Things to Do

Music Picks: Jeff Mangum, Lightfoot, Prussia

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

Singer-songwriter Marc Broussard performs at the Birchmere Tuesday. Photograph by Flickr user Stephanie Moore.

Thursday, January 26

Considering its rock offerings in the past have included Kid Rock and Kiss, we’re not sure how great of an honor it is to be named “best band in Detroit.” Nevertheless, Prussia have made a name for themselves by being more interesting than their Motor City forerunners. The five-piece employs sudden tempo shifts, a frenetic stage presence, and multiple vocalists to keep things interesting live—without resorting to Halloween costumes. They’re at DC9 tonight.

Prussia, doors at 8:30 PM at DC9, $8.

Friday, January 27

Big Head Todd have been around for a while, putting out music pretty consistently since the mid-1980s. The band peaked with 1993’s Sister Sweetly, which eventually went platinum despite not having a huge hit. Their agreeable rock music has surely found a home alongside bands like Goo Goo Dolls as background music in offices around the country, which isn’t a bad thing. They’ll play 9:30 Club tonight.

Big Head Todd, doors at 8 PM at 9:30 Club, $25.

Local singer-songwriter Jessica Louise Dye fronts Lightfoot, who’ll be putting out a new album Friday night at Black Cat. Solo, she writes folksy, kind of downtrodden tunes; with Lightfoot, she fills out her sound with trumpets, steel trump, and plenty of good ol’ guitar and drums.

Lightfoot, doors at 9 PM at Black Cat, $10.


Saturday, January 28

When it comes to heavy metal, there aren’t many bands that have been as consistent as Lamb of God. Their latest record, Resolution, came out earlier this week and, not surprisingly, got eaten up by metalheads everywhere. Their show at 9:30 Club is sold out, but try your luck on Craigslist if you’re desperate for some head thrashing.

Lamb of God, doors at 7 PM at 9:30 Club, sold out.

Just a year ago, a Jeff Mangum show in DC would have seemed like an impossibility. But the Neutral Milk Hotel frontman has gotten over whatever caused him to go JD Salinger on the world, leading to a lengthy solo tour where he’s been playing favorites from classics On Avery Island and In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. You either have tickets to one of the two shows at Lincoln Theatre or you’re jealous of someone who does, but if you absolutely must go, you can probably find a ticket or two on Craigslist—just be ready to fork over the big bucks.

Jeff Mangum, doors at 8 PM at Lincoln Theatre, sold out.


Sunday, January 29

To local high schoolers, beach week is that crazy time right after graduation where you head to Ocean City, cause a lot of ruckus, have tons of fun, and hope to return in one piece. Beach Week the band is kind of like that. Sisters Kate and Jill Miller play upbeat, energetic music that’s occasionally beachy—and always fun. They’ll perform on Black Cat’s backstage Sunday night.

Beach Week, doors at 8 PM at Black Cat, $8.


Monday, January 30

Not too much going on at the clubs Monday night, but head over to the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage for a free performance by award-winning, Julliard-educated Brazilian-Armenian guitarist João Kouyoumdjian, who brings classical concertos and sonatas to the six-string.

João Kouyoumdjian, doors at 6 PM at the Kennedy Center, free.


Tuesday, January 31

Scratch Track play a mix of hip-hop and soul—but their name is a bit misleading. Instead of relying on prerecorded beats and synths, the duo stays unplugged, relying on beatboxing and acoustic guitars. It’s all pretty impressive and has got them noticed by an eclectic group of musicians. They’ve opened for the Zac Brown Band, the Roots, and Erykah Badu. They’ll headline at Iota Tuesday.

Scratch Track, doors at 8:30 PM at Iota Club, $10.

Marc Broussard’s deep, down-home voice helped him get noticed in the mid-2000s. With “Home” and “Where You Are,” he got To-40 airplay, which is rare for a singer-songwriter not named Jason Mraz or Gavin DeGraw. He’ll play the Birchmere Tuesday in support of his fourth studio album, a self-titled LP that dropped in June.

Marc Broussard, doors at 7:30 PM at the Birchmere, $35.


Wednesday, February 1

The Smith Westerns burst onto the scene about a year ago with Dye It Blonde, earning rave reviews from hard-to-please outlets such as the A.V. Club and Pitchfork. Their music is a little trippy but not overly so, and hits like “Weekend” and “Dance Away” move along like the most upbeat of Vampire Weekend songs. They play Black Cat tonight.

The Smith Westerns, doors at 8 PM at Black Cat, $15.