Goodman’s Good Music – Concert Picks of the Week – March 19th

Week Of:  March 19-25, 2018  

Summary: Getting Weird, Zipped Up Tight, Taking Flight

Am I a broken record to say there is SO MUCH going on in the DMV, it's hard to write it all here? If yes, that's not such a bad thing. Put on your spring coat and zip it up for a weird and wild ride...there is so much goodness happening around town this week, check out our top DCMR picks and the "Hidden Gems" that you should try to catch. 

DC Music Review Staff Picks:

Here's what the DCMR staff are zipping to this week: 

  • True story: I ran into Weird Al Yankovic in an empty vegan joint in LA in 2004 and he was as kind and gracious as can be, bouncing his baby daughter on his knee while popping tofu bites. Fast forward to 2017 and I see him perform live in Baltimore and then again in DC because he and his band were just that good. Weird Al, for all his wacky reputation affords him, is also a musical genius and you should definitely check him out at Strathmore on March 20 with guest Emo Philips on his Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour. It will be quirky, wonderful, and a bit more intimate than his usual show as he will be focusing on his really impressive original (non-parody) songs from his 14-album catalog. You will not regret it. 
  • And then the very next night on March 21 at AMP, catch Stephen Jay & Jim "Kimo" West who are the original and continuing members of Weird Al's band who have played with him for the last three decades. Now, as part of a parallel tour, Jay with his funky bass and West with his masterful Hawaiian "slack key" guitar showcase their unique and distinctive musical voices. They are incredible musicians with stories to tell, go see them at this very intimate setting and be wowed.
  • The modern day super group, the Golden Gate Wingmen, featuring John Kadlecik, Jay Lane, Jeff Chimenti, Reed Mathis are back in town on March 21 at the Hamilton, playing original music and seamlessly breathing expert improvisational jams into everything they give. It's worth checking out their mastery if you haven't seen them before.
  • The band MGMT, with their distinctive, signature and infectious psychedelic pop groove, often make me feel like I'm living in a movie. Like a really good coming of age flick where I'm driving in car going through amazing landscapes and cityscapes and fields of grass and learning more about the person I want to be. Not only that, they put on a really good show. Catch them on March 21 at The National in Richmond.
  • Yes, sometimes I have to talk about shows that are sold out. Like Dan Auerbach & The Easy Eye Sound Review on March 22 at 9:30 Club. The thing is, it's sold out for a reason. Dan Auerbach will likely be playing a lot of songs from On Waiting on a Song, his first solo album in eight years. This album has been heralded as, well, downright "amazing" and as a "love letter to Nashville " which is now his home. If you can get a ticket to this show, get there. You will be moved. 
  • So much fun, the Squirrel Nut Zippers have a lot of players, a lot of energy,  a great sense of humor, and will be playing on March 22 at The Birchmere. I've never seen them in concert but DC Music Review staff have and say their blend of gypsy jazz, 1930s style swing, Delta blues, klezmer, and New Orleans jazz make for an incredible, lively show. 
  • Check out Aqueous with the Deaf Scene as they kick off their 2018 Spring tour on March 22  at the 8x10, and then why not take a road trip to see them again at Papadosio with Aqueous on March 24 at The National in Richmond. Buffalo-based Aqueous is made up friends who groove hard, connect on stage, and have truly impressed some of the DCMR staff. Couple them with Papadosio's blend of prog rock, electronic music, and jazz (and bonus, an audio reactive light show), catch either or both shows for a night of good vibes and grooves.
  • DCMR staff are meowing about the pounce of the jazzy, funky, synthy, dance band Octave Cat with Space Bacon on March 23 at Gypsy Sally's and then again with Box Era on March 24 at the 8x10. Formed out of a synth-exploring session, Octave Cat gelled together and found their rhythm as a band while keeping things frisky. 
  • DC-native Akua Allrich graces us with her immense presence on March 24 at the Kennedy Center Jazz Club. Akua has been described as having the "extraordinary ability to merge jazz, blues, soul, and pan-African music into a fluid musical experience." She sings all over the scales seemingly effortlessly, completely passionately, and transports you to a soulful place. She's playing two sets, one at 7p and one at 9p, be sure to catch one.
  • Kevin Barnes from of Montreal talks about two events that shaped the new album White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood: love and current-event paranoia. He says, "I feel like a switch was recently turned on in my brain and now I'm beginning to see through the lies that have been fed to me my whole life by the masters of media and by those who control and manipulate the narrative of our cultural identity and social order." It is hard to describe the power, the vividness, the kinetic energy that emits on stage from of Montreal, it is just something you need to experience. Do it on March 25 at the 9:30 Club.

Hidden Gem Shows: 

These are the shows that completely move me AND THEN have the added bonus of allowing me, post-show, to connect with the musicians to hug, gush, share words and stories, and nod our heads quietly, simultaneously, in understanding. 

  • One of the more precious gems of Baltimore music scene Caleb Stine, is playing on March 19 at the most precious little mom and pop venue on the Baltimore scene, Rooster & Hen. Caleb's storytelling style and deep lyrics have been compared to Townes Van Zandt, Kris Kristofferson, and Harvest-era Neil Young. Plus, he's one of the most humble and talented musicians around. Pair his music with the cozy and welcoming vibe of Rooster & Hen, owned by local musicians who support the DMV scene and sell local coffee, foods, and goods, you'll have yourself a lovely night filled with warm, satisfying serenades. 
  • I have to plug these two events because these are so special to the DMV scene, especially if you love experiencing music unfold live before you, or if you a musician wanting to jump on stage for a solid jam. Head to the welcoming Gordon Sterling Presents: The Gypsy Sally's Jam on March 20 at Gypsy Sally's and/or the open-armed Neel Singh's Open Jam and Workshop on March 21 at Villain & Saint to experience and share some on-the-spot grooves.  Mistakes, risk-taking, letting go are welcomed here. 
  • Okay, so I've seen these two DC bands, nah. and Pleasure Train, and am enamored with them. The band nah., fronted by the insightful and intelligent poet/songstress Emma Bleker, gently takes hold of your hand and doesn't let go. Their songwriting is personal, melodies transfixing, musicianship heartfelt, and their ability to reach out and connect with the audience makes you feel like you're among friends. Pleasure Train, fronted by the mesmerizing Valerie Vega, brings energy, sensuality, and groove with their fusion style of alt-jam-pop-house. These are two local bands who are making waves in the DMV, don't miss them on March 21 at Gypsy Sally's.
  • Are you a musician, composer, arranger, and/or songwriter? Here is a really cool thing to do. Get to Finding the Groove in Your Songwriting with Drew Kid workshop on March 21 at Strathmore Mansion for an up-close and personal (and free!) master class with one of Strathmore's Artist-in-Residence, Drew Kid.  In this workshop you will analyze works from the best architects of soul, funk, and hip-hop. Using examples from Junie Morrison, Sly Stone, OutKast, and others, Drew Kid will show how composers can effectively articulate their vision and navigate competition within a band’s rhythm section. 
  • The Jerry Tripsters are an all-star Jerry Garcia tribute band featuring members of local loves Better of Dead, Splintered Sunlight, and the DC Mystery Cats. They take the music of the Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia Band, and Legion of Mary and add a modern, funky twist to the jams and transitions. If you think you've seen Jerry tributes, you haven't seen anything quite like this band where the joy is ridiculously infectious. Be sure to see them on March 22 at Gypsy Sally's for a real good time. 
  • Here's your feel good ticket for the week: Skaii with 1 Identity on March 22 at Bossa. I'm super excited to get to this gig for my heart, because both of these bands have some and give some. Skaii was formed by the inspiring multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Stephanie Kaiser. This band makes music that is complex, accessible, it holds you like a hug and just feels so REAL. You watch these four friends close their eyes and then open them to smile on stage at each other, you know they are all happy to be a part of this very exciting new project. Pair them with the band 1 Identity, who says they formed, "to create music that could help and inspire people in today’s society. We hope that we can uplift those through our music." I mean, really, does it get any better than that?
  • Support the best festival around at Womxn Fuck Shit Up DC on March 24 at Songbyrd. Inspired by the West coast Women Fuck Shit Up Fest that celebrates, empowers, and raises awareness to the music and art of womxn, the East coast is joining the badass-ery and has created a festival here. Featuring an incredible line-up including: The CooLots, Michi, WASI, Julia Weldon, BOOMscat, Sheila, The Txlips, Chelsea Shorte, More AM Than FM, Santa Librada, Luvchild, Lauren Ileana Sotolongo, LiKWUiD, Aurora Lloyd, Militia Vox, Kellyn Marie Goler, DJ KB, McWavy, Juxt, Tan 'Esintrik' Odom, Tomboy, Katie Hargrove, Xemiyulu Manibusan Tapepechul, and more. This year’s proceeds will benefit Casa Ruby LGBT Community Center. 
  • To see this amazing Portland, Oregon folk-rock, Americana, soul, blues band, Fruition, at Gypsy Sally's on March 24 sort of feels like having this iconic yet accessible, bigger-than-life but homegrown band come play in your living room. Their newest album, Watching It All Fall Apart, is all about heartbreak and that intolerable pain that comes with it, transformed into something that makes you feel connected to that human condition. The DCMR staff are going nuts for this show, come join us there and feel all the feels that Fruition brings to the glorious surface. 
  •  Gang Of Youths is an indie rock group originating in Sydney, Australia, where they have received several ARIA nominations (the Australian equivalent to the Grammys). Watching their live shows on the internet, I'm compelled to get to this show because they evoke so many different associations in my mind. (A little INXS, Springsteen, and Pearl Jam, at first blush?) Now these associations could be way off, I'll need to catch them live to full appreciate what they bring. Catching them at a smaller venue like Union Stage on March 24 is a rare chance to get to see this bigger-than-life band up close.
  • On Sunday night, catch singer-songwriter Mike Doughty on March 25 at Rams Head On Stage. His free-formed, distinctive, spirited rock is odd, often upbeat, and full of surprise.

Here are our recommendations for shows throughout the DMV.

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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.


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