Picks for the week of Friday, March 3 â€“- 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 >>
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.
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 >>
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.
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.