Thursday, September 13
It’s cool to talk about liking Ariel Pink, the eccentric LA artist: He makes lo-fi, poppy music that’s got all sorts of interesting instrumentation, but I’m not sure all that many people were actually listening before. Recently though, he’s gotten plenty of buzz, and the music is getting more accessible.
7 PM at 9:30 Club, $20.
Friday, September 14
The Boss plays DC seemingly every year or two, but DC still goes nutty for him. Plenty of people couldn’t pass up the chance to see him at Nationals Park as opposed to the Verizon Center, so this show has been way sold out for months. You can still grab (very expensive) tickets to see Bruce Springsteen on StubHub or test your luck on Craigslist.
7:30 PM at Nationals Park, sold out.
Once Kendrick Lamar switched to using his real name in 2010 (he used to go by K. Dot), it didn’t take long for the Compton rapper’s career to take off. He calls Dr. Dre and Drake friends, and last year’s Section.80 was one of hip-hop’s most buzzed-about albums.
8 PM at the Howard, $45.
The Feelies were one of New York City’s most beloved underground-ish indie bands during the ’80s. Then they disappeared for a very long time. Their 2008 reunion finally culminated in a new album last year, their first in two decades, and showed a bit of a softer edge to the band.
8 PM at 9:30 Club, $20.
Saturday, September 15
Going to a Thievery Corporation concert is like a Washington rite of passage, so if you haven’t done it yet, get on it. For guys who seemingly own half the hip spots in the city, Eric Hilton and Rob Garza only seem to play a couple times a year, but they’re always well-attended extravaganzas. This one’s no different: NYC gypsy punks Gogol Bordello and Michael Franti & Spearhead open.
1 PM at Fairgrounds, $59.
Blog it-boy and Kanye West pal Justin Vernon started the whole “I wrote and recorded this album in a cabin in the woods” trend that people seem to love these days. It’s hard to argue with Bon Iver’s success: Both of his albums have been extremely well received.
6:30 PM at Merriweather, $40 to $55.
Don McLean wrote “American Pie.” You can see him play it for $60 at the Birchmere if you so choose.
7:30 PM at Birchmere, $58.
Sunday, September 16
Eric Church is another new face blowing up country radio, and people are showing up in droves. Sunday in the Country from WPOC (a Baltimore country station) at Merriweather is an annual institution, and it’s sold out yet again.
1 PM at Merriweather, sold out.
London’s Bloc Party played synthy dance rock before it was cool to play synthy dance rock. They might have even started the trend. Their latest album, Four, just came out—they’ve sold out back to back nights at the 9:30 Club.
7 PM at 9:30 Club, sold out.
Monday, September 17
Local singer-songwriter Eric Hutchinson is a Jason Mraz clone, playing sugary-sweet pop songs, but he’s one of the few DC singer songwriters to get big national recognition. He plays a rare acoustic show at the Birchmere tonight.
7:30 PM at Birchmere, $44.
Tuesday, September 18
Mississippi rapper Big K.R.I.T. has been showing up on other artists’ tracks and mixtapes for years, but he finally released his first studio album, Live From the Underground, earlier this year. It topped the rap charts and put him firmly into the promising-new-artist category.
8 PM at Howard Theatre, $25.
Wednesday, September 19
The secret has been out on Florence and the Machine for a while, but Adele kind of overshadowed Florence Welch for a little while. They put on a elaborate live show, and Welch’s voice ain’t too shabby, either. Canadian R&B virtuoso and Drake pal the Weeknd opens up. He rarely plays shows, so that’ll be worth the price of admission for many.
5:30 PM at Merriweather, $40 to $55.
London bands are invading the area this week, apparently. Dry the River play folk music that’s far more epic than anything Mumford & Sons will ever make, but they know how to harmonize and turn off the soaring guitars from time to time just like their countrymates. And their album covers are top-notch.
8 PM at Black Cat, $15.
Know of a great live show going on in town? E-mail Jason Koebler at email@example.com,
or find him on Twitter @jason_koebler.