Russian-American performer Zola Jesus brings her goth-pop sound to U Street this Friday. Photograph by Flickr user Man Alive!
Thursday, February 16
Remember when ska was a thing? Free Lobster Buffet from Capitol Hill are trying to make you remember that it still is. If you’re in need of a post–Valentine’s Day pick-me up, get your skank on at Red Palace tonight.
Doors at 8 PM at Red Palace, $8.
The Black Cat and 9:30 Club are teaming up to throw a concert at U Street Music Hall, so you should probably pay attention. To call Zola Jesus a singer-songwriter would be kind of weird; instead of a guitar, she layers her operatically trained voice over a haunting synth for an interesting goth-pop sound.
Doors at 7 PM at U Street Music Hall, $15.
Friday, February 17
Lissy Rosemont and the Junior League Band manage to make bluegrass sound modern and poppy. Rosemont recently had a baby, so the DC-based group haven’t played for a while—lucky for fans, you can catch them at Rock and Roll Hotel Friday.
Doors at 7 PM at Rock and Roll Hotel, $12.
Local prog-rockers Stereosleep are brand new—they’re still recording their first album (and met on Craigslist). But their sound is fully formed, with rock and roll vocals over technical guitars. Friday they graduate from Black Cat’s backstage to the main room—an impressive feat for a band that played their first show in September.
Doors at 9 PM at Black Cat, $10.
Saturday, February 18
Matthew Santos ain’t a superstar, but he played one on Lupe Fiasco’s breakout hit. Solo, expect something different: soulful singer-songwriter standards laced over sparse instrumentation.
Doors at 9 PM at Black Cat, $12.
If you’re looking to lose yourself in extended guitar solos, check out Bay Area hippies Tea Leaf Green. They regularly headline some of the smaller jam-band festivals, but Saturday you’ll get to see them in an intimate setting at 9:30 Club.
Doors at 8 PM at 9:30 Club, $15.
Sunday, February 19
Want to find the next buzz bands before the music blogs do? Check out Next Big Thing, which puts local bands onstage at venues around the city. The matinee shows will happen at 9:30 Club, Rock and Roll Hotel, and DC9.
Find out more through the website.
If you’ll settle for nothing less than an established legend, check out Peter Frampton make his axe come to life at Warner Theatre. The tour celebrates 35 years in the music biz as Frampton runs through hits from his Grammy-winning career.
Doors at 8 PM at Warner Theatre, $45 to $99.
Monday, February 20
He changed his name but not his tunes—the rapper currently known as Yasiin Bey (but you’ll still call him Mos Def) plays at 9:30 Club Monday. He’s got a rep as one of the most introspective rappers in the game and has some decent acting chops. Tickets are sold out, but there are a few floating around on Craigslist.
Doors at 7 PM at 9:30 Club, sold out.
Tuesday, February 21
Playing afrobeat, funk, and soul out of Ottawa, Souljazz Orchestra puts a bunch of people onstage, gives them gigantic saxophones, and tells them to go nuts—and usually the crowd does, too.
Doors at 8 PM at Rock and Roll Hotel, $15.
Wednesday, February 22
Amanda Badzé’s sound is probably unlike anything you’ve heard before. A Washingtonian by way of Zimbabwe, Badzé combines soul, rock, funk, and a huge voice into something you won’t forget.
Doors at 8:30 PM at DC9, $8.
If you’re looking to relive the days you spent obsessed with The Wall, Roger Waters’s tour is probably as close as you’re going to get. For a band trying to re-create the light shows and trippy visuals, check out the Pink Floyd Experience, who play the band’s greatest hits like we’re still living in the ’70s.
Doors at 8 PM at Fillmore, $30 to $40.