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Music Picks: Ted Leo, Chuck Berry, Death Cab for Cutie

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

The Weeknd plays tonight at 9:30 Club. Photograph by Flickr user vonlohmann.

Thursday, April 26

He’s pals with Drake, one of the hottest emcees in R&B, and a Pitchfork darling—it’s no wonder the Weeknd sold out 9:30 Club in a matter of minutes. He doesn’t currently have any other shows scheduled in the US, so if you can score tickets on Craigslist, get them now.

7 PM at 9:30 Club, sold out.

People say that Allo Darlin’ play “twee” rock—which really just means they play rock music that makes you feel good inside. Nothin’ wrong with that. If you’re in need of a pick-me-up, check out their show at the Black Cat.

8 PM at Black Cat, $12.

Friday, April 27

Chuck Klosterman once called Lez Zeppelin the “most powerful all-female band in rock history,” which makes sense, considering who they’re covering. If seeing Robert Plant solo just doesn’t fill the Led Zeppelin-size hole in your heart, there’s a whole lot to love about these chicks.

9 PM at State Theatre, $25.

Seems like every year, Ted Leo & the Pharmacists make a couple trips to the Black Cat—Friday’s show is the first of two this weekend, and it’s extra special. The band will be playing lots of hits, and then will perform 2001’s Tyranny in its entirety for the last time ever. Don’t miss it.

9 PM at Black Cat, sold out.

Saturday, April 28

The Merriweather concert season kicks of with the Sweetlife Festival. For $75, you’d expect some ultra-huge names, but instead you’ll get plenty of mid-range artists such as Kid Cudi, the Shins, Explosions in the Sky, and Fitz and the Tantrums. Either way, it’s a good way to spend a Saturday and catch plenty of good music.

Noon at Merriweather Post Pavilion, $75.

Chuck Berry might not move around stage as well as he did 50 years ago, but the rock music pioneer still plays guitar and has the vocal chops to carry classics like “Maybellene” and “Johnny B. Goode.” The first month of the Howard Theatre wouldn’t be complete without a showing from a legend like him.

6 PM at Howard Theatre, $95.

After 2009’s debut album, Miike Snow were supposed to take over the US. That didn’t exactly happen, but the Swedish dance rockers are huge in Europe and have a cult following over here. Their second album came out last month to so-so reviews, so unless you’re a huge fan, you might want to skip Saturday’s show at 9:30 Club.

8 PM at 9:30 Club, sold out.

Finally, if you’re a celeb chaser (nothing wrong with that), watch Adrian Grenier’s cookie-cutter indie rock band, The Honey Brothers. We hear Vinny Chase totally kills it on the drums.

7 PM at DC9, $15.

Sunday, April 29

Like Ke$ha, A$AP Rocky wastes no time in showing off the dolla dolla bills he’s made from music. Another one of Drake’s protégés and fresh off a Sweetlife performance, the Harlem-born rapper has buzz like Drizzy did a few years back—he managed to sell out 9:30 Club before his debut album even dropped.

7 PM at 9:30 Club, sold out.

Monday, April 30

It’s almost as if Nickelback heard Creed were playing this week and wanted to duke out which of them are, indeed, the actual worst band in the world. It’s possibly the most horrible art Canada has ever created; if you’ve heard one Nickelback song, you’ve heard them all. If you’re a masochist, head to the Verizon Center to hear the same song over and over again.

6 PM at Verizon Center, $40 to $103.

With Ben Gibbard’s impending divorce from Zooey Deschanel, maybe he’ll have some sad things to write about for new Death Cab for Cutie albums. Gibbard has gone a bit soft on us lately, but there are still enough classics to make Monday’s show at Strathmore worth seeing.

8 PM at Strathmore, sold out.

In ska circles (skank circles?), Streetlight Manifesto are the band—if only frontman Tomas Kalnoky weren’t such a perfectionist. Since 1996, he’s written exactly three and a half albums of original material—in that time, he’s released just as many cover albums, redoing his old work over and over. That band haven’t released a new CD since 2007, even though they’ve never stopped touring. For this tour, Kalnoky loses the horns and plays his songs with just an acoustic guitar.

8 PM at Jammin’ Java, $12.

Tuesday, May 1

Is Marilyn Manson dating Lana Del Rey? Does it matter? The weirdo rocker will bring his brand of creepy heavy metal and his ghost-white face to the Fillmore Tuesday.

8 PM at the Fillmore, sold out.

Wednesday, May 2

Did somebody say weird? Xiu Xiu prefer to do it sonically rather than with makeup—the San Jose sometimes-band, sometimes-duo make jarring music using all sorts of instrumentation and electronics. They haven’t been entirely free of controversy, however; the band’s music video for “Dear God, I Hate Myself” featured one of the band members vomiting for three straight minutes.

7 PM at Rock & Roll Hotel, $15.

Never has a band’s name so accurately captured the disappointment that is this future we live in. Even our flying cars look crappy. We Were Promised Jetpacks play pretty contemporary-sounding rock with a bit of a punk edge—if you ever wished Minus the Bear were a little more aggressive, you’ve found your band.

8 PM at Black Cat, $15.

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