Every Tuesday, the Going Out Gurus highlight the week’s best DJs, bands, dance nights and parties. Here are five things not to miss in the next seven days:
Wednesday: Matthew Dear is sort of a perfect 21st century musician. He does dance, he does rock, he puts them together, he DJs, he fronts a band. Some people wear many hats; he has a closet full of them. When Dear visits U Street Music Hall on Wednesday he’ll be in frontman mode, which means you can expect funky, and slinky dance-rock that seriously recalls Roxy Music. It’s a good sound for him and the way he constantly shifts, you’d be wise to catch him in this phase while you can.
Thursday: Once you hear that an electro-pop group comes from Sweden, the expectations suddenly go through the roof. There must be something in those fjords. Niki & the Dove lives up to the lofty standard and offers a bit more, in fact. The duo’s songs do the job on the dance floor, but there’s more than simple, appealing beats. These songs aim for something higher and regularly hit the mark; they’re dynamic, dramatic and uplifting. Live performances are the same, with an expanded lineup and a couple of dancers in tow. This show at U Street Music Hall is the latest in the All Things Gold series presented by local blog All Things Go.
Thursday: Listen Local First has a mission that is as straightforward as its name — to get more people listening to local music. The past year, the group has helped promote monthly “local music days” during which songs exclusively by D.C. artists are played in local shops and restaurants. The next one is Wednesday, so if you walk into such places as Tryst, Miss Pixie’s, Pulp and Acre 121, be ready to hear tunes by the likes of rapper yU, singer-songwriter Justin Trawick and pop duo We Were Pirates. On Thursday, three of this month’s featured acts — Americana duo the Parlor Soldiers, dance-rock group Dance for the Dying and songstress Flo Anito — will perform at Mellow Mushroom after an hour-long panel discussion about the local music scene.
Friday: There are very few casual fans of the Replacements. If you’re a fan of the Minneapolis rockers, you probably include them on a short list of the greatest bands ever, most likely right at the top. Filmmaker Gorman Bechard examines this in his documentary “Color Me Obsessed: The Potentially True Story of the Last Best Band, The Replacements.” The film tracks the career of beer-swilling, self-destructive rockers solely through the words of their fans, including members of such bands as Husker Du, Titus Andronicus, the Hold Steady and more. You won’t hear a note of the band’s music, but you still might leave convinced of their greatness. See it at the Black Cat.
Saturday: The Busboys & Poets chain successfully creates evenings of art and edutainment where you can nerd out with your favorite author or enjoy performances by local talent. Now that formula is expanding to Hyattsville, in the burgeoning Gateway Arts District. The Urban Inspire Tour features singer-songwriter Leon Timbo, who may get his big break now that he has been taken under the wing of R&B impresario Babyface. Also featured is Jean Baylor, an artist who stays beloved because of her timeless work as half of neo-soul group Zhané and who has plenty of solo work to share with longtime fans.
Wednesday, March 7
Fanfarlo plays chamber-pop, but those violins have some punch! Catch the U.K. group play an early show at U Street Music Hall.
Rendezvous Lounge in Adams Morgan was an oasis of chill and the home of many cozy DJ nights over the years. So whenever something pops up there in its current incarnation as MiG bar, we take notice. Lift Off features Ken Lazee, Ozker and William Devon digging into nu disco and indie-electro sounds.
Friday, March 9
You love the work of John Kelly and Tom Toles in The Washington Post. Did you know they both moonlight as rock-and-rollers? It’s true, and you can see their bands, along with many other writer’s groups at the annual Journopalooza battle of the bands, held at the Hamilton this year.
Saturday, March 10
“Everyday Sunshine,” the documentary about the band Fishbone, is such an enthralling story of rock and roll, race, class and culture that the band’s being included in the African American History Museum. If you missed the first screening and performance at the Lincoln Theatre, catch one at the Hirshhorn this evening to understand why seeing this band in the flesh has to be on any music-lover’s bucket list.
Monday, March 12
The coming grunge revival will be led by Baltimore’s Roomrunner, who party like it’s 1991 with crunching power chords and flannel fury. Priests and the Deads open at the Black Cat.