Music Picks: Radiohead, Miranda Lambert, DC Jazz Festival
Our recommendations for the best in live music over the next seven days.
Thursday, May 31
The Zac Brown Band sing about getting out of the city, enjoying down-home cooking, and generally living a lifestyle that is a million miles away from everything we know and love (?) in DC. Live vicariously through the super-popular country stars at Merriweather.
5:30 PM at Merriweather, $42 to $77.
Simone Felice, of folk rockers the Felice Brothers, has struck out on his own. His solo stuff is a little more whistley-and-clappy than his other band, but it’s plenty catchy and pretty. He’s at the Hamilton tonight.
7:30 PM at the Hamilton, $17.
Friday, June 1
The DC Jazz Festival kicks off today. Besides tons of smaller shows throughout the city, Merriweather is throwing a three-day Capital Jazz Fest extravaganza featuring every living jazz musician ever (barely an exaggeration). I’m going to make this easy for the both of us: Friday you get Anita Baker and Bill Cosby; Saturday you get George Benson, Musiq Soulchild, and Kirk Whalum; and Sunday you get Fourplay, India Arie, and Paul Taylor (plus lots of others playing each day).
Friday: 6:30 PM, $52 to $100.
Saturday and Sunday: 10 AM, $62.50 to $165.
So besides stealing business from yoga studios, art galleries, restaurants, and other small businesses, LivingSocial is now trying to make 918 F Street into a concert venue by landing Switchfoot—a band that was popular with moms four years ago—for an extremely inflated price. Something tells me the major games in town won’t be bothered by this development.
6:30 PM at 918 F Street, $55.
Dutch deejay (why are they always Dutch?) Afrojack has a Grammy and a legion of fans ready to party. Join them tonight at the Fillmore; go ready to dance, and leave some Advil and a jug of water next to your bed.
8 PM at the Fillmore, $47.50.
Saturday, June 2
You should probably stop holding out hope that what’s left of Led Zeppelin will get back together and embrace Zoso, a tribute band who take being a tribute band very seriously. The LA Times has called the band “head and shoulders above all other Zeppelin tributes,” and there’re tons of them, so that’s high praise. They’re at the Fillmore tonight.
8 PM at the Fillmore, $19.
Joe Pug used to live in Greenbelt, but his music (and carpentry) took him to Chicago, and then Austin. With a voice and lyrics that are well beyond his years, Pug is one of the best singer-songwriters in the game now. If you missed him when he used to play the New Deal Cafe to tens of people years ago, and you probably did, take this chance to see him headline the 9:30.
8 PM at 9:30 Club, $20.
An up-and-comer in another genre, Curren$y has shown up on records by Lil Wayne, Wale, Wiz Khalifa, and more. He’s nothing if not busy: After a series of mix tapes, he released his first studio album in 2009—now he’s getting ready to put out his eighth. Catch him at the Howard.
11 PM at Howard Theatre, $28.50.
Sunday, June 3
Tune-Yards’s Whokill was one of the best and most interesting albums of last year. If you haven’t checked it out, it’s Merrill Garbus layering drum loops, ukulele, and her unique voice to form something that sounds otherworldly. Live, she arranges everything on the spot, which you can see for yourself at the 9:30 Club—if you can score tickets.
7 PM at 9:30 Club, sold out.
If you were going to go to this, you already knew about it and already have tickets, but when one of the biggest bands in the world comes to your city, you mention it in the concert roundup. Thom Yorke and Radiohead are back in Washington for the first time since 2008, when disastrous weather caused tons of problems at the Nissan Pavilion.
7:30 PM at Verizon Center, sold out.
As further proof that singing competitions can only launch country stars, Miranda Lambert came to prominence after finishing third on Nashville Star in 2003. Since then, she’s become one of the genre’s best pure country up-and-comers—she doesn’t really have the crossover appeal of Taylor Swift or Carrie Underwood, but flip on a country station and you can’t go 20 minutes without hearing one of her songs. Chris Young, who put five straight singles at number one on the country charts, opens up.
4 PM at Jiffy Lube Live, $34 to $61.
Monday, June 4
Danzig are one of those bands I thought had been around forever, but it turns out they’re just a couple years older than me. The hard rockers are best known for “Woman,” having the least inventive album titles ever, and for giving you a chance early next week to wear your skintight jeans and cutoff T-shirt. For this tour, Glenn Danzig has decided to play songs by both Danzig and horror-core legends the Misfits, the band he founded that has tried to go on without him.
8 PM at the Fillmore, $37.50.
Tuesday, June 5
Al Anderson used to make music with Bob Marley and the Wailers—he played lead guitar on songs such as “No Woman, No Cry.” In 2008, he decided to form the Original Wailers, who are playing at the Howard Tuesday. They play a mix of originals and covers from the old days.
8 PM at the Howard, $18.
Alan Doyle is the frontman of Great Big Sea, a Canadian band that might as well be from Ireland, because their folk-punk tunes sound straight out of a Dublin pub. Solo, Doyle tones it down—playing folk rock, country, and slower ballads. But you can’t take the man completely out of his element—he’s promising some sea shanties from Great Big Sea as necessary.
7:30 PM at the Birchmere, $33.
Wednesday, June 6
K.D. Lang has such a strong voice that she’s one of the only people who can pull off “Hallelujah”—she’s got four Grammys for a reason. In recent years, Lang has taken up the torch for gay rights, Tibetan freedom, and animal welfare, which she may or may not mention at tonight’s Wolf Trap gig.
8PM at Wolf Trap, $45 to $75.
Despite their name, Oberhofer do not make German music. The Brooklyn-based band make dancey rock music you can’t help but move to—try listening to “Landline” without getting it stuck in your head. Check them out at the 9:30 Club tonight.
8 PM at Black Cat, $12.
Got a suggestion for a great show around town? E-mail Jason Koebler at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet him at @jason_koebler.