They come from all around the globe to play in D.C. this week. There are those who are returning to a place they once called home, new comers selling out this city's best club, and smaller shows that might prove to be better than of the rest of performances that will receive all the headlines and fanfare. The styles available for concert-goers consumption are equally diverse: from punk to electro-pop to hip-hop and a smattering of that which falls in between. If you have a ticket, you can hear it all.
Monday, April 23 -- WU LYF: Rock and Roll Hotel
This Manchester group doesn't have mystery as a selling point anymore. They have given up anonymity for an actual Internet presence. It wasn't all shtick before, but it was time for WU LYF to be judged on the merits of their music alone. And upon the band's second trip to D.C., the songs are still as anthemtic, twisted, and catchy as ever. Willis Earl Beal makes his second trip to our city as well, opening the show.
Tuesday, April 24 -- Keep Shelley in Athens: DC9
There's a tendency to group Keep Shelley in Athens with those best described as "chill," but there's an undeniable dance beat and prominence of vocals. The fidelity isn't lo, and Shelley shouldn't be pigeonholed. At DC9 on Tuesday night, there will be a unique genre on display -- the most melancholy dance music you've ever heard.
Wednesday, April 25 -- Alcoholic Faith Mission: DC9
If there's such thing as understated bombast, it exists within and in between the notes of Alcoholic Faith Mission. These Danes never do more than they have to or more often. There are explosions of gorgeous sound and valleys of more somber reflection. These Danes play fully- and well-developed pop music.
Thursday, April 26 -- The Weeknd: 9:30 Club
It's no surprise that Abel Tesfaye sold out the 9:30 Club with relative quickness and ease. 'Ever since he emerged on the world-wide web as The Weeknd, the groundswell for his updated R&B has barely waned. It's easy to be cool when bloggers and others with influence of the internet provide free and abundant PR, but Tesfaye doesn't appear to be sweating as the brightness of the spotlight is at its highest.
Not Attending -- Allo Darlin': Black Cat
There's an art to sounding carefree while avoiding the pitfalls of naivete. The sweetness of Allo Darlin' is the result of a distinct personality and perspective. Elizabeth Morris isn't in a class of her own among pop songstresses, but she doesn't have to be, want to be, or need to be for her music to be entirely irresistible. Get in on time in order to see The Wave Pictures start the night...
Friday, April 27 -- War on Women: St. Stephen's Church
War on Women play fast, loud, and out of control with a purpose. And on Friday night, they do so for a good cause. The suggested donation of $5 will benefit the D.C. Trans Coalition. There will be no mistaking what this group thinks of discrimination of any kind.
Not Attending -- Ted Leo: Black Cat
I'm choosing to see the former D.C. resident on Sunday night. But by all means, please welcome Ted "home" on Friday night.
Saturday, April 28 -- Miike Snow: 9:30 Club
When producers step out from behind the board in favor of the stage, it doesn't always work. When the trio of men that make up Miike Snow don't forget about the most human elements of electronic music, they succeed. With any luck any signs of sheen and glossiness will be checked at the door of the 9:30 Club.
Sunday, April 29 -- Ted Leo: Black Cat
The prodigal power pop son returns home for a couple of shows over the course of three days. Having announced Friday night after selling out the Black Cat, Leo will be performing The Tyranny of Distance in its entirety with Brendan Canty on site to document the whole thing with his video camera.
Not Attending -- A$AP Rocky: 9:30 Club
A$AP Rocky has risen to stardom through his unmistakable Southern brand of hip-hop. That's the best description I can muster without using any variation of the word "swagger." Rocky comes from a long line of those who have capitalized on the same style of delivery. He's no blemish on the region's legacy in the genre. He's a more than adequate torch-bearer...