An anecdotal progress report on how clubland is surviving the ongoing pandemic: When I wrote this same autumn concert preview 12 months back, two events had to be scrubbed from the roundup before deadline, both canceled for covid-related reasons. This year, I had to scrap one. That’s an improvement, but barely. Musicians and nightlife workers are still getting sick on the job, so along with these recommendations, here’s a simple request on their behalf: Keep wearing that mask.
The Catalan pop singer’s fabulous third album, “Motomami,” takes roughly 20 seconds to kindle a burning question inside your brain: What would this music sound like pumping from a stack of speakers bigger than my bedroom? After the jazzmatazzy intro of the album’s curtain-raiser, “Saoko,” look out. Here comes the bass, offering a futuristic contrast to the singer’s finespun melodies — which tend to be sung in Spanish and forged in various folk traditions. What follows isn’t just a sensationally inventive blend of styles (flamenco, reggaeton, bachata, electro, Björk-shaped songcraft, you name it), but a confluence of high-def timbres that yearn to be heard at the highest volumes. Sept. 26 at the Anthem. theanthemdc.com.
This Gotham rapper’s new record, “Aethiopes,” is a collaboration with the producer Preservation that feels both airy and heavy, moody and precise, exuding its unmistakable aura of NYC-ness without ever planting its feet on the concrete. And while his music channels the grittiest sonic elements of New York’s vaunted hip-hop history, woods has even deeper roots near us. He was born in the District and attended Howard University for a spell, too. Is there any D.C. in his sound? Here’s a chance to squint your ears. Oct. 1 at DC9. dcnine.com.
Moritz von Oswald
If there’s a philosophy to be gleaned from the music of Moritz von Oswald — the German producer credited with popularizing a certain “dub-techno” aesthetic in the groups Basic Channel and Rhythm & Sound — it might be that deep frequencies can surface deep emotions. The maestro is a connoisseur and sculptor of bass, which means that an opportunity to hear him DJ is an opportunity to feel something at the root of yourself. As von Oswald once told Self-Titled magazine, “You have to hear it in a club.” Oct. 1 at Flash. flashdc.com.
It’s difficult to imagine our future memories when we’re still muddling through a collective catastrophe, but will we someday remember this era through “pandemic music” — and if so, will L’Rain’s “Fatigue” be a part of the canon? The Brooklyn producer’s 2021 album combines cut-and-pasted found sounds, lullaby melodies (sung or hummed) and assorted samples of unknown provenance the same way that unrelated memories might swirl and overlap inside a grieving mind. Is there a line between hearing and remembering? Oct. 2 at Songbyrd.
Pi’erre Bourne likes to start his tracks with a little snippet of dialogue lifted from “The Jamie Foxx Show” — “Yo, Pierre. You wanna come out here?” — but nowadays, we should be able to recognize his sound without it. After making shock waves with Playboi Carti’s “Magnolia” back in 2017, Bourne quickly became one of the defining rap producers of his generation, pouring molten synth melodies over flickering trap beats, minting hits for Young Thug, Lil Uzi Vert, Young Nudy, Kanye West and others — all while shrewdly saving a few for his solo career. Oct. 3 at the Fillmore. livenation.com.
Like the B-52’s singing about cake and rock lobsters before them, this District-based indie band has a knack for penning twitchy post-punk ditties about assorted foodstuffs. “I like salt!” they yelp on their signature tune, “Year of the Hot Dog by Burger Gang,” perhaps the only song about doughnuts, fritters, enchiladas and frozen fish capable of making us dance in this cold and hungry world. Oct. 6 at Union Stage. unionstage.com.
“Don’t you feel at home when you’re with me?” That’s a question that Brittney Parks — a.k.a. rapper-singer-violinist Sudan Archives — poses near the start of her broad new album, “Natural Brown Prom Queen,” and if the answer is yes, good on you. It means you’re comfy with polyglot pop songs that dart from hip-hop to trip-hop to hip-house to neo-neo-soul to beyond and back again. For Parks, home is apparently everywhere. Oct. 14 at the Black Cat. blackcatdc.com.
The Comet is Coming
Fans feeling bruised by the recent breakup of Sons of Kemet — the ecstatically grooving South London jazz group featuring the vibrant saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings — can take comfort in the fact that Hutchings is blasting ahead in the Comet is Coming, a neo-fusion group whose forthcoming album, “Hyper-Dimensional Expansion Beam,” only furthers its cosmic ambitions. On the album opener, “Code,” Hutchings delivers his emphatically stippled phrases as if sending a message across space-time, perhaps in Morse. Oct. 20 at Union Stage. unionstage.com.
Janel Leppin’s Ensemble Volcanic Ash
In Ensemble Volcanic Ash, cellist, keyboardist, composer and bandleader Janel Leppin assembles a septet of heavyweights from the DMV jazz scene — drummer Larry Ferguson, alto saxophonist Sarah Hughes, guitarist Anthony Pirog, harpist Kim Sator, tenor saxophonist Brian Settles, bassist Luke Stewart — and asks them to play with a touch that, true to the group’s name, ranges from the granular to the explosive. The ensemble’s eponymous new album doubles as a document of Leppin’s wide-scale vision as well as a snapshot of the region’s close-knit improvisational music community. Oct. 21 at Comet Ping Pong. cometpingpong.com.
This long-standing, still-standing New Orleans sludge metal outfit has spent the past 30-plus years trying to become the heaviest band of all time, either because they experience gravity differently than the rest of us, or because they’ve been down a much harder road. (The Eyehategod story is an unfortunate saga of addiction, incarceration, death and hurricanes.) Today, their music feels like it weighs more than ever, yet they keep finding ways to move forward. Oct. 24 at Comet Ping Pong. cometpingpong.com.