Justin Jones performs a free show at DC9 on Monday, January 2nd.
After a few quiet pre-Christmas weeks, local clubs are starting to get back to normal. There’s still a glaring lack of touring bands in town (those shows will pick up in January), but that just frees up the stage for some of Washington’s better acts. And if you’re a hip-hop fan, you’ve got plenty of options this week.
Wednesday, December 28
While most rappers strive for mainstream success, rhyming over glitzed-up studio beats, local rapper Christylez Bacon plays djembe drum and acoustic guitar, and beatboxes. He’s performed in the past with a 12-piece orchestra and at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and tonight you can catch him at the Hamilton, the brand new 24-hour restaurant and live music venue from the people behind Clyde’s.
Christylez Bacon, 8 PM at the Hamilton, $15.
Thursday, December 29
Questlove, Black Thought, and co. might have saved Jimmy Fallon’s job on Late Night, but they’re not content with just their house band gig. The holidays give the Roots a quick chance to hit the road—they’ll play at the Fillmore Thursday and Friday.
It’s probably safe to say that local post-punk rockers (Stop Worrying and) Love the Bomb aren’t too preoccupied with the impending end of the world next year. They bring their brand of unpretentious, straightforward punk to the Black Cat Thursday.
The Roots, 8 PM at the Fillmore Silver Spring (both nights), $45; (Stop Worrying and) Love the Bomb with the Electricutions and Highway Cross, 8 PM at the Black Cat, $8.
Friday, December 30
If Goo Goo Dolls and Matchbox 20 had a baby, they’d sound something like Soundtrack for Silent Films. The local five-piece aren’t a band you’d have expected to see at U Street Music Hall before it teamed up with the 9:30 Club, but here they are. Check out the show if you’re into ’90s alt-rock.
Soundtrack for Silent Films with Matthew Stewart, 7 PM at U Street Music Hall, $12.
Saturday, December 31
If you’re not shelling out more than $150 to see Third Eye Blind at the Downtown Countdown and you’ve already caught Drive-By Truckers at 9:30 Club, your options are pretty much limited to deejays on New Year’s Eve. But if you haven’t seen the Southern rockers and are still looking for a way to ring in 2012, Saturday’s the only night of their three-day 9:30 Club run with tickets still available (and they come with a Champagne toast).
Drive-By Truckers with Alabama Shakes and Booker T, 8 PM at 9:30 Club, $55.
Sunday, January 1
Didn’t catch Wale last week at 9:30 Club? If you’ve recovered from New Year’s Eve, you can see him at the Fillmore Sunday night. Get there early, because his supporting act, fellow DMV rapper Black Cobain, is starting to get some of the hype reserved for Mr. Folarin a few years ago.
Wale with Black Cobain, 8 PM at the Fillmore Silver Spring, $35.
Monday, January 2
Last year, Justin Jones inspired 9:30 Club owner Seth Hurwitz to start his own record company, 9:30 Records. The upcoming year figures to be a big one for Jones, who grew up in the mountains in Rawley Springs, Virginia, along the West Virginia border. His upbringing influences his music—lots of slow, gruff songs about growing up in the country. But he knows how to rock out, too, and he’ll have a full band at his show Monday at DC9. The best part? It’s free.
Justin Jones, 8:30 PM doors at DC9, free.
Tuesday, January 3
We admit, there isn’t a lot going on tonight. But New York–based Venezuelan guitarist and composer Juancho Herrera plays at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, giving local audiences a rare chance to see his brand of fusion jazz/world music for free.
Juancho Herrera, 6 PM at the Kennedy Center, free.