Things to Do

Music Picks: The Kills, Olivia Mancini, Theophilus London

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

Rock duo the Kills perform at 9:30 Club tonight. Photograph by Flickr user giovanni.

Thursday, February 2

In a White Stripes–less world, the Kills have stepped up to fill the bluesy boy-girl rock duo void. They’ve got a bit of a spooky edge—their songs have been used on the soundtracks of True Blood and Friday the 13th—but they’re still catchy as hell. Their show at the 9:30 Club is sold out, but lots of people are selling extras on Craigslist.

Doors at 7 PM at 9:30 Club, sold out.

A big-band supergroup composed of members of a bunch of DC Americana and roots-rock bands, the Natty Beaux play covers of American classics. Head to the Hamilton to see them perform hits by Elvis, Jerry Lee Louis, Ray Charles, and more. Best of all: It’s free.

Doors at 6:30 PM at the Hamilton, free

Friday, February 3

After a couple straight weeks of having dark nights, it’s a huge week for the 9:30 Club. With the exception of Saturday, every show could be considered a must-see, and Friday is no different. Kathleen Edwards, a Canadian who plays Americana-sounding folk, has been around for a while, but she recorded her latest, Voyageur, with It boy Justin Vernon (of Bon Iver), whom she’s currently dating. Not surprisingly, Voyageur has been her highest-charting album.

Doors at 7 PM at 9:30 Club, $22.

Some people might say Telesma play “world music,” and they’re technically from “Baltimore,” but their sound and look is not of this plane of existence. They use instruments such as the didgeridoo and the kubing combined with your standard guitar and keys to “bridge the gap between primal and futuristic.” Also one of their members looks like the lizard man, so there’s that. It’s pretty trippy. They play Rock & Roll Hotel tonight.

Doors at 8 PM at Rock & Roll Hotel, $10.

If that’s a little too far out for you, check out Red Baraat at U Street Music Hall. Featuring a full horn section (including a tuba!) and a couple of drums, they blend North Indian bhangra music with more-familiar genres like Latin, funk, and, at times, go-go. It all sounds like the perfect background to a heist film set in Morocco.

Doors at 7 PM at U Street Music Hall, $15.


Saturday, February 4

Although her bands never seem to stick around for too long, Olivia Mancini has been a fixture on the DC music scene for a while, starting when she played with Washington Social Club (RIP). Tonight, the singer-songwriter brings her new duo, Astra Via, to Rock & Roll Hotel. The talented duo (with Jarrett Nicolay) sound like—get this—two singer-songwriters singing and songwriting.

Doors at 8 PM at Rock & Roll Hotel, $10.

New York’s Stephie Coplan and the Pedestrians sound like Ben Folds mixed with an angstier Hayley Williams. They play piano-driven pop music, but the pissed-off Coplan gives the band a bit of a punk edge. Check them out at the Velvet Lounge, where they’ll play two sets.

Doors at 9 PM at the Velvet Lounge, $8.

Sunday, February 5

If for some reason you have some energy left after your Super Bowl festivities, 9:30 Club has you covered. Bone Thugs-n-Harmony play at the club Sunday night (doors are at 10, so you’re taking Monday off). Krayzie Bone and Wish Bone have had their issues over the years, but they’ve presumably put those issues aside, and they’ll be appearing with the band.

Doors at 10 PM at 9:30 Club, $25.


Monday, February 6

Brooklyn’s Theophilus London hasn’t been terribly successful commercially, but on the live circuit he’s done well for himself. He played Merriweather’s main stage at last year’s Sweetgreen Festival and he’ll headline at 9:30 on Monday. The rapper opts for alternative beats—leaning toward world music or dance pop beats over club bangers.

Doors at 7 PM at 9:30 Club, $20.

It’s probably going to be tough to get into Monday night’s Thurston Moore and Kurt Vile show at the Black Cat,[] but you should probably try. Moore ended Sonic Youth last year “for a while,” after he and bandmate Kim Gordon ended their marriage. Last May he dropped Demolished Thoughts, a set of introspective songs produced by Beck. Vile plays big-sounding Americana songs in the vein of Springsteen.

Doors at 8 PM at Black Cat, sold out.


Tuesday, February 7

Funk legend George Clinton keeps 9:30 Club’s mojo going Tuesday. He’s reunited with his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame–inducted band, the Parliament Funkadelic. They’ll presumably play music for you to get yo’ freak on to, including Atomic Dog.

Doors at 7 PM at 9:30 Club, $45.

The Lighthouse and the Whaler play pretty, inoffensive indie pop—the kind of music you might hear on the Juno soundtrack. Check them out at DC9 if you want a pick-me-up but aren’t ready to get funky.

Doors at 8:30 PM at DC9, $8.


Wednesday, February 8

The Darkness, better known as the IBUHLEEVEINATHINGCALLEDLAHHHVE band, were supposed to save good ol’ fashioned rock and roll for us all, but we knew that was never going to happen. They’ve still got plenty of fans (who are presumably familiar with more than their one hit), which explains why their show at 9:30 is sold out. There’re still plenty of tickets left on StubHub and Craigslist if you wanna rock out, though.

Doors at 7 PM at 9:30, sold out.

R&B blast from the past Eric Benet will be at the Birchmere if you feel like getting tears all over your dinner. (Also appearing Tuesday.)

Doors at 7:30 PM at the Birchmere, $70.