As we enter the last third of the year, lots of my favorite acts have already rolled through town. You won't be seeing the likes of Dan Deacon, the Black Lips or Jay Reatard on here because they've already been featured in previous editions. There's still plenty of great stuff to listen to, from the twangy sounds of Billy Joe Shaver to the delightfully weird campfire singalongs of Animal Collective. Twenty picks await after the jump.
"No Dreams" -- Oakley Hall (Sept. 6, Rock and Roll Hotel)
A Brooklyn band that doesn't sound like every other Brooklyn band, this quintet plays marvelous, slightly dissonant country rock and the new "I'll Follow You" is one of the year's best albums.
"On My Way" -- Mavis Staples (Sept. 9, Robert Parilla Performing Arts Center)
She had the pipes that led the Staples Singers to success in the '60s and '70s. Now she's back with a new album of material that focuses on songs of the civil rights movement.
"Good Ol' U.S.A." -- Billy Joe Shaver (Sept. 11, Jammin' Java)
Sometimes he makes news for the wrong reasons, like when he shoots people. But you could argue that just makes the Lone Star singer's country tunes all the more authentic.
"Kissy Baby" -- Heavy Trash (Sept. 19, Rock and Roll Hotel)
Jon Spencer Rockabilly Explosion? The former leader of the Blues Explosion is back with his second album of fun, throwback rockabilly delights.
"Headlines" -- White Williams (Sept. 19, Black Cat)
He's opening for current "it" boys Girl Talk and Dan Deacon and with sensual, gently pulsing electro-pop songs like this one, New Yorker Williams could be next in line for plenty of hype.
"Lucille" (YouTube video) -- Little Richard (Sept. 20, Woodrow Wilson Plaza)
As you can see from this vintage video clip, no, he didn't always look like this. If Little Richard didn't invent rock-and-roll he was certainly there at its inception and this clip gives you a taste of those days.
"New York City Heat" -- Dead Heart Bloom (Sept. 22, Iota)
Former Phaser dude does his best to channel early '70s Stones and Bowie on this bluesy, stripped-down track. If you like what you hear, the whole album is available for free download at the band's Web site.
"2080" -- Yeasayer (Sept. 25, Black Cat)
I got turned onto this band's worldly sounds at July's Whartscape festival. It lists Sierra Leone Refugee Allstars, Fleetwood Mac and Peter Gabriel as influences and there's no irony there: You can hear hints of all those in this track.
"No More" -- Dirty Projectors (Sept. 26, Black Cat)
Here's another band with a tribal feel that played just a few hours after Yeasayer that night in Baltimore. To call this a cover of Black Flag doesn't really work; it's more of a complete re-imagining, with no similarities except the lyrics.
"Captain Badass" -- Magnolia Electric Co. (Sept. 27, Black Cat)
Jason Molina's another troubadour, one who recorded for many years as Songs: Ohia before shifting to his current Magnolia Electric Co. moniker. We'll take a trip in the way-back machine for this one, all the way back to 1999 for this brilliant and epic lover's lament.
"Peace Bone" -- Animal Collective (Sept. 28, 9:30 club)
The Maryland-rooted quartet continues to hone its wonderful and wacky electro-campfire chantalongs. This bouncy track is a highlight off the new "Strawberry Jam."
"We Are Gods! We Are Wolves!" -- Le Loup (Sept. 29, Black Cat)
The soon-to-be local heroes share some traits with the previously mentioned Animal Collective, but go for a more understated weirdness with smart songs like this that feature floaty voices and well-placed beeps and handclaps.
"What Were the Chances" -- Damien Jurado (Sept. 30, Rock and Roll Hotel)
Here's some more forlorn folk, with some simple electronic beats and female vocals thrown in to make the whole thing even more wonderfully dreary. He's one of the more captivating live performers you're likely to see, to boot.
"Before the Sun Came Up" -- The Lucksmiths (Sept. 30, DC9)
Australian favorites have been making some of the most clever, gentle and charming indie-pop around for the past decade, and this song is a fine example.
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