Willow Smith’s “The Anxiety” is a welcome deviation from her sleepy, self-titled 2019 record. Smith, along with collaborator and rumored boyfriend Tyler Cole, brings plenty of snarling angst and taps into an untethered energy. “Anxiety” is an erratic but exhilarating listen where it feels as if Smith and Cole are coping with an emotional roller coaster in real-time. The opening track, “Hey You!” crashes through with gritty vocals and throbbing bass lines that sound straight from the riot grrl era. But as “Anxiety” barrels forward, the mood softens into pensive self-awareness on songs such as “Are You Afraid?”: “Moments/Feeling like we’re everlasting/And I can’t stop laughin’/I can feel the time passin’/This is the anxiety attackin’.” Oct. 16 at 9 p.m. at the Fillmore Silver Spring, 8656 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring. fillmoresilverspring.com. Sold out.
Todd Rundgren reportedly collaborated with Kanye West on his bloated album, “Donda,” though none of his contributions made the final cut. Sure, it seems like an odd pairing of the minds, but Rundgren has a long, diverse track record of artist collaborations with the likes of Robyn and Grand Funk Railroad. For Rundgren’s forthcoming album, “Space Force,” he recruited a cast of collaborators that includes hip-hop artist Narcy, pop-rock duo Sparks and Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo. Rundgren’s chameleon-like musical sensibility is best heard on “Your Fandango,” which is a glam-pop spectacle with a chorus that sounds like a kitschy commercial jingle from the ’80s: “Everybody likes it when you do your fandango.” And if you enjoyed that ride, your brain will splatter over the whiplash of hearing “Espionage,” the hip-hop and house laced track with Narcy that would win Daft Punk’s seal of approval. Oct. 17 and 18 at 8 p.m. at Capital Turnaround, 770 M St. SE. capitalturnaround.com. $59.50.
Social media is often blamed by critics for diluting the music industry with influencers. But there are times when it brings to the fore talent like Queen Naija, who gained popularity as a YouTube vlogger before competing on “American Idol.” She acknowledges her unconventional path to stardom on her 2020 album “Misunderstood” and proves that she’s more than just a YouTube celebrity and her 2018 viral hit, “Medicine.” She hits this head-on with songs such as “Too Much To Say”: “They told me that I’m runnin’ out of time/ I ain’t lit no more/Say my music gettin’ weak, it don’t hit no more/Sometimes I don’t wanna have fame or get rich no more/But I got two kids to feed/I can’t sit no more.” Oct. 20 at 8 p.m. at the Fillmore Silver Spring. fillmoresilverspring.com. Sold out.
Note: Proof of vaccination or a recent negative coronavirus test is required for admittance to these shows. Check venue websites for specifics.