Giant outdoor venues are shuttering for winter, but October is thick with club performances -- acts that might not yet be able to fill an arena but certainly warrant attention, including FKA Twigs, Warpaint and Flying Lotus. Looking for ideas even farther under the radar? Try landing tickets to a special screening and concert by Nas, or being the first person you know to see Mary Lambert (of "Same Love" fame). Some of the top shows to see in October:
This one-time barista hadn't even released a full-length record when she was tapped by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis to pen the chorus to their powerhouse gay-equality anthem, "Same Love." Memorably simple -- "I can't change, even if I wanted to," Lambert sings -- the chorus is as personal and political nonetheless: Lambert is gay. The song, and a high-profile appearance at the Grammy Awards this year, have kickstarted the career of the confessional singer and pianist, who recalls Tori Amos and confectionary-cute Katy Perry all at once.
Buzz factor: 7. Lambert is on her first tour, accompanied by a band, to promote the release of her major-label debut, "Heart on My Sleeve," scheduled to come out this month.
Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. 202-588-1889. www.ustreetmusichall.com. $18.
There's not much time left to snag a ticket to one of Saturday's performances by legendary rapper Nas, who is pairing his D.C. appearances with a screening of the documentary "Time Is Illmatic," about his somber, hyper-realist 1994 album, "Illmatic." The album influenced a generation of rap acts and is widely regarded as one of the most important records of the genre. To mark its 20th anniversary, the documentary retraces the steps of making the record, and Nas has set out for a series of performances of the entire album.
Buzz factor: 9. Nas's performances of "Illmatic" with the National Symphony Orchestra this spring at the Kennedy Center might have been the experience of a lifetime for Nas fans, but for those shut out, this weekend's back-to-back shows still will be awfully cool. At press time, tickets were available, but going fast.
Saturday at 6 and 10 p.m. Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. www.lincolntheatredc.com. 202-888-0050. $55-$75.
If you're a fan of such raucous acts such as Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees and other bands that specialize in fuzzed-out rock with a side of psychedelics, you'll find something to cheer about in Bass Drum of Death, a darling of music blogs everywhere. The sneering Missisippi band delivers convulsive rock-and-roll as drum-driven as its name suggests, but with an undeniable strain of Southern blues woven through.
Buzz factor: 6. Bass Drum of Death's new album, "Rip This," is due out this week, and its singles, "Left for Dead" and "For Blood," suggest the band has no plans to quiet its noisy, dance-worthy jams.
Oct. 11 at 10 p.m. Comet Ping Pong, 5037 Connecticut Ave. NW. www.sashalordpresents.com. 202-364-0404. $15.
The 2007 film "Once" propelled the mousy Czech singer-pianist and her beau, Glen Hansard, to international fame, as their sweet on-screen relationship blossomed into a so-meta off-screen love affair and a new band, the Swell Season. The pair have long since gone their separate ways, but Irglova, like Hansard, continues to make pretty, cerebral music.
Buzz factor: 5. On her second album, "Muna," released in September, the songwriter sounds as tender and ethereal as she did in the Swell Season. But it's hard not to miss the grounding effect of Hansard's raffish harmonizing and, sigh, the delights of seeing that starry-eyed couple weave their onstage magic.
Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m. The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. 202-787-1000. www.thehamiltondc.com. $18-$25.