Things to Do

Music Picks: Ryan Adams, Ozomatli, Widespread Panic

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

Folk-rock heartthrob Ryan Adams will perform at the Strathmore on Tuesday. Photograph courtesy of PAX-AM Records.

Thursday, January 19

Like Explosions in the Sky, the Orchid play pretty, sweeping instrumental rock. The local quartet perform at Velvet Lounge tonight.

The Orchid with Zvoov and Degollado, 9 PM at Velvet Lounge, $8.

At 72, Mavis Staples is still going strong. Last year, the legendary gospel singer won her first Grammy for You Are Not Alone, her 13th album. She performed alongside Wilco lead singer Jeff Tweedy at Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s Rally to Restore Fear/Sanity in 2010. Tonight, she’ll be doing her own show at the Hamilton.

Mavis Staples, 8 PM at the Hamilton, $60 to $100.

Friday, January 20

Sure, they play around here all the time, but if you haven’t seen Death By Sexy yet, you’re missing one of DC’s best bands. Get in the loop at Velvet Lounge Friday night. They play good ol’-fashioned garage rock with song titles like “You’re So Hot (but So Cold)” and “You and Me Are Gonna Get It On,” so you probably know what you’re in for.

Death by Sexy with the Dustys and Big Fat Marker, 10 PM at Velvet Lounge, $8. 

If you missed Trey Anastasio and company this summer or just can’t get enough of Phish, you can catch Strange Design, a Phish cover band, at the Fillmore tonight for just $5.

Strange Design, 8 PM at Fillmore Silver Spring, $5.

Saturday, January 21

With a saxophonist, trombone, all kinds of drums, and a deejay, Ozomatli aren’t your typical band. They combine world music, Latin, jazz, hip hop, and Afrofunk into something one of the band members once described as a “cacophony of sound.” See for yourself at 9:30 Club—you’ll get breakneck raps followed by Latin guitar ballads, followed by something that’ll make you dance.

Ozomatli, 9 PM doors at 9:30 Club, $25.


Sunday, January 22

It’s rare when a band not only have a Pitchfork-acclaimed debut, but also manage to eclipse it with their follow-up. Real Estate, a surf-pop band from Brooklyn by way of New Jersey, managed to do just that with their sophomore album, Days. They play to a sold-out crowd tonight at Black Cat, but you can still snag tickets on Craigslist.

Real Estate, 8 PM doors at Black Cat, prices vary.


Monday, January 23

What a confusing one-two punch Strathmore has lined up early next week. Monday we get Bryan Adams, Canadian music legend, “Summer of ’69” singer, and Hollywood Walk of Fame member. On Tuesday we get Ryan Adams, folk-rock heartthrob, Mandy Moore marrier, and prolific music recorder. Ryan’s latest, Ashes & Fire (his 13th album since 2000) came out in October. Bryan will be supporting 2010’s live acoustic album, Bare Bones (read our interview with him here).

Bryan Adams, 8 PM at Strathmore, $45 to $55.


Tuesday, January 24

Ryan Adams with Jason Isbell , 7:30 PM at Strathmore, sold out.

If you’re not catching night two of Strathmore’s Bryan/Ryan Adamstravaganza, maybe you’re into something that rocks a little harder. Like some sort of screamo supergroup,Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows (D.R.U.G.S., you got it) are here to help angsty kids make it through high school. Featuring members of ChiodosStory of the YearMatchbook Romance, and From First to Last, they sound exactly like you’d expect them to—glitzy but not overly technical guitar solos, passable vocals, and a lot of screaming about feelings.

Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows, 6 PM doors at 9:30 Club, $15.


Wednesday, January 25

Apparently it’s jam-band week at the Fillmore— Widespread Panic are sold out for both nights, but there are still plenty of tickets on StubHub or Craigslist if you want to see the southern rockers wail away at their guitars for way too long.

Widespread Panic, 8 PM at Fillmore Silver Spring, prices vary.