Danny Shapiro is an avid music lover who has the good fortune to live very close the music scene on the 14th and U corridor. A list of his previous reviews is at the bottom of this column. Comments or questions? Send Danny an email.
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Music lovers, rejoice! With the incredibly rainy week behind us, the sun is now shining on a weekend chock full o’ great local gigs. I’ve painstakingly sorted through the sundry offerings and given you my top four picks below. See you at the shows!
Friday, Dec. 3: Political Scandal Begets Rock Opera Genius
Dirty Bomb ‘Welcome Back, Jack’ Release Party @ Velvet Lounge ($10)
If I told you that one of the most notorious political criminals of the past generation, Jack Abramoff, would be the inspiration and protagonist/(antagonist?) for a DC journalist-cum-musician’s entrée into the rock genre, would you believe me? Well, come see the performance of Dirty Bomb’s rock opera ‘King of the Hill’ with your own eyes on Friday night.
‘King of the Hill’ incorporates factual details from the Abramoff scandal, with all of the emotion, drama, ambition, greed, and paranoia that only the world of the lobbyist could espouse so fondly. Launched onto the DC scene at the National Press Club’s Battle of the Bands ‘Journopalooza’ in January 2010, the performance will be every hard rock lover/politico’s dream come true.
And, for just a tenner you’ll get an action-packed triple billing; support acts Poor But Sexy (local yacht-rockers) and soul band JC Brooks & the Uptown Kids round out the night’s stellar set.
Check out more Dirty Bomb info at their official website.
Saturday, Dec. 4: Ladies, Take the Reins
Warpaint @ Rock and Roll Hotel ($12 adv/$14)
No plans yet for Saturday night? Sorted. Exploding onto the scene this year, Warpaint are a quartet of Los Angeles-based indie-rock mavens who have taken by firestorm the music scene on both sides of the pond. Gracing the District’s H Street NE corridor on the verge of embarking on a world tour in support of their debut LP, ‘Fool’ (Rough Trade Records), these ladies are not to be missed.
Warpaint shine with their lush harmonies, haunting post-punk guitar rhythms, and walking bass lines that hypnotically bring you into the focus of lead singer Emily Kokal’s unapologetic messages of austere independence. Originally gaining credence on the LA scene by scoring a #1 EP on Ameoba Records’ local artists chart with 2009’s Exquisite Corpse, Warpaint have blossomed and delivered the type of debut album that will stand the test of time.
Sunday, Dec. 5: Jazz Days of Yesteryear, Revisited
CapitolBop’s Jazz Loft @ Red Door, 443 I St. NW
During the Bebop era of American musical history, the Jazz Loft of New York City was a metropolitan institution; friends would gather at the top of an apartment for a trove of jazz-in-the-round treasures. Musicians across the jazz spectrum would trade off performances, culminating in a capstone sonorous jam session to end the night right.
The first-ever D.C. Jazz Loft, created by CapitolBop, is inspired by this platform, and will highlight the District’s supreme cadre of improvisational musicians, ranging from bebop, to free-jazz, to fusion, and beyond. For a truly unique night out, with free entry to boot (a small donation is requested to support the night’s fees) take a trip back in time to experience the best in jazz improv.
For an added bonus, perhaps we DC bicycle lovers can recycle our Dandies & Quaintrelles DC Tweed Ride outfits!?
Sunday, Dec. 5: Gather ‘Round the Campfire, BYOS’mores
Stornoway @ Black Cat ($10 adv/$12)
If you’re a fan of the Fleet Foxes, Travis, Liam Finn, and the Gaslight Anthem, you’ll be an instant fan of Stornoway. Taking the UK by storm, we are quite lucky to have Stornoway in our own 14th Street backyard. Their music brilliantly layers banjos, electric riffs, keyboards, and harmonic vocals into a soulful purity that sounds refreshingly and distinctly apart from their aforementioned musical peers.
I guarantee the show will be a trip back to your favorite local campsite, and the bonfire you and your friends gathered around to celebrate youth’s freedom. The indie rock influence thrives amidst their country swing, and the results are fantastic. Grab a friend or three and close the weekend right with this fantastic group. Visit the band’s MySpace page and official website to discover their catalogue of hits.
Previous Posts from Danny
- Anatomy of a Concert, Act 1: The 9:30 Club
- Danny’s Weekend Picks for Live Music
- Danny’s 4 Nights, 5 Concerts (Part 2)
- 4 Nights, 5 Concerts: 1 Week in Danny’s Life (Part 1)
- On The Lookout: Danny’s Upcoming Must-See Shows
- Danny’s Journey Through Three Unforgettable Concerts
- Music: Danny’s Back with 3 Weekend Picks
- Danny’s 3 Quick Picks for Weekend Live Music
- Weekend Recs: A Live Music Road Map
- Live Music: Recap of a Great 3-Show Weekend