Goodman’s Good Music – Concert Picks of the Week – March 26th

Week Of:  March 26 - April 1

Summary: Steel Soul Pigeon Sunshine Jazz Yellow Sycamore Sky

I've been told that Mercury is in retrograde, which makes things...funkier/messier/more disjointed than usual? Hence this week's theme: Steel Soul Pigeon Sunshine Jazz Yellow Sycamore Sky.

DC Music Review Staff Picks:

These are the key "larger venue" shows that the DCMR staff are checking out/covering this week:

  • The Steel Woods with the Trongone Band at The Hamilton on March 28: "Like their name, The Steel Woods are a hybrid musical force, part hard-edged, part Americana roots country folk, man-made, yet organic, rock but also bluegrass, R&B, blues, gospel, soul and heavy metal." The Hamilton will be a great venue to check out this band and feel all the vibrations.
  • The Soul Rebels featuring GZA & Talib Kweli with Footwerk at the 9:30 Club on March 29 and also you can see Talib Kweli solo at the Broadberry on March 28: "The Soul Rebels started with an idea - to expand upon the pop music they loved on the radio and the New Orleans brass tradition they grew up on. They took that tradition and blended funk and soul with elements of hip hop, jazz and rock. The band has settled on an eight-piece all-brass lineup and have built a career around an eclectic live show that harnesses the power of horns and drums in a deep pocket funk party-like atmosphere."
  • Pigeons Playing Ping Pong at the 9:30 Club on March 30 and March 31: Pigeons Playing Ping Pong are playing on Passover.  Don't forget that your ping pong balls are leavened!  Some info: "PPPP brings end-of-the-world enthusiasm to their high-energy psychedelic funk. Their infectious electro-funk grooves, undeniable live energy and contagious smiles have their rabid fanbase “the Flock” growing exponentially. Based out of Baltimore, MD, this animated quartet has been scorching up the country with their explosive performances and danceable peaks... and they're loving every minute of it."
  • Dark Star Orchestra at the Jefferson Theater on March 30 and at Rams Head Live on March 31: "Using entire shows from the Grateful Dead’s decades of touring as a launching pad, Dark Star Orchestra recreates song for song performances straight from historic set lists. Not merely mimicking the Dead, DSO instead seeks the individual style of each era and offers its own interpretations and improvisations for a group famed and loved for their interpretations and improvisations."
  • Hot Tuna at Rams Head On Stage on March 31: "Lifelong members, Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady, formed this spin-off band in the late 60s after performing avidly with Jefferson Airplane. Fusing a variety of rock styles, free rhythmic techniques, and a collected timbre of instruments is what has identified this band over their 40+ years of playing."

Hidden Gem Shows: 

These are the shows, often at smaller venues, that offer something intimate and special and should not be missed! 

  • Akiko Yano on March 26, Eri Yamamoto Trio on March 27, Yoko Miwa Trio on March 28, Senri Oe on March 29 as past of the Japanese Jazz Series at Blues Alley: "There’s something for every DC-area music fan at this year’s Blues Alley Japanese Jazz Series. For those looking for a unique, quiet, folksy evening, Akiko Yano's opening night shows will be perfect. Want a precise, complex trio? Try Eri Yamamoto's set. If you're more in the mood for a big, energetic romp, don't miss Yoko Miwa, and again this year Senri Oe’s versatile musical stylings close out the series." The Japanese embassy is sponsoring this incredible opportunity, catch one or all of these shows!
  • Mary-El band at Cherry Blossom Festival at 1501 Maine Ave SW in DC on March 27: Mary-El is a force to be reckoned with. She is an incredibly powerful and talented performer who is so groovy, so funky, so electric, I often sit there agape when I watch her play. Here is the perfect opportunity to catch her AND enjoy the amazing cherry blossoms, a most exquisite pairing that you do not want to miss!
  • EmiSunshine & The Rain at Jammin' Java on March 27: EmiSunshine is the real deal. At 13 years, she is a legend in the making. She has a family musical lineage that goes back three generations so she grew up with music and performing in her blood. She sings gospel "with the conviction of a soul who’s been on the earth years beyond her age" and she puts on an amazing, animated, love-filled show. 
  • Daamsel//Punch Drunk Tagalongs//Skaii at Epicure Cafe on March 28: Daamsel writes "gritty, emotional rock songs about smashing the patriarchy, and the strange people we meet in bars." Punch Drunk Tagalongs hail from Cleveland and offer delicious, "crunchy drums layered with decadent melodies and covered in overdriven guitars with a nougat-y bass center." Skaii is a newer outfit from DC who has been written up by DCMR for their impassioned songs and musicality and connection. This is going to be a fun, energetic show at the incredible Epicure Cafe (see more about the lovely, ever-changing Epicure below).
  • ilyAIMY at the Vinyl Lounge on March 28: ilyAIMY stands for I love you and I miss you. I've been watching this band play around the DMV for the past 10 years and I still love them and realize how much I've missed them when I see them. These two time Washington Area Music Association "Wammie" winners for Best Contemporary Folk Group offer something unique to the DMV scene and have been described as, "a welcome jolt in folk." Come get woken up and embraced by their music at the friendly Vinyl Lounge.
  • Epicure Relaunch Party at Epicure Cafe on March 30: The Epicure Cafe holds a dear place in my heart for its warmth, support of the local music and arts community, and the graciousness of the inspirational family that owns the cafe. They have been hard at work preparing for this relaunch with poetry, music, art, magic, and food and they are, "excited to share all the things and to celebrate together as we grow into this new chapter as a community!" The first time I went there I was welcomed with open arms and have been ever since. Go experience this magical, warm venue on this very special night. 
  • Oh He Dead with Reed Appleseed and Aurean at DC9 Nightclub on March 30: I have not seen Oh He Dead yet but I can't wait. This DC-based, Motown influenced band mixes classic R&B vibes, funk, and folk with booty shaking songwriting and friends of mine swear by them. Joined by Reed Appleseed, described as, "alternative folk-rock, nightmare-country hybrid" and Aurean, who offer "genre-bending productions and live sets, often accentuating their energetic, synth-filled drops with sweeping, dramatic breakdowns," it's going to be a good, good time. 
  • Lucy Rose at Union Stage on March 30: "Lucy Rose has gradually become one of the most respected and influential of the new generation of UK artists." I've been researching her and she is great. Maybe I'm biased because in one of her videos she dons a suit made out of dog treats and hot dogs. But her sound is infectious and as part of her world-wind tour, she's gracing us with her talent at the intimate Union Stage. Catch her while you still can.
  • Nicole Saphos - EP Release Show at Sotto on March 30: Jazz bassist and singer-songwriter Nicole Saphos has always "gotten lost in the elegant emotionality of The Great American Songbook." She has performed at such esteemed venues as The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Strathmore Mansion, and The Kimmel Center and after relocating to DC in 2012, she formed her own trio with drummer Ele Rubenstein and guitarist John Lee. Their latest EP, "Buzz and Bloom," is about "patiently harnessing buzzing energy to make way for a beautiful bloom."  Join them for this exciting and very personal EP release show.
  • Fly on the Wall - Live Recording Event with Sweater Set at Tonal Park on March 31: Have you ever joined an award-winning recording artist in the studio? Do you want to join two of the coolest, hottest, totally in-touch and effervescently talented multi-instrumentalists -- Maureen Andary and Sara Curtin -- of the beloved DC band Sweater Set as they record their 10-year anniversary album?  Of course you do! Robyn Mincher of The Washington Post Express wrote “(The Sweater Set) weaves through personal narratives as if Curtin and Andary are whispering juicy tidbits in your ear. But don't let the vintage-clad gossiping girls fool you — their songs are tales of self-governing women.” Each ticket includes admission to the live recording at Tonal Park studio (formerly Airshow), VIP tickets include a copy of the new album when it is released AND reserve seats for you up front. This is the perfect spring date event -- with your sweetie, your friends, or with yourself, because it's just that cool.
  • Yellow Dubmarine w/Pressing Strings at Gypsy Sally's  on March 31: Yellow "Dub" is a lovable band re-imagining the music of The Beatles in a tightly rehearsed reggae style. I wasn't sure if I should put this in the DCMR staff picks area or "hidden gems" because this show is certainly both. You are pretty much guaranteed to have a smile on your face if you go, and Gypsy Sally's is the perfect welcoming venue to host the fun. 
  • Rogue Wave at Black Cat on March 31: California indie-pop band Rogue Wave are celebrating the10th anniversary re-issue of their seminal third album 'Asleep at Heaven's Gate' and will be coming to DC as part of their national tour to play the album in full, as well as other favorites. 
  • Revelator Hill with Karen Jonas at Pearl Street Warehouse on March 31: Revelator Hill offers great, dirty, gritty, and girty rock and roll with a blues edge. Pair them with Virginia's honky-tonk sweetheart Karen Jonas and you're in for a fun night. 
  • Cigarettes After Sex at The Jefferson Theater on March 31: Slow, subdued, hypnotic, and moody, the Brooklyn-quartet Cigarettes After Sex will twist you up with their straight-up lyrics and chew on you for awhile. If you need to catch your breath and go a little zoned-out deep, this is a perfect show. They will be hitting the DC 9:30 club on April 2 in case you miss this show. 
  • Uptown Boys Choir, Boss Company, & Wicked Sycamore for Easter Fool's show at the Velvet Lounge on April 1: Check out this Easter Fool's show with three DMV bands:  Uptown Boys Choir perform their own special mix of punk, pop, and Americana, joined by DC's own cabaret-folk band, Boss Company, and Wicked Sycamore, the female fronted, acoustic trio who blend of contemporary acoustic with foundations in traditional folk.

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.