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Rhye, Chelsea Light Moving and more must-see April concerts

April's most intriguing acts inspire a certain amount of deja vu. Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore is giving fans a glimpse of his old, ragged fury with his new project, Chelsea Light Moving, while Fleetwood Mac will retrace the well-worn steps of its landmark album, "Rumors," for a new audience. But there's something terrifically fresh about Los Angeles pop act Rhye, even if it does sound an awful lot like Sade.

Check out music from these acts, then get tickets to their upcoming shows.

For weeks last fall, as Rhye blazed from obscurity to one of the most-watched new acts in music, critics surmised that it was a woman on the microphone this soul-meets-electronica project, not a slight, hoodie-clad man. Indeed, singer and producer Mike Milosh sounds uncannily like Sade when he coos over Rhye's downtempo snare cracks, though he and producer Robin Hannibal might be teasing their fans a bit: The band takes pains not to be photographed, and even performed a Los Angeles show in near darkness.

Likelihood of a sell-out: Extremely high. It's a shame that much of the fixation with Rhye has revolved around sexual ambiguity, because it's "Woman," the group's debut album released this month, that warrants the hype. The pleading, occasionally mournful pop album is made for 4 a.m. listens over bottles of wine.
April 18 at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. $20.


Carolina Chocolate Drops
The Drops, prodigious instrumentalists from Durham, N.C., plink out notes on instruments ranging from banjos to jugs and rib bones, all in the name of exhuming the tunes and musical traditions of the black South.

HANDOUT IMAGE: Carolina Chocolate Drops will perform in the Washington, DC area. Image provided by Nonesuch Publicity. (Photo by Crackerfarm) Carolina Chocolate Drops perform at the Birchmere on April 3. (Photo by Crackerfarm)

Likelihood of a sellout: Medium. With one Grammy under its belt (a traditional folk album nod for 2010's "Genuine Negro Jig") and a nomination this year for best folk album, the group has critics in its corner.
April 3 at the Birchmere. $25.


Fleetwood Mac

Three years have passed since Fleetwood Mac's last tour, but Mick, Lindsey, John and Stevie have been keeping the fires burning even without new material. For this tour, they've re-issued "Rumours," which spawned their most memorable hits.

Likelihood of a sellout: Low. But effusive endorsements and high-profile duets with Taylor Swift and the Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl in recent months have introduced legions of new fans to such songs as "Dreams" and "Landslide." So don't be surprised if you see a fair number of young faces, particularly bohemian Stevie fans, flooding the Verizon Center show.
April 9 at Verizon Center. $49.50-$149.50.


Chelsea Light Moving
Thurston Moore, Sonic Youth's shaggy-haired godfather of post-punk, has gone solo before, notably on albums "Psychic Hearts" and "Trees Outside the Academy." But with Chelsea Light Moving, he's back with a band to churn out discordant rock that sounds,
well, a lot like early Sonic Youth.

Likelihood of a sellout: High. Sonic Youth can sell out multiple dates at bigger venues, and Chelsea Light Moving is riding high after whirlwind shows at South by Southwest, so get your tickets soon.
April 4 at Black Cat. $15 in advance, $17 at the door.


Hugh Masekela
After nearly six decades in music, South African trumpeter and band leader Masekela remains a firecracker in world jazz and a champion of his homeland. After a visit to Washington last fall for a run of "Songs of Migration," his storytelling-meets-dance-meets-music production, Masekela is returning to Lisner for a more straightforward concert, sure to feature his international hits.

Likelihood of a sellout: Medium. Masekela is a regular in Washington, but for those rediscovering Afrobeat artists such as Fela Kuti, this concert is a way to experience its close cousin, Afro-jazz.
April 12 at George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium. $30-$45.


Empty Mansions
With Interpol on an extended hiatus, drummer Sam Fogarino is embracing his rollicking, grungy side as Empty Mansions, a project that strays as far as possible from Interpol's slick nihilism. Instead, Fogarino, with Jesus Lizard's Duane Denison on guitar, grinds and gallops in this buoyant throwback to the lo-fi days of Sonic Youth and Sebadoh.

Likelihood of a sell-out: Medium. Influential music blog Brooklyn Vegan is hosting this showcase at DC9, which already portends big things for Empty Mansions. The group's new album, "snakes/vultures/sulfate," comes out in less than a week.
April 24 at DC9. $10.

Lavanya Ramanathan is a features reporter for Style.



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