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Recommendations from 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011

Recommended: Archive: 2011

Here's the archive of our recommended shows. For current recommendations, click here.

January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December


Sunday, 9 January 2011: Derek Evry & Digging Up Virgins - Galaxy Hut
Arlington-based singer-songwriter
Derek Evry released several albums in 2010-- thanks to a songwriting and recording burst sparked by the Snowpocalypse, and his prolific approach paid off: his song "Without You" was featured on ABC's hit series "Castle" in October.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011: Jucifer - Black Cat (Backstage)
Admittedly, sludge metal isn't for everyone. But for those who enjoy speakers stacked on top of more speakers, there's
Jucifer. This duo always seems to pass through D.C. in their RV in the first half of January, kicking off the new year in the noisiest way possible (seriously: if you haven't heard Amber Valentine's earsplitting gut-bellows, you are missing out). If you are attending this show, do yourself a favor: bring earplugs. But if you think there's nothing more to this band than bludgeoning noise, check out L'Autrichienne (Relapse, 2008), Jucifer's concept album about Marie Antoinette.

Friday, 14 January 2011: Das Racist - Rock & Roll Hotel
If you made it through all of 2009 without hearing the
Das Racist tune "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell", you were probably living in a world without the internet. Make it up to yourself by seeing this Brooklyn duo live.

Saturday, 15 January 2011: Eli Paperboy Reed & the True Loves - Rock & Roll Hotel
Eli Paperboy Reed is a classic-sounding soul singer from Boston; his band, the True Loves, includes a killer horn section as well as guitars, a keyboard, and lots of harmonies around Eli's boyish voice (and his ridiculous falsetto). Just like his most recent album, Come and Get It (Capitol, 2010), Reed's shows are all uptempo and happy-- you're pretty much guaranteed to leave the show in a better mood than when you arrived.

Monday, 17 January 2011: We Are Hex, Night and the City, and Prom Concussion - the Velvet Lounge
The members of
Night and the City are vets of the DC music scene-- you'll recognize members of the Antiques, Girl Loves Distortion, and Victor Victoria onstage, as well as longtime DC percussionist Davis White. They're joined by Indianpolis's dark noiserock band We Are Hex.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011: Lyle Lovett & John Hiatt (acoustic) - Birchmere
Longtime singer/songwriters
Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt are taking a break from the big venues (such as Wolf Trap's Filene Center) that they usually play and making a stop at a concert hall one-tenth the size: the Birchmere. Sure, ticket prices are steep, but the other two shows at this venue (Tuesday the 18th and Sunday the 23rd) are already sold out-- and this show is sure to follow.It's a rare treat to see these two musicians perform acoustically in such a small venue.

Thursday, 20 January 2011: Kylesa, Zoroaster, and Fight Amp - Black Cat (Backstage)
It's not often that a band earning a coveted 8.4 rating from Pitchfork-- for the stunning
Spiral Shadow (Season of Mist, 2010)-- is booked on the Black Cat's tiny Backstage instead of its upstairs Main Stage. Metal isn't for everyone, but this Savannah, GA, band is really more of a psychedelic hard-rock group than a metal band. With two different vocalists (one of whom is a woman whose whispered, shoegazey vocals are sexy as hell) and two drummers, Kylesa is a far, far cry from the Cookie-Monsterish sound that most people associate with the word "metal".

Friday, 21 January 2011: the Dismemberment Plan, Bluebrain, and Tereu Tereu - Black Cat (Mainstage)
Friday, 21 January 2011: Yo La Tengo and William Tyler - 9:30 Club
Friday, 21 January 2011: Eilen Jewell - IOTA Club & Café
We here at don't often make multiple recommendations for the same night, but there aren't often three such outstanding options. The first recommendation is a long shot: the Dismemberment Plan's reunion show at the Black Cat sold out within seconds (as did their two shows at the 9:30 Club later in the weekend), but of their three area appearances, the Black Cat is the place to see 'em: this is the club that the D-Plan headlined repeatedly throughout their career in D.C., and in true D-Plan fashion, this show is also a benefit show (proceeds are for Fort Reno and We Are Family). If you're not able to take out a second mortgage to snag scalped tickets to that, though, there are still some great options: at IOTA, twangy songwriter Eilen Jewell is playing some of her originals and some Loretta Lynn covers from her 2010 release Butcher Holler: a Tribute to Loretta Lynn, while over at the 9:30 Club, longtime indie-rockers Yo La Tengo are playing a "Spin the Wheel" show.

Saturday, 22 January 2011: Periphery and An Obscure Signal - Ottobar (Baltimore)
Yes, we're recommending a roadtrip up to Baltimore-- but hey, it's a Saturday night, where else do you have to be? It's astounding to us that Periphery wasn't signed to a label earlier than this; the band has been together (and pulling a huge fanbase) since 2005, but its debut album
Periphery was just released by Sumerian in 2010. They've had some lineup changes over the years, but their fourth (and current) vocalist Spencer Sotelo is in excellent form on the album, leading the band to be named one of the top 5 D.C. metal acts of 2010 by the Washington Post.

Thursday, 27 January 2011: Thee Ultimate Vag vs. Rat Bastard, the Plums, and Paul Joyner Band - the Velvet Lounge
Killer improv/experimental show:
Thee Ultimate Vag is Scott Verrastro (Kohoutek, etc) + Chris Grier (To Live and Shave in LA, etc) and Rat Bastard is from the Laundry-Room Squelchers. You never know what's going to happen with these guys....

Sunday, 30 January 2011: Robbie Fulks and Timothy Bracken - Jammin' Java
Alterna-country singer/songwriter
Robbie Fulks took a break from original music for his latest, Happy (boondoggle, 2010), which is an album full of Michael Jackson and Jackson 5 covers. But don't come to a Fulks show looking for mainstream pop, either: Happy is neither a collection of straightforward covers nor a compilation of countrified Jackson songs.


Saturday, 5 February 2011: Martin Bisi w/ Brian Viglione of Dresden Dolls, the Plums, and Fern Knight - Comet Ping Pong
Three things we love: (1) No Wave producer/songwriter
Martin Bisi (Swans, Sonic Youth, John Zorn), (2) local instrumental rock band the Plums, and (3) psych-folk quartet Fern Knight.

Monday, 7 February 2011: Deerhoof, Chain and the Gang, Ben Butler and Mousepad, and Nervous Cop - 9:30 Club
Longstanding noiserock band
Deerhoof just released an album called Deerhoof vs. Evil (Polyvinyl, 2011), which is the first album the quartet has released in a few years-- a long wait for a group that was once more prolific. Mondays aren't usually a hot show-going night, but this is a good exception.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011: Thao (of the Get Down Stay Down) - IOTA Club & Café
Formerly Falls Church-based
Thao Nguyen (of Thao with the Get Down Stay Down) has recently done a solo collaboration with Mirah; their upcoming album, Thao & Mirah, is scheduled for release in April on Kill Rock Stars. This show, though, is just a Thao solo show.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011: Lost in the Trees and Hammer No More the Fingers - Black Cat (Backstage)
We really can't say enough nice things about NC-based folk/pop band
Lost in the Trees, whose 2010 re-issue of All Alone in an Empty House (Anti-) is full of sweeping orchestral beauty. It's no surprise-- after all, LitT's frontman Ari Picker studied at Berklee. We have no idea how these pieces will translate to the live setting-- or how everyone in the band will even fit in the tiny Backstage-- but we're certainly excited to find out. (Yes, we also know that Gang of Four is playing around the corner at the 9:30 club this night. That'll be a great show too.)

Thursday, 10 February 2011: Drop Electric - Bossa
We wish Bossa would publish more of an upcoming show calendar; we found out about this one through the band. (Hey, that's a good time for a reminder: bands, let us know about your upcoming shows by emailing!) Drop Electric is a local instrumental band whose post-rock debut, 2010's Finding Color in the Ashes, is reminiscent of Explosions in the Sky and Mogwai. They also incorporate visuals into their live performance.

Friday, 11 February 2011: Daddy Lion, Bellflur, and Screen Vinyl Image - Strathmore (Mansion)
If you couldn't tell from our name, we here at ShowListDC do love to support local DC bands, and here are three great ones: the melodic
Daddy Lion, the dreamy Bellfur, and the electronic Screen Vinyl Image. And, carrying on the great DC tradition of benefit shows, proceeds from this show will benefit the Washington Animal Rescue League.

Sunday, 13 February 2011: the Church - Birchmere
What happens when one-hit-wonders age? In
the Church's defense, they should've been remembered for more than one song, but let's face it: Top-40 hit "Under the Milky Way" is how they'll be remembered. At this show, they're playing three albums in their entirety, both old and new: Untitled #23 (Second Motion, 2009), Priest=Aura (Arista, 1992), and Starfish (Arista, 1988). So yes, this means you are guaranteed to hear "Under the Milky Way".

Thursday, 17 February 2011: Kings Go Forth, the Mighty Heard, and DJ Nitekrawler - Rock & Roll Hotel
Milwaukee-based soul band
Kings Go Forth are another in the recent soul revival scene, but we're not complaining: their debut record The Outsiders Are Back (Luaka Bop, 2010) is full of tight harmonies and seductive horn melodies.

Sunday, 20 February 2011: Immortal and Absu - Sonar (Baltimore) (Main Stage)
If you don't know anything about the Norwegian black metal scene, then you have some reading to do: start with
this Wikipedia entry, then hop over here, and then if you're still thirsting for more, check out this Norwegian Black Metal site (particularly its list of the top 100 Norwegian black metal albums). If you already knew all that, then you'd probably bought your tickets to this show long ago.

Thursday, 24 February 2011: Lady Gaga - Verizon Center
Yeah, we know:
Lady Gaga is not the kind of show you'd expect us to recommend. Still, the hits are undeniable; just check out her 2009 disc The Fame Monster (note: the version linked here also includes her 2008 album The Fame), and if you're craving the spectacle and drama of a big stadium show, she certainly puts on a good one. Even better? She actually sings live. Take that, Britney.

Saturday, 26 February 2011: Beach House and Papercuts - 9:30 Club (Late show)
We don't often like to recommend sold-out shows (it's not really fair to tempt you with something that you can't easily get tickets to), but we're hoping that your friends at
craigslist will help you out with this one. After two dreamy and watercolory albums, Baltimore duo Beach House released the stunningly beautiful Teen Dream (Sub Pop) last year. No, that's not a Katy Perry reference in the title there, and yes, the album still qualifies as "dreamy" and "watercolory", but Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally put some structure around their reveries, creating a record that's as powerful as it is graceful. Recommended if you like Mazzy Star's "Fade Into You" or the Cocteau Twins.

Sunday, 27 February 2011: the Nels Cline Singers with ROVA - Wind-Up Space (Baltimore)
Fact: we here at ShowlistDC greatly prefer
Nels Cline's solo and group work to his work in Wilco, but we get it: dude's gotta pay the bills. Still, his free-jazz trio the Nels Cline Singers (note: no actual singing involved) is fantastic, and their collaboration with the Rova saxophone quartet-- The Celestial Septet (New World Records, 2010)-- is outstanding. This is a show not to be missed.


Tuesday, 1 March 2011: the Get Up Kids, Miniature Tigers, and Brian Bonz - Black Cat (Mainstage)
Cheer up, emo dude: the
Get Up Kids are back. The Kansas City emo pioneers have returned this winter with their first album in 7 years, There Are Rules (Quality Hill Records), which abounds with the earnestness and expressiveness of their mid-90s scene. The new album doesn't quite gel with the power of their earlier work, but their live set is bound to touch on all the old classics-- so you'll get to see first-hand what exactly influenced pop-punk bands like Fall-Out Boy and Blink-182 (no, we're not joking).

Wednesday, 2 March 2011: Marnie Stern and Tera Melos - the Red Palace
We're not a huge fan of talking about gender when it comes to musical prowess, but it's certainly true that
Marnie Stern's finger-tapping and experimental guitar style is unusual in her overwhelmingly male-dominate noise-rock scene (Hella, Orthrelm, Lightning Bolt, Don Caballero, and so on). Her third and most recent album is self-titled (Kill Rock Stars, 2010), but her second album is known for its long and circuitious title: This Is It & I Am It & You Are It & So Is That & He Is It & She Is It & It Is It & That Is That.

Thursday, 3 March 2011: Tracy Bonham, Jim Boggia, and Bleu - Jammin' Java
Feeling a little nostalgic for Lilith Fair era? Lilith alum
Tracy Bonham has mellowed quite a bit since her howling hit "Mother Mother"; her latest, Masts of Manhatta (Engine Room, 2010), is a collection of contemplative, easygoing pop tunes that present vignettes of roadtrips and a slower-paced life.

Friday, 4 March 2011: Smith Westerns, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and the Tennis System - Rock & Roll Hotel
Indie darlings the
Smith Westerns are all grown up: after the lo-fi garage pop of their 2009 debut, the Chicago group's latest, Dye It Blonde (Fat Possum, 2011), is a slickly-produced affair that's as drenched in reverb as it is in hipster hype.

Sunday, 6 March 2011: Dum Dum Girls, Minks, and Dirty Beaches - Black Cat (Mainstage)
An elusive goth frontwoman known only as Dee Dee certainly adds to the
Dum Dum Girls' mystery. But this girl group churns out a dreamy bubblegum pop on last year's I Will Be (Sub Pop); a shimmering haze makes a night in the slammer ("Jail La La") sound utterly alluring.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011: the Pogues and Titus Andronicus - 9:30 Club
If you've been following
the Pogues at all, you know that Shane MacGowan's liver might not hold up that much longer: after all, getting kicked out of an Irish band for drinking too much is basically the definition of a drinking problem. Plus, founding Pogues member Peter "Spider" Stacy has said that this will be the Pogues' final US tour (although one-off appearances may still be possible). As a bonus, openers Titus Andronicus are great live.

Thursday, 10 March 2011: Eli "Paperboy" Reed & the True Loves and the Electrocutions - Rock & Roll Hotel
We write about
Eli "Paperboy" Reed every time he comes to town: those catchy soul tunes, that soaring falsetto, his great backing band the True Loves. Be sure to wear your dancing shoes-- or not: these tunes sound just as great when you're standing still and just listening.

Saturday, 12 March 2011: Dropdead, Magrudergrind, Wasted Time, Ilsa, and Cough - St. Stephen & the Incarnation Episcopal Church
There's a lot of cool stuff about this show: it's always cool to see shows in a church, of course (FYI: shows at St Stephen's are in a rec room, not in the actual sanctuary). But more than that: it's
Dropdead's first DC show in a decade(!), AND there are some great local metal bands opening this show.

Sunday, 13 March 2011: the Rural Alberta Advantage and Pepper Rabbit - Rock & Roll Hotel
There's truth in the name: the
Rural Alberta Advantage has ties to the oil sands town Fort McMurray in northern Alberta (it can be a pretty bleak town. trust us: we've been there). The group's latest, Departing (Saddle Creek, 2011), features more of Nils Edenloff's nasal croon, which conveys the earnest, urgent desire to get the heck out of a mining town and into a real city.

Friday, 18 March 2011: Justin Jones and the Driving Rain and Laura Tsaggaris - Iota
Local singer-songwriter
Justin Jones can certainly entertain in concert (his EP Little Fox was released last year on 9:30 Records), but more than that, he's equally entertaining between songs as well. That may sound like a backhanded compliment (after all, most people want their musicians to play more, not talk more), but a performer with valuable-- and amusing-- things to say between songs is a rare find indeed.

Monday, 21 March 2011: Agalloch, Worm Ouroboros, Vindensang, and Aerial Ruin - Sonar (Baltimore) (Club Stage)
Even if you snoozed through all of 2010's metal releases, it would've been hard to miss
Agalloch completely. The Portland band's Marrow of the Spirit (Profound Lore, 2010) topped a number of year-end lists, including NPR and Stereogum. Plus, if you're a gear-nerd, you should know that last time we checked, there was a sweet Travis Bean guitar in this band.

Monday, 28 March 2011: - Lost in the Trees - the Black CatBackstage
This show was originally scheduled for early February, but it was postponed due to illness. We really can't say enough nice things about NC-based folk/pop band
Lost in the Trees, whose 2010 re-issue of All Alone in an Empty House (Anti-) is full of sweeping orchestral beauty. It's no surprise-- after all, LitT's frontman Ari Picker studied at Berklee. We have no idea how these pieces will translate to the live setting-- or how everyone in the band will even fit in the tiny Backstage-- but we're certainly excited to find out.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011: Cut Copy and Holy Ghost! - the 9:30 Club
Yeah, we know that it's sold out. But if their 2008 show (also sold-out) is any indication, you will see some actual dancing at this show. Plus lots and lots of glowsticks.

Thursday, 31 March 2011: Mike Watt & the Missingmen and Suns of Guns - Black Cat (Backstage)
Mike Watt touches seems to turn to gold-- hell, he even made Kelly Clarkson seem cool for a minute, and let's not forget his hilarious cameo in the Good Charlotte video for "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous". He's back with his first solo album since 2004: Hyphenated-Man is instantly reminiscent of the Minutemen's classic Double Nickels on the Dime-- Watt blazes through 30 songs in 47 minutes, all inspired by the artwork of 16th-century painter Hieronymus Bosch.


Friday, 1 April 2011: Cartoon Johnny, Capital Blend, UVA Sil'hooettes, and Vox Pop - Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Benefit - Williamsburg Middle School Auditorium [3600 N. Harrison Street, Arlington, VA]
This concert is not only a benefit show for the Leukemia & Lymphona Society, but it also features some of the best a cappella groups in the area. The 6-member coed group
Cartoon Johnny consistently puts on high-energy, musically-precise shows; they'll be joined by the all-female Capital Blend, the coed Vox Pop, and the all-female Sil'hooettes from UVA.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011: Iris Divine, Division, TimeLord, and Death Penalty - Jammin' Java
If you've been reading ShowlistDC for a while, you've probably realized two things: (1) we love to support local bands, and (2) we have a soft spot in our hearts for metal. This show gives the best of both worlds with four great local metal bands:
Iris Divine (whose latest CD Convergence got a nice writeup in the Washington Post), Division (also with a nice writeup in the Washington Post), TimeLord, and Death Penalty. You could take our word for it, or you could listen for yourself: our friends over at have downloads available for a couple of the bands.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011: Aimee Mann and Ivan & Alyosha - the Birchmere
It's weird to talk about
Aimee Mann without mentioning her time fronting 80s new wave band 'Til Tuesday, but her solo career keeps getting better and better since the release of her first album, 1993's Whatever. We're particularly fond of her two most recent releases, 2008's @#%&*! Smilers and 2005's The Forgotten Arm (not to mention her work on the 1999 Magnolia soundtrack), but Mann's wry sense of humor shines best live, and the intimate Birchmere is a great place to see her perform.

Friday, 15 April 2011: Velvet (farewell show), the Chance, and Honeyguns - Black Cat (Mainstage)
One thing we love: a trio of local bands playing the Black Cat's mainstage on a Friday night. One thing we hate: saying good-bye to a local band. It's
Velvet's last hurrah after 15 years and four albums together, so drown your Tax Day sorrows at their farewell show (and perhaps fall in love with one of the other two great local bands on the bill, the Chance and the Honeyguns).

Saturday, 16 April 2011: Danielson and Benjy Ferree - Red Palace
Indie-gospel might not sound like a good time, but if you think about it, that's basically the genre inhabited by everyone's favorite Illinoisemaker
Sufjan Stevens. Suf's friend Danielson (aka Daniel Smith, aka Danielson Brothers, aka Danielson Famile) plays a much more chaotic brand of indie-gospel, but his latest album, Best of Gloucester County (Sounds Familyre) is actually a fairly toned-down affair compared to some of his more chaotic recordings. Then again, Danielson shows are always a bit over-the-top-- in addition to being accompanied by members of his family, Daniel Smith usually dresses up in some crazy get-up (previous favorites: a nurse costume and a tree).

Sunday, 17 April 2011: Sharon Van Etten and Lady Lamb the Beekeeper - Red Palace
the Red Palace has been getting some great shows lately, and this
Sharon Van Etten concert is no exception. The Brooklyn singer/songwriter takes a break from recording her third album (a follow-up to 2010's excellent Epic) to play this tour, so it wouldn't be surprising to hear a few new tunes here. Oh, and did we mention that the National covered her song "Love More"?

Tuesday, 19 April 2011: Mogwai and Errors - 9:30 Club
Don't be fooled by the Gremlins reference: there's really not much cute about the band
Mogwai. If you like your Scottish post-rock LOUD and brooding, then this show is for you. They'll probably play a lot from their newest album Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will (Sub Pop), but they're also quite fond of dipping into their back catalog at live shows too, as shown by their excellent live album released last year, Special Moves. We can't emphasize this enough, though: wear earplugs.

UPDATE: due to the band's visa issues, this show has been postponed until September 2011.

Thursday, 21 April 2011: Maps & Atlases, Delicate Steve, and Gypsyblood - Rock & Roll Hotel
A math-rock band with strings and a horn section? A math-rock band on Barsuk records? Yep - it might sound odd, but Chicago's
Maps & Atlases makes it work on its latest, 2010's Perch Patchwork. Live, though, the group performs just as a quartet, re-arranging those extra elements back into the instruments at hand.

Saturday, 23 April 2011: the Pipettes - Red Palace
Things have changed a lot for
the Pipettes since 2007, when the group headlined a sold-out Black Cat, a few days before its debut LP We Are the Pipettes was released domestically. Of course, the British girl-group's super-catchy songs had already crossed the pond-- "Pull Shapes", "ABC", and "Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me"-- not to mention all the internet hype that had been building since the group formed in 2003. Still, not long thereafter, the group underwent several lineup changes (the earliest of which fueled breakup rumors), but the thing about ensemble groups is that the songs are the draw more so than any individual member, so this show will be great as long as the current lineup can sell its bubbly pop songs.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011: Low and Bellflur - Black Cat (Mainstage)
Minnesota trio
Low has played all over the DC area since its formation in the early 1990s, from the tiny Galaxy Hut to an opening slot for Wilco at the spacious Merriweather Post Pavilion. But nowhere does the group seem more at home than at the Black Cat, a regular concert stop for the group (longtime DC Low fans might remember a surprise guest appearance from Gerry Beckley of the band America, who joined the group on stage there in October of 2002). This show will likely weigh heavily on songs from Low's stunning new album C'mon, but expect a few old favorites to be thrown in as well.


Wednesday, 18 May 2011: Lions of Tsavo, No Qualms, the Deads, Loculus, and At the Graves - the Corpse Fortress
It's no secret that we here at
ShowListDC love a good metal show, and what venue is more appropriately-named than the Corpse Fortress? This Silver Spring DIY space has a number of great shows coming up, but this one features the blackened prog metal band Lions of Tsavo from Texas and the awesome local death metal band Loculus.

Monday, 23 May 2011: Shitstorm, the Kill, Noisear, Plates, D.O.C., and M.A.P. - the Red Door
Do you like grindcore? Are you grind-curious? You'll get more than your fair share at this show, with Miami's Shitstorm (with members of Torche) and DC's D.O.C. (with members of Magrudergrind), along with Australia's the Kill, New Mexico's Noisear, New York's Plates, and Baltimore's Mind As Prison. And if you've never been to a grindcore show before, here's a tip: steer clear of the space right in front of the stage, at least until you've gotten your bearings.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011: Ilsa, Anhedonist, Oak, and Midnight Eye - the Corpse Fortress
This show is the day before
Maryland Death Fest up in Baltimore, so it's either a great way to gear up for the weekend (if you're going) or a good way to get your metal on before all your metalhead friends abandon you for MDF. Either way, there are some awesome sludgey doom metal bands here: DC's Ilsa has been on fire at shows recently, and Seattle's Anhedonist and Baltimore's Oak are not to be missed. Plus, this is one of the first few shows for newbie local band Midnight Eye....


Friday, 3 June 2011: Deep River - Artisphere (Dome Theatre)
The name Luke Brindley might not ring a bell, but the venue Jammin' Java certainly should: Brindley and his family run and operate the Vienna, VA venue. Brindley is a singer/songwriter in his own right (both solo and in the Brindley Brothers), but he's recently teamed with Rachel Beauregard and Bryan Dawley on the new Americana project Deep River. The trio has been gigging around the area in support of its debut album 10 Mornings, most notably scoring an opening spot for Toad the Wet Sprocket at the 9:30 Club.

Saturday, 4 June 2011: the Chocolate City Soul Revue - the Reunion of James Brown's Original Funky Divas Marva Whitney, Martha High, Vicki Anderson - with the Impressions and Eli "Paperboy" Reed and the True Loves - DAR Constitution Hall
It'll be tough to have a funk/soul show at DAR Constitution Hall: after all, what good are your dancing shoes if you're tied down to a seat? That said, this show brings some of James Brown's brassiest divas around-- the raw Marva Whitney, the former Four Jewels singer Martha High, and the powerful Vicki Anderson-- along with newer soul artist Eli "Paperboy" Reed (whose 2010 release Come And Get It was one of our favorites of last year).

Thursday, 9 June 2011: Screen Vinyl Image, Phonic Riot, and Martial Canterel - vitaminwater Uncapped LIVE [2213-2217 14th St NW, Washington, DC]
If you like bands like My Bloody Valentine and A Place to Bury Strangers, then Screen Vinyl Image will be right up your alley. The local duo layer guitars and synths to create a droney, dreamy sound. Also playing are Phonic Riot and Martial Canterel. The venue for this show is a temporary collaboration among BYT, Art Whino, and Vitaminwater; you can see some cool pictures over at the Prince of Petworth blog.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011: James McMurtry (trio) and Jonny Burke - Rams Head Tavern (Annapolis)
Much ado has been made about James McMurtry's famous dad, novelist Larry McMurtry (perhaps most known for Lonesome Dove and Terms of Endearment). And while it must stink to have people mention your dad every time they talk about you, the comparison here works: James certainly has a conversational storytelling vibe that's quite similar to his dad's. He's been releasing albums since the late '80s-- highlights are 1995's Where'd You Hide the Body and 2005's Childish Things-- but his flair for describing uncomfortable interpersonal relationships is best appreciated live.

Thursday, 16 June 2011: Billy Bragg - Rams Head Tavern (Annapolis)
Whether you agree with his politics or not, Billy Bragg will make you think, from his rants about current events to his involvement on the board of directors of the Featured Artists' Coalition, which seeks to protect the rights of artists in an online world. His opinions aside, he's also released a ton of great music, both on his own (much of which has been collected onto two boxed sets) and in collaboration with the band Wilco, setting Woody Guthrie lyrics to music (1998's Mermaid Avenue).

Friday, 17 June 2011: Earth, O Paon, and Oak - Ottobar (Baltimore)
Seattle's drone doom masters Earth are finally visiting the East Coast again after what feels like far too long. Their latest album, Angels of Darkness Demons of Light 1 isn't quite as breathtaking as 2008's The Bees Made Honey in the Lions Skull, but guitarist Dylan Carlson's minimalistic drone is still in rare form, this time accompanied by the haunting melodies of cellist Lori Goldston.

Friday, 24 June 2011: Ilsa, the Body, Assembly of Light Women's Choir, and Braveyoung - St. Stephen & the Incarnation Episcopal Church
File this under 'things you don't see eery day': a doom metal show in the sanctuary of a church. Yup - shows at St Stephen's are typically in the rec room, but since Rhode Island doom band The Body is touring with the 15-woman choir Assembly of Light Choir, it seems fitting to have this show in the sanctuary. Also performing are the local death/doom heroes Ilsa. This will definitely be an unusual show-- and one that's not to be missed! Starts at 7 PM.


Saturday, 9 July 2011: Kasey Chambers and Owen Danoff - Birchmere
Australian country singer/songwriter Kasey Chambers has been around a while, releasing solo records for about the past decade. But her musical career began at a much earlier age-- her father is a guitarist (and often plays in her band), and her brother is her producer and manager. She's also changed quite a bit in that time-- check out the difference between the self-loathing in "Not Pretty Enough" (from 2002's Barricades & Brickwalls) and her casual dismissiveness on "Little Bird" (from 2011's Little Bird). Still, one of our favorites of hers is the title song from her 2000 debut, the Captain - "the Captain".

Wednesday, 13 July 2011: Bill Callahan and Ed Askew - Rock & Roll Hotel
You may remember him from the '90s as Smog or (Smog), but Bill Callahan has recently been recording under his own name. His onstage demeanor hasn't changed, though: he typically stands motionless and rarely speaks to the crowd. His stoicism makes him seem disinterested, but his face gives it away: there are so many wild contortions of his cheeks and mouth that you'd think he's trying to make you laugh. Still, his dry vocal delivery is paramount in his music, so don't expect to see much movement-- from Callahan or from anyone in the crowd.

Saturday, 16 July 2011: Torche, Big Business, and Helms Alee - Rock & Roll Hotel
There are many things to like about Florida's stoner metal band Torche, but my favorite is that not one but two of its members play aluminum-necked guitars. That might sound like a small and/or irrelevant detail, but those metal beasts sure do make a full, rich sound. They're touring with noise-rock group Big Business, which features Jared Warren (ex-Karp) and Coady Willis (ex-Murder City Devils) who also moonlight as part of the Melvins' backing band. Their pedigrees in other bands are certainly impressive enough, but Big Business's own material is thunderously heavy, as their latest album Mind the Drift shows. (As a bonus: through Thursday, 14 July you can enter to win a pair of tickets from our friends at through this link.)

Sunday, 17 July 2011: Nikka Costa and Bronze Radio Return - Jammin' Java
Nikka Costa seemed poised to make it big-- after all, her dad, Don Costa, was Frank Sinatra's record producer, and she started recording with him (and doing duets with Sinatra) before she'd even hit the age of 10. She seemed to have everything going for her-- a song in an ad, a theme song on the TV show Courting Alex, and hell, Kelly Clarkson even covered her song "Everybody Got Their Something". And yet - her career didn't exactly take off. The silver lining is that this funk/blues singer is now playing small venues, which is much more fun for the audience anyway. This might be the only way to hear new Nikka Costa material-- the release of her most recent album, PROWHOA!, seems to have been delayed in the U.S., although a few songs are available for download at Amazon.

Monday, 18 July 2011: Gang Gang Dance - Rock & Roll Hotel
New York City experimental bands are a dime a dozen, but Gang Gang Dance is more distinctive than most, with its particular style of synthesized electronics and the vocals of Lizzi Bougatsos (and, of course, an early friendship with Animal Collective certainly didn't hurt). The group's latest album, Eye Contact, is their first for 4AD and is easily-- at risk of sounding clicheed-- their most accessible. (Oh, and a bonus piece of GGD trivia: keyboardist Brian DeGraw is, in fact, related to pop singer Gavin DeGraw)

Thursday, 21 July 2011: Buck 65 - IOTA Club & Café
A hip-hop artist who is white and Canadian might seem like an unlikely combination, but Richard Terfry (a.k.a. Buck 65) somehow puts it all together astoundingly well. To add to the dichotomy, his tour is stopping locally at the recently-expanded Iota, which isn't exactly a hotbed of hip-hop activity. Still, what makes Buck 65's latest album, 20 Odd Years so intriguing is how his gravelly vocals complement the sweet melodies of his numerous female guest stars (notably Jenn Grant, Hannah Georgas, Olivia Ruiz, and Marie-Pierre Arthur). It'll be interesting to see how he incorporates those key vocals into his live show.

Friday, 22 July 2011: Animals As Leaders, Intronaut, Dead Letter Circus, Last Change to Reason, and Evan Brewer - Ottobar (Baltimore)
They're theoretically a D.C. band, but Animals As Leaders sure hasn't headlined around here in a while. The closest they're getting to D.C. now is Baltimore, but it's certainly worth the drive: the progressive instrumental metal band is working on its second album, a follow up to 2009's Animals As Leaders, so they're sure to play some new tunes at this show.

Sunday, 24 July 2011: Mindy Smith and Tiffany Thompson - Jammin' Java
Folksy/Americana singer/songwriter Mindy Smith has a voice that is at the same time both sweet and direct: her "Come To Jesus" is simmers with a fiery howl, while her "One Moment More" is a heartbreaking farewell to her dying mother. Truthfully, her later records haven't grabbed us as much as her her 2004 debut, but there's more than enough there for the twang/folk fan.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011: Mountain Man - IOTA Club & Café
Female indie/Appalachian folk trio Mountain Man might have seemed a strange opening act for Jónsi's tour last fall, but the pairing worked surprisingly well: their simple harmonies-- mostly a cappella, with a simple acoustic guitar accompaniment-- were the perfect warm-up to Jónsi's evocative staging. It'll be even nicer to hear the beautiful songs from their debut album Made the Harbor performed at a venue that's made for the hushed nuances of their music.

Friday, 29 July 2011: Marissa Nadler and Faces On Film - Red Palace
Dream-folk singer/songwriter Marissa Nadler sounds as though she might just float away: her 2009 album Little Hells combines her lightly-plucked guitar and her airy voice in a way that's as haunting as it is lulling. Her newest, self-titled release carries on this same tradition, but don't be fooled by the prettiness of her music: there are some heartbreaking sentiments buried not too far below the shimmering, wispy surface.


Tuesday, 2 August 2011: Gillian Welch & David Rawlings - Strathmore (Music Center)
Gillian Welch and David Rawlings have been playing their dark bluegrass/Americana together for over a decade, and while Welch might be best known for her work on the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, her solo records-- especially 1996's Revival and 1998's Hell Among the Yearlings-- are outstanding. She and Rawlings have just returned with The Harrow & the Harvest, their first album since 2003.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011: Ken Vandermark + Tim Daisy - Twins Jazz (Two shows)
When you think about Chicago jazz, names like Jelly Roll Morton and Benny Goodman probably come to mind. There's still a vibrant jazz scene in Chicago, and saxophonist/clarinetist Ken Vandermark plays a large role in it, with bands like the Vandermark 5 and the Resonance Ensemble, as well as his involvement in the Peter Brotzmann Chicago Tentet. This concert is a smaller performance-- Vandermark teams with percussionist (and Resonance Ensemble member) Tim Daisy as a duo for these two shows (8 PM and 10 PM). Tickets are available via for $15 + $2 (advanced ticket surcharge), and there is a $10 minimum purchase per person at the club on the night of the show.

Friday, 5 August 2011: Drop Electric, Constant Alarm, and Oh So Peligroso - Rock & Roll Hotel
August is generally a quiet time for touring bands, which makes it a great month to go and check out some local groups One of our favorites is Drop Electric, a mostly instrumental group whose members met as students at St. Mary's College of Maryland. Drop Electric released the beautiful Finding Color in the Ashes last year; their use of dynamics and dramatics (guitarist Neel Singh plays with a violin bow on one song) is reminiscent of post-rock groups like Explosions in the Sky and Mogwai. They also incorporate visuals into their live performance. Tickets are available via for $10 plus a $4 service fee, for a total of $14.

Saturday, 6 August 2011: Gifts from Enola, Dark Sea Dream, and Tone - Velvet Lounge
Three great local(ish) bands make up this bill: the post-rock instrumental Gifts from Enola, the shoegaze-heavy Dark Sea Dream, and the longstanding guitar army Tone. Dark Sea Dream and Tone are both from DC, while Gifts from Enola is from Harrisonburg, PA. Tickets are available at the club on the night of the show for $8.

Sunday, 7 August 2011: Alison Krauss & Union Station ft. Jerry Douglas and Dawes - Wolf Trap (Filene Center)
Alison Krauss shows can be a mixed bag: her honey-sweet soprano is breathtaking, but her between-song banter is notoriously unfocussed. Still, if you're a fan of her bluegrass (and rockstar dobro player Jerry Doublas), it's definitely worth it to endure some of that awkwardness just to get to the music. She's touring in support of her latest album, Paper Airplane (Rounder, 2011), which is her first back with her backing band Union Station after 2007's collaboration with Robert Plant, Raising Sand. Tickets are available on

Tuesday, 9 August 2011: Rome in a Day, Iris Divine, a Sound of Thunder, and Timelord - Jammin' Java
This is the second local metal show this year that has been hosted by Jammin' Java out in Vienna, VA, and it features four great bands: the male- and female-fronted Rome in a Day, the prog-metal Iris Divine, the female-fronted A Sound of Thunder, and the speed metal band TimeLord. Tickets are available in advance via for $10 plus a $3 service fee for a total of $13; tickets are available on the day of the show for $13 at the venue.
NOTE: Due to illness, Rome in a Day is not playing this show.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011: Screen Vinyl Image, the Prids, and Brief Candles - Black Cat (Backstage)
Another August spotlight on a local band! We've been longtime fans of Screen Vinyl Image. The local duo layer guitars and synths to create a droney, dreamy sound. They haven't released an album since 2009's Interceptors, but they've been working on recording some new music: you can check out a video for their new song, "Stay Asleep", over on the Washington CityPaper's blog. Tickets for this show are available via for $10 plus a $2.50 service fee for a total of $12.50, or you can stop by the Black Cat any night the club is open (8PM - midnight) for $10 cash only.

Thursday, 11 August 2011: Katharine Whalen (of the Squirrel Nut Zippers) - IOTA Club & Café
Katharine Whalen might not be a household name, but you're probably familiar with her music. Maybe you heard her singing with the Squirrel Nut Zippers during the swing craze of the late 1990s. Or maybe you're a Magnetic Fields fan and you heard her croon on the sugary-sweet "You You You You You" on the 6ths' album Hyacinths and Thistles (2000). Her latest solo album, the "electric-folk" Madly Love was funded in part by a Kickstarter project. Tickets are available for $10 (cash only) on the night of the show.

Friday, 12 August 2011: Pentagram, King Giant, One Slack Mind, Throwdown Syndicate, and Massakren - Jaxx
Unlike other albums released this year by longtime and influential metal bands (we're looking at you, Morbid Angel), the latest release from Pentagram, Last Rites, is both good and relevant-- impressive for a band that's been around since the 70s (albeit with a rotating lineup of members), had a huge influence on the genre doom metal, and whose chance for a comeback seemed iffy since frontman Bobby Liebling's legendary heroin-fueled collapse before a prominent 2005 gig for the band at the Black Cat. Who knows if Liebling will keep it together (this recent article in Spin is an interesting read), but this show also features the awesome local southern metal act King Giant. Tickets are available in advance from for $17 plus tax and surcharges of $4.35, for a total of $21.35, or without the service charge by contacting local openers Throwdown Syndicate via their facebook page.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011: Six Organs of Admittance - DC9
Guitarist Ben Chasny has a lot of projects-- the noise/improv Rangda, the psychedelic rock Comets on Fire, and guest stints in bands like Double Leopards and Magik Markers. But his primary solo project is Six Organs of Admittance, whose release earlier this year, Asleep on the Floodplain, is a home recording of his alt-folk project that features both shorter, almost pop songs as well as longer, swirling drones. Tickets are available in advance via for $10 plus a $2 surcharge, for a total of $12, or $12 at the door on the day of the show.

Saturday, 20 August 2011: Justin Townes Earle and Shovels & Rope (Cary Ann Hearst & Michael Trent) - Birchmere
Justin Townes Earle (yes, that's "Earle" as in his dad Steve and "Townes" as in the famous Van Zandt) is an alt-country/rockabilly artist who writes killer songs that bury darkness and isolation beneath uptempo, catchy melodies. His 2010 release Harlem River Blues is one of our favorites of last year; check out its title track and "One More Night In Brooklyn". Live, Earle stays pretty true to his sound on record; at the 9:30 club in December, he was backed by an upright bassist and fiddle as well as performing a few songs completely solo. Tickets are avilable via for $25 plus $8.75 service fee for a total of $33.75 or at the Birchmere's box office (from 5 PM to 9 PM any night there's a show) for $25 plus $4.50 service fee for a total of $29.50.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011: the Chance (CD Release) and Janel & Anthony - Black Cat (Backstage)
August continues to be the month with a lot of great local bands performing: The Chance is having its CD release party at the Black Cat! They're celebrating the release of their EP New York City Girls, which really showcases the group's Cure-influenced pop songs. There was a great interview with the Chance's guitarist and songwriter Joshua Padgett on the finale of Strictly Global, so try to check that out if you can find it. Tickets are available via for $10 plus a $2.50 service fee for a total of $12.50.

Friday, 26 August 2011: Joe Pernice (the Pernice Brothers, Scut Mountain Boys) and Frank Padarello (of King Radio) - Jammin' Java
Joe Pernice of the Pernice Brothers sure knows how to write a damn fine pop song. This is very 1960s-influenced pop-- don't expect to hear any contemporary radio-friendly love songs here-- check out our favorite albums Live A Little (Ashmont, 2006) and Goodbye Killer (Ashmont, 2010) for some samples. We're particularly fond of "Somerville" and "PCH One". Pernice appears to be touring without the rest of his band; not sure if it'll be a completely solo performance or not, but it should be a great show nonetheless. Tickets are available via for $15, and there doesn't appear to be a service fee-- hooray!


Saturday, 27 August 2011: Cartoon Johnny - Lubber Run Amphitheater [500 N Abingdon Street, Arlington, VA]
The 6-member coed vocal band Cartoon Johnny consistently puts on high-energy, musically-precise shows featuring covers of the latest pop songs as well as some throwback favorites (and even some original tunes!). They haven't been playing too many shows recently, because they've been hard at work recording the follow-up to last year's holiday album Cartoon Johnny & Friends, the More the Merrier, so this is a good opportunity to catch up with what they've been up to-- and, bonus! the show is completely free! It's at the recently-renovated Lubber Run Amphitheater in Arlington.


Tuesday, 30 August 2011: Lyle Lovett and his Large Band - Wolf Trap (Filene Center)
Songwriter Lyle Lovett recently passed through town playing solo at the Birchmere, trading songs with fellow songwriter John Hiatt, but this time he's playing outside at the gorgeous Wolf Trap in Vienna. He's accompanied by his "Large Band" (not an understatement: at last count, his backing musicians numbered over a dozen), and the diversity of his accompaniers-- from brass to mandolin to backing singers-- certainly gives his laid-back country tunes a breadth of sounds. Tickets are available in advance via for $25 (lawn) or $42 (pavilion) plus a service fee of $4.25 (lawn) or $5.25 (pavilion) for a total of $29.25 (lawn) or $47.25 (pavilion).


Friday, 2 September 2011: Black Cat's 18th Birthday Party: the Max Levine Ensemble, Garland of Hours, Oh So Peligroso, State Violence, Booze Riot, Raindeer, Tuff Crowd, Autograph By Proxy, Dirty Wars - Black Cat (Mainstage)
We're huge fans of the Black Cat and of birthday parties, and this concert is a nice fusion of the two, celebrating the club's 18th birthday and featuring all kinds of local bands-- the Max Levine Ensemble, cellist Amy Domingues's outstanding Garland of Hours, and Oh So Peligroso, among many others. Oh, and the best part? Tickets are just $5! They are available via ticketalternative for $5 plus a $2.50 service fee, or you can stop by the Black Cat any night the club is open (8PM - midnight) for $5 cash only.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011: John Hiatt & the Combo and Big Head Todd & the Monsters - Wolf Trap (Filene Center)
Songwriter/guitarist John Hiatt is about as steady as they come: his 20(!) albums showcase his raspy voice, his conversational songwriting style, and his dark take on humanity. His latest, Dirty Jeans and Mudslide Hymns (New West Records) showcases more of the same-- but it's hardly predictable. In fact, his "Don't Wanna Leave You Now" is one of his finest tender love songs. Tickets are available in advance via for $25 (lawn) or $40 (pavilion) plus a service fee of $4.25 (lawn) or $5.25 (pavilion) for a total of $29.25 (lawn) or $45.25 (pavilion).

Thursday, 8 September 2011: Swans and Sir Richard Bishop - Sonar (Baltimore) (Main Stage)
Lots of '80s/'90s noise/no wave fans never thought that Swans would reunite (and many would argue that Swans without Jarboe is not really Swans-- but that's not a discussion for this site). Not only did Swans tour last year, but the group also released an album, the outstanding My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky (Young God). They're still touring, and you can expect a seriously heavy, ominous, dark sound here. As a bonus, this Baltimore show has an awesome opener, guitarist Sir Richard Bishop of the Sun City Girls and Rangda, whose solo albums showcase his finger-picking style that's as reminiscent of John Fahey as it is of Bishop's worldly inspirations. Tickets are available on for $20 plus a $4.95 online convenience fee (yes, even if you print them yourself) for a total of $24.95.

Friday, 9 September 2011: Despise You, Magrudergrind, Deathrats, Sick Fix, and Triac - St. Stephen & the Incarnation Episcopal Church
Longtime readers of ShowlistDC know how much we love the DIY shows at St Stephen's Church in Columbia Heights. This Friday night show features hardcore group Despise You and local(ish) grindcore legends Magrudergrind (we'll let you in on a little secret: as much as we love the split album that Despise You released with Agoraphobic Nosebleed this year, we know what a kickassedly energetic show Magrudergrind puts on, and we cannot freakin' wait). Tickets are available for $10 via show promoter (and Magrudergrind drummer) Venomous Ideas or in person at Smash Records in Adams Morgan whenever the store is open (Mon-Thu noon - 9 PM; Fri noon - 10 PM; Sat 11 AM - 10 PM; Sun noon - 7 PM).

Wednesday, 14 September 2011: Liam Finn and the Young Evils - Black Cat (Backstage)
Liam Finn (not to be confused with the Irish footballer of the same name) might be best known because of his famous dad-- Neil Finn of Crowded House and Split Enz-- but the younger Finn isn't exactly new to the music industry. He's been performing with his band Betchadupa since the late '90s and released his first solo album in 2007. He's well-known for his his live-looping in concert, and this one is sure to weigh heavily on material from his new album FOMO (Yep Roc). Tickets are available via ticketalternative for $13 plus a $3 service fee for a total of $16, or you can stop by the Black Cat any night the club is open (8PM - midnight) for $13 cash only.

Friday, 16 September 2011: Savage Republic, Tone, and Caspian - Black Cat (Mainstage)
This is one hell of a cool show for a Friday night: longtime LA art-rockers Savage Republic (check out some clips here) plus the 20-year anniversary of local DC guitar army Tone plus Massachusetts rockers Caspian (check out their "Malacoda"). Tickets are available via ticketalternative for $13 plus a $3 service fee for a total of $16, or you can stop by the Black Cat any night the club is open (8PM - midnight) for $13 cash only.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011: Fang Island and Imperial China - Red Palace
Wednesday, 21 September 2011: Karma to Burn, King Giant, and Borracho - Rock & Roll Hotel
We don't often recommend two shows on the same night, but these two are just a few blocks away from one other, so you could make a last-minute decision-- or even bounce between the two! At the Red Palace, you'll find Providence/Brooklyn indie-rock band Fang Island, whose 2010 self-titled album earned best new music recognition on Pitchfork. It's full of energy and exuberance-- the stuff that makes for good albums and great concerts. Tickets for this show are available on for $10 plus a $2 fee for $12 total, or they're available on the night of the show at the door for $12. If you're looking for something with a different vibe, wander down the street to the Rock & Roll Hotel to check out stoner metal band Karma To Burn, who reunited in 2009 after their original 1997-2002 run; check out their newest album V (Napalm Records), which features the group's new vocalist Daniel Davies (son of the Kinks' Dave Davies) and a cover of Black Sabbath's "Never Say Die". There are two is a great local Southern metal bands opening this show, King Giant and Borracho, whose debut album Splitting Sky is one of our favorite local metal albums of the year so far. Tickets are available on for $10 plus a $4 fee for $14 total, or they're available on the night of the show at the door for $12.
UPDATE King Giant will not be playing the Karma To Burn show due to David Kowalski's broken leg.

Friday, 23 September 2011: Enslaved, Ghost Alcest, Junius, Apothys, and Throne of Carrion - Jaxx
This might just be the metal line-up of the year: Norway's longstanding metal masters Enslaved, Sweden's mysterious newcomers Ghost, and France's shoegazing black metal band Alcest are stopping off at Jaxx with locals Apothys and Throne of Carrion. While this tour is awesome for metalheads, it's also a good starting point for rock fans looking to dabble in metal-- Enslaved has some serious prog leanings (check out their latest full-length Axioma Ethica Odini), Ghost is basically a 70s rock band dressed up in crazy costumes (check out Opus Eponymous and the uber-catchy song "Con Clavi Con Dio"), and Alcest brings a serious shoegaze vibe to their black metal (check out their latest album Ecailles De Lune). Tickets are available online at for $16 plus a $3.80 surcharge, for a total of $19.80, or $19 at the door on the day of the show. Also, local openers at Jaxx shows generally sell tickets in advance-- often with a discount! Apothys has a link on their web site to buy tickets for $16 (no fees!) and will mail them to you or hold them at the door, and Throne of Carrion mentions on their facebook page a buy-three-get-one-free deal! Good stuff!
UPDATE: Due to visa issues, Ghost had to drop off this tour. We still heartily recommend all four remaining bands!

Saturday, 24 September 2011: Indian, Batillus, and Malungeon - Golden West Cafe (Baltimore)
Chicago sludge/doom metal band Indian released a super-heavy (and super-awesome) album Guiltless (Relapse) earlier this year-- but don't take our word for it; Stereogum gushed about it too. Bonus: vocalist/guitarist Will Lindsay also played in Nachtmystium and Wolves in the Throne Room, so fans of those bands will surely find something to like in Indian. Tickets are available on for $6 plus a $1.95 online convenience fee (yes, even if you print the ticket at home) for a total of $7.95.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011: Shellac and Helen Money - Sonar (Baltimore) (Main Stage)
Maybe it's Steve Albini's opinionated writing, or maybe it's his poker prowess or maybe it's his cooking blog (yes, "Steak and Black Onions" could someday show up on your dinner plate). Or maybe it's just that he's a damn fine musician playing a damn fine guitar. Whatever is your favorite thing about Steve Albini, there's no arguing that Shellac (his band with fellow Travis Bean-player Bob Weston and drummer Todd Trainer) is a damn fine band. They tour even less frequently than they release albums-- their fourth album Excellent Italian Greyhound was released in 2007-- so this is a rare chance to see them live. Listen to their 2000 masterpiece "Prayer to God" as you get your tickets, which are availble via thundertix for $13 plus a $2.95 online convenience fee (yes, even if you print the tickets at home), for a total of $15.95.

Thursday, 29 September 2011: Mogwai and the Soft Moon - 9:30 Club (Rescheduled from 4/19/11; original tickets will be honored)
We recommended this show back in April when the band was originally supposed to be playing DC, but visa issues forced this show to be postponed. Lucky for us, Scottish post-rockers Mogwai made good on their promise to reschedule the show. They'll probably play a lot from their newest album Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will (Sub Pop), but they're also quite fond of dipping into their back catalog at live shows too, as shown by their excellent live album released last year, Special Moves. We can't emphasize this enough, though: wear earplugs. Tickets are available through for $20 plus $4.75 service fee plus $4.00 processing fee for a total of $28.75; alternately, fees can be waived by purchasing tickets in person and in advance from the 9:30 club box office (hours are posted here).


Friday, 30 September 2011: Easy Action, Radical Discharge, and Strong Intention - Sidebar Tavern [218 East Lexington St, Baltimore, MD]
John Brannon is known most for his work with Detroit hardcore band Negative Approach (and, subsequently, Laughing Hyenas), but it's his latest project, Easy Action, that's touring this time around. Their last album, 2005's Friends of Rock & Roll is more rock than hardcore-- but still showcases Brannon's howling voice. Read more about Brannon and the band in this 2005 Baltimore City Paper piece, which includes a good interview with Brannon. Tickets are available through for $10 plus a $3.50 processing fee for a total of $13.50.


Saturday, 8 October 2011: Division, Yesterday's Saints, Auroboros, and Loculus - L&B's Pizzeria and Sports Bar [5401 Mapledale Plaza, Woodbridge, VA]
You may have realized by now that we here at ShowlistDC do love metal, and we especially love our area's local metal bands. This show is an awesome lineup of some of our favorite local metal acts, starting with the headlining group, Loculus, which is brutal death metal. The other three bands are a little tamer: Division is power metal with horror-heavy lyrics, Auroboros has clear influence from its two most famous members (Brian from Baroness and Rob from Salome), and Yesterday's Saints has a thrash influence and shares a pretty awesome drummer with Loculus. Yeah, yeah, we know that the show is in Woodbridge. But didn't you need to pick something up at the Ikea anyway? Tickets are $5 at the door, and more information can be found on the event's facebook page.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011: Hans-Joachim Roedelius (of Cluster/Harmonia), XAMBUCA, Kohoutek, and Blue Sausage Infant - Velvet Lounge
This is an incredibly rare opportunity to see Hans-Joachim Roedelius in DC. He's a German electronic music legend, formerly of Krautrock bands Cluster and Harmonia, has been active in music for over 30 years, and has a discography of more than 80 releases. If that weren't enough, he's also known for his collaborations with such prominent musicians/composers/producers as Peter Baumann (Tangerine Dream), Holger Czukay (Can), Brian Eno, Dieter Moebius, Conny Plank and Michael Rother (Kraftwerk/Neu!). If his outstanding collaboration with Simeon of Silver Apples (the so-called Silver-Qluster) at ATP in Asbury Park earlier this month is any indication, this show is not to be missed! Also performing are XAMABUCA, Kohoutek, and Chester Hawkins Blue Sausage Infant. Tickets are available at the door for $10 cash. Doors are at 7:30 PM, and the show is 21+.

Saturday, 15 October 2011: Loretta Lynn and Southern Culture on the Skids - 9:30 Club (Rescheduled from 3/17/11; original tickets will be honored)
Tickets to this show are steep, but Ms. Loretta Lynn doesn't come around all that often. She was honored last year with a tribute album, Coal Miner's Daughter (including Paramore, the White Stripes, Carrie Underwood, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle and Allison Moorer, and more) to mark her 50th(!!) year in the music business. Tickets are available for $55 on plus an $8.80 service fee plus a $4 order processing fee, for a total of $67.80. Tickets can also be purchased at the 9:30 Club box office for a total of $56 (the club charges a $1 fee, even for purchasing with cash at the box office), any time the box office is open (12-7 PM M-F OR on show nights: 12-11 PM M-F, 6-11 PM Sat, and 6-10:30 PM Sunday).

Tuesday, 18 October 2011: Givers, Lord Huron, and imagineIAM - Black Cat (Mainstage)
Lafayette, Louisiana, isn't exactly a hotbed of indie-rock activity, and yet that's the city that Givers calls home. The quintet's debut album, In Light (Glass Note), is an uptempo, summery pop album that is reminiscent of Vampire Weekend, Dirty Projectors, and Animal Collective. Check out their jubilant single "Up Up Up" while you pick up tickets to this show from for $13 plus $3 service fee for a total of $16. Tickets can be also be bought at the Black Cat any night the club is open (8PM - midnight) for $13 in cash. They will be $15 on the night of the show.

Friday, 21 October 2011: Deceased, Windhand, and Borracho - Comet Ping Pong
Comet Ping Pong is a pizza/ping pong joint in NW DC, and we love it when they put on metal shows. Headlining this show is Deceased, a longstanding Virginia death/thrash metal band. They'll be joined by DC's southern rock/metal band Borracho (whose excellent Splitting Sky came out earlier this year) and Richmond's doom mavens Windhand. Tickets are $10 at the door, and more information can be found on the event's Facebook page.

Saturday, 22 October 2011: Dum Dum Girls, Crocodiles, and Royal Baths - Black Cat (Mainstage)
It's no surprise that Dum Dum Girls are from California: the Sub Pop all-girl quartet owes as much to the pop of the Ronettes as to the dreamy sound of Mazzy Star. Their sunny sound just screams California summers, and their two albums-- 2010's I Will Be and thir newest, Only In Dreams definitely deliver. Check out their song "Jail La La" to see just how catchy their songs can be. Tickets are available on for $15 plus a $3 fee for a total of $18. Tickets can be also be bought at the Black Cat any night the club is open (8PM - midnight) for $15 in cash

Monday, 24 October 2011: Cartoon Johnny, Euphonism, and Vox Pop - Jammin' Java
If you've been enjoying NBC's the Sing-Off, then you'll love this trio of a cappella groups. Sure, it was a bummer that Cartoon Johnny's August show at Lubber Run Amphitheater was cancelled due to Hurricane Irene, but the silver lining is that the group has recruited two awesome support acts for this new show-- Euphonism and Vox Pop. What makes this show even more special is that it's Malcolm Lee's last performance with Cartoon Johnny; his booming tenor will surely be missed. Tickets are available from for $10 in advance (no service fee!) or $13 at the door on the day of the show.

Thursday, 27 October 2011: All-star Sepultura Cover Band (members of DOC, Mind As Prison, and Drugs of Faith), Inter Arma, Midnight Eye, and Auroboros - Asefu's [1920 9th St NW, WDC]
We're not in the habit of recommending cover bands, but this isn't exactly your standard cover band. In honor of Halloween, members of DOC, Mind As Prison, and Drugs of Faith are getting together to play a bunch of Sepultura covers! Man, we love the concept of bands dressing up to be other bands for Halloween (seriously, if you know anybody else doing this, please send us an email at Inter Arma, Midnight Eye, and Auroboros will each be doing a set (presumably of their own originals.... but who knows!). Tickets are $7 cash at the door; doors are at 7 PM. Feel free to keep an eye on the event page on Facebook for any other details.

Friday, 28 October 2011: the Ascent of Everest, Tone, and the Orchid - IOTA Club & Café
The Ascent of Everest is an 8-piece post-rock ensemble from Nashville that formed in 2005 (yes - we said 8 members! We can't wait to see all those people crammed onto IOTA's stage!) This is also a CD release show for DC's guitar army Tone's new album Priorities. IOTA does not sell tickets in advance, so tickets are available at the door for $10 cash.

Saturday, 29 October 2011: Boris, Asobi Seksu, and Liturgy - Black Cat (Mainstage)
Saturday, 29 October 2011: the Field - U St Music Hall
As we've mentioned before, we don't usually recommend two shows on the same night, but these two are close together, so it's possible to do both (or make a last-minute decision!). First, over at the Black Cat, you'll find the Japanese experimental rock band Boris, who have released three albums this year (Heavy Rocks, Attention Please, and New Album). They're joined by shoegaze duo Asobi Seksu and shoegaze/black metal band Liturgy, whose Aesthetica has gotten quite the buzz this year. Tickets are available on for $15 plus a $3 service fee for a total of $18, or you can pick up a ticket at the Black Cat any night the club is open (8PM - midnight) for $15 cash only. Alternatively, hop over to the U Street Music Hall for some Swedish electronica, since The Field (also known as Axel Willner) is playing. Live, he's really not much to look at-- just a dude standing behind a table with electronics-- but his albums are fantastic, starting with 2007's From Here We Go Sublime and carrying on through 2009's Yesterday & Today. His newest, Looping State of Mind, is due out on 11 October on Kompakt Germany. Tickets for this show are available via for $8 plus a $2.47 service charge for a total of $10.47.

Sunday, 30 October 2011: Battles and Nisennenmodai - 9:30 Club
Guitarist Ian Williams played in Pittsburgh's math-rock band Don Caballero from 1992 until 2000; then he moved to New York and formed Battles, the experimental rock trio that also includes former Helmet drummer John Stanier and guitarist Dave Konopka. The group released a whole slew of EPs before finally releasing their their debut album Mirrored in 2007 and its follow-up Glass Drop earlier this year. Check out the video from their songs "Atlas" (from Mirrored). Tickets are available from for $20 plus a $4.75 service fee and a $4 order processing fee for a total of $28.75. Tickets can also be purchased at the 9:30 Club box office for a total of $21 (the club charges a $1 fee, even for purchasing with cash at the box office), any time the box office is open (12-7 PM M-F OR on show nights: 12-11 PM M-F, 6-11 PM Sat, and 6-10:30 PM Sunday).

Monday, 31 October 2011: Dead Meadow and Blackbells - DC9
Stoner rock band Dead Meadow has local roots; the group formed in DC in 1998 from members of The Impossible Five and Colour. The trio's latest release, Three Kings a CD that contains both new songs and live versions of songs from the band's career-- and a DVD with live vignettes of the band. Tickets are available via for $12 plus a $2.10 service fee for a total of $14.10.


Tuesday, 1 November 2011: Crooked Fingers and Strand of Oaks - IOTA Club & Café
You may not know Eric Bachmann by name, but if you're an indie-rock fan, you're almost certainly familiar with his projects Archers of Loaf and Crooked Fingers. Where Archers has a standard off-kilter North Carolina indie-rock feel, Crooked Fingers is a little bit more straightforward, featuring Bachmann's Neil Diamond-like voice and a slew of intensely weary-sounding songs. We're particularly partial to his 2005 release Dignity and Shame (check out the devastating "You Must Build a Fire"), but all of his albums are excellent, and he'll probably play a number of pieces from his newest album, Breaks in the Armor. IOTA does not sell tickets in advance, so tickets are available at the door for $14 cash.

Thursday, 3 November 2011: the Throne (Jay-Z and Kanye West) - Verizon Center (Rescheduled from 9/29/11)
Just a hunch: you probably didn't need us to tell you about this tour. Two of the biggest names in hip-hop-- Jay-Z and Kanye West-- are not only touring together but have also released an album together as well. Perhaps you've heard of it? It's called Watch the Throne, and everybody's been raving about it (seriously: even Pitchfork). Tickets are available via at varying prices ($59.50, $109.50, $149.50, and $250) plus tons of fees.

Friday, 4 November 2011: Scratch Acid and Kepone - 9:30 Club
There's 80s music and then there's 80s noise rock: Austin, TX noisemakers Scratch Acid are returning from a 24-year hiatus for a mini-tour this month (they also reunited for 3 shows in 2006, but none was close to DC). The band was only around from 1982 to 1987-- and all of their recorded material is compiled on one disc, the awesome The Greatest Gift-- but they left quite a legacy. Vocalist David Yow went on to found the outstanding Chicago noise-rock band The Jesus Lizard, sang in Qui, and also focuses on his own art. Bassist David Wm. Sims went on to play with Steve Albini in the unfortunately short-lived Rapeman and with Yow (again) in the Jesus Lizard-- in addition to his job as a CPA and his writing on his blog. Drummer Rey Washam also played with Sims and Albini in Rapeman and also collaborated with Ministry(!) and the Butthole Surfers side project Daddy Longhead, among many other bands. Guitarist Brett Bradford went on to form the Colorado punk band Great Caesar's Ghost (not to be confused with the NY cover band of the same name!). If you're at all interested in 80s noise rock, this is a show not to be missed-- Scratch Acid is hugely influential, often namedropped, and not likely to play around here any time again soon, as this Nov/Dec tour is just a warm-up for their ATP gig. Tickets are available via for $25 plus a $6 service fee and a $4 order processing fee, for a total of $35. Tickets can also be purchased at the 9:30 Club box office for a total of $26 (the club charges a $1 fee, even for purchasing with cash at the box office), any time the box office is open (12-7 PM M-F OR on show nights: 12-11 PM M-F, 6-11 PM Sat, and 6-10:30 PM Sunday).

Wednesday, 9 November 2011: Black Tusk, Thou, Monstro, and Ambition Burning - Sonar (Baltimore) (Talking Head Lounge)
This is going to be an awesome sludge/doom metal show! Headlining the show is Savannah's Black Tusk-- Savannah is a hotbed of sludge bands, with Baroness and Kylesa both hailing from that city and Jucifer from nearby Athens. Black Tusk is touring on its newly-released album Set the Dial (Relapse). Opening the show are Thou, a Baton Rouge doom band whose show last month at Baltimore's Golden West was outstanding, and Atlanta sludge band MonstrO. Tickets are available via for $12 plus a $2.95 online convenience fee (yes, even if you print the tickets yourself at home), for a total of $14.95.

Thursday, 10 November 2011: the Sea and Cake and Brokeback - Black Cat (Mainstage)
The Sea and Cake has been a mainstay in the Chicago indie/jazz circuit since its inception in the mid-90s (its name is a reference to the song "The C in Cake" by fellow Chicago band Gastr del Sol, featuring David Grubbs and Jim O'Rourke). The band has an all-star lineup; Tortoise's John McEntire plays drums, cartoonist Archer Prewitt plays guitar and piano, and painter Sam Prekop plays guitar. The group's latest album The Moonlight Butterfly is lovely, but we're especially partial to the group's 2008 release Car Alarm. The opening group Brokeback is the side project band of Doug McCombs, who plays bass in Tortoise and Eleventh Dream Day. Tickets are available on for $15 plus a $3 fee for a total of $18. Tickets can be also be bought at the Black Cat any night the club is open (8PM - midnight) for $15 in cash.

Saturday, 12 November 2011: the Bobs - Wolf Trap (the Barns)
The a cappella quartet the Bobs are celebrating their 30th anniversary-- and a new member! Since Amy Bob is attending graduate school, the Bobs have welcomed Angie Doctor to the group. Angie is no stranger to the Bobs-- she released an excellent duet CD, He Said, She Said with Dan Bob Schumacher (and produced by Richard Bob Greene). The Bobs are pioneers of all-vocal music-- check out a live video of their take on Cream's "White Room" (yes, complete with a distorted guitar solo!) or their original song "Tight Pants Tango". Tickets are available on for $22 plus a $4 service charge for a total of $26.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011: Sonos and Snowday - Arlington Temple [1835 N Nash Street, Arlington, VA]
If you've been watching NBC's The Sing-Off, you know that LA's Sonos was eliminated in week four after its performances of "Viva La Vida" and "I Want You Back"-- ironic, because the group's recording/video of "I Want You Back" is part of what put the group on the map after the release of its first album, Sonos Sings in 2009. Sonos's decision to be on the show is an interesting one, as the group's sound relies so heavily on effects pedals, but group member Christopher Given Harrison explained in a recent blog post the group's decision to compete even without their electronics. At this show, though, they'll perform with them, and the sound they produce is absolutely awesome. Even awesomer is that local group Snowday is opening this show. Snowday does most of its performances at schools, so this is a rare chance to see them do a regular evening show. The venue is one block from the Rosslyn metro station (Orange/Blue), and apparently there is free garage and street parking available. Tickets are available at the door only, for $10 cash.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011: Hank3 and Earthride - Rams Head Live! (Baltimore)
Everything in Hank3's life seems to come in threes. He's the third generation Hank Williams (he's the grandson of Hank Williams, son of Hank Williams Jr., and half-brother of Holly Williams). But the "3" also refers to the three styles of music he plays at his live shows-- a country set (traditional covers as well as his own rebellious originals), a country/punk fusion he calls "hellbilly", and metal (his doom-metal album Attention Deficit Domination was one of three-- yes, three!-- albums that Hank3 released this September). Most importantly, you never know exactly what you're going to get at a Hank3 show, as his shows typically stretch nearly 3 hours with very few breaks. His show last September at the 9:30 club featured guest vocals from Dave Sherman (Earthride/Spirit Caravan) and covers of songs by Pentagram and Pagan Altar. Given the wealth of new material Hank3 has released since last year (now that he's gotten out of his record deal with Curb-- a well-publicized broken relationship), this show is certain to be full of new surprises. Tickets are available through for $15 plus a $4 surcharge and $2.50 tax, for a total of $21.50.

Thursday, 17 November 2011: Mike Doughty and his Band Fanatic and Moon Hooch - 9:30 Club
Mike Doughty has had two careers: from 1992 to 2000, he was the frontman of the quirky NYC band Soul Coughing, and since then, he's had his own solo career, most recently releasing Yes and Also Yes earlier this year. We could spend days debating which era is better, but the truth is that these two projects are very different, linked together only by Doughty's offkilter vocabulary and word phrasing. Tickets are available via for $25 plus a $6 service fee and a $4 order processing fee, for a total of $35. Tickets can also be purchased at the 9:30 Club box office for a total of $26 (the club charges a $1 fee, even for purchasing with cash at the box office), any time the box office is open (12-7 PM M-F OR on show nights: 12-11 PM M-F, 6-11 PM Sat, and 6-10:30 PM Sunday).

Sunday, 27 November 2011: Mastodon, Dillinger Escape Plan, and Red Fang - 9:30 Club
Even if you're not really a metal fan, you've certainly heard of Atlanta's Mastodon, a metal band that formed in the late 90s and has captured the hearts of hipsters everywhere. Their latest album, The Hunter is a slight departure for the band, as the group's first four albums were elemental concept albums: fire on Remission (2002), water on Leviathan (2004), earth on Blood Mountain (2006), and the ether with Crack the Skye (2009). Having run out of elements, the group decided to do something new: just write a bunch of songs and stick them on an album. The result is quite good-- Mastodon's proggy heavy metal songwriting still shines through even without anything to link the songs together (and hey - Pitchfork agrees). Mastodon has sold out its last two shows at the 9:30 club, so pick up your Tickets soon-- they're available via for $30 plus a $6 service fee and a $4 order processing fee, for a total of $40. Tickets can also be purchased at the 9:30 Club box office for a total of $31 (the club charges a $1 fee, even for purchasing with cash at the box office), any time the box office is open (12-7 PM M-F OR on show nights: 12-11 PM M-F, 6-11 PM Sat, and 6-10:30 PM Sunday).

Wednesday, 30 November 2011: Avey Tare (of Animal Collective), Eric Copeland, and Insect Factory - U St Music Hall
Avey Tare (aka David Portner) is 25% of the experimental band Animal Collective; his first solo album Down There was released last year. Animal Collective just played a huge show this summer at Merriweather Post Pavilion (coincidentally, that's also the name of their 2009 album), so seeing Avey Tare at the U Street Music Hall is a fun opportunity to see one member of the band at a much smaller venue (and for a much lower price!). Tickets for this show are available via for $10 plus a $3.03 service charge for a total of $13.03.


Saturday, 3 December 2011: Mary Fahl (of October Project) - Jammin' Java (Early Show)
Mary Fahl is known as the voice of the mid-90s pop-rock band October Project, but her solo career has had some notable highlights: in addition to her own solo releases, she's had songs on the soundtracks for Gods & Generals and The Guys. But Fahl's solo work doesn't center on the silver screen; her latest album, From the Dark Side of the Moon, is a re-imagining of the Pink Floyd classic, and her previous album, The Other Side of Time, features songs in Italian and Mozarabic, in addition to her typical ethereal English-language material. Above all else, though, the most remarkable thing about Fahl is her booming, haunting voice. Tickets are available on for $20 with no service fees. Note that this is an early show (show starts at 7 PM), because Jammin' Java has another event at 10 PM that night.

Monday, 5 December 2011: Tori Amos - DAR Constitution Hall
Tori Amos has never really followed the most straightforward path (what the heck is a cornflake girl, anyway?!), and her latest album is no different. Night of Hunters is her first album for classical label Deutsche Grammophon, and it is a song cycle inspired by and based on classical works from the last 400 years (composers such as Chopin, Schubert, Mendelssohn, and Bach are referenced in the album's 14 songs). If that weren't esoteric enough, the album tells the story of a woman's journey after a breakup, as she interacts with a mythical creature named Annabelle (voiced by Amos's daughter Natashya Hawley), undergoes a hallucinogenic ritual, and travels back in time to view an earlier incarnation of her relationship. All that may sound unnecessarily complex (but it is Tori Amos, remember!), but the album itself is beautiful: it's more of a pop/classical crossover than a straight-up classical album, and-- most importantly!-- Amos's stunning piano-playing takes center stage here, a welcome change from her more recent albums. This is Amos's first tour with a string quartet; she's notorious for playing a different set list every night, and she's announced that this tour will feature re-arranged versions of other songs in her catalogue, incorporating the strings. Tickets are available via for $45 plus $12.65 service fee, for a total of $57.65.

Friday, 9 December 2011: Jane Birkin - presenting "Serge Gainsbourg & Jane via Japan" - 9:30 Club (Early Show)
Jane Birkin is a British singer/actress who is famous in the world of fashion for her namesake, the Hermès Birkin Bag. She also had a lengthy relationship with French singer/songwriter Serge Gainsbourg (after his relationship/collaboration with French actress/singer Brigitte Bardot). Gainsbourg and Birkin's most famous collaboration-- besides their daughter, singer Charlotte Gainsbourg-- was their controversial song "Je T'Aime...Moi Non Plus" (a song which he initially wrote for Bardot, incidentally), which was banned for a time due to its explicit eroticism-- but what else would you expect from the French? The name of this concert tour-- "Serge Gainsbourg & Jane via Japan"-- is a reference to the fact that Birkin will be playing from the catalogue written for her by Serge Gainsbourg, backed by Japanese musicians. Tickets are available via for $35 plus a $6 service fee and a $4 order processing fee, for a total of $45. Tickets can also be purchased at the 9:30 Club box office for a total of $36 (the club charges a $1 fee, even for purchasing with cash at the box office), any time the box office is open (12-7 PM M-F OR on show nights: 12-11 PM M-F, 6-11 PM Sat, and 6-10:30 PM Sunday).

Sunday, 11 December 2011: Mayhem, Keep of Kalessin, Hate, and Abigail Williams - Jaxx
It's pretty rare for this area to see TWO old-school Norwegian black metal bands in one year, but that's exactly what we've had this year, with Immortal's show in February and now Mayhem performing this month. Much of the controversy of Norwegian black metal culminates with Mayhem (the suicide of the group's first vocalist, the murder of the group's guitarist by a former group member, and so on), and the group certainly plays up that drama with its live shows-- check out these awesome photographs of Mayhem's November show up in Baltimore. Theatrics aside, the music is awesome-- would you expect any different from a band whose rhythm section is anchored by a drummer named Hellhammer? Tickets are available via for $23 plus $1.15 tax plus a $3 service fee, for a total of $27.15.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011: the Capital Hearings: an a cappella holiday - Strathmore (Mansion)
There are a ton of a cappella groups in this area, and the Capital Hearings are fairly new to the scene, having formed in 2010. The group's repertoire is eclectic, touching on classical and jazz as well as contemporary songs-- and given the title of this show, we're betting that the group will throw in a few holiday favorites as well. To get a flavor of their sound, check out the audio clips on their web site or their flashmob-style accompaniment to a local marriage proposal. Tickets are available via for $15 (with apparently no additional fees). Strathmore is easily-accessible by metro and also has free parking for those who'd prefer to drive.

Thursday, 15 December 2011: Black Cobra, Zoroaster, and the Body - Black Cat (Backstage)
Just in case you're new to this site, you may not know that we here at ShowListDC do love our doom and sludge metal-- and this show is going to be a pretty darn killer lineup. Headlining is Los Angeles's Black Cobra, whose latest album Invernal came out in October on Southern Lord. Opening the show are the Atlanta sludge band Zoroaster (check out last year's awesome Matador) and Rhode Island doom band The Body. Tickets are available on for $10 plus a $2.50 fee for a total of $12.50. Tickets can be also be bought at the Black Cat any night the club is open (8PM - midnight) for $10 in cash.

Friday, 16 December 2011: Borracho (Splitting Sky Release Party), Kingsnake, and Rezin - Velvet Lounge
If you like stoner metal and Southern rock, then this show is for you: Borracho is one of the newest bands in that scene (joining King Giant and Clutch). Their debut album Splitting Sky is full of fierce riffs and hoarse howls. Join them (and the show's MC, MetalChris from for their CD release show! The Velvet Lounge doesn't sell tickets in advance, so tickets are available for $8 in cash at the door on the night of the show.

Sunday, 18 December 2011: Tiffany Thompson and Jenn Bostic - IOTA Club & Café
Be careful when you google Tiffany Thompson; apparently there's a porn star with the same name. This show, however, features local DC singer/songwriter Tiffany Thompson, who spent a chunk of this fall touring in Europe (lucky her!) after deciding to quit her day job and pursue music full-time this April. You can hear her bouncy pop style on her songs "Please" and "Til That Day Comes". IOTA does not sell tickets in advance, so tickets are available at the door for $12 cash on the night of the show.

Friday, 23 December 2011: Wu-Tang Clan (featuring RZA, Raekwon, Method Man, GZA, Ghostface Killah, Masta Killa, U-God, and Inspectah Deck) - State Theatre
If we have to tell you who the Wu-Tang Clan is, then perhaps you've been asleep for the past 20 years (seriously, if you need a history lesson, just read wikipedia). Tickets are available via for $55 plus a $7.25 processing fee for a total of $62.25. Tickets can also be purchased in person for $56 (there is a $1 fee) at the State Theatre box office, which is open from noon to 6 PM M-Sat and from noon to 11:30 PM on show nights. The box office is also open on Sundays when there is a show, starting 2 hours prior to the posted door time.