfectly called “noir&b.” Songs like “Pressure” and “2025” are heavy, well-produced examples of Winfield’s particular experimental-R&B sound that are just begging to be remixed (see Dave Sitek’s and Ta-ku’s takes on “Pressure”).
The easy comparisons are shaped around James Blake, but Until The Ribbon Breaks boasts the production chops to turn even one of summer’s brightest jam, “Royals” into something dark and weighty and the edge to nab a guest spot on the Run The Jewels album. He’s found a really interesting niche and it obviously plays to his strengths as a musician.
Nab him before he’s working with Yeezus or Drake or Kendrick.
Everyone is afraid to pick up a player with a troubled past, whether that means constant injury problems, off-the-field issues, or just a bad reputation; and that’s a reasonable concern. But sometimes you have to roll the dice, trust your gut, and pull the trigger on giving someone a second chance (i.e. Peyton Manning).
I actually wrote about Clare Maguire for the Tunes You Should Fucking Know back in May, but I was quick to address her checkered past. I had discovered that she had a pop-filled past in her home country of the UK and was aghast that the girl responsible for making me feel so many EMOTIONS had done such things before I was introduced to her (In the article, I compare it to discovering a then-girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend had a “scary large” extremity…).
But I was optimistic, and wrote, “I’m holding out hope that she’s pulling a Solange and, after finding reasonable success within the corporate music scene, is using her fame as a chance to explore more personal musical avenues; like more recordings of her singing with just a piano in a living room. That way I can forget about her “scary big” past and think about our great future together.”
That optimism has paid off, because since releasing those first new demos, she has been on a tear, putting out a demo for the 2-years-sober celebrating “Slightly Sober,” a finished track called “Paper Thin” that follows the “Changing Faces” formula of letting her expressive, Stevie Nicks-meets-Joni Mitchell voice fall over a piano, and the upbeat but intriguing “Little White Lies”.
When she first read my “scary big” take on her first album, Clare assured me she had learned from her past mistakes. While that may be what most players with a sordid history say, as the wise Rasheed Wallace says, “Ball don’t lie,” and Clare Maguire can ball.
She’s currently working on her newest album, but keep an eye out for her, and give her the benefit of the doubt when her name starts popping up more often in a few months.
Banks is already a common name in most music-circles, and if there were fantasy indie-music leagues, she’d probably be starting for at least a few teams. But what’s amazing about the LA singer-songwriter, is that her ceiling keeps rising.
She already made a case for herself with the sultry Fall Over EP, which featured two stellar tracks in “Fall Over” and “Before I Ever Met You,” as well as a cool Peter Gabriel cover and a standalone single called “Warm Water” produced by Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs.
But now, a few days after her EP London was released, it’s just a matter of time before she is inescapably known. She has the artistic merit to be embraced by a more discerning audience, but if the right MTV reality show picked up the leadoff Sohn-produced single “Waiting Game” or the more recently released “This Is What It Feels Like,” then her star will be on an immediate meteoric rise. Not to mention she is about to go on tour opening up The Weeknd.
Invest in her now because she’s ready to make the leap.
By Denman C Anderson, DJ and lead singer of Technophobia
First let’s get one thing straight, there is no right or wrong in music. We all come to this for different reasons, and that passion shouldn’t be judged. However, when we began Technophobia we did so with a specific intention in mind. We wanted a project that would have longevity and mobility. We’ve already garnered a lot of support in a short amount of time. Here then, are five items to ponder, when starting a new music project.
- BE PATIENT!
We know how hard it is when you start a new project that you are excited about. You want to tell the world. But instead, be patient. You don’t want to share what you’ve got until it’s ready to be released. This includes all aspects of the band, from recordings, to videos, and pics. You only get one chance to make a first impression. Know how long we waited before we played our first show? One year.
- Have a Consistent Concept
One thing that’s so important is to have a cohesive concept in all aspects of your band’s image. From social media to record covers to merch: have a consistency. Take the time to figure out who you are, and then when you’re acting as the band, live it. This way, you’ll reach the fanbase you’re aiming for, and people will have a concrete idea of what to expect from you. For example, all of our graphics and visuals stay in line with the identity we’re trying to present.
- Record it Right
We understand how expensive recording can be, and we know technology has enabled anyone to do their own. But if you’ve worked so hard on your passion, you need to do it justice. If this means taking on an extra paper route, so be it. Take the time to make sure the music is ready, and you have the resources to go into a real studio. We saved up and went with Mike Fanuele of Lavabed Recording, in Mt. Rainier, MD. Again, we know this costs a lot; you’ll notice we only have one song recorded as of now.
- Plan Your Live Show
So, you’ve worked hard on all of the above, and you’re ready to play your first show. Take some time to plan out what that live setup and execution should look like. Make sure you engage your audience with the same passion you feel for your music. Be it gear, visuals, attire, or whatever you feel is important to express what you’re doing, do it with clean and clear intention. For us visuals and aesthetic were very important for our live show, so we planned out all of the different elements.
- Strategize Your Booking
We know you’re excited, don’t just take every show offered. First, space out the number of local shows you play. You want to make sure people are always excited to see you, and will come out. Second, figure out who your community is. What bands make sense for you to play with? What venues seem open to what you’re doing, and can accommodate you? Don’t be afraid to say no, but always be both polite and grateful. If you follow these guidelines, you’ll be playing more gratifying shows from turnout, to lineup, to venue. We played our first show at the Black Cat with Lenorable, and we didn’t play again for several weeks (and even then the show was in Baltimore). All of that made sense to us, and led to shows that we felt gratified by.
There you have it. While this is painfully simplified, we hope it helps people starting new projects get a better handle on making that passion pay off.
By Ryan Little of Bad Friend Records
5. They seem nice enough.
4. They have great hair.
3. “Check out those sweater vests.”
2. “Isn’t the lead singer dating a model?”
1. You think they’ll make money.
By Ryan Little of Bad Friend Records
5. They tour their asses off and write great music.
4. They have great hair.
3. You trust them (and know their parents’ phone numbers).
2. You really, really love their music.
1. You’re willing to lose money on them.
- Band: Misun is one of the most intriguing bands born in DC in years: they’re not dead-scene revivalists or fashion-first poseurs, just classic pop songwriters with a sound that is decidedly modern and genre-agnostic. Namesake vocalist Misun Wojcik breathes fire and smoke, and Nacey and William DeVon are total pros. Catch them while you can; unfortunately, bands this good don’t stay in DC forever.
- Club: This one’s a no-brainer: since March 2010, U Street Music Hall has been a revelation to DC nightlife. No-frills but not divey, with one of the best sound systems in the nation and a staff to match, U Hall consistently books the best names in the wide and wonderful world of dance music. Plus, their stage has hosted everyone from Grimes to Odd Future to Disclosure — often providing the last opportunity to catch buzzy acts in an intimate, 500-head venue. I still meet people who haven’t been — what are you waiting for?
- Rapper: Let’s face it, the Wale of “Dig Dug” and “Nike Boots” is never coming back. No matter: DC actually has a legit rapper to call their own. Fat Trel has been grinding for a few years, but his style and that of the mainstream — sensitive thug with a hunger for illegal substances — finally sync up perfectly. His recent SDMG mixtape was his most complete effort yet, and the grieving, Autotuned “Niggaz Dying” is one of the year’s best rap tracks. With a rumored signing to Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group, the rest of the country is about to hear what we’ve been raving about. Just no more show shootings, okay?
- Label: Future Times co-founders Mike Petillo (half of Protect-U) and Andrew Field-Pickering (aka Maxmillion Dunbar and half of Beautiful Swimmers) have been releasing nostalgia-seeped house/boogie/funk/whatever for five years now, and their irony-free approach, one that is reverent to but not beholden to dance music history, is the perfect antidote to the EDM behemoth. Even without a residency in town (RIP The Whale), they’re bringing national and international credibility to DC, whether it wants it or not.
- Promoter: The Bombay Knox collective might advertise management and production services, but their real strength is in promoting. Over the last year or so, they’ve hosted Chicago party rapper Sasha Go Hard, Lofty 305 of Miami art-rap crew Metro Zu, and ex-Raider Klan member Denzel Curry, along with local acts like Uno Hype and Akoko. Those names might not mean much to you if you don’t spend all day on Datpiff or Complex, but if you’re looking for exciting rap from the genre’s fertile fringes, get yourself to a Bombay Knox show.
By Legba Carrefour
I’ve had the brilliant, unequivocal privilege of working at a popular, local, unnameable dance club since the day it flung open it’s doors to the drunken and dancing masses like a blinking Ellis Island for immigrants fleeing some oppressive land where wearing Pokemon backpacks is a thought crime. It’s owned and operated by people who’ve been my rave friends for over a decade and it’s become a tightly knit family for those of us who live there.
That said, like any service job, it’s had it’s rough points. Working the coat check, there are a few (only a few! We love your beautiful faces 99.99% of the time) dark nights where the only thought that’s kept me going is that Chloe Sevigny once worked the coat check at the infamous Limelight in New York in the nineties and look how she turned out!
With Death Cold DC Winter Coat Season upon us, here’s some advice for how to get your shit in and out as smoothly as possible:
- Do. Not. Cut. In. Line.
Do I look stupid? I see you, weirdjob, trying to slickly jump in front. People behind you are too awkward or too nice or too unsure of what’s going on to say anything but oh hell no, I’ve got a sixth sense about that shit. And don’t try to lie to me, as has happened, that your mom just died or “my water broke” or your dad is a lawyer and will sue me or you’re trying to get laid. BACK OF THE LINE!
- Take a picture of your coat check ticket with your phone.
When you lose your ticket, it is pure hell on everyone. On me, on the people behind you, my boss, and yes, on the baby Jesus, who weeps when you lose your ticket. At the very least don’t be like “It’s the black coat!” They’re all black. But if you took a picture–assuming you don’t lose your phone–problem solved.
Also, make sure you actually checked your coat. Some people come up confused on that point.
- Don’t argue with me about the cost.
It’s two bucks. And no, you can’t put eight coats on one hanger due to simple laws of physics.
- Trying to make out with me is entirely welcome.
This happens a lot. It’s pretty awesome. Although putting your phone number in the tip jar instead of cash isn’t flattering.
Look, I won’t say anything to you about it. But people in service remember who tips and who doesn’t. And keep in mind, it’s how I pay the rent.
When the revolution comes, Yelp will be the first up against the wall.
By Phil Hiotis
Ahoy-hoy. I was recently tasked with the duty of convincing you, the DC readers, into leaving your beautiful city full of good looking people, divinely rich food, and bikes that seemingly fall from the sky for your disposal, and come to the blue collar, seemingly dangerous, Gotham City wannabe north up 95. You know him, you love him, the city you wouldn’t want to bring home to your parents: Baltimore, MD. It’s not all gunshots and Barry Levinson references. Baltimore does have a plethora of offerings for anyone hungry for music or art. Here are five to wet your palate for the exotic taste of the Charm City this upcoming fall and winter.
5. U+N Fest – October 18, 19 @ The Ottobar Unregistered Nurse Booking has become a premier supplier of quality shows in the Baltimore area for the last few years, and their festival is a reflection of that. Over the two days, a ticket holder can experience a wide variety of bands with different styles sharing the stage together. For example, I see a power violence band, a minimalist experimental rock band, and a noisy punk band, and that’s only on the first day. This is definitely worth your weekend, and you’ll be able to experience great bands such as Pissed Jeans, Wild Honey, Sick Fix, and the only area appearance for the Gories.
4. Saint Vitus, Pallbearer, Hookers – October 13 @ Metro Gallery The legendary doom metal band, with the even more legendary Wino, continue to play strong sets since their reunion a decade ago, and continue to show why they are so inspirational to today’s doom metal bands that you have on your iPod, and enjoy when you decide to play your entire song catalog on shuffle. This has nothing to do with this particular show; however, I went to go see Saint Vitus three years ago, and to say it was a memorable performance would be an understatement. I arrived a bit late, as I had some studying to do for university, and as I arrived, I saw a bit of skirmish happening in front of the venue. Turns out it was no other than Wino, the frontman of Saint Vitus, fighting (and if I can be frank, defeating) another gentlemen. He played their set with a bruised face and bloody lip, and completely owned the audience to the point where I am still writing about this performance 3 years later.
3. A389 X Anniversary Bash – January 17, 18th @ Baltimore Sound Stage Dom Romero, the owner and mastermind behind the recently voted best label in Baltimore, A389 Records, consistently puts together a label showcase show that is cannot miss. The tenth installment of the A389 Bash provides a wonderful array of bands from the past and present. The draw of the show is the infamous metallic hardcore band, Integrity, playing with the lineup that recorded their 1995 classic, “Systems Overload.” This particular show will mark the first time in 20 years this lineup has shared the stage together. Also featured on this show is one of the most influential hardcore bands ever in Infest, as well as the infamous Haymaker.
2. A John Waters Christmas – December 19, 20 @ Baltimore Sound Stage While not technically a full musical performance, John Waters’ one man show is ample reason to spend a night in Baltimore with a professional pervert (not to be mistaken with those amateurs on the street corners). So much focus is put on romanticizing programs like The Wire and the violent nature of Baltimore; however, I much prefer to hear the love affair Waters has with the city. His fondness of the inane, as well as his recognition of the quality of art coming from the city is enough to perhaps have a different word association other than “Omar comin’.” This is a night spent talking about art, career retrospection, as well as a Q&A with the audience. I can say there is something truly special about seeing John Waters perform in the city that has inspired him so much.
1. Cross My Heart Reunion Show w/ J. Robbins – October 26 @ Metro Gallery This is truly the number one reason anyone would want to come to Baltimore this fall or winter. The reuniting emo band has provided one of the most tortured albums you will ever hear. I read a review of Cross My Heart saying that you are able to feel the weight of the world on your shoulders with every song. Now in their later years, it will be interesting to see how these gentlemen will perform their heralded song. Jawbox’s J. Robbins’ inclusion leaves you little reason to miss this show and city.
According to Chris Naoum of Listen Local First
- The Walking Sticks – I just found out about this dream pop group and I cannot stop listening to their very catchy EP
- ACME – Their newest EP is one of the best produced set of tracks I have heard in a while. Everything I can say has been said by Bryce in the BYT article.
- The Cowards Choir – Andy Zipf has moved away from the traditional singer songwriter personal and has taken his new musical project on the road. You can check out a feature on them that aired on WAMU’s metro connection a couple weeks back.
- Mission South – Trios are the new four piece. Check out the creepy video that Mission South recently put out and check out the soulful crooning of Dan Miller. If you close your eyes you might hear a little bit of Ben Harper but these three bring it with a totally southern indie rock soul mix of very well written songs.
- Cherry Tree - Man O man. Another trio. New age Thin Lizzy , Black Sabbath and Led Zepplin is an appropriate description for these guys. These know how to rock. Cherry Tree is meant to be heard outside on a large stage, but in the meantime, enjoy the small venues they will be growing out of over the next couple years.
- RDGLDGRN - Oh, wait, another trio? these three from VA have been touring around the country on the Vans Warped Tour and other European tours for the past 8 months. It will be fun to see them back in DC playing a couple local shows hopefully this fall.
- Morrison Brothers Band – I am not crazy about country music but many people are and this band should really be signed to a major country label and performing out of Nashville. Front man Willie Morrison puts on a great live performance and on the less poppy country ballads, the back up harmonies are reminiscent of something you might hear from The Band.
- Middle Distance Runner – When I first moved to DC these guys were getting really big and then they all settled down and had families. Whether they are back to make a return or just play a couple shows this fall, I am excited either way.
- Gypsy Sally’s just opened above Malmaison. I saw my first show there this past Friday. The venue looks awesome and real old timey, the sound is phenomenal. Bring your old vinyl to play in the back bar and vinyl lounge when there is no live show. I see myself spending some time here.
- The Lot at Union Kitchen has been hosting a phenomenal line up of Saturday evening shows for the past month and they will be going on up till November. Great for some fall evening live music and outdoor drinking.
- October 5 – RED TAPE at 906 H St NE -Help cut through the red tape! Join local artists, musicians and entrepreneurs for one night of creative showcasing, food truck caravanning and awesome music. Red Tape is the official kick-off event for DC Entrepreneurship Week and the 2nd Anniversary celebration of Listen Local First. Sets from The Raised by Wolves, The Walking Sticks and more, art from No Kings Collective, special vendors from Union Kitchen all to raise critical awareness and support for the Temporary Business and Entrepreneurship Act of 2012. Last October Councilmember Tommy Wells introduced the “Temporary Business Entrepreneurship Act of 2012,” which would make it easier for entrepreneurs to test ideas and engage in business activity without significant up-front costs. Additionally, it promotes livelier streets, public spaces, and neighborhoods – creating opportunity and interest where today we see vacant buildings and dead spaces.
- October 27, 28, 29 – Future of Music Coalition Summit -Finally pay attention to whatever Union Arts, Capital Bop and especially Luke Stewart, Anthony Pirog and Mike Abrams are doing. If you are into experimental music and avant garde jazz, funk and rock check out some events these guys are putting on all over town. You will not be disappointed.
NOW-tell us what MUSIC are YOU excited for this fall (or autumn, your call) and winter. Plus CHECK OUT OUR FILM GUIDE from yesterday + stay tuned for more guides this week (art, food, theatre, style, the works really…)