Things to Do

Music Picks: The Black Keys, Reggie Watts, Lady Antebellum

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

Catch the Black Keys at Merriweather this Friday. Photograph by John Wilwol.

Thursday, May 17

Like Sublime way before there was Sublime,
Fishbone play a blend of funk, ska, and
occasionally harder stuff. They’ve been around since the late ’70s
without letting up, and
were recently kinda-sorta in the news after the Roots played
part of a cover of their “Lyin’ Ass Bitch” when Michele Bachmann
was on Jimmy Fallon’s show. Check them out at the State Theatre

7 PM at State Theatre, $18.

Some people have called
MewithoutYou a Christian band, but that isn’t
right–they do sing plenty about religion, but they don’t stick to
Christianity, delving
into Jewish and Muslim themes from time to time. They play
what’s probably called experimental rock–a lot of spoken-word
verses and out-there song structures, but there’re plenty of
punk elements and straightforward rock-out parts. Figure it out
for yourself at Black

8 PM at Black Cat, $15.

Friday, May 18

Black Keys were here barely two months ago,
but they put on a great show, and the weather’s nice now, so you can see
them outdoors at
tonight. If you
missed their first sold-out show or just
can’t get enough of Lonely Boy, now’s your chance. Once again,
Arctic Monkeys open.

6:30 PM at Merriweather Post Pavilion, $40 to $55.

Did you know
Less Than Jake did the music for “We’re All Dudes” from the acclaimed major motion picture
Good Burger? The
late ’90s were good for the band, and for ska–not so much since. But
the band have trudged along, playing to people
who are either in high school or can’t leave it behind. That’s
apparently a lot of people, because their show at Rock & Roll
Hotel is sold
Nothin’ wrong with that.

7 PM at Rock and Roll Hotel, sold out.

REO Speedwagon, and
Ted Nugent tour
is probably worth going to
just to see if Nugent will say anything terrifying and/or arrest-worthy.
Which is a shame,
because Mr. Roboto would have never wanted it to be like this.
Let us know what happens if you make it to Jiffy

7 PM at Jiffy Lube Live, $20 to $90.

Saturday, May 19

Formed in the late ’90s,
are probably the hippiest people ever to
have met in Arlington. Since then, they’ve gotten popular around town
and big on
the reggae scene around the world. One time I saw the band
members taking their instruments on an international flight at
4 AM when I was going to study abroad. They seemed nice.
Biz Markee, of “Just a Friend” fame, opens the show at 9:30 Club.

8 PM at 9:30 Club, sold out.

People who are trying to predict things like who might be the next Mumford and Sons are saying
Dry the River might be the next Mumford and
Sons. And by that, they mean the next British band that American college
students will like,
because they don’t really sound folky at all. Their music
delves more into the “important rock” category, à la Coldplay, but
they sound good.

9 PM at Iota Club & Cafe, $12.

Sunday, May 20

You know you’ve made a good R&B song when it’s repurposed into a smash country hit two months after you release it.
Brian McKnight, you’re a dream come true. Just wanna be with you at the Howard Theatre. The Duke Ellington Orchestra will play his soaring

7 and 9:30 PM at the Howard Theatre, $55.

Right around the time Panic! At the Disco were a
thing people cared about, the Academy Is . . . experienced a couple of
in the pop-punk spotlight. After putting out a great first
album, they put out two blah-ish ones and broke up last year. Now,
lead singer
William Beckett is touring solo, playing a few
originals and a few of his band’s songs at Jammin’ Java

7:30 PM at Jammin’ Java, $15.

If there was a bigger country song over the past couple years than
Lady Antebellum
‘s “Need You Now,” I’m not aware of it. The Nashville trio are just starting to delve into crossover territory, so if you’re
not familiar, get acquainted at Merriweather. Former Hootie frontman and current country star
Darius Rucker opens.

5:30 PM at Merriweather, $40 to $75.

Monday, May 21

Comedian/musician/weirdo/crazy afro-haver
Reggie Watts will perform both comedy and music at a rare 9:30 Club seated show. He’s a beatboxer extraordinaire and delves into spoken
word and rap, improvising a lot of his stuff, so expect some surprises.

7 PM at 9:30 Club, $25.

Made popular by
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and some commercials,
Polyphonic Spree‘s “Light & Day” couldn’t
possibly be any more uplifting. The symphonic band have a choir, tons of
instruments, and, like,
20 members in the band–they even manage to make Nirvana’s
“Lithium” sound happy. They’re at Sixth & I

8 PM at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, $31.

Tuesday, May 22

Here’s an interesting band for you: Spain’s
Crystal Fighters play Basque folk
instruments–at times sounding pretty and folky, at others throwing in
intense synth and drum loops to ignite
the dance floor. Check them out at Rock & Roll Hotel

8 PM at Rock & Roll Hotel, $15.

Wednesday, May 22

Maps & Atlases are nice and eccentric, the
kind of band with crazy beards and weird time signatures. They play
likable, inoffensive indie
rock that won’t get you too high or low. They’re at Rock &
Roll Hotel

7 PM at Rock & Roll Hotel, $12.

If grunge were an Olympic event, Nirvana and Pearl Jam would definitely grab the gold and silver, but save a place on the
flannel-and-plaid podium for
Collective Soul, who landed seven number-one
rock hits and have sold millions of albums. See them at the Fillmore

8 PM at the Fillmore, $25.

Garbage have gone on a couple hiatuses over
the past decade, but Shirley Manson knows you’re only happy when they’re
touring, and
they are. The grungy band will play their angsty hits to a
sold-out crowd at 9:30 Club

7 PM at 9:30 Club, sold out.