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Recommended: Archive: 2012
Here's the archive of our recommended shows. For current recommendations, click here.
Wednesday, 4 January 2012: Garland of Hours (Album Release Party) and Gordon Withers - Black Cat (Backstage)
Garland of Hours is a DC-based chamber-pop group fronted by cellist/pianist Amy Domingues. Domingues has played with just about everybody around here, from Ted Leo and Fugazi to Tsunami and Bob Mould. Garland of Hours, though, is her own project, and this show is to celebrate the release of her third album, Lucidia (coming out on Noble Task Records). At this show, Domingues will be playing with a full band, including Jonah Takagi on bass and Mary Timony on guitar. The new Garland of Hours album doesn't appear to be on Amazon yet, but you can check out clips from the first two albums, 2007's Soundest Serum and 2002's Garland of Hours there, as well as Domingues's previous band, Telegraph Melts' Ilium. Garland of Hours was also featured on the first Burn to Shine DVD. Tickets are available on ticketalternative.com for $8 plus a $2.50 fee for a total of $10.50. Tickets can be also be bought at the Black Cat any night the club is open (8PM - midnight) for $8 in cash.
Sunday, 8 January 2012: Kill All Redneck Pricks: A Documentary Film About a Band Called KARP - Black Cat (Backstage)
This is a little different from most recommendations here, because it's a movie, not a concert! This is a screening of the film Kill All Redneck Priks: A Documentary Film About a Band Called KARP, which is clearly about the Washington state post-hardcore trio KARP. The band, which was as influenced by the Melvins as they were by Black Sabbath, put out three albums in the 90s: 1994's Mustaches Wild, 1995's Suplex, and 1997's Self-Titled LP; they also put out a ton of singles, most notably a split with the band Rye Coalition. (Personally, I'm stoked beyond belief for this film; I was a huge KARP fan and never got to see them live). The band broke up in 1998, and its members went on to other things-- bassist Jared Warren and drummer Scott Jernigan played in the Whip together before Jernigan's death in a boating accident in 2003 (I interviewed Jared about Scott for Pitchfork; you can read that interview here). Warren now plays in Big Business and the Melvins. More information about the documentary film can be found at its web site, KARPLives.com. Tickets are available on ticketalternative.com for $6 plus a $2.50 fee for a total of $8.50. Tickets can be also be bought at the Black Cat any night the club is open (8PM - midnight) for $6 in cash.
Wednesday, 18 January 2012: Screen Vinyl Image, Ceremony, and Silo Halo - Black Cat (Backstage)
We love supporting local bands, and here are some that will warm you up on a brisk January night: Screen Vinyl Image is recommended if you like bands like My Bloody Valentine and A Place to Bury Strangers, Ceremony is an awesome shoegaze band from Fredericksburg, and Silo Halo is a local trio that used to be known as Night & the City. Tickets are available on ticketalternative.com 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.
Thursday, 19 January 2012: Ghost, Blood Ceremony, and Ancient Vvisdom - Rock & Roll Hotel
Sweden's Ghost was scheduled to play at Jaxx last September, but they had to drop off of the tour with Enslaved due to visa issues. So, they're finally back on our shores-- this will be their first tour in the U.S. after the shows they played last May at and after DeathFest in Baltimore, so it'll be awesome to see them in a small venue. While Ghost can be classified as metal, they're basically a 70s rock band dressed up in crazy costumes; their debut album Opus Eponymous is super-catchy (seriously: the ordinarily aloof DeathFest crowd was actually singing along to Ghost's set)-- just check out their song "Con Clavi Con Dio". Tickets are available on ticketalternative.com for $15 plus a $4.50 fee for a total of $19.50.
Friday, 20 January 2012: Jucifer, Borracho, and Akris - Black Cat (Mainstage)
If you like your metal LOUD-- and we mean LOUD-- then you probably already know about Jucifer, a duo that always passes through DC in its RV in January. If you don't believe us about the LOUD stuff, check out this shot of Jucifer's show at the Black Cat last January, and trust us that you should wear earplugs. Tickets are available on ticketalternative.com for $12 plus a $3 fee for a total of $15. Tickets can be also be bought at the Black Cat any night the club is open (8PM - midnight) for $12 in cash.
Saturday, 21 January 2012: King Giant (CD Release), Borracho, the Crimson Electric, Auroboros, and Weed Warlock -
King Giant is one of the finest local Southern metal/rock bands around-- and they're celebrating the release of their awesome new CD Dismal Hollow at this show! If you like bands like Clutch and Kyuss, then you'll love King Giant: not only do they sound great on record, but they're awesome performers as well (check out videos of them playing their song "Mississippi River" or a cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Needle and the Spoon" joined by Pentagram's Victor Griffin on guitar). You can also watch the official videos of their songs "13 to 1" and "Solace". There are some great local openers too-- Borracho is a great new Southern rock/sludge band and Auroboros features members of Baronness and Salome. Tickets are available on ampedandalive.com for $10 plus a $3.50 fee for a total of $13.50. In addition, tickets can usually be purchased from the opening bands in avance with no fees, so check out the Facebook pages for Borracho, the Crimson Electric, and Auroboros to find those, or get in touch with the most recently-added opener, Weed Warlock.
Saturday, 28 January 2012: Protect-U, Imperial China, Buildings, and Cigarette - Black Cat (Sockets Records Showcase; Mainstage)
If you've been reading this space for a while, you know that we're a huge fan of local bands-- but we also love DC's local record labels as well. Sockets Records has documented DC's independent music community since 2004, and at this annual showcase, they'll be showing off four great local bands: electronica duo Protect-u, post-punk trio Imperial China, instrumental group Buildings (who typically performs with film projections), and Cigarette. Tickets are available on ticketalternative.com for $12 plus a $3 fee for a total of $15. Tickets can be also be bought at the Black Cat any night the club is open (8PM - midnight) for $12 in cash.
Friday, 3 February 2012: Kathleen Edwards and Hannah Georgas - 9:30 Club
People are so quick to point out that Justin "Bon Iver" Vernon's fingerprints are all over Kathleen Edwards's latest album, Voyageur-- not surprising, since Vernon and Edwards are quite the item nowadays. And while Vernon's hushed mood is apparent here, crediting him with the beauty of this album overlooks the solid songwriting that Edwards has established on her three previous albums and continues here-- just check out her song "A House Full of Empty Rooms" from Voyageur. Tickets are available via ticketfly.com for $22 plus a $4.75 service fee and a $4 order processing fee, for a total of $30.75. Tickets can also be purchased at the 9:30 Club box office for a total of $23 (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, 7 February 2012: Hail! Hornet (featuring members of Buzzoven, Weedeater, Alabama Thunderpussy, SourVein) and Zoroaster - plus a special screening of the film Slow Southern Steel - Black Cat (Backstage)
Well this is a pretty awesome bill-- two southern metal bands AND a screening of a movie. The film is Slow Southern Steel, which is a documentary about heavy bands from the south, featuring groups like Hank III, Kylesa, Eyehategod, and Torche. You can watch a trailer for the film here. Also at this show will be performances by the Southern sluge bands Hail!Hornet (featuring members of Buzzoven, Weedeater, Alabama Thunderpussy, and SourVein) and Zoroaster. Tickets are available on ticketalternative.com 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, 11 February 2012: Sharon Van Etten and Shearwater - Black Cat (Mainstage)
It's rare that we issue a thank you to the band TV on the Radio, but allegedly it was Kyp Malone who encouraged indie folkster Sharon van Etten to pursue a career in music. She's now on her third album-- Tramp comes out in early February. As a bonus, the opening band for this show is Austin indie-rock band Shearwater, whose Animal Joy comes out February 14th.
Tickets are available on ticketalternative.com 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. UPDATE: This show is now sold out.
Sunday, 12 February 2012: Dum Dum Girls, Widowspeak, and Punks On Mars - Black Cat (Mainstage)
California's Dum Dum Girls are a nice blend of the pop of the Ronettes and 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 tune "Jail La La" to see just how catchy their songs can be. Tickets are available on ticketalternative.com 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, 13 February 2012: JD Souther - Mansion on O St [2020 O St NW, WDC]
This is an unusual show at an unusual venue-- former Eagle JD Souther is performing at the Barns of Wolf Trap later on this week, but he's stopping by the Dupont Circle Mansion on O Street a few days before, for an intimate performance. Souther has a fairly short solo discography (only about six albums since his 1972 debut); his most recent is last year's Natural History, which features many of the songs for which he's most famous: "Faithless Love" and "Prisoner in Disguise" (recorded by Linda Ronstadt); "The Sad Café", "Best of My Love", and "New Kid in Town" (all recorded by the Eagles); as well as his own hit "You're Only Lonely". Tickets for this show are steep-- they're available on the Manson's site for $40 (with options for valet parking and a meet-and-greet with Souther after the show), and they must be purchased in advance. The Mansion on O Street does not sell tickets at the door.
Friday, 17 February 2012: Carrie Rodriguez & Lori McKenna - Birchmere
Don't get Lori McKenna confused with Loreena McKennitt: both are female singer/songwriters, but McKennitt is the one behind "Mummers Dance", while McKenna is a Boston-based singer whose songs have been recorded by Faith Hill ("Stealing Kisses", "Fireflies", and "If You Ask"), Tim McGraw ("I'm Workin'"), and Sara Evans ("Bible Song"). Her latest album, Lorraine, came out last year. McKenna is opening for Mexican-American singer/songwriter Carrie Rodriguez, whose career started as a fiddle-player in Chip Taylor's band. She then recorded a few duet albums with Taylor before embarking on her own solo career. One thing to note about Rodriguez is her incredible vocal control-- it's hard to believe she was just a backing singer, just a few years ago. She hasn't had a solo album out in a while (her most recent, Love and Circumstance, came out in 2010), so hopefully that means a new album is in the works soon. Tickets are available on ticketmaster.com for $25 plus fees of $8.70 for a total of $33.70. Tickets are also available at the Birchmere Box office for $25 plus a $4.50 fee for a total of $29.50, in person from 5-9pm, any night there's a show at the club.
Saturday, 18 February 2012: Euphonism (album release party) and Capital Blend - Arlington Temple [1835 N Nash Street, Arlington, VA]
DC has a rich selection of a cappella groups, so if you're sick and tired of seeing instruments at concerts, this show is the place to be: coed sextet Euphonism is releasing its new album (note: they were just nominated for two Wammies: one for "Best A Cappella Group" and one for "Best A Cappella Recording", for the group's take on "Smooth Criminal"). They'll be joined by the all-female group Capital Blend. Tickets are available at the door for $10 cash.
Thursday, 23 February 2012: Twilight Sad, Forest Fire, and Micah P Hinson - Rock & Roll Hotel
The Twilight Sad is a rare band that sounds exactly the way you think they would, based on their name. This Scottish shoegaze trio is touring around its most recent album, No One Can Ever Know and from what we've heard about their live shows, they're pretty loud, so bring earplugs. Check out their song "Another Bed", and then pick up tickets, which are available on ticketalternative.com for $12 plus a $4 fee for $16 total, or they're available on the night of the show at the door for $12.
THIS SHOW HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO VISA ISSUES.
Sunday, 26 February 2012: Peter Bradley Adams and Carl Anderson - Jammin' Java
You might not know the name Peter Bradley Adams or the name of his former band, country/folk duo eastmountainsouth, but you've probably heard his music: although eastmountainsouth only released one album, its songs were all over TV (Alias, One Tree Hill, Dawson's Creek) and film (Elizabethtown, Lucky 7). Adams has several solo albums out-- we're particularly fond of his 2008 release Leavetaking, but his most recent album Between Us is excellent as well. Check out his song "The Longer I Run", then pick up tickets, which are available on jamminjava.com for $10 in advance or $13 on the day of show.
Thursday, 1 March 2012: Deicide, Jungle Rot, Krass Judgement, Abigail Williams, Lecherous Nocturne, and Orthrus - Empire (formerly Jaxx)
Tampa's Deicide is one of the big names in the American death metal scene, so it's great to see them stopping by this area-- plus they're also proof that the newly-renamed venue Empire (formerly Jaxx) is still hosting legendary touring metal bands after the venue changed ownership on January 1 of this year. Tickets are available on ampedandalive.com for $22 plus $1.10 tax and $4 surcharge for a total of $27.10.
Saturday, 3 March 2012: Windhand, Ilsa, Natur, Pilgrim, and Midnight Eye - St. Stephen & the Incarnation Episcopal Church
St Stephens is a DIY space in Columbia Heights (it's a church, but the bands play in the spacious rec room, not the sanctuary). This show features some great locals and touring bands: awesome local death/doom band Ilsa (they're constantly out playing shows, so come on out and support them!), Richmond's doom group Windhand, NYC's Natur, Rhode Island's doom group Pilgrim, and local guitar wizards Midnight Eye. Tickets are available at the door for $10 cash, and you can find out more about the show on its Facebook page.
Sunday, 4 March 2012: Silo Halo, the Water, Heavy Sons, and Priests - Sova [1359 H Street NE, Washington DC]
If you didn't know by now, we love shows in unusual spaces, and this should be a good one: Sova is a wine/coffee bar on H Street NE (very close to the Rock & Roll Hotel). This show features some great local (or nearly local) bands: Silo Halo, Baltimore's post-rock duo The Water, Philly stoner-rock Heavy Sons, and DC's Priests. Tickets are $5 (cash at the door), and more information is on the event's Facebook page.
Tuesday, 13 March 2012: John K Samson and the Provincial Band (from the Weakerthans) and Shotgun Jimmie - Black Cat (Mainstage)
You might not know the name John K Samson, but if you're an indie-rock fan (particularly one who listens to sharp lyricists like the Mountain Goats), you certainly know Samson's band the Weakerthans. Samson's off on his own solo tour (he recently released a solo album, Provincial-- his first solo full-length since a cassette release in 1993!-- which includes re-recorded versions of songs from some recent EPs). Tickets are available on ticketalternative.com for $15 plus a $3 fee for a total of $18. Tickets can be also be purchased at the Black Cat any night the club is open (8PM - midnight) for $15 in cash.
Thursday, 15 March 2012: Hank 3 and HellBilly and Attention Deficit Dominiation and 3 Bar Ranch (Kuntry-Hellbilly-Doom) with film Tribulation 99 by Craig Baldwin - 9:30 Club
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 (3 Bar Ranch and his doom-metal album Attention Deficit Domination were two out of three-- yes, three!-- albums that Hank3 released last 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 last stint at the 9:30 club featured guest vocals from Dave Sherman (Earthride/Spirit Caravan) and covers of songs by Pentagram and Pagan Altar, and Sherman's Earthride played a surprise opening set for Hank last November at Rams Head Live. Given the wealth of new material Hank3 has released in the past 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. For starters, there's a screening of the 1992 film Tribulation 99, which is all about aliens trying to take over the earth. Tickets are available via ticketfly.com 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 $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).
Friday, 16 March 2012: Vox Pop and Euphonism - Strathmore (Mansion - St Patrick's Day A Cappella Celebration)
We here at ShowlistDC love our local a cappella scene, and here are two great coed groups, Vox Pop and Euphonism. They've promised a "St Patrick's Day A Cappella Celebration", so we know they're going to throw in some shamrock-appropriate tunes, but expect a lot of their contemporary pop/rock repertoire as well. Also, according to the event page on Strathmore's site, there will be green beer. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door.
Wednesday, 21 March 2012: Bowerbirds and Dry the River - Black Cat (Mainstage)
Interpersonal issues are nothing new in bands, and a breakup hit the Bowerbirds hard on the tour for the duo's last album. Still, bandmates Philip Moore and Beth Tacular eventually patched things up, and the indie-folk band returned for a new album, the Clearing (I reviewed the album for the Washington Post; you can read my review here). Recommended if you like quiet intensity and lyrics about nature. Tickets are available on ticketalternative.com for $15 plus a $3 fee for a total of $18. Tickets can be also be purchased at the Black Cat any night the club is open (8PM - midnight) for $15 in cash.
Sunday, 25 March 2012: Dysrhythmia, Cleric, Torrential Downpour, and Balor's Eye - Sonar (Baltimore) (Talking Head Lounge)
Technical instrumental metal band Dysrhythmia is awesome, and they have a regular habit of playing unreleased (and unrecorded) songs on tour. Tickets are available via thundertix.com for $8 plus a $2.95 online convenience fee (yes, even if you print the tickets yourself at home), for a total of $10.95.
Thursday, 29 March 2012: Alcest, deafheaven, and Auroboros - DC9
Shoegaze black metal is quite the trendy genre nowadays, and France's Alcest is probably the most well-known of the bunch. The group is more shoegaze than black metal (think My Bloody Valentine or more ambient groups like Jesu and Mono), and they're touring in support of their new album, Les Voyages de L'ame. Their show last year at Jaxx (opening for Enslaved) was awesome, so check out this show! Tickets are available via ticketalternative.com for $12 plus a $2.10 fee for a total of $12.10, or at the door on the night of the show for $12.
Saturday, 31 March 2012: A Sound of Thunder (CD Release Show), Death Penalty, Aries, and Chopper Trike Rebels - Empire (formerly Jaxx)
Hey, who likes power metal? Local female-fronted power metal quartet A Sound of Thunder is celebrating the release of its second full-length, Out of the Darkness, at this show, where they'll be joined by several other local metal bands. You can check out their newly-released video, "Murderous Horde" to get a sense of what the album sounds like. Tickets are available from ampedandalive.com for $10 plus fees of $3.50 for a total of $13.50. Bands that play at Empire usually sell tickets in advance at a discount, so check with the bands (ASOT, Death Penalty, Aries, and Chopper Trike Rebels).
Sunday, 22 April 2012: the House Jacks and Euphonism - Arlington Temple [1835 N Nash Street, Arlington, VA]
By now, you know that ShowlistDC is a huge fan of our local a cappella scene, and this show features local septet Euphonism hosting longtime all-male quintet The House Jacks. The House Jacks are heavily involved in NBC's a cappella competition show The Sing-Off (you can read what they all do for the show here), so they're using this time when the show's not airing to tour. Lucky us! They haven't been through the DC area in quite a while, so this is a rare chance to see them-- these guys are known for their originals and for doing spontaneous crowd requests (oh, and they were also featured in the 2011-2012 NFL season Monday Night Football theme song-- at least up until Hank Williams Jr. opened his big mouth and the theme song was taken off air). They haven't had a studio album out since 2010's Level, so we're hoping to hear some new tunes at this show. Tickets are available in cash at the door for $15 (adults) or $10 (students/children under 12). The show will start at 7! More info is on the concert's Facebook event page.
Thursday, 26 April 2012: Allo Darlin and the Wave Pictures - Black Cat (Backstage)
We know it's not the 80s any more, but we still love twee and that C86 sound-- at least in small doses. London indie-pop band Allo Darlin' captures that sound beautifully; the quartet (which started as a solo project of Australian singer Elizabeth Morris) has released two albums (and a ton of EPs) that, at their best moments, are reminiscent of bands like the Field Mice and Heavenly. Their latest, Europe, just came out on Slumberland (I wrote a review of it for the Washington Post; you can read that here). Tickets are available on ticketalternative.com for $12 plus a $3 fee for a total of $15. Tickets can be also be bought at the Black Cat any night the club is open (8PM - midnight) for $12 in cash.
Wednesday, 2 May 2012: Ilsa, Zruda, and Auroboros - Casa Fiesta [4910 Wisconsin Ave NW, WDC]
This is a great metal lineup with two local bands (Ilsa and Auroboros) and one touring band (Zruda). A little bit about those bands: Ilsa is a a kickass death/doom band that plays all over town; they've recently signed with A389 Records for their next album. Zruda is an Atlanta band that describes itself as "Psychedelic Synth Metal"-- we're not sure exactly what that means, but we've heard that the keyboard player also really shreds on guitar. Auroboros is a local quartet that features members of Baroness, Salome, and Gnarwolf; their debut EP is coming soon, and judging by how fierce their songs are live, it'll be a doozy. Tickets are available for $5 in cash at the door on the day of the show. More information can be found on the concert's Facebook page. Casa Fiesta is about halfway between the Tenleytown and Friendship Heights metro stations on Wisconsin Avenue.
Thursday, 10 May 2012: P.G. Six and Sundown (T.K. Webb and Dustin White's new project) - DC9
P.G. Six is not some weird code for the NY Post's gossip column, "Page Six". Instead, it's the solo project of Pat Gubler (ex-Tower Recordings), which is, I suppose, 'singer-songwriter' material, but it's so heavily influenced by Gubler's psychedelic roots that this is not quite your standard guitar-toting folkie fare. Check out his latest album, 2011's Starry Mind and pick up tickets, available via ticketalternative.com for $8 plus a $1.90 fee for a total of $9.90, or at the door on the night of the show for $8.
Saturday, 12 May 2012: Black Clouds, Tone, and Imperial China - Rock & Roll Hotel
Here's another cool all-local show! Black Clouds features members of the now-defunct Solar-Powered Sun Destroyer. Instrumental powerhouse Tone is celebrating the addition of a new bass player as well as the release of its album Priorities (note: I reviewed this album for the Washington Post; you can read my review here.). Trio Imperial China is one of the best bands on Sockets Records (although really, Sockets' roster is so strong that it's hard to pick favorites); their latest album, How We Connect came out earlier this year. Tickets are available on ticketalternative.com for $10 plus a $4 fee for a total of $14, or for $10 in cash at the door on the night of the show.
Friday, 18 May 2012: Beth Orton and Selah Sue - U St Music Hall
British folktronica singer/songwriter Beth Orton (note: her official site is down, but she's got a fan site here) first gained notice for her collaborations with the Chemical Brothers in the mid-90s, but she quickly came into her own with her own solo albums, which have gradually trended away from the electronica sound into more of a pure folk singer/songwriter sound (her latest, Comfort of Straingers, being the least electronic of all). She's got a new album coming out sometime in 2012 on a new label, Anti-, so it'll definitely be interesting to see what direction she takes there-- and hopefully she'll preview some new tunes at this show! Until then, check out the video for her most famous single, "Stolen Car". Tickets are available via ticketfly.com for $25 plus a $6 service fee and a $4 order processing fee, for a total of $35. We've heard that tickets for 9:30 club-promoted shows at the U-Hall can also be purchased at the 9:30 Club box office; the total would be $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).
Saturday, 16 June 2012: Theresa Andersson and Lucius - the Hamilton
One-woman band Theresa Andersson originally hails from Sweden but moved to New Orleans in the 1990s to play violin with fellow Swede Anders Osborne. She eventually left that band to start her own band-- made up of only herself-- and has become a master of live-looping, building a full band's sound one instrument at a time as she layers sounds and vocal harmonies, literally dancing in front of her pedalboard as she brings instruments in and out of her mix. Seriously, while her songs are great, the real hook here is her live show, because it's awesome to watch her build her songs piece by piece. She recorded her 2008 album Hummingbird Go! in her kitchen, and two videos from that recording went viral-- "Birds Fly Away" and "Na Na Na". She has a new album out recently, Street Parade, so this show is sure to feature a ton of new tunes as well. Tickets are available via eventfarm.com for $15 plus a $2 service fee for a total of $17, or for $17 in cash on the night of the show.
Friday, 22 June 2012: Eli "Paperboy" Reed and Lily and the Parlour Tricks - U St Music Hall (Early show - 7 PM)
Eli "Paperboy" Reed is a classic-sounding soul singer from Boston who is as remarkable for his voice (and awesome falsetto) as for his band, the True Loves, which includes a killer horn section as well as guitars, a keyboard, and lots of harmonies. His most recent album, Come and Get It was full of catchy hits (here's the video for the title track)-- but it came out in 2010, so we're hoping for some new songs at this show. Wear your dancing shoes! Tickets are available via ticketfly.com for $12 plus a $4.75 service fee and a $4 order processing fee, for a total of $20.75. Since the event is co-promoted by the 9:30 Club and the Black Cat, you could also check at those clubs for tickets to this show without the service fees.
Tuesday, 26 June 2012: Billy Bragg ("Ain't Nobody That Can Sing Like Me": Billy Bragg Wishes Woody Guthrie a Happy 100th Birthday) - Birchmere
Billy Bragg is a politically-minded singer whose concerts are usually filled with rants about current events, musicians' rights, and the rights of the working class (check out one of his most famous songs, "There is Power in a Union"). He's also a huge Woody Guthrie fan; he worked with Wilco to set some old Guthrie songs to music, making two albums: 1998's Mermaid Avenue and 2000's Mermaid Avenue II. This show is billed as "Ain't Nobody That Can Sing Like Me: Billy Bragg wishes Woody Guthrie a Happy 100th Birthday", so we're betting that the set list will be heavy on the Guthrie material. (Guthrie's actual birthday was July 14th). Tickets are available via ticketmaster.com for $$49.50 plus $9.35 in fees for a total of $58.85 or at the Birchmere's box office (from 5 PM to 9 PM any night there's a show) for $49.50 plus $4.50 service fee for a total of $54.
Thursday, 28 June 2012: Brandi Carlile, Josh Ritter & the Royal City Band, and the Lumineers - Wolf Trap (Filene Center)
Brandi Carlile and Josh Ritter are two fantastic Americana singer-songwriters, and it's pretty awesome that they're playing this show together. Josh Ritter hails from Idaho(!) and has released a number of albums since 1999 (my favorite is 2006's The Animal Years, which was just re-issued with a bonus acoustic disc). Brandi Carlile is from Washingon State, and while she's not quite as prolific as Ritter is, she's got a number of great albums as well (my favorite is The Story, but her newly-released album Bear Creek is also quite good). Opening the show is the Lumineers, an Americana band whose debut album from earlier this year, The Lumineers, has been getting quite the buzz. Tickets are available on tickets.com for $30 (lawn) or $40-75 (pavilion) plus a service charge of $4.50 (lawn) or $5.25-7.75 (pavilion).
Wednesday, 11 July 2012: Vox Pop and Supreme Chord - New Deal Cafe [113 Centerway, Greenbelt, MD]
Vox Pop and Supreme Chord are two local coed a cappella groups who perform contemporary pop/rock songs. If you've been reading this site for a while, you know that we love local bands and we love a cappella, and this is a great chance to see these two groups in a laid-back venue. (Plus, the food at the New Deal Café is great!) As far as tickets are concerned, we're pretty sure this show is free!
Saturday, 14 July 2012: Cluster, Afro-Blue Vocal Band, the Glue, and Vox Pop - Strathmore (Music Center - Part of the VoCALnation Festival)
In contrast to the a cappella show we recommended earlier this week, this show is in a much more formal and much larger venue-- the gorgeous Strathmore in Bethesda, MD. This show features the Italian vocal group Cluster and Sing-Off alums Afro-Blue Vocal Band, along with The Glue and locals Vox Pop. This is part of the Vocal-Nation Festival, so there will be workshops all day, but you don't need to attend those to enjoy this concert. Tickets are available from strathmore.org for $38 with no fees!
Tuesday, 17 July 2012: Neko Case and Kelly Hogan - Rams Head Live! (Baltimore)
I'll admit it: I haven't really loved a Neko Case album top-to-bottom since 2000's Furnace Room Lullaby-- don't get me wrong, there were parts of Blacklisted and Fox Confessor Brings the Flood that I really liked, but she completely lost me with Middle Cyclone. Still, I saw her live on the Middle Cyclone tour and was impressed that despite my not loving those songs, she was still able to put on a fantastic and compelling show. Opening this show is Kelly Hogan, who is usually part of Neko Case's backing band, so she'll probably be pulling double duty at the show. Tickets are available from ramsheadlive.com for $30 plus a $5 surcharge and $3 tax for a total of $38.
Wednesday, 1 August 2012: Windhand, Ilsa, and Midnight Eye - Smash! Records [2314 18th St NW, WDC] (Moved from Asefu's; starts at 6 PM)
DIY promoters have a tough job: not only do they have to find venues for their shows, but they also have to find backup venues when the original venue falls through. This show was originally supposed to be at Asefu's (an Ethiopian restaurant at 9th & U), but it seems that they're under new management now, because we've seen a bunch of shows originally booked there moving to other venues. Luckily, local booker Metal Squad Party Force was able to move this show over to Smash Records in Adams Morgan. It's an awesome lineup, too: Richmond's psych/doom band Windhand, DC's death/doom band Ilsa (who're working on a new album for A389 records, due out this fall), and DC's technical guitar wizards Midnight Eye. The show is $7 and starts at 6 PM; more information on the show's Facebook event page.
Friday, 3 August 2012: Drop Electric, Conveyor, Southwork, and Presto Bando - Black Cat (Mainstage - STTP Fest Benefit)
This show is cool for two reasons: First, it's a benefit show for the STPP Fest, a festival in early October sponsored by local blog Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie and featuring about 140 bands from all over the US (including Stillwater, OK!). Second, it's got a great lineup of local (or nearly-local) acts; the headliner is Drop Electric, a post-rock group that features electronics and a sometimes-bowed guitar. Their debut album, Finding Color in the Ashes came out a few years ago, so I'm sure they've got plenty of new tunes to play at this show. Bonus: they often have some pretty cool visuals to go along with their swelling instrumentals. Also performing will be Conveyor, Philly rock band Presto Bando. Tickets are available on ticketalternative.com 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.
Tuesday, 14 August 2012: Lyle Lovett - Wolf Trap (Filene Center)
Songwriter Lyle Lovett plays both solo acoustic shows and "large band" shows, but this show is somewhere in between; it's being billed as "Lyle Lovett and his Acoustic Group". It should be a good hybrid for the gorgeous Wolf Trap stage-- that space always feels a lot more intimate than its size might suggest, and Lovett's devastating, laid-back tunes should sound great here. He put an album earlier this year called Release Me (which features originals and covers), but his shows always span material from his entire career. Tickets are available on tickets.com for $25 (lawn) or $42 (seats) plus a service charge of $4.25 (lawn) or $5.25 (seats) for a total of $29.25 (lawn) or $47.25 (seats).
Friday, 17 August 2012: Lorelei (album release), Deathfix, and Sun Wolf - Black Cat (Mainstage)
When Lorelei broke up in 1996, we never thought we'd be here, 16(!) years later, talking about a new album from this local trio. But it's true-- their new album, Enterprising Sidewalks, is due out on Slumberland Records, and we're ridiculously stoked. They'll be playing this show with Deathfix (featuring Fugazi's Brendan Canty, songwriter/producer Rich Morel, Faraquet/Beauty Pill drummer Devin Ocampo, and Medications/Chain & the Gang's Mark Cisneros) and Sun Wolf. Tickets are available on ticketalternative.com 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.
Monday, 20 August 2012: Screen Vinyl Image, Airiel, and Dot Dash - Black Cat (Backstage)
Screen Vinyl Image is an awesome shoegaze band that makes a gigantic cloud of sound-- amazing what two people can do with a pile of guitars and pedals (plus a trusty drum machine!). Highly recommended if you like bands like My Bloody Valentine, the Cure, and A Place to Bury Strangers. (Also, their latest album, Strange Behavior, is awesome.) The openers are Chicago shoegazers Airiel and DC's Dot Dash. Tickets are available on ticketalternative.com for $8 plus a $2.50 fee for a total of $10.50. Tickets can be also be bought at the Black Cat any night the club is open (8PM - midnight) for $8 in cash.
Monday, 27 August 2012: Dead Can Dance - Wolf Trap (Filene Center)
Who thought that Australian etherial goth/rock band Dead Can Dance would be touring again in 2012-- and playing such a huge (and awesome) venue as Wolf Trap?! The group formed in the early 1980s, and their music was described as everything from darkwave to dream-pop to world music between their formation and their break-up in 1998. They've had a few reunion shows since then, but its core members Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry have been working on solo albums and film scores (Gerrard won a Golden Globe for her work on the Gladiator soundtrack with Hans Zimmer in 2000). Almost more exciting than the opportunity to see them live is their new album, Anastasis, which is their first album since 1996's Spiritchaser. Tickets are available on tickets.com for $30 (lawn), $45 (orchestra), or $75 (orchestra pit), plus service fees.
Thursday, 27 September 2012: Mark Kozelek (Sun Kil Moon) - Howard Theatre
Mark Kozelek is probably best-known for his slowcore project Red House Painters (1989-2001), but he's been recording under his own name and as Sun Kil Moon since 2000, and and releases that might sound unlikely on paper-- like an EP with a few AC/DC covers, Rock & Roll Singer-- are absolutely devastating. I find him to be a bit like Robert Pollard of Guided By Voices: he releases a ton of music, and some of it is fantastic while some of it is forgettable; his most recent Sun Kil Moon album, Among the Leaves, is an overwhelming 17 songs long. I much prefer the previous SKM album, Admiral Fell Promises, which is a much more manageable 10 tracks and is just Kozelek acoustic. Still, for live shows, he never sticks to the formula of playing mostly new stuff; instead, he'll play old stuff, new stuff, random covers, and other miscellaneous surprises, as the mood strikes him. Tickets are available in advance from Ticketmaster for $20 plus $8.50 fees, for a total of $28.50; in advance from the Howard Theatre's box office (10AM until 10PM every day); or on the day of the show for $24.
Tuesday, 2 October 2012: Neil Halstead and Jim Hanft & Samantha Yonack - IOTA Club & CafÈ
British singer/songwriter Neil Halstead was a founding member of the shoegaze band Slowdive and the country/folk group Mojave 3. He's also released three solo albums, starting with the outstanding Sleeping On Roads in 2002, then Oh! Mighty Engine in 2008 and Palindrome Hunches in September of 2012. He's a master at the hushed song that sounds effortless but is laced with melancholy. It certainly seems odd for his last two records to be released on surfer-dude Jack Johnson's label Brushfire Records, but thankfully Johnson hasn't tinkered with Halstead's classic sound. His music is gentle, pensive, and understated, and the songs on Palindrome Hunches are orchestrated beautifully, with strings and piano. Still, the best part is the way his plucked guitar complements his soft voice. Here's the track "Full Moon Rising" from his new album, and he also posted a video of himself playing "Tied To You" solo. IOTA does not sell tickets in advance, so tickets are available at the door for $15 cash.
Wednesday, 3 October 2012: Big Business, House of Lightning, and Black Clouds - DC9
Seattle noise/sludge group Big Business was founded by bassist Jared Warren (ex-Karp) and drummer Coady Willis (ex-Murder City Devils) and now also includes guitarist Scott Martin (ex-400 Blows). In their spare time, Warren and Willis are the extra rhythm section for the Melvins, but as Big Business, they've released several fantastic albums (we particularly like 2009's Mind the Drift and 2007's Here Come the Waterworks). Also playing this show are Florida's House of Lightning and DC's awesome Black Clouds (who have promised some new tunes at this show). Tickets are available in advance via ticketalternative.com for $12 plus a $2.10 surcharge, for a total of $4.10, or $14 at the door on the day of the show.
Thursday, 11 October 2012: Calexico and the Dodos - 9:30 Club
Tucson-based Americana band Calexico just sounds like the Southwestern desert: there's a haunting tone in their music that conjures the mood of their environment. Their music is a blend of jazz, post-rock, and mariachi-- and while that might sound like an odd mix, these musicians really know how to layer those instruments effortlessly. Surprisingly, they decided to go outside of Arizona to record their newest album, Algiers, in New Orleans, but it's not as though their music suddenly has a Cajun flare; it's still the same old Calexico, just a little bit more pop-influenced; check out the title track here. My favorite of their recent albums is definitely 2008's Carried To Dust; check out the songs "The News About William" and "Two Silver Trees", which are both really gorgeous with their understated sorrow. When they played at the 9:30 Club back in 2008, they closed their show with a stunning cover of Love's "Alone Again Or", which they originally released on 2004's Convict Pool EP. Tickets are available via ticketfly.com 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).
Friday, 12 October 2012: Swans and A Hawk & a Hacksaw - Black Cat (Mainstage)
If you thought that the series of Swans shows in 2010 was a gimmick or a fleeting reunion, the band's mastermind Michael Gira is going to prove you wrong. Not only has Swans continued to tour, but they've also released two outstanding new albums-- first 2010's My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky and now more recently, 2012's Seer. The group's original run was from 1982 to 1997, with huge ties/influences in the no-wave and post-punk scenes. Both in their original run and in the new reincarnation, they've mastered the art of sounding ominously dark-- deep, droning instrumentation mixed with Gira's dry, tense voice-- and they make their shows feel uncomfortable as well (you can read my review of their 2010 show at the Black Cat, for the Washington Post Express, here). Tickets are available on ticketalternative.com for $20 plus a $3.50 fee for a total of $23.50. Tickets can be also be bought at the Black Cat any night the club is open (8PM - midnight) for $20 in cash.
Friday, 23 November 2012: High on Fire, Goatwhore, Primate, and Lo Pan - Rock & Roll Hotel
Oakland stoner/doom trio High on Fire was formed by guitarist Matt Pikein 1998 after the breakup of the 1990s doom band Sleep. High on Fire was supposed to play Jiffy Lube Live this summer as part of the Rockstar Mayhem Festival, but they dropped off the tour when Matt Pike went into rehab in June. Pike is out of rehab now, and the good news is that High on Fire is going on a proper headlining tour (probably not as much exposure as Mayhem Fest would've been, but I'd certainly rather see them in a small venue doing a full headlining set!). I loved their 2010 album Snakes For the Divine (seriously, check out the song "Snakes For the Divine") a little bit more than their latest album De Vermis Mysteriis, but most of all, they're just a fun live band. They're on tour with New Orleans's Goatwhore, Atlanta grind band Primate (featuring Bill Kelliher from Mastodon), and Ohio's Lo-Pan. Tickets are available via TicketAlternative.com for $15 plus $4.50 fees, for a total of $19.50.
Saturday, 15 December 2012: Overboard and Euphonism - Arlington Temple [1835 N Nash Street, Arlington, VA]
We've praised and recommended local a cappella sextet Euphonism plenty of times on this site, and this is a rare opportunity to see Boston's Overboard make a trip down the coast to sing in our neighborhood. Overboard has won a ton of awards and gained a lot of recognition for their Beatles cover album Help!, but they're also just a fun, energetic live group. They used to be all-male and they've added a lady to their mix, so that should add an interesting depth to their sound. Check out some free MP3 downloads on their site (click on any of the albums, then look for MP3 downloads in the right-hand column) or some videos here (they recently entered Lady Antebellum's a cappella contest with "Wanted You More"). Tickets are available at the door for $15 cash or in advance via Eventbrite for $12 plus $1.65 service fee. Note that kids under 12 are $5, and more information can be found on the facebook event page.