Goodman’s Good Music – Concert Picks of the Week – April 16th

Week Of:  April 16-22, 2018

Feeling lifted.


People are feeling high with some summertime weather kindly hitting us in Spring. Also, there's a pungent buzz about April 20 floating around the District. Lots of shows that night with particularly dope themes that we're making sense of below.

Top Picks:

DC Music Review Staff Must-See Shows - these are some of the shows that DCMR staff are buzzing about

  • April 16 and 17 - P!NK at Capital One Arena - I've only heard and seen videos of P!NK putting on a stellar, heartfelt, exciting yet intimate-even-in-a-large-venue show. Here's your chance to see her get aerodynamic as part of her 2018 Beautiful Trauma Tour.  
  • April 17 - Ghost Light at Gypsy Sally's - This past week, DCMR's Josh Brick posted a sweet interview with Ghost Light, "a new project, a true musical collaboration on its inaugural tour, featuring outstanding talent well known to the DC area: five personalities, five perspectives, and five unique approaches towards one common sound." In the interview, the band discusses how rather than initially playing shows, these five talented musicians threw caution to the wind and played together for the first time in a recording studio to see what magic ensued, allowing them to "come to the project with fresh ears and without pre-conceived notions." Check out the full article here and then check out the band, with VA's own Threesound opening, at Gypsy Sally's on Tuesday night.
  • April 18 - Rick Astley at The Lincoln Theater - not rolling you here, it's for real. The one and only Rick Astley, with his distinctive voice and catchy as anything pop, is playing HERE, yes HERE in DC for you to see. Heralding from England and on his US tour which has been selling out, this will be a fun night to know the musician and man behind the legend.  
  • April 19 - Steep Canyon Rangers at The Hamilton - The Grammy award-winning, North Carolina based sextet, the Steep Canyon Rangers, has spent nearly twenty years, "bending and shaping the bluegrass aesthetic, wedding it to elements of pop, country, folk rock, and more to create something original and all their own." Catch them on tour for their new album, Out In The Open at the ever-awesome venue, The Hamilton. 
  • April 19 - Extra Dirty Thursday with Dirty Grass Players/Dirty Blanket/Fried Pickin' at 8x10 - Come see the sweet sweet newgrass bluegrass sounds of the Dirty Grass Players, along with New Yorker's Dirty Blanket's string-slingin' bluegrass, and Fried Pickin' who won the 2015 Charm City Folk and Bluegrass Festival- Battle of the Bands. Bring extra napkins because you're gonna lose your sleeves after the first couple of songs. 
  • April 19 and 20 - Dr. Dog with Kyle Craft - April 19 at The National and April 20 at The Jefferson Theater -  Dr. Dog, well, I love them. They sound both fresh and familiar to me every time I hear them. They come from Philly and describe themselves as, "part of a long tradition of D.I.Y. pop oddballs who blend unapologetic '60s pop worship with lo-fi recording techniques and an apparent disregard for current trends." They also put on a great show.  Opening is Louisiana- native Kyle Craft, who I never heard of but read from his description, "...he’s not the born product of a musical family, and bands never came through town–it was only a chance trip to K-Mart that gave him his first album, a David Bowie hits compilation that helped inspire him eventually to channel his innate feral energy into songwriting and rock and roll." Also, the real deal. If you're in Richmond or Charlottesville this week, this is a best bet. 
  • April 19 and 20 - McCoy Tyner Quartet featuring Sherman Irby at Blues Alley - Born in Philly in 1938, McCoy Tyner is a true legend. His, "blues-based piano style, replete with sophisticated chords and an explosively percussive left hand has transcended conventional styles to become one of the most identifiable sounds in improvised music." Here's an opportunity to see him live, performing with his quartet at the intimate Blues Alley.
  • April 19, 20, and 21 - Average White Band on April 19 at at Rams Head On Stage and April 20/21 at The Birchmere - You know their songs and apparently they lay it down just like they did back in the day. The AWB is currently touring with two of their founding members and are playing their well-loved classics as you know them while also reworking some of their originals and other funk tunes into their sets. You have three changes to check them out as they hit the DMV with their groove.
  • April 20 and 21 - The Decemberists with Tennis - April 20 at The National and April 21 at The Anthem - After a four-year hiatus, The Decemberists are back with a bang, touring their new, rather incredible album, What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World.  Self-described as their, "most varied and dynamic work, both musically and emotionally," it sounds to me like a labour of love that resulted from the band taking time to live their lives and delve deep into other projects and come back somehow altered. Opening for them is minimalist pop duo, indie favs Tennis. 
  • April 20 and 21 - Lotus with Staycation at 9:30 Club - Described as both an electronic dance and instrumental post-rock band, Lotus is unique, current, and has been playing together for long enough to know exactly who they want to be. Catch them on 4/20 (and also 4/21) with opening local favs Staycation, whose sound is "built on a foundation of dance-inducing grooves, powerful horns, gritty psychedelic rock, and topped off with infectious vocal hooks." It's a win-win, dance your tail off combo.
  • April 21 - Rockn' to Lockn' Finale - Infinity Downs Farm - The ROCKN' to LOCKN’ Finale is your chance to support six of Virginia’s very best bands who are all vying for a spot to play at this summer's LOCKN' festival in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. For more details, check out DCMR's write-up about the finale here and then come support these talented VA finalists at this pre-festival festival.
  • April 21 - Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain at Strathmore - This. Band. Is. Insanely. Fun. The Orchestra was formed in 1985 as a "group of all-singing, all-strumming Ukulele players, using instruments bought with loose change." They had a gig, sold out, and have been a hit ever since. Look them up on YouTube and you'll see why. Better yet, check them out live at the incredible Strathmore for a night that will have you smiling ear-to-ear. (Be forewarned, you may catch the uke bug if you go. It's bitten me already and I couldn't be happier about it.)
  • April 21 - The Record Company with The Suitcase Junket at The Jefferson Theater - “Caught halfway between the stomp of mid-century rock & roll and the soulful kick of Delta blues, the Record Company kick up a raw, rootsy racket,” raved Rolling Stone. The Record Company hit gold straight out of the pocket, being nominated for a Grammy just over a year after releasing their debut album. Catch them in Charlottesville The Suitcase Junket, a Swamp-yankee, throat-singing, slide guitar playing one-man-band.

Happening on Friday, 4/20: 

There is a lot going on in the DMV on funky Friday:


  • Better off Dead 420 show with Swamp Donkey Newgrass at Gypsy Sally's and next door catch the Dan Lipton Trio at the Vinyl Lounge - The DMV's beloved Grateful Dead cover band, Better of Dead, are going to be grooving so hard with their quintessential Dead songs on this quintessential night at the quintessential Gypsy Sally's. And while you're there losing your mind, sneak through the back door to get to the attached Vinyl Lounge to catch the free show by the Dan Lipton Trio, whose sweet sounds were featured on our site last week!
  • Lotus with Staycation at 9:30 Club - (see description above) 
  • DC420 Fest featuring Cris Jacobs Band + Hayley Jane and The Primates presented by SweetWater Brewing and other special guests at FeelFree followed by The After Party Ft. DJ Psycho Les of The Beatnuts with Special Guest at Union Stage - Okay, there is a lot going on with this show. It's got the 420 theme out there for the taking. It's got insane players including Cris Jacobs Band and Hayley Jane and the Primates, both beloved by the DCMR staff (see reviews here and here), and then the music keeps coming with DJ Psycho Les and special guests playing the after party. If you want a lot of great music with special guests, this is a good bet. 
  • Yasiin Bey & Talib Kweli are Black Star! w/Dead Prez at The Anthem - Black Star has been around since the late 90s, stemming from an underground alt hip-hop movement which shook through the soil with the critically acclaimed album "Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black Star" in 1998. This show will be off the hook, especially with the revolutionary hip-hop agents Dead Prez joining the party. After the show, show up next door at Union Stage with your Black Star/Dead Prez ticket to get into the After Party featuring DJ Psycho Les of the Beatnuts (see above) for $15 at the door.
  • moe. at The Lincoln Theater - moe. is a "preeminent progressive rock band" with a solid fan following because of their excellent musicianship, creativity, and joy they put out on the stage. See them take the love from their audience and give it right back to them at the Lincoln Theater. 


  • Covered with Jam at Villain & Saint - Covered with Jam is a super solid collective of local DMV musicians, playing their annual 4/20 extravaganza show with a "Feed Your Head" theme featuring songs you know and love, played with heart and soul, that will make you feel high and mighty.
  • Psycho Killers (Talking Heads Tribute Band) at 8x10 - Psycho Killers are Baltimore's very own Talking Heads tribute band who are so darned fun to see and always put on a great show. Catch them at the perfect Baltimore venue, the 8x10, for two sets at this special 4/20 show.
  • Scrap Arts Music: Children of Metropolis at Strathmore - This is going to be a super cool experience. Scrap Arts Music is a collective that is, "rooted in street performance, jazz, and world music traditions." What they do is unique, taking scrap junk, recyclables, and the stuff you don't really use anymore and repurposing it into something beautiful. The result on stage yields, "intricate rhythms infused with raw energy, athletic choreography, and the most beautifully inventive instruments on stage today." Their latest production, called Children of Metropolis, is a story of one musician's search for identity in a changing world.  


And finally, some Hidden Jems: 

  • April 17: Benefit for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence at the Lab at Convergence - The line-up is Baby Grill, FuzzQueen, and Chaand Soorij for a night of great music for an important cause.
  • April 18ProjectHERA presents an Open Mic Networking Night at Epicure Cafe - Join Epicure Cafe for a special kind of open mic night which offers networking opportunities with other musicians in the area where you can, "share your music, but also your best practices, offer advice and support, and help us grow our amazing musical community in the DMV." Local amazing musician, Erin Frisby of FuzzQueen will be onsite offering tips about being a local musician on topics from booking DIY tours to working with PR.
  • April 19: Dior Ashley Brown & The dAb Band live at The Dew Drop Inn - From her FB event write-up: "Dior Ashley Brown is a name you should know in the District." (DCMR comment: this is TRUE. See our review of her amazingness here.) "Born and raised in DC, she is a multi-talented musician and actress, currently performing in her own one women show,  My Vessel, at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. Come see her shake things up at the Dew Drop with her band, The dAB Band, made up of fellow Duke Ellington Performing Arts High School graduates, Turk Gaines on keys, David Suggs on drums, and James McCreavy on bass."
  • April 19: Zabelka/Diamond/Fekete, Sameuel Beckett's "Film," Low Ways Trio at Rhizome - This is an avant-guard music/vis arts event that sounds so super dope. See Austrian violinist Mia Zabelka with Boat Burning's Robin Diamond and Andras Fekete; Samuel Beckett's rarely screened 'FILM' with live score by Tim Carless; avant jazz by Low Ways Trio featuring Mark Cisneros, Luke Stewart and Ian McColm.
  • April 21: Record Store Day 2018 at Songbyrd - Record Store Day at Songbyrd will be going strong! They'll have:
    "Select RSD titles available, store open at 8 am. Special activations and products available from DC area labels Federal Green Records and Carpark Records, more to be announced. Vinyl Brunch with DJ Cene spinning all vinyl til 3 pm. The Beautiful Ones Day Party DC starting at 1 pm with DJ Bee spinning a Prince celebration set. And live music The Great Heights Band, Eternal Boy, Party Like It's, Awthentik in the evening." Check it out!
  • April 21: Jack Funk & Slow Lights at Old Towne Tavern in Frederick - Jack Funk is said to, "haunt the hills of Frederick." Slow Lights is, "a blend of indie, rock and soul influences. Their unique sound contains a mixture of electronic pop, acoustic jams, and funky rhythms." Catch them both in Frederick for this funky night of music.
  • April 22: Todd Wright/Laura Tsaggaris/Kathryn Rheault Live at Pearl Street Warehouse - See these three great musicians each take the stage on Sunday night at Pearl Street Warehouse for the perfect cherry on top of your weekend. 

Here are our recommendations for shows throughout the DMV.

All Featured Events -


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About the author
Nina Goodman

Nina Goodman

Nina Goodman is a music lover, dancer, artist, keyboardist, and an avid ukulele player. You may even see her up on stage performing with local DC bands. Above all, Nina is a fierce supporter of the Washington DC local music scene. Nina's talents are mostly behind the scenes where she maintains and curates our event calendar and conducts interviews with local artists. If there is music playing in the DMV, you can expect to see her attending or at least making sure that our audience knows about it.