Thursday, May 24
If you’ve been living under a rock or have a life that doesn’t include a tween daughter/niece/sister/student, you may not have heard of One Direction, the British boy band that makes 13-year-olds go Bieber-bonkers. Plan on taking out a loan to get into their Patriot Center show tonight—the cheapest pair on StubHub was close to $500 in recent days.
7:30 PM at Patriot Center, so, so sold out.
Think you know what all Brooklyn bands sound like? No, they don’t all feature some dude with a beard playing songs about his feelings or generic synth-dance numbers. Black Dice will make you move, but not in a comfortable way. Their herky-jerky tunes are clearly inspired by Japanese hardcore and noise rock, and you can hear them at U-Hall tonight.
6 PM at U Street Music Hall, $12.
Friday, May 25
Drake must have watched the Throne tour last year and decided he wanted a piece of that, because by almost anyone’s definition, he’s been the hottest name in rap this year. Like any emcee worth his ego, the Toronto smashmaker is bringing a whole crew of protégés and hangers-on to the Verizon Center, including J. Cole, Waka Flocka Flame, and Meek Mill. If Wale is lucky, maybe they’ll let him in the building to do “No Hands.”
7 PM at Verizon Center, $75 to $125.
Oakland’s Wallpaper (think LMFAO lite) has some original songs—and you’re sure to dance to them at U Street Music Hall tonight night—but where he really shines is remixes, turning Passion Pit’s “Sleepyhead” into a banger and making Das Racist’s “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell” (it’s as amazing as it sounds) go viral.
7 PM at U Street Music Hall, $10.
Saturday, May 25
No matter what’s going on in the outside world, the Pietasters keep on living in theirs. The local ska band formed in 1990 and have barely changed their sound since, despite the rise and demise of that genre. Their show at Rock & Roll Hotel will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.
7 PM at Rock & Roll Hotel, $25.
Hoots & Hellmouth play the kind of music that’d be great to hear around a campfire--unpretentious, unplugged American roots rock with sing-along choruses. They’ll be playing at Iota, which is not campfire-like but is plenty intimate.
9 PM at Iota Club & Cafe, $13.
It says a lot about the Black Cat that they’re willing to put a relatively unestablished local band on the main stage on a Saturday night. Stereosleep play prog rock--expect lots of guitar solos, instrumental breakdowns as they let the vocals take a bit of a backseat.
9 PM at Black Cat, $10.
Sunday, May 26
If I know anything about people from the Great Lakes region, they love their cheese curds, talking about going to the lakes, and slow, acoustic, beautiful music like Sufjan Stevens and Bon Iver. Great Lake Swimmers snag most of that (besides the cheese part)--their first album was recorded in a grain silo, donchaknow. They’re actually from Canada, but I’ve heard they’ve got some pretty Great Lakes there, too.
7 PM at Rock & Roll Hotel, $15.
Frank Sinatra’s goddaughter, Nikka Costa, didn’t have quite as prolific a career, but she’s hung around for a couple decades with her brand of funky R&B. She plays at the Hamilton tonight.
7:30 PM at the Hamilton, $22.50.
Monday, May 27
Happy Memorial Day! There are literally almost zero concerts for you to go to today, unless you want to check out some of the armed services bands. All the artists, except Busdriver, are hanging out at the pool. Busdriver have a hyper-aggressive (but still highbrow) off-the-cuff rapping style.
8:30 PM at DC9, $12.
Tuesday, May 28
For almost 20 years, the Dandy Warhols have played their grungy, druggy tunes, even though one of their bigger songs calls heroin “so passé.” At their show at 9:30 Club, cross your arms and bob your head back and forth, and you’ll fit in just fine.
7 PM at 9:30 Club, $25.
After all these years, Steve Winwood still hasn’t cracked 65, and he’s still got that magical voice that made him popular in the early ’80s. The British rocker is popular for songs like “Higher Love,” and “Roll With It,” both of which he’ll probably play at Wolf Trap tonight.
8 PM at Wolf Trap, $25 to $42.
Wednesday, May 29
The Used were one of the first bands to figure out that if you take your sad feelings and yell about them a lot, you can get tons of angsty high school kids to buy your records and come to your shows. The Utah rockers have sold more than 3 million albums and haven’t let up since dropping their first album in 2002. In March, they released Vulnerable, which, fans were happy to see, didn’t change up that formula much at all. They’re at the Fillmore tonight.
7:30 PM at Fillmore Silver Spring, $25.
Follow Jason Koebler on Twitter at @jason_koebler or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.