The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

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

Members of Oxymorrons, from left: Matthew "Matty" Mayz, Jafé Paulino, Dave "Deee" Bellevue and Ashmy "KI" Bellevue. (Michael Danners)


The title of Oxymorrons’ latest EP, “Mohawks & Durags,” broadcasts what the Queens-born band is all about: smashing together seemingly disparate cultures and reminding listeners that all music is music. The band’s rap-rock hybrids owe much to the turn-of-the-millennium period when rapped lyrics, arena-ready hooks and ferocious beats were fast friends, with the addition of elements borrowed from contemporary trap and electronic music. As the name of the band’s Melanated Punk tour suggests, this bill features plenty of Black people and people of color — including Canadian punk rockers the OBGMs and Pinkshift, a Baltimore band that blasts out punk heavy with pop sensibilities — making music long associated with White suburbanites. Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. at Songbyrd, 540 Penn St. NE. $16-$18.


For years, rapping over the beat of someone else’s track was the quickest way for a rapper to prove dominance of the form; 50 Cent and Lil Wayne built careers by doing it. As mixtapes evolved, the tactic has fallen out of favor, but it may be coming back in a big way thanks to BabyTron. Just 22 years old, the Detroit rapper and meme king broke through with tracks loaded with fistfuls of verses on borrowed beats. The latest, “Emperor of the Universe,” packs 21 verses over beats borrowed from 30 years of rap into less than six minutes of music, with BabyTron’s lyrical approach taking the same more-is-more approach. Jan. 24 at 8 p.m. at Union Stage, 740 Water St. SW. Sold out.


Pulses.’ “Louisiana Purchase” opens with a simple inquiry: “All right, Pulses., what are we doing?” Good question. On any song, figuring out exactly what the members of the Northern Virginia band are doing is half the fun. In the tradition of D.C. post-hardcore and math-rock bands before it, Pulses. unleashes a cacophonous attack where every element — the guitar arpeggios, walking bass lines, polyrhythms, and lyrics about video games and Twitter memes, both sung and screamed — seems to be doing its own thing. But as the auditory confusion clears, moments where cross-purposes align have the power of the Ghostbusters crossing their streams. Jan. 25 at 7:30 p.m. at Jammin Java, 227 Maple Ave. East, Vienna. $15-$25.