All Things Go
Pop music is cyclical, a fact most obvious on the dance floor, where a DJ can seamlessly mix between 1992, 2002, 2012 and 2022 without missing a beat. Marc Kinchen, a.k.a. MK, is one of the rare selectors who can do it with his own songs. Kinchen’s remix of Nightcrawlers’ disco-inspired “Push the Feeling On” became such an iconic house track that the group deleted the original from its catalogue and changed its sound to match his; the song has since served as the basis for hits by Pitbull and Riton. Far from a one-trick pony, the Detroit-born talent has scored his own bright and bouncy house hits and has worked with and remixed pop’s biggest names. Oct. 1 at 9 p.m. at Echostage, 2135 Queens Chapel Rd. NE. echostage.com. $25-$35.
As L’Rain, Taja Cheek makes music that defies genre, classification and easy comprehension. The multi-instrumentalist and singer cuts and pastes layers of music — guitar and bass, synths and samples, vocals and percussion — into collages that grapple with art’s purpose and possibilities amid the vagaries of life. “This album is an exploration of the simultaneity of human emotions,” she wrote of last year’s “Fatigue,” “the audacity of joy in the wake of grief, disappointment in the face of accomplishment.” For listeners, the juxtapositions and cognitive dissonance can be intoxicating. Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. at Songbyrd, 540 Penn St. NE. songbyrddc.com. $15-$17.
In the same way that the Mars Volta rose from the ashes of At the Drive-In at the turn of the millennium, the former’s new album was a response to the art of the latter. After touring with a reunited ATDI for three years, guitarist Omar Rodríguez-López needed relief from frantic tempos and timbres. When it was time for the Mars Volta to return from its own hiatus, Rodríguez-López and company wanted to change tack. “For me, the most exciting new direction is something we haven’t done: to cut things down, to do our version of pop,” he told the New York Times. The resulting self-titled album has stripped back the band’s maximalist prog-rock tunes to craft songs more focused and concise. But longtime fans shouldn’t fret: Recent sets have relied heavily on the freakouts of debut album “De‐Loused in the Comatorium.” Oct. 3 at 8 p.m. at the Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. theanthemdc.com. $55.