Things to Do

Music Picks: Jason Mraz, Diggy Simmons, Hugh Laurie (Yes, That Hugh Laurie)

The live shows you shouldn’t miss over the next seven days.

Hear Hugh Laurie sing at the Birchmere Wednesday. We assume he’s less grouchy than his TV counterpart. Photograph courtesy of Flickr user elfidomx.

Thursday, August 23

American Idol’s first and still brightest star,
Kelly Clarkson has gifted the world “Since U Been Gone” and “Behind These Hazel Eyes,” which make
great karaoke songs. She’s playing Jiffy Lube Live in advance of her next album, set
to drop sometime next year. The Fray, no slouches themselves, open.

7 PM at Jiffy Lube Live, $26 to $71.

Frankie Valli is pushing 80, but he’s still touring with the Four Seasons. They’ve enjoyed a recent
resurgence due to
Jersey Boys, which still sells out shows everywhere.
If you haven’t seen them, might as well
get it out of the way

8 PM at Wolf Trap, $25 to $45.

Friday, August 24

Blessed with a seemingly impossible yet kind-of-clever last name,
Jason Mraz sure has milked the Mr. A-Z thing. He once made catchy, fun songs like “The Remedy”
and “Geek in the Pink”—but lately, he’s been on a boring, Jack Johnson-y kick, with
lighter songs like “I’m Yours” and “I Won’t Give Up.” He’s also lost his lame fedora
and now looks like a homeless person. Just sayin’.

6 PM at Merriweather, $40 to $60.

You’ve got two rap options tonight:
Diggy Simmons, Rev. Run’s 17-year-old kid who’s already well versed in womanizing, price-gouging
fans, and other rap pastimes; or
Meek Mill, Wale’s far superior label mate. Mill’s song “Amen” is blowing up rap radio right
now, and he goes harder than Wale could ever dream of.

Diggy Simmons: 7 PM at Constitution Hall, $51.

Meek Mill: 8 PM at the Fillmore, $43.

Prez Obama did a nice rendition of
Al Green
’s “Let’s Stay Together” earlier this
year, but we’re betting the soul legend himself
can do it better. Find out for yourself at Wolf

8 PM at Wolf Trap, $25 to $45.

Saturday, August 25

George Washington University is hosting the first ever
Foggy Bottom Music Festival, featuring more than 20 local musicians and Chicago it-band Maps & Atlases, who play
sometimes-dancey indie rock.

11 AM to 10 PM at University Yard, $10.

Outside of Kenny Chesney,
Brad Paisley has probably been the hottest
country singer of the past couple years. Like Chesney,
he makes songs that are generally playful and poppy enough to
appeal to people who
don’t normally listen to country. The Band Perry and Easton
Corbin are playing first,
so arrive early and get more for your

4:30 PM at Jiffy Lube Live, $30 to $65.

Sunday, August 26

R&B’s elder stateswoman,
Mary J. Blige, is still making hits—her latest, “Mr. Wrong,” with an assist from Drake’s popularity
is blowing up the radio. Ms. Blige returns to DC for the first time since she helped
open the Fillmore about a year ago.

7 PM at Verizon Center, $50 to $170.

Monday, August 27

Nayan Bhula, a “nonresident Indian” formed
the NRIs, a band not full of nonresident
Indians but rather violins, standup basses, and plenty
of acoustic guitar. They play kind-of-folky rock songs good for
clapping along to.

8 PM at Black Cat, $8.

Tuesday, August 28

For his face-melting riffs and intricate solos, guitar virtuoso
Steve Vai has won three Grammys and sold more than 15 million albums. He’s played in Whitesnake
alongside David Lee Roth, and with Frank Zappa. Now he just tours around playing the
six-string better than perhaps anyone on the planet.

8 PM at the Howard, $50.

Wednesday, August 29

House all wrapped up, it looks like
Hugh Laurie has some time on his hands. He’s also an impressive blues musician, and has some
pipes, as well. Just don’t ask him to diagnose that weird lesion you’ve been picking

7:30 PM at the Birchmere, $54.