Music Picks: Ted Leo, Chuck Berry, Death Cab for Cutie

Our picks for the best in live music over the next seven days.
The Weeknd plays tonight at 9:30 Club. Photograph by Flickr user vonlohmann.
The Weeknd plays tonight at 9:30 Club. Photograph by Flickr user vonlohmann.

Thursday, April 26

He’s pals with Drake, one of the hottest emcees in R&B, and a Pitchfork darling–it’s no wonder
the Weeknd sold out 9:30 Club in a matter of minutes. He doesn’t currently have any other shows scheduled in the US, so if you can score
tickets on Craigslist, get them now.

7 PM at 9:30 Club, sold out.

People say that
Allo Darlin’ play “twee” rock–which really just means they play rock music that makes you feel good inside. Nothin’ wrong with that. If
you’re in need of a pick-me-up, check out their show at the Black Cat.

8 PM at Black Cat, $12.

Friday, April 27

Chuck Klosterman once called
Lez Zeppelin the “most powerful all-female band in rock history,” which makes sense, considering who they’re covering. If seeing Robert
Plant solo just doesn’t fill the Led Zeppelin-size hole in your heart, there’s a whole lot to love about these chicks.

9 PM at State Theatre, $25.

Seems like every year,
Ted Leo & the Pharmacists
make a couple trips to the Black Cat–Friday’s show is the first of two this weekend, and it’s extra special. The band will
be playing lots of hits, and then will perform 2001’s
Tyranny in its entirety for the last time ever. Don’t miss it.

9 PM at Black Cat, sold out.

Saturday, April 28

The Merriweather concert season kicks of with the
Sweetlife Festival. For $75, you’d expect some ultra-huge names, but instead you’ll get plenty of mid-range artists such as
Kid Cudi,
the Shins,
Explosions in the Sky,
and Fitz and the Tantrums. Either way, it’s a good way to spend a Saturday and catch plenty of good music.

Noon at Merriweather Post Pavilion, $75.

Chuck Berry might not move around stage as
well as he did 50 years ago, but the rock music pioneer still plays
guitar and has the vocal
chops to carry classics like “Maybellene” and “Johnny B.
Goode.” The first month of the Howard Theatre wouldn’t be complete
without a showing from a legend like him.

6 PM at Howard Theatre, $95.

After 2009’s debut album,
Miike Snow were supposed to take over the US.
That didn’t exactly happen, but the Swedish dance rockers are huge in
Europe and have
a cult following over here. Their second album came out last
month to so-so reviews, so unless you’re a huge fan, you might
want to skip Saturday’s show at 9:30 Club.

8 PM at 9:30 Club, sold out.

Finally, if you’re a celeb chaser (nothing wrong with that), watch
Adrian Grenier‘s cookie-cutter indie rock band, The Honey Brothers. We hear Vinny Chase totally kills it on the drums.

7 PM at DC9, $15.

Sunday, April 29

Like Ke$ha,
A$AP Rocky wastes no time in showing off the
dolla dolla bills he’s made from music. Another one of Drake’s protégés
and fresh
off a Sweetlife performance, the Harlem-born rapper has buzz
like Drizzy did a few years back–he managed to sell out 9:30
Club before his debut album even dropped.

7 PM at 9:30 Club, sold out.

Monday, April 30

It’s almost as if
heard Creed were playing this week
and wanted to duke out which of them are, indeed, the actual worst band
in the world.
It’s possibly the most horrible art Canada has ever created; if
you’ve heard one Nickelback song, you’ve heard them all. If
you’re a masochist, head to the Verizon Center to hear the same
song over and over again.

6 PM at Verizon Center, $40 to $103.

With Ben Gibbard’s impending divorce from Zooey Deschanel, maybe he’ll have some sad things to write about for new
Death Cab for Cutie albums. Gibbard has gone a bit soft on us lately, but there are still enough classics to make Monday’s show at Strathmore
worth seeing.

8 PM at Strathmore, sold out.

In ska circles (skank circles?),
Streetlight Manifesto are
the band–if only frontman
Tomas Kalnoky weren’t such a perfectionist.
Since 1996, he’s written exactly three and a half albums of original
material–in that time,
he’s released just as many cover albums, redoing his old work
over and over. That band haven’t released a new CD since 2007,
even though they’ve never stopped touring. For this tour,
Kalnoky loses the horns and plays his songs with just an acoustic

8 PM at Jammin’ Java, $12.

Tuesday, May 1

Marilyn Manson dating Lana Del Rey? Does it matter? The weirdo rocker will bring his brand of creepy heavy metal and his ghost-white face
to the Fillmore Tuesday.

8 PM at the Fillmore, sold out.

Wednesday, May 2

Did somebody say weird?
Xiu Xiu prefer to do it sonically rather than
with makeup–the San Jose sometimes-band, sometimes-duo make jarring
music using all
sorts of instrumentation and electronics. They haven’t been
entirely free of controversy, however; the band’s music video
for “Dear God, I Hate Myself” featured one of the band members
vomiting for three straight minutes.

7 PM at Rock & Roll Hotel, $15.

Never has a band’s name so accurately captured the disappointment that is this future we live in. Even our flying cars look
We Were Promised Jetpacks play pretty
contemporary-sounding rock with a bit of a punk edge–if you ever wished
Minus the Bear were a little more aggressive,
you’ve found your band.

8 PM at Black Cat, $15.


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