This Week In Music…

Picks for the week of Friday, December 23 — Thursday, December 29.

Happy Holidays! We have a surprisingly full list of great live music for this busiest of weeks. Make sure to check our venue listings page for a complete calendar.

Friday Dec 23 >>

The Slickee Boys
The Slickee Boys

Long-time DC residents will no doubt remember The Slickee Boys, the garage-psych group that helped usher in the 80s scene, alongside bands like Bad Brains and Minor Threat. The boys are back in town and playing a gig at the Iota Club & Cafe. Mark Wenner (The Nighthawks) opens up the show with his rockabilly outfit, Switchblade.

If you’re a fan of modern blues, you already know that Bobby Parker is playing Friday Night at Madam’s Organ. If you’re new to the genre, don’t worry; you’ll recognize the artists Parker has toured with, including Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry and Little Richard.

Saturday Dec 24 >>

We couldn’t find any bands willing to compete with St. Nick. Take tonight to set out the milk & cookies, try and get the kids to bed, and enjoy a tall glass of grandma’s homemade whiskey egg-nog. You deserve it.

Sunday Dec 25 >>


Matisyahu has caused quite a stir since the release of his debut album earlier this year. Sam Endicott (The Bravery) says it best: “Just your average Hasidic reggae rapper. Yeah, you heard me. This guy is a straight-up Hasidic Jew from New York who busts mad flow over dancehall and reggae beats. This is the future of music.” Catch Matisyahu and every Jewish family in the District at the 9:30 Club this Christmas. I hear there’s an all-night special on Chinese take-out, to boot.

Monday Dec 26 >>

Clutch follows Christmas with a bang, bringing their “pro-rock” metal to the 9:30 Club on Monday night. Hidden Hand, Fireball Ministry and Wooly Mammoth open the show.

Tuesday Dec 27 >>

Quasi, Mates of State, The Aquarium…I love organ/drum duos. After turning heads at this year’s SXSW festival, Brooklyn’s Benevento/Russo Duo signed on Mike Gordon of Phish for a few select dates, including Tuesday night’s show at The State Theatre.

Wednesday Dec 28 >>

James Brown
James Brown

Wednesday is Star Time at the 9:30 Club. The Hardest Working Man in Show Business, Mr. Please Please, the one and only James Brown headlines our sold-out show of the week, month and year. The Godfather of Soul is joined by The Godfather of Go-Go, Chuck Brown, in a night that will make music history.

If you failed to get tickets for the Browns, try The State Theatre, where The Wailers are still rocking. Jabali Afrika opens the night.

Thursday Dec 29 >>

Rah Bras
Rah Bras

If Wednesday left you hungry for more tight grooves, stop by the 9:30 Club to catch Black Thought, ?uestlove and the rest of The Roots. Oh, yeah, make sure you have tickets before you go because this show is also sold out.

Thursday proves itself the new Friday once again, with three great bands representing the DC scene. Trans Am, The Apes, and Rah Bras are playing The Black Cat. Make sure to wear your earplugs, your dancing shoes, and that new baby tee from Urban that you gave your sister for Christmas.