Posts by Ryan Kailath

Ryan Kailath has been trying to get home to California since the year 2000, when his ship was wrecked off the Northern shore of Eastern Pennsylvania. This is his first writing gig, though you can read more angsty drivel at the ryPod, if angsty drivel is your thing. Ryan currently resides in Fredericksburg VA, where he holds two restaurant jobs nervously over his shoulder, like a tray of crystal goblets waiting to be dropped for simpler, steadier employment.

This Week In Music

Picks for the week of Friday, March 24 — Thursday, March 30.

It’s another sold-out week of music in DC. Thanks to everyone who participated in last week’s Motion City Soundtrack contest. Especially the angry guy; those were some great suggestions.

Friday Mar 24 >>

Ted Leo

Most of us know Ted Leo from his last two albums with the Pharmacists. In fact, he’s been making great music since the early 90’s, when he fronted Chisel. Though Leo’s sound has evolved considerably over the last 15 years, he still plays with an energy unmatched by most. Les Aus and the Duke Spirit open this sold-out show at the Black Cat. FREE MP3: “Ghosts” by Ted Leo + the Pharmacists

Kelley Stoltz brings his light-hearted and melodic low-fi to the IOTA Club & Cafe on Friday night. Southern roots-rockers Shurman kick off the night. FREE MP3: “Jewel of the Evening” by Kelley Stoltz
Continue reading →

This Week In Music

Picks for the week of Friday, March 17 –- Thursday, March 23.

It’s a great week for music here in the District. We’ve got Jenny Lewis, Animal Collective, and Motion City Soundtrack. We’re even giving away free tickets with the first-ever Mudsugar Contest! As always, check our venue listings page for a more complete musical calendar.

Saturday March 18 >>

Matt Pond PA debuted in 1998, and won top honors that same year in CDnow’s unsigned bands competition. Their breezy, orchestral pop is gorgeous in melody and instrumentation. They are playing the 9:30 Club on Saturday, with the Australian sensations Youth Group opening the show. FREE MP3: “Grave’s Disease” by Matt Pond PA

Casiotone for the Painfully AloneCasiotone for the Painfully Alone is Owen Ashworth, who is a lot less pretentious than his moniker suggests. When I saw Owen play a few years ago, he played heartbreak ditties on his Casio and made kissy noises into the mic. It was endearing, but not particularly memorable. He has since upgraded to including other instruments, and his sound has filled out and grown considerably. I’m excited to see the changes live. The Donkeys open this show at the Galaxy Hut. FREE MP3: “Young Shields” by Casiotone for the Painfully Alone

Sunday March 19 >>

The Go! Team has stormed the independent scene like no-one since Ben Gibbard & Jimmy Tamborello. This Brighton six-piece makes music you can’t help but love. Opening their sold-out show at the Black Cat is Medications and Talkdemonic.

Motion City Soundtrack play ass-shaking pop-punk that hails back to the mid-90s heyday of the Epitaph Records roster. These boys put on an incredible show, with moog acrobaticsis finally headlining at the 9:30 Club, and it’s sold out. But don’t fear, loyal reader! Mudsugar is looking out for you. We’ve got detailed instructions on how you can see them anyway. Just scroll down a line or two…

Monday March 20 >>


Motion City Soundtrack
at the Great Hall in Fredericksburg!

That’s right, kids. The sold-out MCS tour is stopping a mere 50 miles south of DC for an unlisted show at the University of Mary Washington, with tourmates the Format, the Matches, and Men Women and Children opening up the night. There are more than 200 tickets still available for this show! You can order yours online from UMW’s Giant Productions, or buy them at the door. For those of you with big dreams but small wallets, you can win a free ticket by participating in the first-ever Mudsugar Contest. Here’s how it works: As you know, we’re getting ready for the official launch of Mudsugar Magazine, a local rag dedicated to promoting alternative arts, music and film in the DC area. We’ve got some awesome tricks up our sleeve, but we want to hear from you! Leave a comment on this post with your suggestion for how Mudsugar can better serve the DC scene. The first five suggestions received by 12pm on Monday, March 20th will win a free ticket to see Motion City Soundtrack at the Great Hall in Fredericksburg, VA. Tell us what you’d like to see on the site, or in the magazine. We dig what we’re doing, but we can always do better. Help us help you.

Tuesday March 21 >>

Stereloab is one of the most unique and influential bands of the last fifteen years. Their experimental sound has inspired countless imitators as well as innovators in electronic pop. Sam Prekop opens this show at the 9:30 Club.


Animal Collective toured relentlessly after 2004’s Sung Tongs, then took an extended break. They’re back on the road in support of their latest release, Feels. Iceland’s own Storsveit Nix Noltes opens this show at the Black Cat.

Wednesday March 22 >>

J. Mascis has a metal band? I’m stumped, for once. The stoner-rock legend of Dinosaur Jr. fame is playing the Black Cat with his new band Witch. Wooly Mammoth starts off the night.

Thursday March 23 >>

The Magic Numbers hail from London, but sound like the best that American 60’s pop had to offer. Blake Sennet is opening their show at the 9:30 Club with his band The Elected. Strangely enough, a member of Blake’s other band, Rilo Kiley, is playing down at the Birchmere the same night. Gossip-factor aside, I think this is a case of tourmate love, not rivalry. They’re so cute together.

Jenny LewisJenny Lewis has made a gorgeous album. You’ve probably heard it by now, considering that her other band is one of the best things to happen to independent music in years. Full of rich narratives and soulful sound, Rabbit Fur Coat delivers on the promises made by Jenny’s best Rilo Kiley songs. I can’t wait to see this live. Johnathan Rice opens this show at the Birchmere.

The Gossip will make you dance, and “if you don’t want to dance, just stay at home and listen to the oldies station.” I like oldies, myself, but singer Beth Sorrentino has a point. The Gossip are young and full of blood. Her Daily Obsession opens up their show at the Black Cat. Check out the poster for the show designed by El Jefe Design.

This Week In Music…

Picks for the week of Friday, March 10 –- Thursday, March 16.

venue listings page for a more complete musical calendar.

Friday March 10 >>

The Pogues were one of the most important bands of the early 80s punk scene, inspired by their neighbors the Clash. They are now reunion-touring the States and have sold out the 9:30 Club tonight.

Weird War
Weird War

Racebannon has been called “the most frightening yet talented band ever.” I’ve seen them a few times in the seven years, and I have to agree. Progressive hardcore fans will love it. Gospel, Mass Movement of the Moth, and Rue the Day open this show at the Warehouse Next Door.

Weird War (formerly Scene Creamers) is the musical brainchild of Ian Svenonius, a member of the Nation of Ulysses and the Make-Up. Featuring a new line-up, Weird War plays the Black Cat with Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds and Benjy Ferree.

Saturday March 11 >>

Measles Mumps Rubella are an Awesome DC band who are celebrating the release of their newest album with a show at DC9. French Toast and Free Blood start off the night. FREE MP3: “Fantastic Success” by Measles Mumps Rubella

Sunday March 12 >>

Beth Orton is back (did she ever go away, really?) with a new album that new album proves her ability to develop in a ten-year career, rather than stagnate like so many singer/songwriters. Comfort of Strangers was produced by Sonic Youth’s Jim O’Rourke, with the title track written by Beth, Jim and the increasingly-prolific M. Ward. She and Willy Mason have sold out the 9:30 Club this weekend. Continue reading →

This Week In Music…

Picks for the week of Friday, March 3 –- Thursday, March 9.

The 9:30 Club is kicking my ass this week. I might actually brave the awful line, ridiculous prices and sub-par sound system to catch these bands. If I can find a ticket, that is. Check our venue listings page for a more complete musical calendar.

Friday March 3 >>

Brazilian Girls photo
Brazilian Girls

I remember when Brazilian Girls played tiny bars in Brooklyn for a handful of disinterested hipsters. Now they’re playing SXSW, Langerado, and are nominated for the New Pantheon, a prestigious award whose nominating committee includes the like of Beck, Ben Gibbard and Elton John. They play a dance-tacular blend of electronica, jazz, reggae and classy lounge funk that can only be described as sexy. That lush at the end of your favorite bar every weekend? This is her favorite band. Their show at the 9:30 Club will be well worth the $25 they are charging. They might outgrow the venue soon. QUICK TIP: Exercise caution when google image-searching “brazilian girls.”

Saturday March 4 >>

The Subways strike me as a Malcolm McLaren project gone awry. Apparently they’ve been gigging since 2002, two years before their deal with Sire Records. These teenagers from the UK play pop-punk on the O.C. I guess you can’t knock ’em for making it; I sure wasn’t playing for 10,000 fans when I was eighteen. Their debut album, entitled Young For Eterntity, was just released in the states. It’s a clever title, until the band is fat, forty, and watching their glory days on VH1. Get to the 9:30 Club early and check out their opening band and labelmates, The Shys. They sound similar but, well, more honest somehow.

Will Hoge is headlining the late show at the 9:30 Club, with the fabulous power-pop five-piece Limbeck opening up. Will plays straightforward American rock from Nashville, TN.

Paul Michel
Paul Michel

Countering all this corporate music, Strike Anywhere is playing across U Street at the Black Cat. These Richmonders are so punk rock they don’t even have a working website. If you like your hardcore angry & political, this is the show for you. It’s a wonder these kids don’t live in a cardboard box under Union Station. With Honor and A Global Threat open the show.

Paul Michel reminds me why I like singer/songwriters. Like some of the best before him, he paid dues in a number of bands before going solo. Paul has been playing out for years, as a former member of two greate local bands, the Out_Circuit and the Hard Tomorrows. Catch him at the Galaxy Hut; he puts on a great show.

Sunday March 5 >>

Belle & Sebastian are playing two nights at the 9:30 Club, with the New Pornographers opening up.

Monday March 6 >>

Both Belle & Sebastian shows are sold out. I’m not going to explain this.

Tuesday March 7 >>

We can’t highlight Monopoli enough; they’ve been steady picks of the week since I took over this column. Catch them at the Black Cat with Spookey Ruben.

Wednesday March 8 >>

Asobi Seksu photo
Asobi Seksu

PICK OF THE WEEK: Asobi Seksu are the best thing to happen to shoegaze since Lost in Translation. They synthesize the best sounds that noise-pop has given us, from the Phil Spector girl-group vocal aesthetic to the Kevin Shields layering and incessant drones. Plus they sing in Japanese and English. Asobi Seksu sounds fresh in a genre that’s been stale since Loveless. Two if by Sea open this show at DC9, along with Stamen and Pistils. MP3: “Sooner” by Asobi Seksu

GoGoGo Airheart are from SoCal, but don’t let that scare you away. They play a dance-punk that hearkens back to the early 80s, or maybe New York in 2003. Catch them with tourmates Subtitle and the Jai-Alai Savant at the Warehouse Next Door. MP3: “Scarlett Johansen Why Don’t You Love Me” by the Jai-Alai Savant

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah took over the world last year, and they’re cocky bitches about it too. Our agent in Scotland heard Alec Ounsworth brag about how he outgrew the Black Cat and sold out the 9:30 Club in a week. You’re right, Alec, you’ve outgrown us. How does it feel to play the same stage as Matchbook Romance?

Thursday March 9 >>

Oh, Canada. That icy land to the north has blown through DC this Winter, with the Arts & Crafts family in especially full effect. Thursday night is no exception, when we see Emily Haines (of Stars and Broken Social Scene) play the 9:30 Club with her band Metric. I didn’t like their last album much, but who cares, really. “Combat Baby” makes it all worthwhile.

Kaki King
Kaki King

Girl guitar players are so hot. Especially when they play better than me. Most reviewers make a big deal of Kaki King‘s 5 foot stature. I’m more interested in her fingers, and the sounds they can produce. This chick is phenomenal, really. Keller Williams should be so bold. She plays the Iota Club & Cafe, a GREAT place to see this show, alongside Devon Sproule.

Pearls and Brass play bluesy roots-rock that sounds like watching Dazed & Confused. They are playing DC9 on Thursday, opening for Mudsugar faves Owls and Crows.

Wouldn’t you know it, the 9:30 Club oversold again. Thankfully, Thursday’s band deserves it. The Pogues were one of the most important bands of the early 80s punk scene, inspired by their neighbors the Clash. They are now reunion-touring the States and selling out every venue along the way.

This Week In Music

Picks for the week of Friday, February 24 — Thursday, March 2.

This week is a bit sparse here in the District. I think those seven snowflakes we had Wednesday morning scared everyone away. Nevertheless, check out our venue listings page for a more complete musical calendar.

Saturday Feb 25 >>

Pyramid is an eight-piece from North Carolina that plays experimental Americana. Two of their songs were featured in All the Real Girls, one of my favorite recent movies. They are playing tonight at the Warehouse Next Door, alongside three post-hardcore groups: Dance Danse El Capitan, Catalyst, and Mass Movement of the Moth. FREE MP3: “Monster in the Canyon” by Pyramid.

Sunday Feb 26 >>


Antelope never play shows anymore. But they’re playing this Sunday night at the Warehouse Next Door. If you’re interested in local indie-rock, you know this is a show you shouldn’t miss. Our PICK OF THE WEEK, the show is opened by Meneguar and Rahim, along with Recoupero, who are making their live debut. FREE MP3: “Game Over” by Antelope

We’ve slowly realized that Monopoli is one of the hardest-working bands in the area. These dark post-punkers are playing, strangely enough, at the Iota Club & Cafe, alongside Spiraling and the Making.

Wednesday March 1 >>

Faraday hates being likened to Death Cab for Cutie. It’s a facile comparison, but pretty acurate. This four-piece indie-pop outfit from Arlington plays the Black Cat on Wednesday, opening for Baltimore’s the Metal Hearts.

Thursday March 2 >>

Benevento-Russo Duo
Benevento-Russo Duo

I’ve been trying categorize the Benevento-Russo Duo since I first heard them last May. Um, there’s two of them. One plays the keys, the other drums, and they’re from Brooklyn. At first I thought they were a jamband, and I ignored them. Then I heard “Soba,” which sounded like shoegaze on speed. The band has full live shows available for download on their website, and will be playing the State Theatre on Thursday.

Remember Mary Lou Lord? She was on Kill Rock Stars in the mid-90s, did a couple songs with Elliott Smith, and was a lot friendlier to me than Ani Di Franco. Her major label debut, Got No Shadow has become a landmark of folk-pop. She plays the Iota Club & Cafe on Thursday, alongside Jon Kaplan of the Bicycle Thieves.

Dont Miss This Show! Be Your Own PET and Pash Tonight at Black Cat

Be Your Own Pet
be your own PET

1811 14TH ST NW DC
9PM, ONLY $7

This may be your last chance to see them before they get huge. The Mudsugar crew will be there if you want to come by and say hello.

Be Your Own Pet Poster

be your own PET are a four-piece punk band from Nashville, Tennessee. So what, you say? How about this: in less than one year they’ve dropped four singles and recorded a soon-to-be-released full-length on XL Recordings, the musical home of M.I.A., the White Stripes, Dizzee Rascal, Devendra Banhart, the Prodigy, and Basement Jaxx. Rolling Stone named them one of the Top Ten Bands To Watch In 2006, and they’ve played SXSW and the Reading/Leeds and Glastonbury Festivals. Oh yeah, and at age eighteen, lead singer Jemina Pearl is the oldest member of the band. These kids impressed us so much we decided to sponsor their show at the Black Cat. Pash plays first, and has the perfect sound to complement the show. Tuesday’s line-up poses only one problem. Which lead singer is the cutest? They’re both our PICK OF THE WEEK.

The poster for this show was designed by El Jefe DesignCheck it out.

Free MP3’s: “Vacation” by Be Your Own Pet, “Birthday Song” by Pash

Edie! True Hollywood Story

Edie Sedgwick
Edie Sedgwick

Edie Sedgwick was a Warhol darling for a year. Since her death from an overdose of downers in 1971, she has fascinated generations as a pop culture icon. It’s fitting, then, that Justin Moyer chose her moniker for his drag-pop act. As he says, “[Edie] was a person who, at best, was famous for being rich and, at worst, was famous for being famous.” In his Edie Sedgwick incarnation, Moyer, who performs primarily with the DC band Supersystem (formerly El Guapo), incants irreverent lines about Hollywood celebrities, with a backdrop of glitchy electro bleeps from his iPod as a backup band.

With the scene-centric success of Supersytem, who are signed to indie powerhouse Touch and Go Records, one has to wonder why Moyer decided to dress in drag and perform songs like “Robert Downey Jr.” (Relapse, recovery!) and “Lucy Liu” (Girl power! Fight fight!). Edie provides an outlet that Supersystem does not, says the one-man band. “Edie’s a way for me to be a more confrontational performer, to experiment more with humor and alternative ways of performing that involve more direct interaction with the audience, a more vaudeville show. Supersystem is a little different than most, but we’re still a band playing our songs. This is not that at all. It’s got video projection.”

Multi-media is a large part of Edie’s set. “The failure of a lot of live hip-hop and electroclash is that it’s boring,” he says. “So let’s have this kind of visual thing going on that directly relates to the music, to keep people interested.” The spectacular nature of her live show certainly makes it hard to do anything but get involved. But Edie’s show isn’t for shock value. The chanted, repetitive words mask a commentary that lambasts not just Hollywood stars, but the the cultural institutions they uphold. “I don’t know if everyone’s interested in my opinions about all this shit,” admits Moyer. “I don’t even know if I want people to be interested. As long as you have a reaction, even if you hate it, as long as you remember it.”

Moyer bemoans the oversaturation of the music scene today. “I’ve just played with so many bands, and I respect them for getting out and doing it, but so many are just mediocre.” This notion drives him to Edie Sedgwick. “Our lives are short,” he says. “We can never ever be bored. Let’s do something we want to be doing. Let’s do something new, otherwise what is our existence but dull drudgery? If that’s me acting like an ass or making a fool of myself on stage, then so be it.”

Edie Sedgwick plays DC9 tonight, Monday, February 20th. Free MP3: “Sigourney Weaver” by Edie Sedgwick

This Week In Music

Picks for the week of Friday, February 17 — Thursday, February 23.

Hey DsCenesters. Between starting a new job, moving to a new apartment, and various Valentine’s “responsibilities,” this week has gotten the best of me. Almost. The city don’t stop though, and we’ve got a mess of great shows coming up. In the interest of my sanity, this week’s listings are trimmed to the essentials, rather than my usual who, when, and what to wear. Check our venue listings page for a more complete musical calendar.

Friday Feb 17 >>

The Veronicas are Jess and Lisa, a pair of identical twins from Brisbane, Australia. Their first single, “4ever,” is one indie-cover shy of being this year’s “Since U Been Gone.” The Veronicas play the 9:30 Club on Friday, joined by October Fall and the Jonas Brothers.

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings
Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings

I’ve been waiting four years to see Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, and on Friday night the Black Cat brings my dreams to life. If you dig funk, if you’ve got soul, and most of all if you love to shake your ass, you cannot miss this Brooklyn-based nine-piece. The Dap-Kings play so tight they might snap, and “#1 Soul Sister” Jones recalls Aretha in her heyday. Cancel your plans, go to this show, and thank me in the morning. The Budos Band and the Ambitions are opening up.

Singer/songwriter Justin Jones is playing a CD-release party at the Velvet Lounge on Friday, in celebration of his new album Love Verses Heroin. John Francis opens the show.

Saturday Feb 18 >>

Detroit’s Electric Six have been gigging under different names for the last ten years. This is the one you’re sure to recognize. They play the Black Cat on Saturday night, with She Wants Revenge and Rock Kills Kid opening up.

Indie-pop five-piece Exit Clov hail from DC, and are playing DC9 alongside the Rewinds and the Positions.

Sunday Feb 19 >>

Paint It Black are core players on the current Jade Tree roster, and with good reason. Their melodic hardcore sound hails back to the genre’s golden age, when drummer Dave Wagenschutz and vocalist Dan Yemin played in bands like Lifetime, Kid Dynamite, and Good Riddance. Kill Your Idols and Richmond’s Cloak/Dagger join them at the Black Cat.

Monday Feb 20 >>

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club have grown a fanbase across the indie spectrum since their debut in 1999. Coming out of San Francisco, they were heavily influenced by UK groups like Ride, the Stone Roses, My Bloody Valentine, and the Jesus and Mary Chain. Their first album was accordingly shoegaze, but they picked up the college radio niche in 2003 with the slicker, edgier Take Them On, On Your Own They are touring now in support of their third full-length, last year’s Americana-inspired Howl. Eastern Conference Champions and Elefant open this show at the 9:30 Club.

Edie Sedgwick
Edie Sedgwick

If you enjoyed Supersystem’s show last month, check out Edie Sedgwick at DC9 on Monday. Front(wo)man Justin Moyer has always been known for his live show, but as Edie Sedgwick she finds a whole new way to express herself. Confused? Check back on Sunday for our featured interview: Edie! True Hollywood Story.

WAMA logo

Monday night is also host to the 20th Annual Washington Area Music Association Awards, or the Wammies. In their own words, WAMA is “an umbrella organization of Washington area musicians, concert promoters, lawyers, recording engineers, managers, graphic artists, and related businesses working together to address areas of common concern.” The awards take place at the State Theatre in Falls Church, VA.

Tuesday Feb 21 >>

Be Your Own Pet
be your own PET

be your own PET are a four-piece punk band from Nashville, Tennessee. So what, you say? How about this: in less than one year they’ve dropped four singles and recorded a soon-to-be-released full-length on XL Recordings, the musical home of M.I.A., the White Stripes, Dizzee Rascal, Devendra Banhart, the Prodigy, and Basement Jaxx. Rolling Stone named them one of the Top Ten Bands To Watch In 2006, and they’ve played SXSW and the Reading/Leeds and Glastonbury Festivals. Oh yeah, and at age eighteen, lead singer Jemina Pearl is the oldest member of the band. These kids impressed us so much we decided to sponsor their show at the Black Cat. Pash plays first, and has the perfect sound to complement the show. Tuesday’s line-up poses only one problem. Which lead singer is the cutest? They’re both our PICK OF THE WEEK. The poster for this show was designed by El Jefe DesignCheck it out. Free MP3’s: “Vacation” by Be Your Own Pet, “Birthday Song” by Pash

Wednesday Feb 22 >>

If you know bluegrass, you know Doc Watson. Birchmere, Wednesday night. ‘Nuff said.

Thursday Feb 23 >>

My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult have only been gaining momentum since their debut in 1987. They play the Black Cat on Thursday, alongside industrial-dance contemporaries Cylab and Mindless Faith.

We’ve never promoted a show at Jaxx before, but Thursday is a can’t-miss show for loud rock fans. Dark Tranquillity are living legends of the Scandinavian Death Metal scene. Formed in Gothenburg, Sweden (how fucking metal is that?) in 1989, the band has seven releases to date. They are touring North America for four weeks. Fierce Allegiance, Catacylsmic Avatar, and the Devin Townsend Band open the show.

This Week In Music…

Picks for the week of Friday, February 3 — Thursday, February 9.

Make sure and check our venue listings page for a more complete musical calendar.

Friday Feb 3 >>

Lilys play guitar-pop that’s been lauded by music press in the States and UK. They play the Black Cat on Friday with (the sounds of) Kaleidoscope and French Toast. FREE MP3: “Breakfast” by French Toast

Bullet Parade
Bullet Parade

Preston Reed is known for unique and self-invented brand of acoustic guitar playing. With two percussive hands on the fretboard, Reed brings more sounds out of his instrument than seems humanly possible. Preston is playing a solo engagement at Jammin’ Java.

Bullet Parade play crisp, layered guitar-pop. They are joined at the Velvet Lounge by shoegaze-inspired rockers the Sentiment, as well as Olivia Mancini (of Washington Social Club) and Camera.FREE MP3: “Dodge, Peon!” by Bullet Parade

Saturday Feb 4 >>

Since the late 1990s, RJD2 has been building a steady rep as one of the hottest one-man acts in hip-hop, working with Def Jux, Astralwerks, and the late great Rawkus Records. His goal isn’t to simply move a crowd to dance, but to make them think and feel as well. Sharkey is opening the show at the 9:30 Club.

Low Poster
© El Jefe Design

Ten years ago, Low‘s philosophy of making music was to play as slowly and quietly as possible. While their sound has certainly changed, it would still be a stretch to call them a rock & roll band. Their latest full-length, on Sub Pop records, is the closest they’ve come, and certainly the fastest. They play the Black Cat on Saturday with His Name is Alive and Death Vessel. The poster for this show (right) was designed by local design shop El Jefe Design.

The Apparitions will tell you they play spacey golden pop rock. Loud. Hear for yourself at the Iota Club & Cafe. Gist and The Emergency open the show. FREE MP3: “Electricity + Drums” by the Apparitions

The Bonapartes play hook-laden indie rock, complete with fuzzy guitars and dance-rock rhythm. They are joined at the Velvet Lounge on Saturday by Your Black Star, Avec, and 2 if by Sea. FREE MP3: “Concentric” by the Bonapartes

Sunday Feb 5 >>

These United States hail from the DC area, and bill themselves as “Jangly Railyard WordPop for the No-Nonsense Rascal.” I have no idea what that means. I’d call them alt-country. They are playing the Iota Club & Cafe alongside New York’s Phonograph, and Mark Charles + the Holy Roman Empire.

Monday Feb 6 >>

Owls and Crows are a local band that sound like the Swedish Invasion met Blonde Redhead in a dive bar in New York City. They are playing at DC9 on Monday, with The Love Drunks and Bang Bang Bang opening the show. FREE MP3: “Moths” by Owls and Crows

Tuesday Feb 7 >>

Skeleton Key is pretty funky for a bunch of white guys. Opening up for them at the Black Cat backstage are the Giraffes, a loudnasty Razor & Tie band from Brooklyn. FREE MP3: “Sawdust” by Skeleton Key

On their Myspace page, the Tasty Habits label their genre as “post-post-irony.” I dig it already. They are playing at DC9 on Tuesday alongside Jesse Payne and Minor Twang. FREE MP3: “Down on Me” by Jesse Payne

Ben Carroll recently won second place in the American Songwriter Lyric Contest. A DC Native, Ben is the son of two prominent musicians, Jim Carroll and Margot Chapman. He is playing Jammin’ Java with his father Ben on Tuesday. Daniel Lee opens up the show. FREE MP3: “Dola Rosa” by Ben Carroll

Wednesday Feb 8 >>


Wednesday sees our PICK OF THE WEEK at the Black Cat. Leslie Feist hails from Canada, where the streets are paved with indie-rock. She began to garner attention after her work with the supergroup Broken Social Scene. Like a post-rock Wu-Tang, the members of BSS have all gone on to successful solo careers, with Feist’s rise being the most marked by mainstream media. With videos on MTV2 and a critically-acclaimed as well as best-selling debut album, Feist has quietly overwhelmed indie-pop audiences across the continent. Jason Collett opens the show.

Thursday Feb 9 >>

Mary Timony

Mary Timony hails from Boston, where she has been defying Harvard Square songwriter norms for years. A veteran of the underground scene, her new record will be coming out on Kill Rock Stars, the West Coast home of some of our favorite bands. Check her out at the Black Cat on Thursday, joined by The Aquarium and The Picture is Dead. FREE MP3: “Friend to J.C.” by Mary Timony Band

Deadboy & the Elephantmen is Dax Riggs and Tessie Brunet. They are coming to the Iota Club & Cafe on Thursday to kick off their East Coast tour. Parklife opens the show. FREE MP3: “Someday Lovesong” by Parklife

This Week In Music…

Picks for the week of Friday, January 27 — 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

Brindley Brothers
Brindley Brothers
Ellis Paul
Ellis Paul

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

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.

The Rosebuds
The Rosebuds

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
Soft Complex

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
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.