Thursday, September 20
Wale joined Maybach Music just in time: He’s ridden Rick Ross’s coattails to the big time, so it must be a dream come true for him to headline his first arena show in the area. Too bad it looks like tickets aren’t going too fast for this one—several sections haven’t sold any tickets at all, according to Ticketmaster.
8 PM at Patriot Center, $35 to $50.
Every couple years, Wu-Tang’s Ghostface Killah reappears to show he’s still one of the best in the game. His verse on “New Gold Flow,” fresh off Kanye’s label’s Cruel Summer, steals the spotlight on what was already a very good song. He’ll perform at the State Theatre.
7 PM at State Theatre, $25.
Friday, September 21
This week was probably the year’s biggest for new releases, thanks in no small part to Grizzly Bear’s latest, Shields. The indie darlings wow on the genre-bending album. Good luck getting into one of the band’s two sold-out 9:30 Club shows.
8 PM at 9:30 Club, sold out.
Emily Haines’s Metric has remained pretty popular through the years, proving New Wave will never really die. Personally, I think their sound is more suited for a sweaty dance party at the 9:30 Club than the artsy confines of Strathmore, but what can you do? Also one time I caught their drumstick because I am tall and well coordinated.
8 PM at Strathmore, $57.
Saturday, September 22
Along with ZZ Top and that dude from Anthrax, Leon Russell owns one of the most iconic beards in music, which is a huge accomplishment. It doesn’t hurt that he’s also made some pretty memorable music, which got him inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame last year.
6 PM at the Howard, $30.
Sunday, September 23
Before you heard the story about a wealthy family who lost everything and the one son who had no choice to keep them all together, Arrested Development was a psychological issue, and also a very popular rap group who won two Grammys in 1992. They haven’t done much of note since, but $15 to go see “Mr. Wendal” and “Tennessee” live ain’t too shabby.
6 PM at the Howard, $15.
Some pop singer named Madonna Louise Ciccone is playing two nights at the Verizon Center. It’s probably no big deal, but you might want to check it out if you’re into that sort of thing.
8 PM at Verizon Center, $59 to $390.
Monday, September 24
Hailing from the hippie capital of the hippiest state in the union, Olympia’s Gossip make surprisingly catchy music, even if they do spend most of their time hanging out in riot grrrl punkland.
7 PM at 9:30 Club, $25.
Tuesday, September 25
American Idol star and vaguely controversial figure Adam Lambert is playing a benefit show at the 9:30 Club to help support Maryland’s fight for marriage equality, hence the through-the-roof prices. But if you want to support the cause and see him in a small club, here’s your chance.
7 PM at 9:30 Club, $125 to $250.
Minus the Bear’s 2007 album, Planet of Ice, was the perfect name for an album by them. Their sparse but synthy instrumentation and detached vocals make you feel like you’re on another planet. They haven’t really changed their sound much over the past decade, but they haven’t lost a step, either.
8 PM at Fillmore, $30.
Wednesday, September 26
If you missed the Wallflowers at both Firefly and Nationals Park, like I did, you have yet another chance to see Jakob Dylan play “One Headlight.” It’ll be weird but awesome to see a band that was once huge playing at Black Cat.
8 PM at Black Cat, $25.
Miguel has spent most of his career behind the scenes, producing and writing songs for stars. He stepped up to the mike with “All I Want Is You,” which blew up the radio for a bit. He’s still looking for a big second hit, but he’s got the voice for it.
6 PM at the Howard, $25.
The Fillmore has landed yet another underground-ish-but-not-for-long MC with Harlem’s A$AP Rocky. See him now before he’s everywhere.
8 PM at Fillmore, $35.
Know of a great live show happening in town? E-mail Jason Koebler at firstname.lastname@example.org,
or find him on Twitter @jason_koebler.