I end my week how it begins, with singers small in stature, but big in both range and personality. Musical genres aside, Glenn Danzig and Kristen Chenoweth are more similar than they are different. Neither takes themselves too seriously, never shying away from camp and humor to display their unique vocal abilities. You won't hear "Skulls" on Sunday night, and chances are Glenn won't pull from the Wicked songbook on Monday. If you like one of these rare talents, and perhaps are unfamiliar with the other, give 'em a try. If nothing else, it's the ironic thing to do.
Monday, June 4 -- Danzig: Fillmore Silver Spring
Glenn Danzig isn't trying to sell you a false bill of goods. He's not playing under any names of any former bands. This isn't a cash grab. This is Danzig and Doyle playing songs by The Misfits and Danzig. The combination should work for punk veterans, and those who missed out on the early '80s incarnation of The Misfits on account of not being alive yet.
Wednesday, June 6 -- Oberhofer: Black Cat
Just because you saw them in March, doesn't mean you're off the hook this time. Catch them before they're playing bigger venues and you don't have the opportunity to tell your friends how much better they were before all these other people started showing up to the shows.
Thursday, June 7 -- The Clean: Rock and Roll Hotel
The nice people at Merge say it nicely enough: "What can be said about The Clean? In 1978, they were the seeds of New Zealand punk and the reason for the founding of Flying Nun, one of the greatest record labels that ever existed... Not only do bands like Yo La Tengo, Guided By Voices, Sonic Youth, Pavement, and their ilk owe a debt to The Clean, but many of today's young upstarts such as Times New Viking... have the Dunedin godfathers deeply etched into their DNA." Do not miss Times New Viking carrying that same torch as the openers of the evening.
Not Attending -- The Cribs: Black Cat
The Cribs play straight ahead rock 'n' roll in the style of the upper echelon of British indie bands. So much so that the one talented guy from The Smiths picked up a guitar and joined the band for a few years. Johnny Marr might not be a Crib any longer, but they're continuing on just fine without him.
Not Attending -- Jimmy Cliff: 9:30 Club
If you aren't convinced that there's more to Jimmy Cliff than The Harder They Come soundtrack, look no further than his recent collaboration with punk stalwart Tim Armstrong (Operation Ivy, Rancid.) This isn't even a new direction for Cliff as he has played with and inspired some of the greatest that genre and others have had to offer. He isn't slowing down yet, so go see him before he does.
Friday, June 8 -- Dimitri From Paris: U Street Music Hall
Don't show up at this show expecting a set taken from the pages of Daft Punk or Justice. A French immigrant from Turkey, his approach feels more rooted in Parisian musical history than some of his native colleagues. His aim is to update a specific time in his country's history. Call it the intersection of house and lounge.
Saturday, June 9 -- Bass Drum of Death: Red Palace
Saturday night is a duo spectacular, as the Red Palace showcases two of the best two-piece rock bands going. Cut from a similar cloth as their touring mates, DZ Deathrays can thrash about a stage with the best of them, but as the chaos ensues, you'll never stop tapping along to their irresistible pop-inspired rhythms.
Not Attending -- Unknown Mortal Orchestra: Rock and Roll Hotel
Similarly to some of their contemporaries, Unknown Mortal Orchestra rose to fame with anonymity and in the Internet as their greatest PR reps. It wasn't all shtick, however, as the group continues to create ever so slightly obtuse indie-pop songs, that while still catchy as ever have just enough airiness to their sound to maintain that original sense of mystery.
Sunday, June 10 -- Kristin Chenoweth: Constitution Hall
I was raised on musicals. More specifically, I was forced, and later chose, to watch the greatest movie musicals the middle part of the 20th century had to offer. More recently, I have argued that Gene Kelly is the greatest all-around entertainer the world has ever seen. These thoughts are not non sequiturs. When greatness comes along, don't miss the opportunity to bear witness.
2:54: Rock and Roll Hotel
Colette and Hannah Thurlow take their name from a moment in a Melvins song and cite some of the harder rock of the last 20 years as influences. Perhaps if these men were capable of such emotional and sensual self-expression, they might sound something like 2:54.
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