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Music Picks: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Avett Brothers, Esperanza Spalding

Our recommendations for the best in live music over the next seven days.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers perform tonight at Verizon Center. Photograph by Flickr user eastscene.

Thursday, May 10

Horse Feathers didn’t record their latest album, Cynic’s New Year, in Bon Iver’s cabin in the woods, but they might as well have. The Portland, Oregon-based band play pretty folk music you might like to hear around a campfire or while working on your novel—or at Black Cat tonight.

9 PM at Black Cat, $15.

Anthony Kiedis, Flea, and crew were just inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and now you can see the Red Hot Chili Peppers at Verizon Center.* Despite mostly decent reviews, last year’s I’m With You managed to not spawn any super-annoying songs about California that were played every two seconds.

7:30 PM at Verizon Center, check Ticketmaster for tickets.

Israeli rappers Hadag Nahash kick off the Washington Jewish Music Festival tonight at the Fillmore. The group rarely makes it to the States. Even if you don’t know Hebrew, their breakneck flow and beats are oddly calming but still impressive.

8 PM at Fillmore, $20.

Friday, May 11

Get out your hairbands and leggings, and grab a wig if you’re going bald—the M3 Rock Festival at Merriweather throws it back to the late ’80s, when people found their significant others while head-banging at Guns N’ Roses concerts. The lineup includes Night Ranger, Kix, Enuff Z’nuff, In the Pink, and Let There Be Rock, most of whom you might remember from posters on your childhood bedroom wall.

4:30 PM at Merriweather, $25 to $45.

You can say the Avett Brothers play bluegrass or folk, but really they just play very good, thoughtful music. You’ll find elements of rock, Americana, and even some harder stuff in their songs, but 2009’s I and Love and You should be required listening for anyone who likes any of those genres. They’re at the Patriot Center tonight.

8 PM at Patriot Center, $47.

Saturday, May 12

After years of playing second fiddle to HFStival, DC101’s Chili Cook-Off, with bands who have actually made music in the past ten years, has finally overtaken it in terms of relevance. Incubus, Cake, and the Airborne Toxic Event play this year. Angels & Airwaves were a last-minute dropout, which doesn’t really surprise me at all, because former Blink 182-er Tom Delonge has seemed super sketchy ever since he called their first album the “best music made in decades.” Anyway, go to RFK, eat chili, and listen to middling radio rock bands. Prices jump $25 if you wait till the day of.

11 AM at RFK Stadium, $35.

Esperanza Spalding survived her close encounter with Beliebers after the jazz singer took home the Best New Artist Grammy in 2011. People don’t normally put a ton of stock into the Grammys, but in this case, it helped her get noticed. March’s Radio Music Society sold more than 100,000 copies and landed her a top-ten spot on the Billboard chart. She plays the Howard tonight.

8 PM at the Howard Theatre, $35.

After years of toiling in relative obscurity, Anthony Gonzalez’s M83 burst on the scene last year. They’re easily more popular here than in Gonzales’s native France—there’s a reason both 9:30 Club shows are sold out. The soaring beat of “Midnight City,” their most popular song, is sure to turn that place into a madhouse.

7 and 11 PM at 9:30 Club, sold out.

Sunday, May 13

You should be hanging out with your mom, but if your mom happens to love metal, bring her to the Rob Zombie/Megadeth show at Merriweather. Filmmaker, musician, and weirdo extraordinaire Rob Zombie’s metal band, White Zombie, has been defunct for a while now, but he rocks just as hard solo. Megadeth, who arguably helped create the genre, are fresh off their “Big Four” concert with Slayer, Metallica, and Anthrax. A bunch of metal tribute bands open, including some who play covers of Metallica, Iron Maiden, and Godsmack (really?).

3 PM at Merriweather, $40 to $55.

Monday, May 14

They’re zombay zombay zombays—after a hugely successful run in the mid-’90s, the Cranberries broke up between 2004 and 2008. They reunited in 2009 and released a new album in February. But let’s hope they linger on the old stuff at the 9:30 Club tonight.

7 PM at 9:30 Club, sold out.

Tuesday, May 15

For as long as she’s been around, LeAnn Rimes still hasn’t cracked 30. She burst on the scene at age 13 with “Blue,” and continued to make hits—she released a greatest hits album at an age younger than when most country stars start their careers. Recently, Rimes has been more tabloid fodder than anything, but she’s set to release a new CD this year. To gear up, she’ll play the Howard Theatre tonight.

8 PM at the Howard Theatre, $65.

With a whole cast of characters playing trumpets, accordions, and all manner of string instruments, the stage can get kinda crowded during an Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros concert. You probably know them for “Home,” but their upbeat, folky sound translates well to all their songs. At 9:30 Club tonight they’ll presumably be playing songs from their sophomore album, set to come out later this month.

7 PM at 9:30 Club, sold out.

Wednesday, May 16

I was going to suggest you go see Sinead O’Connor at the Howard Theatre, but the Irish singer decided very recently that expecting her to deliver on promises is “unreasonable and inhumane.” Anyway, she cited complications with bipolar disorder, so get well soon, Sinead.

Instead, you can go see Dark Star Orchestra, a Grateful Dead cover band who perform specific set lists from previous shows and have long been considered one of the best tribute bands in existence, at the Birchmere.

7:30 PM at Birchmere, $36.

*This article has been updated for a previous version. We apologize for any confusion.

  • Brennan Schnell

    Hey, I took that photo :)

  • Jason

    Red Hot Chili Peppers is not sold out SHAUNA, I just got tickets on the floor.

  • Shaunalsmith

    The RHCP has been sold out for weeks...

  • Tanya Pai

    Thanks for pointing that out, Shaunalsmith; we've updated to correct the info.

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