Thursday, Sept. 10
Football and U2 -- it's hard to find a pair of more widely loved institutions. So come and celebrate both of them with the Going Out Gurus happy hour tonight at Public Bar. The NFL season kicks off with the Tennessee Titans battling defending Super Bowl champs the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Dupont Circle's newest sports bar is likely to be packed, so you'll be assured a prime spot for the action by showing up early to get drinks with the Gurus. Plus, there will be the usual assortment of bar specials, not to mention giveaways like a dinner for two at Hank's Oyster Bar and a pair of tickets to see Bono do his rock God thing later this month at FedEx Field.
If you've ever dabbled in acoustic jazz, you've probably heard Ron Carter's staccato magic pushing a rhythm section. Over the course of thousands of recordings as a leader, in session and in film and classical scores, he's expanded the vocabulary of harmonic possibilities for the upright bass. Carter's career is a thread that runs through the swing of Chico Hamilton, the distinguished alumni of Miles Davis' second quintet all the way to A Tribe Called Quest's groundbreaking "The Low End Theory" album. For this three-night engagement at the Caverns, Carter and his Golden Stryker Trio will be revisiting material from their 2003 album of the same name.
Friday, Sept. 11
West Coast rapper MURS has a song called "H-U-S-T-L-E," which certainly is a common theme in hip-hop. Except in his song, MURS (aka Nick Carter) talks about making money by selling aluminum cans, not drugs. That's emblematic of the lyrical content in his songs. Carter has little interest in playing to the perceived stereotypes of rap; he's been marching to his own beat (or the beats of frequent collaborator/producer 9th Wonder) since he was a teenager, when he released his first tapes. His major label debut, "MURS For President," smooths out a few too many edges, so seeing him live at the Rock & Roll Hotel is probably the way to go. You won't miss those forced Snoop Dogg and Black Eyed Peas cameos from the album.
Osunlade's departure from the commercial music world in the '90s was one of the biggest gifts to underground dance music. Osunlade created the Yoruba Records family of artists and remixers, who have given the house world spiritually charged dance floor classics for over 10 years. The signature Yoruba sound of indigenous percussion, jazzy production and soaring chants have created transcendent experiences out of material from Eric Roberson to Radiohead (listen). Osunlade himself has a varied production style, but when he's behind the decks, it's a guarantee that he'll deliver a hard, tribal workout. Osunlade anchors tonight's edition of Gaia at Gallery, a video, live music and DJ hybrid show also featuring the talents of Nico Laget on reeds, Tamara Wellons on vocals, jazz-hop band Avenue To and many more.
Saturday, Sept. 12
If you've ever heard someone wish they could get a new record out of Bill Withers, that might be someone who needs to get hip to Anthony David. Atlanta's six-string troubadour knows Stax, Delta blues and Southern fried hip-hop, and he translates them all into modern soul gems with his gritty tenor. Check out the singer familiarly known as Acey Duecy tonight for an early show at Liv.
Yes, sensationalist blogger Perez Hilton is sponsoring tonight's concert at the 9:30 club. In fact, he will even be there in person. So if somebody doodles some stink lines under your armpit, you'll know who it was. While his presence may scare some folks off, the fact that he got Norwegian sparkplug Ida Maria to perform on his tour means he at least has pretty good taste in music. Her brash, boozy brand of rock-and-roll is irresistible, especially when that scratchy voice becomes an uncontrollable yelp on songs such as "Oh My God" and "I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked." New Zealand songstress Ladyhawke also performs.
"We love multi-genre bills" is a common refrain around these parts. Sure, a finely curated night of all indie rock or all hip-hop often does the trick. But all those homogeneous shows just serve to keep everyone separated. It's more fun when there are more ingredients in the stew. Tonight's show at the Velvet Lounge is all rock, but of many different degrees. Opening is Liturgy, a flat-out metal band. The drums sound like an ADD kid playing Whack-A-Mole, the bass follows along in similar fashion, the guitars are all hyperspeed riffs and solos and the vocals sound like the anguished wails of a man who is being forced to watch a marathon of "Kourtney and Khloe take Miami." Marmoset follows with its idiosyncratic snippets of indie rock. Songs rarely make it to three-minute mark, but there's always another one packed with ideas right behind it. Baltimore's Person Parcel is the sleepiest band of the night, playing tuneful folk rock that's in no real hurry. Basically, the opposite of Liturgy.
It's kind of easy to get Honor By August and No Second Troy confused. They both are staples on the local scene, play crisp alt-rock that's as radio-ready as it could possibly be, have three-word band names and a whole bunch of sincere looking press photos to their credit. It can be a tough road for bands like this. Their straightforward style won't win them many points with the "cool" bloggers, even if their shows are almost always more crowded than the bands that do find favor in the online world. At this point, it's just a matter of soldiering on and trying to catch the eye of someone at a label who will invest some time and money. This weekend, the bands team up for three shows at Iota, including an acoustic Saturday matinee. There will be no shortage of polished performances.
Monday, Sept. 14
You know that MTV show "My Super Sweet 16"? The 16th birthday celebration at venerable local rock club the Black Cat on Monday night will be pretty much the complete opposite of anything you see on that show. No specially designed Roman columns as decorations, no celebrities getting paid $50,000 to make a cameo appearance and it's doubtful that the club will be presented with a brand new sports car to mark the occasion. Instead, the Cat will stick with what helped it last so long in the first place -- good music. That will be provided by Dead Meadow, purveyors of heavy and heavier psychedelic rock, and the Shirks, old-school punks who channel the spirit of '77.
-- David Malitz and Rhome Anderson
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