Things to Do

Music Picks: Andrew W.K., Wild Flag, Of Montreal

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

Catch Patti LaBelle Friday at Strathmore. Photograph by Flickr user JRandomF.

Thursday, March 29

In a cruel stunt to show off their talents, five med school students formed Wildlife City, a pop rock band with some weird time signatures and impressive guitar work. If they’re as good at practicing medicine as they are at writing catchy riffs, they’ll definitely save a life or two. They play Red Palace tonight.

8 PM at Red Palace, $8.

Outside of President Obama, we don’t get too many native Hawaiians in Washington. So it’s a treat that HAPA, who combine traditional Hawaiian music with hints of music from the mainland, are playing Wolf Trap tonight. They’ve been called “Hawaii’s hottest group” by Billboard Magazine, but expect to get your lounge on–their music is meant for chillaxin’, not dancing.

8 PM at Wolf Trap, $25.

Friday, March 30

In what’s turning out to be a weird day for the Kennedy Center, Lynda Carter, famous for playing Wonder Woman and not as famous for living in the area, will cover classic country, blues, and pop hits in the Terrace Theater. The TV takeover continues a few doors down with the Grammy-nominated Wayne Brady of Whose Line is It Anyway? fame singing covers of Sammy Davis Jr. and Sam Cooke classics in the Concert Hall.

Lynda Carter, 7:30 PM at the Kennedy Center, $30 to $65.

Wayne Brady, 8 PM at the Kennedy Center, $20 to $85.

Who knew a pair of Swedish sisters would be one of the bigger things to hit the American folk music scene for some time? First Aid Kit, made up of Klara and Johanna Söderberg, sound like they could be from anywhere in America’s heartland, but they’re actually from a suburb just outside of Helsinki. Their show at the Black Cat is sold out. Check Craigslist, or hope they play at a bigger venue next time–they’re already pretty big in Europe.

9 PM at Black Cat, sold out.

Lady Marmalade herself, Patti LaBelle, has taken a break from recording, but she still hits the road regularly. Her 1986 album Winner in You was the only one that topped the charts, but you can’t leave her out when considering R&B and pop legends. She plays Strathmore tonight.

8 PM at Strathmore, $39 to $120.

Saturday, March 31

Miami’s ANR bring South Beach’s fun to Washington–they make danceable music with plenty of keyboard but enough rock elements to avoid being gimmicky. All Things Go–which is increasingly putting on shows with bands about to get huge–is throwing the show at Gibson Guitar Showroom, so expect cheap tickets, an open bar, and a cool crowd.

7 PM at Gibson Guitar Showroom, $15.

It’s tough to say whether Mac Miller will remain in the rap spotlight–he’s garnered little attention from rap radio, but the 20-year-old has a rabid fan base of high school kids who helped him sell out the 9:30 Club in minutes a few months ago. The Pittsburgh native’s debut, Blue Slide Park, was the first independent release to debut at number one since Snoop Dogg’s Dogg Food in 1995. That was months ago, though–his show at the Patriot Center is far from sold out.

8 PM at the Patriot Center, $25 to $35.

With Cleveland’s Cloud Nothings, expect incredibly catchy hooks, nerdy lyrics, and low-mixed vocals that almost take a backseat to the instruments. They’ve already got Pitchfork buzz and have sold out Saturday’s show at Red Palace.[] Bug your friend who has an extra ticket or hope you get lucky on Craigslist. Also, don’t watch this video; it makes me queasy.

8 PM, at Red Palace, sold out.

Sunday, April 1

Legend has it that Andrew W.K. hit himself with a brick to get the bloody nose featured on the cover of I Get Wet. That album cover (and the controversy behind it) along with the ubiquitous “Party Hard” helped catapult W.K. to household-name status. Ten years later, W.K. still lives to party (check out his hilarious Twitter feed if you haven’t already). Sunday, he’ll play the entire album at 9:30 Club–hop on Craigslist if you need tickets.

7 PM at 9:30 Club. sold out.

The Boss‘s recent albums have been uneven, but when people who have seen you dozens of times still help you sell out arenas in minutes, you know you’re a legend. He’s 62 and still playing three-hour-long sets–if you haven’t gotten tickets yet, Springsteen might be worth the steep price you’ll pay on Stubhub.

7 PM at Verizon Center, sold out.

Monday, April 2

Iceland’s Of Monsters & Men easily have the best name in music today. Luckily, they’ve also got the talent to back it up. You may have heard “Little Talks” on the radio or in a store or restaurant or something–it’s one of those songs that gets played all over the place but no one’s really sure who made it. These guys (and girls) did. Check them out if you like Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros. But do it next time–tonight’s Black Cat show is sold out.

8 PM at Black Cat, $15.

Sorry to do this to you, but all the good shows are sold out this week–maybe you guys made it happen. If you didn’t, start doing your research earlier, or get cooler friends. Monday’s other big show is Wild Flag–a supergroup featuring ex-members of Sleater-Kinney plus DC’s own Mary Timony (formerly of Helium). With a pedigree like that, if you’re still wondering whether these women can rock, the answer is a definitive yes.

7 PM at 9:30 Club, sold out.

Tuesday, April 3

Nailing down Of Montreal‘s sound is pretty tough, but you’ll know it when you hear it. The Athens, Georgia, band have been around since 1996, but they constantly seem to be producing new material and changing their sound, remaining relevant. If you haven’t seen them yet, expect a whole bunch of people onstage and a tour through tons of genres, and come ready to move around.

7 PM at 9:30 Club, sold out.

The Pomegranates have nerdy haircuts and sometimes dress up as robots. They’ve been called art-rock, but their music is much more fun than the name would imply–expect some breakdowns, tempo changes, and, judging by their music videos, some awkward stage banter. They play DC9 tonight.

8 PM at DC9, $8.

Wednesday, April 4

If you’re a sucker for weird instruments in rock music, Gentleman Hall will be right up your alley–they incorporate flute in a non-Jethro Tull kind of way. They also play super-old synthesizers, which sound kind of like super-new synthesizers, but it’s still cool, I guess. They’re at DC9 tonight.

8 PM at DC9, $8.

No, Alanis Morissette didn’t sing “What If God Was One of Us”–it was Joan Osbourne. If, for some reason, seeing “One of Us” performed live is on your bucket list, cross it off at the Birchmere Wednesday.

7:30 PM at the Birchmere, $35.