Friday, March 16
If you're okay with playing hooky from work, Elliot in the Morning's Kegs & Eggs party at 9:30 Club has become an institution. A limited number of free tickets will be available at the door starting at 7 AM if you haven't won tickets on the radio. Richmond's Carbon Leaf, the go-to band when anyone needs something inoffensive and Irish-sounding for an event, and Anberlin, who play screamy radio rock, will provide the tunes.
Doors at 7 AM at 9:30 Club, free.
Later in the day, check out what's probably the best retro-pop band in the business: Dr. Dog, whose sound would have fit perfectly alongside the Beatles and the Beach Boys. The band's show at 9:30 Club is sold out--check Craigslist.
Doors at 8 PM at 9:30 Club, sold out.
An early R&B outlet from the '60s, the Whispers had their biggest hit, "And the Beat Goes On," thanks to Will Smith ever-so-famously sampling it on "Miami." They're considered one of the best dance music groups of all time--find out if they have anything left (some members are pushing 70) at Constitution Hall.
8 PM at DAR Constitution Hall, $45 to $75.
Saturday, March 17
The-Dream has a few of his own albums, but he's best known for his work in the studio; he wrote "Umbrella" for Rihanna and "Single Ladies" for Beyoncé. His biggest hits as a singer come as features on other artists' tracks, like Snoop Dogg's "Gangsta Love" and Fabolous's "Throw It in the Bag." Let's hope he pulls those out at the Fillmore.
8 PM at the Fillmore, $25.
Hitting the scene just as the new-wave craze was getting big, the Psychedelic Furs wrote the title track for the movie Pretty in Pink years before it became a movie. That song and "Dumb Waiters," another minor hit, are on Talk Talk Talk, which the band have been performing in its entirety at recent shows.
Doors at 7 PM at State Theatre, $36.
Sunday, March 18
Years before Radiohead asked fans to pay what they wanted for In Rainbows, Bomb the Music Industry were giving out all their music for free, leading frontman Jeff Rosenstock to start Quote Unquote Records, a label that gives away all its music. The band's sound has evolved from synth-punk scream along disaster to more of a controlled chaos with their recent albums. Expect a crazy scene live--always worth the price of admission.
Doors at 8 PM at Black Cat, $10.
Monday, March 19
Not many bands can say they were around when a genre was invented. Toots & the Maytals probably can; they formed in Jamaica when ska and reggae were in their infancy. Watch them play "Pressure Drop" and get a history lesson at 9:30 Club.
Doors at 7 PM at 9:30 Club, $26.
Tuesday, March 20
It's been a while since England's Kasabian hit our shores, which might explain why their 9:30 Club show is sold out. Combining an American-size ego with catchy rock instrumentation and background electronics, they've been named the best British band by three different outlets.
Doors at 7 PM at 9:30 Club, sold out.
The futuristic, otherworldly sound of Purity Ring means it's probably just a matter of time before the band gets some widespread notice. They still haven't released an album, relying on a couple of 7-inch EPs to get their sound out.
Doors at 8 PM at Red Palace, $14.
Wednesday, March 21
French electronica duo Justice got huge with "D.A.N.C.E.," which was remixed and redone by anyone and everyone, including Wale, who got a lot of his early blog buzz when he rapped over the beat. Their releases since then have been uneven, but that didn't stop them from selling out 9:30 Club in minutes.
Doors at 7 PM at 9:30 Club, sold out.
Fiona Apple will never be as popular as she was at the time of her first album, Tidal, which went triple platinum. Since then, her albums have arguably gotten better but have been increasingly ignored by the masses. Her shows haven't been--Wednesday night at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue is sold out. At SXSW, she announced her first new album since 2005's Extraordinary Machine. Expect a couple new tracks Wednesday.
Doors at 8 PM at Sixth & I, sold out.
For something you actually can get tickets to, check out Celtic Crossroads--seven musicians in their twenties take on Celtic classics and play original songs, accompanied by some of Ireland's best dancers. We know they missed the St. Patrick's Day boat, but March 17 is when all the amateurs come out, right?
8 PM at Wolf Trap, $27.