Thursday, April 19
Eleanor Friedberger's band, the Fiery Furnaces, formed in Brooklyn before forming in Brooklyn was cool. They've won over plenty of indie rock fans, but Friedberger's solo stuff is just as catchy. She manages to get a lot of sound out of a single electric guitar, which you can witness for yourself at Black Cat.
8 PM at the Black Cat, $15.
Fountains of Wayne enjoyed their 15 minutes in the spotlight in 2003 with the release of "Stacy's Mom"--which has the distinction of being one of the first songs to top iTunes' charts. Since then, they've been trying to convince people they still got it goin' on--with five albums dating back to 1996, they're not quite a one-hit wonder. They play the 9:30 Club tonight.
7 PM at 9:30 Club, $25.
Friday, April 20
In the late '70s, one of the best bands Washington ever created were banned from playing any venues because crowds went so bonkers when they performed. More than 30(!) years later, H.R. and his band, Bad Brains, are more than welcome. They've mellowed a ton since their early days, playing more reggae-tinged stuff these days. Catch them at Howard Theatre tonight.
6 PM at Howard Theatre, $29.
It's hard to hear Trampled By Turtles' banjo and mandolin and not be instantly pulled in. The Minnesota-based group blend elements of bluegrass, pop, and folk music to make something that's beautiful and transfixing, which you can hear at the 9:30 Club if you can snag a ticket somewhere.
8 PM at 9:30 Club, sold out.
Hall loses Oates Friday at the Warner Theatre--Daryl Hall has been performing live webcasts since 2007. He's taken that show on the road, playing some of his solo stuff, and will hopefully spring in some of Hall & Oates's bigger hits.
8 PM at Warner Theatre, $79 to $143.
Saturday, April 21
The people behind Listen Local First are partnering with the new Water Street Project art space in Georgetown to bring you a host of local bands you probably haven't seen much of--for free. Groovy instrumentalists Les Rhinoceros, indie rockers Young Rapids, and throwback rockers Shark Week are among the bands playing.
8 PM at Water Street Project, free.
Chairlift have been featured on an iPod commercial, which is usually a recipe for becoming popular for ten minutes and then disappearing, or for being Bono. Neither one of those happened for the now-Brooklyn-based duo (they're originally from Boulder), and it's probably better that way. They make synth pop, but not in the same manner as Passion Pit or other dancey band--it's sparser and prettier, and you should check them out at U Street Music Hall.
7 PM at U Hall, $13.
Sunday, April 22
Contraception, the economy, Mitt Romney's wife, and pretty much everything else has overshadowed the fact that the oceans are turning into one big bowl of seafood soup, so it makes sense that the free Earth Day concert on the Mall this year is a little crappier than usual. There wasn't one last year, so maybe people are starting to care again--but while you got Sting, John Legend, and the Flaming Lips a couple of years ago, you get aging rockers Dave Mason and Cheap Trick today. Enjoy.
Noonish on the Mall, free.
It was probably weird for Needtobreathe, who have been topping Christian rock charts for more than a decade, to open for 20-year-old Taylor Swift on her tour. It must have worked, though--the band got two nights at 9:30 Club, sold out the first, and still haven't been forced to use spaces.
7 PM at 9:30 Club, $25.
Monday, April 23
Sooo when will someone release a song called "2005" to remember Bowling for Soup? I guess not soon enough, because the band are still playing "1985" and their other minor hits. Go listen to "1985" and count up the "present day" references--were Limp Bizkit really popular that recently? Did Ozzy ever actually become an actor? Did you know this band have released 11 albums? Between this show and Fountains of Wayne, you can have your own version of one of VH1's I Love Recent History shows.
7 PM at Jammin' Java, $15.
Apparently if you're from Liverpool, you're called a Liverpudlian. Liverpudlians the Wombats are the rare band that can make dance music without resorting to synths, samples, or other electronic riffraff.
7 PM at 9:30 Club, $20.
Tuesday, April 24
I have a longstanding belief that when you have the chance to see a band that's widely despised, you do it. According to top Google results, Creed and Nickelback are in the running for worst band ever. It's worth wasting one night for the story you'll have after--see Creed perform "Six Feet From the Edge," "Higher," and other songs that haunt your dreams for the low, low price of whatever you consider your dignity to cost.
8 PM at Warner Theatre, somehow sold out but starting at $35 on StubHub.
Wednesday, April 25
Back to the good stuff. Rodrigo y Gabriela's upbeat Latin rhythms are transfixing, impressive, and would make good background music for an old-school saloon standoff or a bank robbery. Keep that in mind if you're planning either. Though they stick to acoustic guitars, they're both totally into metal, and it shows with their intricate guitar picking and arrangements.
8 PM at Warner Theatre, $70.
If you had to pin Lucero to a genre, it'd be country--but they've always been a part of the punk scene, touring with Against Me! back when they played in basements. Like that band, they also signed with a major label, but their fanbase didn't revolt completely. Lucero have gotten more rock-y as they've matured.
7 PM at 9:30 Club, $25.