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

My iPod, Myself

My pre-iPod days were fairly simple. I‚Äôm the proud owner of some 350+ cds. So, every day on my way to class, to the gym, to work, I‚Äôd have to choose the soundtrack to my walk. It wasn‚Äôt always easy. Did I want U2 … the Dismemberment Plan … Tori Amos … a soundtrack? Sometimes I would end up carrying a few cds with me because I couldn‚Äôt pick just one. The decisions were tough, but the days, oh, how simple they were. I really had no interest in the owning an iPod. It seemed so unnecessary and expensive. I couldn’t afford it on my just out of college temp salary and I already had a discman. It may have been a slow and sometimes painful system, but it worked. Then in the fall of 2004, Apple introduced the U2 iPod.

U2 iPod

Black and red and pretty all over, it was the musical courier I’d been waiting for my entire life. The only problem was it was still a little too out of my price range. So, when Christmas rolled around, my dad asked me if I’d like an iPod for Christmas. I really wasn’t too keen on the idea at first. I’d lived without one this long, why did I need one now? It was expensive, it was tiny, but the thing of it was, I kind of wanted one. So, after months (years, even) of resisting the lure of the iPod, I told him, “Yes, an iPod would be perfect for Christmas.”

I loaded many, many cds onto my computer in preparation of the iPod‚Äôs arrival, so many, in fact, that my computer started to run out of memory (at four years old, my laptop hosts the same amount of hard drive space as my iPod, 20 GB). While millions of people the world over were once again preparing for the arrival of the Christ child, I was preparing for the arrival of my iPod. When the iPod finally became mine, I swore I‚Äôd take care of it. I swore that I would never let it be scratched (That didn‚Äôt really happen. Someone really needs to design a case that does a better job of that.). I swore that I would love my iPod, ‚Äòtil death do us part, and I was pretty successful at it. While other people were mistreating, misplacing, or just having plain old bad luck (I‚Äôve heard many stories about malfunctioning iPods over the years) with their tiny little pieces of machinery, mine was doing just fine. I treated it like my baby. Continue reading →

Crooked Beat Records: an Epicenter for Local Musicians and Music Collectors

Bill Daly at Crooked Beat
Bill Daly checks up on some of his vinyl merchandise. Photo by Tyler Sonnichsen

“This building’s magic,” Henry Rollins once told Bill Daly of the edifice that currently houses Crooked Beat Records on 18th Street in Adams Morgan.

Daly, the owner and operator of Crooked Beat for the past year and a half, has plenty of great stories to tell about his stores and his own experience as a music collector and fan, and his own surprises keep on coming. As it turns out, and Rollins was one of the first of many to point out to him, his building was once the original punk haven Madam’s Organ.

‚ÄúA lot of [DC hardcore] legends had their first shows upstairs,‚Äù said Daly, ‚ÄúBad Brains was even like the house band—they played every Monday night.‚Äù

Consistent with most venues that hosted punk bands (and invited them back, subsequently), the building itself was never in top shape, and the lower level, where the shop is located, is now an exhibition of maintenance problems. Between a few floods, one of which occurred last summer, measured approximately four inches deep, and cracked the paint job on the floor, as well as constant hydraulic seepage from Maggie Moo‚Äôs Ice Cream parlor next door, it‚Äôs a miracle that minimal amounts of their merchandise have been destroyed; even more so because their indie selection and specialization ranks among the finest in record stores in the East Coast. Continue reading →

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.

Deerhoof Coming to Town
with a Few Friends

Deerhoof. Photo by Dan Jarvis

Indie music’s greatest purveyors of pop turned on its head, Deerhoof, will hit the stage at Black Cat Saturday, Jan. 28. And while the San Francisco foursome and their eclectic slate of tour mates are the definition of unpredictable performers, one thing is for certain: this is a show not to be missed.

Deerhoof is coming off their most critically acclaimed (and publicly accessible) release, The Runners Four. Over the course of their lauded six-album career, the band has stumped music critics who’ve all fallen short of labeling their sound, calling Deerhoof everything from “post punk” to “art punk” to “no wave.” This latest album continues the band’s dedication to eschewing categorization, their bombastic songs constantly changing tempo and instrumentation without warning. The album, like previous releases Apple O’ and Milk Man, is consistently reinventing itself and shifting focus. Each song stands on its own making an individual statement about what pop music can be, which promises for a highly-charged stage show of wide scope.

Deerhoof is famous for taking their music to new heights of energy when playing for a live audience; thrashing about the stage and pushing their sound louder and stranger. Their repertoire has always been about startling dichotomies: lead singer Satomi Matsuzaki’s delicate and childlike voice over powerful walls of sound; a pulsing rhythm section and forceful punch of guitars simultaneously thrashing and tiptoeing upon a carefully composed melodic line. Plus, drummer Greg Saunier is one of the most talented beat keepers performing music live today.

Starter Set
Starter Set DVD Cover

Luckily for you, the $10 ticket price includes not only a Deerhoof performance, but an entire night of multimedia experiences. Director and animator Martha Colburn will be on hand to screen some of her recent works, including her music video for Deerhoof’s “Wrong Time Capsule.” Also performing is Starter Set, a sampling of ‚Äúnew dance and music created for the camera‚Äù by a collective of New York and L.A. dance groups including the Leg and Pants Dans Theeatre, Hysterica Dance Co., and 4 Hard Gulps Theater Company. The dancers have recently been getting attention for their modern dance sets staged to punk and indie rock music. Starter Set, a collection of visual and musical performances was recently released on DVD by Deerhoof‚Äôs record label, Kill Rock Stars.

Two relatively unknown musicians out of Bordeaux, France will provide some opening music for the headliners. L’ocelle Mare is a solo guitarist drawing from both classical and experimental influences. He explores many aspects of his chosen instrument, some songs are very percussive while others have a harp like quality to them. On the other hand, fellow Frenchman Le Ton Mite is a fierce noise machine, creating cacophonous compositions that sound almost like exercises in very, very experimental free jazz. For a preview of the insanity, visit

The show, on Black Cat’s mainstage Saturday, Jan. 28, kicks off at 9:30 p.m.

This Week In Music…

Picks for the week of Friday, January 20 — Thursday, January 26.

Dear everyone: thanks for reading the site. We love you too, and we want to keep helping you find the best local music, week by week. Check our venue listings page for a more complete calendar.

Friday Jan 20 >>

Washington Social Club
Washington Social Club

Washington Social Club starts off the week with a show at Jammin’ Java. These hyped-up rockers love to have a good time, and their live show reflects it. Opening up is retro-pop group Pepper’s Ghost, as well as another local band, Adelyn. FREE MP3: “Are You High (Live)” by Washington Social Club

Mike Holden isn’t only a well known singer/songwriter, he’s one of the biggest supporters of local music in the DC area. Now it’s time to show him some support. Mike will be playing in-store at Revolution Records this Friday. Sarah Kryscio kicks things off at 7pm and Mike will follow her. This will be a FREE performance and copies of his Level EP will be for sale that night at the store.

The 9:30 Club is partying like it’s 1996 on Friday with a couple of bands I swore had disappeared. Less Than Jake headlines this tour, appropriately titled “In With The Out Crowd,” with Big D and the Kids Table opening up. Also playing are DaMone and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Soldiers.

Saturday Jan 21 >>

Alcian Blue
Alcian Blue

Alcian Blue creates sound textures unlike anything we’ve heard in years. They’ve put out some great singles and compilation tracks, but if you really want to hear this band, you need to see them live. Which is why they are our PICK OF THE WEEK, playing at the Galaxy Hut with The Third Programme.

DC-based music webzine BigYawn is celebrating their 2nd birthday with a party at DC9. They’ve invited three bands to play the show: Aluminum Babe, Cedars, and Breaking Laces.

Sunday Jan 22 >>

Disconnect is an electro-based solo artist on Lujo Records, a DC-based label representing some of our favorite local bands. He is playing the Galaxy Hut on Sunday.

Cecilia is a six-piece band from New York. Five of the members are family. Laura Veltz, one of Cecilia’s lead vocalists, comes to the Iota Club & Cafe, with local singer/songwriter Taylor Carson opening up.

Trachtenberg Family Slideshow Players
Trachtenberg Family
Slideshow Players

Evan Bliss fronts the local band the Low Life, but is playing a solo show Sunday at the Iota Club & Cafe, with Shane Hines and the Glass-Bottom Boats opening up.

Nellie McKay is headlining a show at the Birchmere on Sunday, and to be honest, I have no idea who she is. Opening up however, are the fabulously entertaining Trachtenberg Family Slideshow Players, a family (the drummer can’t be older than 10) who collects vintage slide collections from garage sales & thrift stores, and turns the lives of these strangers into whimsical pop-rock tunes. A must see.

Monday Jan 23 >>

Most people remember the Meat Puppets from their appearance on Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged. The Brothers Meat, however, have gone on to successful solo careers. Curt Kirkwood is playing at the Iota Club & Cafe with Mike Maloney.

Tuesday Jan 24 >>

This is a big week for the Iota Club & Cafe. Tuesday sees A.J. Croce, a versatile jazz and blues musician who has recorded with Ry Cooder, Robben Ford, and T-Bone Burnett. You may have heard of his famous father. He is playing with Jesse Elliot of DC’s own These United States.

Wednesday Jan 25 >>

Christmas was a month ago already. Weird, huh?

Thursday Jan 26 >>

Evan Dando
Evan Dando

Evan Dando, formerly the frontman of The Lemonheads, is playing at the Iota Club & Cafe on Thursday night. His set is opened by Andy Zipf, a local singer/songwriter with an arsenal of electronic tricks.

No Second Troy is a local DC band that has been building a serious buzz since their debut in 2003, playing the SXSW festival and other major events. They are playing DC9 on Thursday, joined by Snoozebox and Taylor Carson.

Closing out our week in music is a show at the 9:30 Club featuring the jazz and pop-influenced Jack’s House, who are joined by soulful rockers Politicks.

This Week In Music…

Picks for the week of Friday, January 13 — Thursday, January 19.

Well kids, it’s another great week for music here in the DC. Check out our venue listings page for a more complete musical calendar.

Friday Jan 13 >>

The Hickories
The Hickories

Friday is another chill-out night at the Iota Club, a perfect venue for The Hickories. Read our review of their latest release, Lost in Pennsylvania here. Opening up the show is singer/songwriter Shannon Brown, as well as roots-rockers David Kitchen & the Demolition. Free MP3: “Mystery to Me” by David Kitchen & the Demolition

Saturday Jan 14 >>

Army of Me
Army of Me

Army of Me is back home with a vengeance, headlining a show at the 9:30 Club. Monopoli, who headlined last week at the Black Cat, are opening up, along with the Sketches.

DC9 is putting on the shoegaze-inspired Middle Distance Runner, along with Hello Tokyo, the Omega Band, and Camera.

Local garage rockers The Bonapartes are playing the Galaxy Hut, with The Guins opening the show. Free MP3: “Concentric” by The Bonapartes

Marah has often been compared to Springsteen or Paul Westerberg of the Replacements: gritty narrative guitar-driven rock. They are playing the Iota Club with singer/songwriter Andrew Grimm (of June Star) on Saturday.

The Double
The Double

Rounding out this packed Saturday night is our PICK OF THE WEEK: Celebration and The Double at the Warehouse Next Door. Hailing from Baltimore, Celebration is a frantic three-piece who just recorded their debut album with David Sitek and the other boys from TV On The Radio. The Double also hail from New York, on Matador Records, that little indie label that seems to never go wrong. This show nears the end of their tour together. Free MP3: “Idiocy” by The Double

Sunday Jan 15 >>

Continuing last week’s Dischord reunion, Craig Wedren (formerly of Shudder To Think) is playing Sunday night at the Black Cat. Opening up the show is Amy Miles, an electric songwriter who has taken the New York press by storm. Free MP3: “Heavy Packer” by Amy Miles

The Galaxy Hut is hosting an unusual event, with live hip-hop all night, featuring Praverb, Teflon, Lokie, Mike Mess, and Spoon.

Kristin Hoffman
Kristin Hoffman

The IOTA Club is still the most reliable place in town to catch mellow singer/songwriters, as they prove on Sunday with a show featuring Andrew Norsworthy, Rose Polenzani and Kristin Hoffman, all of whom love sharing a taste of their music for free. Free MP3’s: “Something Else Instead” by Andrew Norsworthy, “Blue Angel” by Rose Polenzani, “Mary” by Kristin Hoffman

Monday Jan 16 >>

Paul Kamran is a singer/songwriter with “alt-country and electronica twinges.” He’s playing at the Galaxy Hut on Monday, joined by The Greek Embassy. Free MP3: “Outlaw” by Paul Kamran

The Black Cat backstage sees mp3 blog darlings Death By Sexy joined by girl-fronted rockers Soraia.

Tuesday Jan 17 >>

Jupiter Sunrise
Jupiter Sunrise

Say what you will about Myspace Records, but they’ve certainly got their promotion down. LA-based Jupiter Sunrise have exploded since their inclusion on the first Myspace volume, and are bringing their indie-pop to Jammin’ Java, where they will be joined by The Echoes.

Thursday Jan 19 >>

The Sentiment manage to be incredibly noisy and locked tight in a groove at the same time. These locals are playing DC9 on Thursday, joined by the Philly-punk Zelazowa and Blacksburg, VA’s nu-prog Running With Scissors. Free MP3: “A Must Have” by The Sentiment

This Week In Music…

Picks for the week of Friday, January 6 — Thursday, January 12.

Fall is usually our show season in DC, but this Winter week kicks off 2006 with a little of everything: Salsa, Bluegrass, Reggae, Funk, Folk, and of course our famously independent DC Rock scene. Make sure to dress warm, and check our venue listings page for a more complete musical calendar.

Friday Jan 6 >>

Bio Ritmo
Bio Ritmo

Bio Ritmo is a nine-piece Latin dance band from Richmond, VA. With a sound that hearkens back to the salsa masters of the 1970s, Bio Ritmo has been engaging audiences around the country for the last 14 years. The Iota Club & Cafe has booked them Friday for an uncharacteristic solo engagement. No fan of authentic Latin music should miss this show.

Ricky Skaggs has been ruling the bluegrass roost for over thirty years. An accomplished singer and mandolin player, Skaggs joined Ralph & Carter Stanley at the age of seventeen, going on to record some of the most influential bluegrass albums ever made. Though he plays the occasional newgrass tune, Skaggs’ music is still rooted in old-time traditional gems, echoing his adage that “country rocks, but bluegrass rules!” Kentucky Thunder joins him for this two-night engagement at the Birchmere.

Soldiers of Jah Army, Washington DC’s own White Reggae outfit, are throwing a party at the State Theatre, to celebrate the release of their new album Get Wiser. The show will be recorded for a live DVD, so make sure to trim those nappy locks and wash your patchwork pants. Jah Works opens the show.

Saturday Jan 7 >>

Remember when Ska fell off in the mid 90s? The Pietasters don’t. These local skankers have been rocking steady for over 10 years, and are back with a new live DVD filmed at the 9:30 Club, where they are playing Saturday night. Joining the band will be The Slackers, 33 West, and The Rootworkers.


Saturday also brings our PICK OF THE WEEK to the Black Cat: three bands formed from the afterbirth of the Dischord roster. Ris Paul Ric is Chris Richards, who played just about every instrument at one point in his career with Q and Not U. He describes his new effort as sounding like “the quieter songs off the last two [Q and Not U] records.” Richards is touring with Black Eyes’ Dan Caldas, another member of the Dischord family, on drums. French Toast is made up of Jerry Busher (one of Fugazi’s drummers) and James Canty (Nation of Ulysses, the Make Up), two multi-instrumentalists who have been in the DC scene for years. Supersystem, the show headliners and one of my favorite live bands, is simply El Guapo with a new drummer. The band changed their name rather than step up to the copyright challenge from another “El Guapo,” based out of Chicago. Get the whole story here. If you like synth-heavy dance-pop, this show was made for you. Check out the cool poster for this show here. Free MP3: “Breakfast” by French Toast (off the Bugman EP).

If you missed Ricky Scaggs on Friday and are dying for some roots bluegrass, he is playing a second night at the Birchmere.

Finally, for all the starfuckers in the audience, Mattie Safer of the Rapture will be guest DJing at DC9’s monthly art-punk party, Electrotease. James Friedman and regular DJs Ca$$idy and People’s Champion round out the night.

Sunday Jan 8 >>

Page France
Page France

Arlington indie-poppers the Five Maseratis are playing the Black Cat on Sunday night, with local rockers the Ambitions opening up.

Page France have taken the new folk scene by storm, getting a great response from indie bloggers & press. The group hails from Maryland, and are touring now in support of their second release, Hello, Dear Wind. Opening up this show at the Galaxy Hut are DC rockers These United States, and Paleo, who describes his music as “psych folk indie lounge rock balladry.”

Get Him Eat Him
Get Him Eat Him

If not for the post-Dischord groups forming like Voltron at the Black Cat on Saturday, this show at the Warehouse Next Door would be our pick of the week. Get Him Eat Him, a five-piece from Providence, RI, is fast on its way to being the hottest band to ride a Moog since Motion City Soundtrack. Their catchy, up-tempo synth songs manage to remain interesting in a genre that seems oh so 2003. The Fake Accents, from College Park, MD, are opening the show, along with “swoon punk” outfit Drums vs. Jules. Free MP3: “Exposure” by Get Him Eat Him.

Tuesday Jan 10 >>

Page France
Travis Morrison

Tuesday sees The Travis Morrison Hellfighters headlining at the Black Cat, maybe. As Travis posted on his website: “The Black Cat show is not up in the air per se, but it is showing a tendency to unexpectedly leap, like an ill-trained Jack Russell Terrier.” We’ll keep our fingers crossed. Opening up we have locals Cataract Camp and Hand-Fed Babies.

Exotic Fever Records has two bands playing the Warehouse Next Door on Tuesday: Mudsugar Favorites Ricky Fitts, who just released a fabulous debut album. Joining them is Mustangs & Madras, from Denver.

Wednesday Jan 11 >>

Last month we told you about Mieka Pauley, the young Bostonian who came out of Harvard Square to sweep the traditional folk scene off it’s feet. She’s back in town, playing with Justin Rosolino and Harriet Street at Jammin’ Java. Free MP3: “Run” by Mieka Pauley.

Thursday Jan 12 >>

Isaac Hayes
Isaac Hayes

Isaac Hayes is a King among men. Literally. He was coronated King of the Ada coastal district in Ghana, where he built an 8,000 square-foot educational facility. That’s not why we want you to go see him at the Birchmere on Thursday. In addition to voicing “Chef” on South Park, Hayes is an Oscar and Grammy-holding musician, one of the great early soul artists off Stax Records in Memphis, the birthplace of rock & roll.

Monopoli is playing a different kind of show on Thursday, when Ducati descends on the Black Cat to show off their 2006 models. Opening up for Monopoli is the Meek, featuring former members of Blind Melon and the Squirrel Nut Zippers.

This Week in Music… New Year’s Eve

This week is pretty dead. Except for New Year’s Eve, that is. Instead of a full week’s picks, we’re gonna highlight four options for you to ring in the new year with. You can compile your own list from our venue listings page. Me, I’ll be mixing drinks for rich people all night. So have some fun for me.

Saturday 12/31 — New Years Eve>>

Robert Randolph
Robert Randolph

Robert Randolph brings his unique take on the pedal steel to the 9:30 Club. A recent favorite on the hippie jamband scene, Randolph brings a funky flavor to the instrument reminiscent of Sly or Stevie. Massachussets-based State Radio open the show, which is unfortunately sold out. Don’t forget that hippie crowd out front though…

The Seldom Scene
The Seldom Scene

The Birchmere is putting on a classier act with newgrass powerhouse The Seldom Scene. These boys have been building momentum since the early 70s to reach their current status as the best-known progressive bluegrass band on the scene. The Good Deale from Annapolis, MD are opening up the show.

Peaches O'Dell
Peaches O’Dell

The Black Cat is hosting an uncharacteristic night of swing music, rhumbas & tangos, and other mod-hipster Hollywood fare, with Peaches O’Dell and her Orchestra. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Peaches and her 11-piece band, and I can say that they put on a swell show. The New Year’s Ball at The Black Cat also includes DJ Mark Zimin (Mousetrap, Wag) spinning all night on the Backstage. Tony Anthony & his Malvivants keep things alive in-between Peaches’ sets with their retro-lounge jazz.

The Washington Social Club
The Washington Social Club

Finally, for the indiest of offerings on this New Year’s Eve, we have The Washington Social Club playing at DC9. These DC mainstays have built up quite a buzz in the last year with their frantically energetic live show and debut album. After the show, WSC drummer Randy and Liberation Dance Party DJ Bill Spieler will keep the party going.

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.