The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

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

Manic Street Preachers will perform at the Fillmore Silver Spring with the London Suede. (Alex Lake)

Manic Street Preachers and the London Suede

When the Manic Street Preachers released their debut album in 1992, the Welsh neo-punk band vowed to burn hot and flame out quickly. Instead, the group turned to sweeping arena rock and became an institution; its most recent album, 2021’s “The Ultra Vivid Lament,” went to No. 1 on the U.K. charts. Yet the band is little known in the U.S., where it has rarely toured. (The Nov. 18 show is the Manics’ second ever in the D.C. area.) Perhaps the trio’s lyrics are too bookish and political for mainstream U.S. success, but its rousing and increasingly eclectic music should have wide appeal. There are even a few outright pop songs in the catalogue of the Manics, who insist that “Ultra Vivid Lament” shows a strong Abba influence. Also on the bill is the London Suede, whose debut album arrived a year after the Manics’. This British neo-glam band (known at home simply as Suede) has a slightly higher profile in the U.S. but never achieved the prominence on this side of the Atlantic of such contemporaries as Blur. The group’s new “Autofiction,” the ninth album in a career interrupted by a 2003-2010 hiatus, has been hailed in Britain as a return to form. Maybe it will be Suede’s long-delayed American breakthrough. Nov. 18 at 8 p.m. at the Fillmore Silver Spring, 8656 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring. $49.50.

Habib Koité and Bamada

When Mali’s Habib Koité made his European debut in 1991, most African musicians known outside their homelands fronted big bands that emphasized Western instruments and drew heavily from African American soul and funk. Koité changed the paradigm when he founded Bamada, a virtuosic four-man backing group with a gentle acoustic style that features such traditional instruments as the xylophone-like balafon. Koité himself plays guitar, but tuned so it sounds like a n’goni, a West African lute with a chiming tone. Koité’s songs, with lyrics in Bambara, French and occasionally English, are built on rippling African polyrhythms, but such lilting tunes as “Baro” also feature vocal harmonies akin to California folk rock. That’s a mode that comes as naturally to Koité and Bamada as the call-and-response chant of “Cigarette Abana,” the rollicking tune that was their first African hit and remains a crowd-pleaser three decades later. Nov. 20 at 7:30 p.m. at City Winery, 1350 Okie St. NE. $35-$55.

Ani DiFranco

She started as a solo troubadour, accompanied by just her acoustic guitar, yet Ani DiFranco was never really a folkie. The stalwartly indie feminist singer-songwriter adopted attitude from punk and phrasing from hip-hop, and gradually developed a jazzy, soulful style exemplified by her latest album, 2021’s “Revolutionary Love.” At 52, DiFranco is not the relentless road warrior she used to be, but her mellower style is not a sign of retreat. Her newest material may be unusually lush, but the pattering congas and swirling flutes don’t blunt the edge of such songs as “Do or Die,” which includes a vision of seeing “right there on Pennsylvania Avenue / the sheetless KKK.” The show will include three acts signed to the singer’s Righteous Babe label: Gracie and Rachel, Jocelyn Mackenzie and Holly Miranda. Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. (doors open) at 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $41.


Here’s one way to keep your take on indie rock from becoming formulaic: Start a band with multiple singer-songwriters. On its second album, the new “Desperately Imagining Someplace Quiet,” Disq performs tunes composed by four of its five members. If that weren’t enough to provide variety, the Wisconsin group flips styles within individual songs: Guitarist Logan Severson’s “Prize Contest Life” is an easygoing midtempo rocker with high-tenor vocals that detours suddenly into raw-throated grungy aggression. Such shifts are characteristic of the album, which floats blithe melodies over three-guitar roar and occasionally throws synth noise or bassist Raina Bock’s soprano into the mix. The stylistic restlessness suits the band’s lyrics, which depict uneasy minds and a capricious universe. Mostly, though, the musical permutations just ensure that Disq never settles into a rut. Nov. 23 at 8 p.m. at DC9, 1940 Ninth St. NW. $13-$15.