Thursday, August 16
Britain’s Bonobo is the type of deejay who makes otherworldy music you sway to, not the kind that makes your whole head shake as you’re forced to dance like a lunatic. Perfect for a Thursday night.
9 PM at U Street Music Hall, $12.
South Africa’s Die Antwoord make a silly mashup of hip-hop and dance music. It seems to be working—“Enter the Ninja” went viral online and is a club standard at this point. Their 9:30 Club show is sold out, maybe due to nonsensical songs like “I Fink U Freeky” and “Fatty Boom Boom.”
7 PM at 9:30 Club, sold out.
Friday, August 17
Sure, Barry Manilow has been a musical punching bag for years (as in, why do you like Barry Manilow?). But Manilow and his hair have endured, buoyed by heavy airplay on the adult contemporary radio stations you probably instantly skip over.
8 PM at Wolf Trap, $35 to $95.
After years of warnings from the likes of Pitchfork and other hip blogs I don’t read, Brooklyn’s Dirty Projectors have finally graduated from “Watch out, these guys will be stars” to “Oh, both of their shows are sold out” status. Live, their indie-rock transforms from interesting to explosive—with no fewer than six people onstage playing their New-Wave-but-more-laid-back-and-hipster-er songs.
8 PM at 9:30 Club, sold out.
Saturday, August 18
My Morning Jacket have played Madison Square Garden on New Year’s Eve and have been an arena-size jam band for quite some time, but this is the kind of act that screams to be heard outside. You’ll get the chance Saturday at Merriweather. Be prepared to stick with it for the long haul—they’ve been known to play sets as long as four hours.
5:30 PM at Merriweather, $39.50 to $49.50.
Easily the best alternative rock band of the late ’90s, Third Eye Blind (no, Everclear fans, I won’t argue with you) are playing a free show after the Nationals game Saturday. Don’t just show up in the eighth inning—if you haven’t heard, the Nats aren’t doing too shabby at the moment.
7 PM at Nationals Park, $30.
Sunday, August 19
California’s Joyce Manor are a bunch of kids playing catchy but angsty pop-punk. They’re the kind of band who manage to make a nine song, 13-minute LP the underground scene still loves. In just two years, they’ve become one of the biggest no-name bands. I’ll be there, come say hey.
8 PM at Black Cat, $10.
Nickelodeon launched Big Time Rush’s music career, and last year, the boy band were playing sold-out theatres to half-empty audiences. The reason? One Direction was opening, and Big Time Rush was so five minutes ago. Well, now it’s way later and they’re even more two-thousand-and-late. But pick up $5 tickets on StubHub anyway, if you have a preteen.
7 PM at Jiffy Lube Live, $20 to $94.
Monday, August 20
Screen Vinyl Image sound like a gothier version of the Smiths—making music that would sound at home in either a horror-movie montage of some sort or a dive bar in the ’80s. Get out your black hair extensions and leather and head to the Black Cat for this one.
8 PM at Black Cat, $8.
Tuesday, August 21
Once upon a time, I thought “Drops of Jupiter” was the best song ever. Since then, Train have modernized, playing music that’s dancey enough and/or sappy enough to stay on Top 40 radio.
7 PM at Wolf Trap, $35 to $48.
Buckcherry are definitely in the running for the “worst band ever” crown, but luckily for them, Nickelback and Creed exist and have been at it for longer. Unlucky for them, they actually emulate Nickelback, so there’s some likely brain damage going on there. Download a PDF editor, buy tickets to their show at the Fillmore, replace their name with some good band, and give them to your worst enemy.
8 PM at Fillmore, $33.
Wednesday, August 22
The old-timey country tunes of Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst are no frills—they use just two guitars and plenty of emotion to belt out songs that would sound at home around a campfire. They perform songs as “Shovels and Rope,” and often sing about famous murders, so come if you need some body-hiding tips.
7:30 PM at the Hamilton, $17.
Know of a great show happening around town? E-mail Jason Koebler at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find him on Twitter @jason_koebler.