Washington Area Summer Rock Concerts

Punk-rocker Jay Reatard, front, and his band will play the Black Cat July 5.
Punk-rocker Jay Reatard, front, and his band will play the Black Cat July 5. (By Jeff Allen)
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Friday, May 29, 2009

June 6

David Byrne

Wolf Trap, $25-$45

David Byrne has spent the past 30 years constantly moving forward. Also sideways, diagonally -- basically every direction but backward. The twitchy, nervous energy of Talking Heads helped define New York's punk scene in the '70s before the band became one of the '80s great pop acts. He founded world music label Luaka Bop. He dabbled in ballet, opera and visual art. His solo career has been the right mix of mind-bending and accessible. His current release, "Everything That Happens Will Happen Today," is his second collaboration with aural alchemist, Brian Eno. (Okay, just a hint of looking back.) It's a beautiful combination of folk, gospel and electronic music, but even if that's not your thing, don't fret: You'll hear some Talking Heads classics, too.

June 21

Camera Obscura

9:30 club, $18

Like many U.K. bands, Camera Obscura shines brightest on its singles. The Scottish sextet's albums are remarkably consistent, but there are always about three gems from each batch that particularly stand out and lodge themselves snugly in your brain. So simple math dictates that catching the band as it tours with its newest album, "My Maudlin Career," would be an ideal time to see the indie-pop classicists. If early singles "Eighties Fan" and "Suspended From Class" were like subtle black-and-white movies, new standouts "French Navy" and "The Sweetest Thing" burst in vibrant technicolor, all sweeping strings and bouncy backing vocals but never losing their bittersweet touch.

July 5

Jay Reatard

Black Cat, $12

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