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Ben E. Kessler Headshot

Concert Whereabouts (Mar. 5 - Mar. 11)

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Only four shows for me this week. It's a relatively light stretch in terms of quantity, that ends just about as heavily as possible. The venues remain familiar, although it's only one stop at the 9:30 Club. Days are open, but conflicts remain. It appears as though I still have not reached the level where concert promoters and band managers check with me before traveling to the D.C. area to ensure I can make it to the show. Until then, it's picking with some reckless abandon, known most commonly as buying the ticket of the show that's announced first. One of these days, all this will change. One of these days...

Tuesday, March 6 - Oberhofer: Black Cat

Oberhofer falls into the multitude of indie bands churning out lo-fi music. Thankfully for the listener, and the audience on Tuesday night, this group favors a rock and roll influence more than obtuse haze. It's good old fashioned rock music. There's just no mistaking when it was made. Turns out being current doesn't have to mean sounding like everyone else.

Not Attending - The Knocks: U Street Music Hall

If you're heading to a show and looking to dance, The Knocks can be just about everything you want them to be. The duo are DJs, multi-instrumentalists, singers, and rappers. You'll hear their remixes and their own material. They'll keep you interested, and keep you moving. And I went to high school with one-half of the duo -- go Hilltoppers!

Not Attending - Xray Eyeballs: Comet Ping Pong

The music of Xray Eyeballs is evidence that everyone can create pop music. It doesn't have to come from a place of sunshine and lollipops. In fact, the songs you'll hear at Comet on Tuesday night, emerged from a place most likely devoid of any sunlight at all. I didn't say, however, that there were no lollipops. There will be plenty of sweetness mixed in with your appropriate percent daily value of scuzz.

Wednesday, March 7 - Bombay Bicycle Club: 9:30 Club

There's nothing complicated about the Bombay Bicycle Club formula. They play relatively straightforward indie-pop/rock that is easy on the ears. There's also nothing disingenuous about their pleasant melodies. I'm guilty of it all the time (see: The Black Keys at Verizon Center on Friday night) but mass appeal is not reason enough to dislike a band. The sold out crowd at the 9:30 club and countless fans in the UK agree with me; and I'm OK with that.

Not Attending - Fanfarlo: U Street Music Hall

The voices of Fanfarlo don't blend perfectly, which makes for a melancholy sound that never drags. With horns, strings and a couple of honest vocalists, the show on Wednesday night might get a drop sad, but it will never stand still.

Thursday, March 8 - Niki & the Dove: U Street Music Hall

Niki & the Dove will captivate your attention with electronic sounds that range from the furthest reaches of minimal to percussive bombast. With that diversity of sound, comes an equally broad spectrum of emotion. And we get all of this from just two people on stage.

Sunday, March 11 - Narrows: DC9

The terms may often be conflated, and I often use them incorrectly, but the there will be a plethora of a metal and hardcore at DC9 on Sunday night. The bill is highlighted by Narrows and All Pigs Must Die towards the top. It will be an all-out aural assault. Sounds like a good way to transition back into the working week. I'll be hiding somewhere as close to the back as possible.