The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

4 concerts to catch in the D.C. area over the next several days

K Nkanza of Spring Silver, shown performing at the Pocket. (Caroline Miller-Bruns)

Spring Silver

K Nkanza named their solo project Spring Silver, a cheeky flip of their hometown of Silver Spring. Describing their sound as post-emo and queer metal, Spring Silver explores their innermost feelings with experimental, danceable and genre-melding methods. On their song “Plead Insanity,” which features vocals from producer and musician Bartees Strange and singer Sad13, there’s restrained angst, a pounding indie rock beat and a self-reflexive look at love. “Even after all this time, I try to find a different case for you,” they sing. On their 2019 album “The Natural World,” Spring Silver expresses their fears for the future, thoughts on heartbreak and love for the world — a holistic, honest snapshot of an artist’s ongoing realizations. Spring Silver performs at the launch party for PaperJam’s third issue at Lost City Books. The D.C. DIY music zine and the Adams Morgan bookstore teamed up for a previous zine launch; this one also features a musical performance from BRNDA. Dec. 10 at
7 p.m. at Lost City Books,
2467 18th St. NW.
. $10.


Former emo kids rejoice: Pop punk’s not dead. In fact, it’s very much alive, and there are new faces transforming the image of the often male, often
White-dominated genre. Pinkshift is one of them. Helmed by lead vocalist Ashrita Kumar, along with guitarist Paul Vallejo, drummer Myron Houngbedji, and bassist Erich Weinroth, the Baltimore-based band formed in college, its sound shaped by each member’s musical influences, from grunge to ska to pop punk. On its breakout song “I’m Gonna Tell My Therapist on You,” the group lays out its ethos perfectly. Kumar’s vocals explode over the increasingly frenetic mix of drums, guitar and bass, with a self-deprecating, eye roll of a question: “Oh my god … why are you sad again?” Pinkshift offers the sensibilities pop-punk listeners are used to but twists expectations with cutting lyrics or by ending a song with a rock ballad-like instrumental in the song “Toro.” This year has seen a resurgence for the genre — thanks to artists such as Willow and Olivia Rodrigo — and Pinkshift is right at the forefront of self-aware head banging and reflection. Dec. 12 at 8 p.m. at DC9, 1940 Ninth St. NW. $15.

Jingle Ball

The iHeartRadio Jingle Ball tour makes its yearly appearance at Capital One Arena next week, bringing some of the most recognizable names in music to perform in one place. That includes multi-Grammy winner Megan Thee Stallion and awards show darling Doja Cat. Prepare to scream and dance along to hits such as Megan’s “Thot S---” and Doja’s “Woman,” and potentially hear some deeper cuts — including Megan’s latest release of freestyles from “Something for Thee Hotties” and the rest of Doja’s tightly produced album “Planet Her.” Other performers include best new artist nominee Saweetie; the Jonas Brothers on the comeback leg of their career after reuniting in 2019; Tai Verdes, who performed at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade; and more. In the words of Doja Cat herself, get excited and “get into it (yuh).” Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m. at Capital One Arena, 601 F St. NW.
. $200.

Chris Pureka

Since debuting her full-length album “Driving North” in 2004, Chris Pureka has risen above the confessional singer-songwriter label with a powerful, raw outlook on the everyday minutiae of living. Pureka’s newest release, an EP entitled “The Longest Year,” is the first in five years. Writing on the isolation and hardship of pandemic life, the EP is classic Pureka: offering hope without sugarcoating the complexity of the now. On “Sky Spinning,” the lead single from the EP, Pureka sings, “I don’t know how to save us, I just know how to let go,” later changing the latter half to, “I just know save me.” The parallel reflection catches in your throat, a narrative that feels all too heartbreaking and familiar but entirely revelatory in Pureka’s hands. Dec. 16 at 8 p.m. at Union Stage, 740 Water St. SW.
. $20.

Note: Proof of vaccination or a recent negative coronavirus test is required for admittance to these shows. Check venue websites for specifics.