Legends, distant memories and old friends fill a very busy week here in D.C. Shows abound and genres be damned. I've been forced to make some choices, but don't ask me to prognosticate as to which show will be the best. At this point, I'm not even exactly sure I've made the right decisions. Here's to hoping...
Monday, November 12 -- Milkman's Union: DC9
These Mainers sing unspeakable truths over sweet and sparse melodies. While they aren't strangers to these parts, they -- not surprisingly -- tend to keep to their uppermost corner of the country. Even if you are otherwise engaged, take a break to have your heart broken.
Cult Of Youth: Black Cat
In recent times, I have tended to think that those on Sacred Bones Records can do no wrong. At this point, my tendency to think has morphed into a willingness to know. Like so many of their Sacred Bones brethren, Sean Ragon and company create achingly dark, but uniquely tribal music.
Not Attending -- Roky Erikson: Rock and Roll Hotel
Breaking my own rule tonight in not seeing a living legend when I have the chance. It's just not in the cards. No excuses. But, if the above doesn't grab your attention, go see the guy who may just be responsible for creating psychedelic rock and roll.
Tuesday, November 13 -- The Who: Verizon Center
When you are a musical genius, I'll let you call your band whatever you want. Until then, I'm going to see Pete Townshend and his band play one of the greatest albums ever in its entirety. Performing all of Quadrophenia isn't a shtick. It's truth and musical history both canonized and in the making.
Not Attending -- Death Grips: Rock and Roll Hotel
If I wasn't there, I'd be here -- a witness to the outrageous, visualizing the intersection of hardcore and hip-hop. Where others have recently come up short in convincing the world just how angry they are, Death Grips breaks through not just with visceral sound, but the creative will of many.
Wednesday, November 14 -- Mirah: Rock and Roll Hotel
Mirah's sonic landscapes are painfully deserted. She does as much with individual and solemn notes as the most accomplished bluesman. Her voice is a savior from the nothingness she creates, just as much as it is a blessing to those who need it the most.
Thursday, November 15 -- Ash: DC9
Ash is touring in honor of their 20th anniversary, and I'll be helping them celebrate with memories of my slightly distant younger days. I played 1977 countless times in 1996. It doesn't get as many spins these days as it might deserve, but guaranteed I'll be the guy smiling ear-to-ear when those Irishmen launch into "Kung Fu."
Not Attending -- Horse Feathers: Black Cat
I have plenty of nice things to say about Horse Feathers. Their beyond-gentle folk music has gotten me through plenty. But to be perfectly honest, I was a bit disappointed by their last show in D.C. You don't have to believe me.
Friday, November 16 -- Helio Sequence: Black Cat
This Sub Pop-signed duo self-identify as sounding like setbacks... and overcoming them. The former is most certainly true. Perhaps the latter is only accomplished after seeing them live. If that's the case, I may just have to devote more of my life to electronically tinged indie-pop.
Saturday, November 17 -- Dan Deacon: 9:30 Club
According to his bio, Dan Deacon, an electronic music composer, studied electro-acoustic and computer composition, while in college. If you leave this one disappointed, it is likely because you made a mistake going. In the end, you will get exactly what you expected. In this case, that's not so bad.
Metz: Red Palace
I've been wowed by an aggressive Metz show and let down by their studio compositions. Here's to hoping an album approaching derivative doesn't hamper the live experience. If it ain't broke...
Not Attending -- The Magnetic Fields: 6th and I Synagogue
Once is enough for the weekend.
Not Attending -- Alex Winston: U Street Music Hall
There's a time and a place for sugary pop music. If that time for you is Saturday night, the place for you is U Street Music Hall.
Sunday, November 18 -- The Magnetic Fields: 6th and I Synagogue
While once may be enough, once is mandatory. The Magnetic Fields' catalog is expansive enough to entertain for nights on end. I've rolled the dice and picked Sunday, because it worked for the rest of my concert calendar. Even if I don't hear my favorites, there's a distinct chance I'll have some new ones by Monday morning.