Picks for the week of Friday, January 27 ‚Äî Thursday, February 2.
Far from heralding a lifeless winter show season, January has kicked more ass than Hurricane Isabel, with great shows almost every night. This week is no exception. Make sure and check our venue listings page for a more complete musical calendar.
Friday Jan 27 >>
Keller Williams is a Fredericksburg native who has exploded on the hippie circuit these last few years with his slap-coustic tape loops & 12-string fingerpicking. Keller’s touring now in support of his newest album, GRASS, a bizarre collection of “anything-but-traditional” bluegrass tunes. He’ll be at the Birchmere on Friday night. FREE MP3: “Goofballs” by Keller Williams
Soft Complex are the new new wave you’ve been waiting for. With synth and vocals reverbing all the way from Manchester, they manage to invoke a classic sound without sounding cheesy or retro. Soft Complex shares the State Theatre with locals Koshari, Paul Michel, and the Hard Tomorrows.
Brindley Brothers Luke and Daniel are playing their club Jammin’ Java on Friday, along with folk singer/songwriter Ellis Paul, one of the originators of the ’90s folk revival. FREE MP3: “Roman Candle” by the Brindley Brothers
The Cassettes describe themselves as “rock ‘n roll vaudeville inter-galactic western troubadors!” We have our own description of these steam punkers. They are playing the Iota Club & Cafe on Friday with Cateract and Kitty Hawk. FREE MP3: “Some Kind of Monster” by Kitty Hawk
The Bicycle Thieves are headlining at the 9:30 Club on Friday, after building up a strong following in smaller clubs around the District. Lead singer Jon Kaplan has won the Best Alt-Rock Vocalist at the Wammies two years in a row. Cedars and Nethers are opening the show.
The Mooney Suzuki
The Mooney Suzuki play garage-punk with more energy than all the NYC “savior” bands put together. After signing to Columbia (gasp!) in 2003, the band moved to LA, cut the title track for School of Rock, and hooked up with legendary producers The Matrix for their latest release. They play the Black Cat on Friday night with Owls and Crows and Eyes of the Killer Robot.
Saturday Jan 28 >>
The Alphabetical Order is playing at the Velvet Lounge on Saturday; read our spotlight of the band here. They are playing with The X’s, The Saviors, and the Sex Slaves. FREE MP3: “Miracle” by the X’s
Herbie Hancock reformed his legendary group last year under the name “Headhunters 2005.” These proto-funk-fusion trendsetters made one of the best-known jazz albums of all time in the 70s; it’s sales fall just behind Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue. The Headhunters are joined by Virtual Combo on Saturday at the State Theatre.
Saturday night also brings our PICK OF THE WEEK: The Rosebuds opening for Robert Pollard at the 9:30 Club. The Rosebuds are a married couple who signed to Merge Records instead of taking a honeymoon. They make beautiful harmonies. The Rosebuds remind me why I like indie-rock. It’s only fitting, then, that they are opening for indie-legend Robert Pollard, the former frontman of Guided by Voices, touring in support of his new LP, From A Compound Eye.
San Francisco’s most famous art-rock act Deerhoof is playing a special show at the Black Cat, joined by modern dance troupe Starter Set and screenings from Director and animator Martha Colburn. Kristin has all the details for you HERE.
Soft Complex play their second local show this week before heading up to NYC. If you missed them on Friday, catch them tonight at the more intimate DC9, where they play with The Guins and A Study In Her.
Colin Meloy of the Decemberists is playing a solo show at the Birchmere on Saturday, joined by singer/songwriter Laura Veirs.
Sunday Jan 29 >>
All that music and it’s only Sunday! Kick back and relax tonight with an evening of experimental electronica and IDM at the Black Cat. Hosted by DK from 302acid, this show will feature sounds from a wide spectrum of electronic artists such as Phatso, The Last of Us, Cedric, Slopes, D.A.R.K., Elijah B. Torn, Utenzil, and the Suburban Bather’s Digital Wasteland. Visuals are provided by DC VJ All-Stars.
Monday Jan 30 >>
Lucky Day has been building a buzz in the DC area with their brit-inspired pop. They are playing the Black Cat backstage on Monday night alongside Canadian Invasion. FREE MP3: “Rainy Days” by Lucky Day
Local hip-hop/go-go artist Cool Cee Brown is throwing a party at DC9 to celebrate the release of his new album Sinnerman. Joining him is a who’s who of underground hip-hop and jazz talent, including Dirty Water, W. Ellington Felton, Heron Gibran and Jamila
Wednesday Feb 1 >>
The Hold Steady
Say what you will about Target, but they have some great music in their commercials. While they’re no Raveonettes, Brooklyn’s The Hold Steady certainly know how to rock. They play the Black Cat on Wednesday night alongside Swearing at Motorists and Plastic Constellations.
The Seldon Plan are playing the Velvet Lounge on Wednesday, joined by Casual Occupation, the solo project of Gabriel Fry (The Alphabetical Order). Opening the show is Lucia Lie.
Building on the success of Matisyahu’s Christmas show, the 9:30 Club is bringing back the Hasidic hip-hop with Hadag Nahash, Israel’s most popular tribe.
Thursday Feb 2 >>
Finally, the Beatings play the Black Cat backstage on Thursday night. Pup Tent opens the show.