Music Picks: November 2017


Kishi Bashi
After touring for his two previous studio albums, Kishi Bashi decided to submerge himself in a new musical direction. Feeling as though he was at a musical impasse, the artist’s new album, Sonderlust, was forged through heartbreak. The album represents a direct result of this personal struggle taking place at an artistic crossroads. Write-up provided by the venue. 8 p.m. Tickets are $25. Sixth & I: 600 I St. NW, DC;

Mister Heavenly
Mister Heavenly’s latest album, Boxing the Moonlight, has seen this three-member band moving away from the love and affection of their previous album for a tougher sound they self-describe as scrappy. Inspiration for the new album spans several decades, with influences like 60s garage rockers The Monks, 70s Krautrock band Faust, as well as hip-hop production in the late 80s and early 90s. Whether you’re vibing a psychedelic smooth jam or hard rock hit, you’ll get a little bit of everything from this eclectic collection of songs. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15. Black Cat: 1811 14th St. NW, DC;


The Mountain Goats
While folk rockers the Mountain Goats have seen many members come and go, one constant has been John Darnielle, who at one point was even the sole member of the act. With a new lineup came a variety of soundscapes across the band’s latest album, but Darnielle’s tone and feel have remained consistent throughout. That tone is best described as a Bob Dylan-esque American experience with the band’s songs often sounding more like a short story than a typical song. Step into a Mountain Goats concert and surely you’ll be taken on a musical journey of life as it is. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $36. 9:30 Club: 815 V St. NW, DC;


Blank Banshee
Blank Banshee came on the vaporwave scene with his debut studio record, o, which brought trap beats to the familiar samples of vaporwave. Since then, Banshee has expanded on that technique and his production has only become crisper. His latest record, MEGA, is the latest Banshee iteration and he’s upped his take on vaporwave by even adding live vocals. 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $10. U Street Music Hall: 1115 U St. NW, DC;

Grizzly Bear
Brooklyn-based band Grizzly Bear wasn’t sure they would ever make another record, but after a cautious re-entering to the process, the four members have returned. A Zen experience that had the members eager to share their creativity with each other spawned their new album Painted Ruins. Among the record’s sounds are sometimes serious themes painted with an airy lightness on one hand, and a playfulness embraced in a deep warmth on the other. Most evidently, a sense of pure happiness lingers throughout the psychedelic pop band’s latest project. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $41-$56. The Anthem: 901 Wharf St. SW, DC;


Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons
This Northwest roots and blues music duo shares an undeniable musical kinship and sense of joy in their interpretation of American roots music. The duo’s self-proclaimed mission to “spread the glory and whimsy of traditional song” shines through in a concert of field hollers, fiddle and banjo breakdowns, and early jazz by two American songsters. Food and beverage available for purchase. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25-$30. Write-up provided by venue. Hylton Performing Arts Center: 10960 George Mason Cir. Manassas, VA;


Savage (Parquet Courts)
Parquet Courts frontman Andrew Savage released his debut solo album, Thawing Dawn, October 13 on Dull Tools. His solo project is his collection of work that he felt he couldn’t quite fit into Parquet Courts. The Americana in Parquet Courts’ Americana-punk is still present, but there’s more space on the record, and the ratio of Americana to punk tends toward the latter. Doors 6:30 p.m. $12. DC9: 1940 9th St. NW, DC;

New York-based female duo Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell are on tour promoting their debut album YOUNG. Their whimsical vocals lace together effortlessly across songs rich in minimalism that explore the ups and downs of love, the challenges of family and the story of two best friends reaching adulthood together. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15. Rock & Roll Hotel: 1353 H St. NE, DC;


Everyone Orchestra
The Everyone Orchestra conductor/founder Matt Butler has taken participants, both onstage and off, on improvisational journeys with the most diverse of lineups at festivals, theaters and philanthropic events both nationally and internationally. A laundry list of hundreds of musicians, dancers, singers, guest conductors and community organizations have embraced the experience of EO in single shots of musical adrenaline to the soul. Doors at 7 p.m., show at 9 p.m. Write-up provided by venue. Gypsy Sally’s: 3401 K St. NW, DC;

George Winston
Most everyone could find a George Winston CD in their parents’ collection as a kid or has heard him come on the radio around the holidays. Winston is one of the bestselling pianists of all time, and is known for his mesmerizing “rural folk piano.” Shows are at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets are $40. The Barns at Wolf Trap: 1635 Trap Rd. Vienna, VA;

DJ and producer Priku is Romanian-born, and the influence of the Romanian house scene comes through in his set. As is the style, he’ll often begin by laying down the bass line, but the difference is that his bass lines aren’t all fat and round, and never simple. They’re complex, staccato and techy in their tone. But they hold the groove together, and the whole sound is captivating. Doors are at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $8. Flash DC: 645 Florida Ave. NW, DC;

Brooklyn experimental metal trio Sannhet’s latest record, So Numb, is so far seen as their best music yet. The instrumental trio, though experimental and metal-influenced, is difficult to categorize. On So Numb, they showcase a metal virtuosity with a penchant for moments of shoegaze-like emotional depth. Doors are at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12. Rock & Roll Hotel: 1353 H St. NE, DC;


Alex Clare
Ever wonder what happened to that guy who sang “Too Close?” Well he – Alex Clare that is – is still making music and singing with that soulful voice of his. His latest album, Tail of Lions, brings more of that rock-and-soul-meets-electronica he’s known for, but with a new maturity and positivity that can only come with experience. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25. Rock & Roll Hotel: 1353 H St. NE, DC;

Haley Reinhart
If you’re wondering where you’ve heard the name Haley Reinhart before, it was probably from season 10 of American Idol. She stood out then, and still does, for her incredibly powerful, husky voice. Her latest album What’s That Sound? is a collection of 11 covers from the 1960s that Reinhart describes as songs that inspired her music career. The album also has three originals. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20-$60. Fillmore Silver Spring: 8656 Colesville Rd. Silver Spring, MD;

Hippo Campus
Spirited alt-rockers Hippo Campus may have only recently released their debut album Landmark, but they’re already making big waves with their high-energy performances. With comparison to Vampire Weekend and Bombay Bicycle Club, the young quartet’s sound is a mix of Afro-pop/garage rock and post-punk edginess, with lyrics that critique today’s youth culture while appreciating what they inevitably are a part of. Their album deserves a close listen, as headphones reveal smaller details and surprises than speakers. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20. 9:30 Club: 815 V St. NW, DC;


Who is Luna? Well according to Rolling Stone, they’re “the best band you’ve never heard of.” Formed in 1991, these alt-rockers are a key element behind the evolution of the indie-pop genre, mixing dreamy pop with classic rock song structures. After 13 years of no new music and few performances, the band is back on tour with a covers LP, A Sentimental Education, and EP, A Place of Greater Safety, with six original songs. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25. Black Cat: 1811 14th St. NW, DC;

R.LUM.R released his debut album, AFTERIMAGE, earlier this year. The artist actually began as a classical guitarist and only turned to making contemporary music a few years ago. AFTERIMAGE resonates much more with contemporary production and electronic instrumentation, plus his judicious use of falsetto recalls contemporaries like Frank Ocean. Doors are 7 p.m. Tickets are $15. Songbyrd Music House and Record Cafe: 2475 18th St. NW, DC;


Chicago-based Bully released its sophomore record, Losing, October 20 on Sub Pop Records. The group is the brainchild of Alicia Bognanno, who is the group’s lead singer, engineer and writer. The three singles released in anticipation of Losing are raw, yet powerful. Doors at 7 p.m. Tickets are $18. U Street Music Hall: 1115 U St. NW, DC;


Ghost-Note is a duo that brings percussion to the forefront of their performance, whether something James Brown-inspired or something samba-inflected. They will perform with members of Snarky Puppy, the improvisation-focused jazz ensemble. Doors are at 7 p.m. Tickets day of are $14. Gypsy Sally’s: 3401 K St. NW, DC;

The Story So Far
Break out your thick, black eyeliner because California punk rockers The Story So Far will bring you back to your middle school emo days of Green Day and Blink-182 with inspiration ranging from energetic pop-punk to the wistfulness of classic emo. With their grassroots, back-to-basics style, the band is hitting the road again, teasing a fourth album with their latest single “Out of It.” Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $23-$25. Black Cat: 1811 14th St. NW, DC;


Canadian rock band Arkells are on tour for their latest album, Morning Report. Their most eclectic album to date, the alt-rockers have stepped away from their more classic, old school rock ‘n’ roll heavily influenced by their industrial hometown of Hamilton, Ontario. While still filled with the band’s signature rock sound, the new album has a more adventurous tone that’s been inspired by Top 40’s progressive nature. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15. U Street Music Hall: 1115 U St. NW, DC;

Big Sam’s Funky Nation
Noladelic PowerFunk. That’s the sound Big Sam’s Funky Nation have been whipping up for more than a decade. It’s high-energy music that mixes funk, rock ‘n’ roll, hip-hop and jazz into the same pot, gluing everything together with the brassy influence – and heavy grooves – of New Orleans. Doors at 6:30 p.m., show at 8 p.m. Tickets $19.75-$25.75. Write-up provided by venue. The Hamilton: 600 14th St. NW, DC;

The Black Heart Procession
It’s been six years since The Black Heart Procession has embarked on a U.S. tour, but now they’re back on the road. These San Diego indie rockers play music that is deep, heavy and a slightly subdued listen. These guys are all ballads of despair and misery, but the stories they tell are exciting and beautiful, and rich with weeping violins and whimsical backing female vocals. Doors open at 7 pm. Tickets are $15. Rock & Roll Hotel: 1353 H St. NE, DC;

Erykah Badu
Though Badu hasn’t released new music in awhile, her music has recently begun to enjoy the recognition it has long deserved. She began her career opening for D’Angelo, and her music evinces a similar love for 70s soul and 80s hip-hop. Vocally, she has drawn comparison to Billie Holliday and other jazz greats. The show is at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $76. The Anthem: 901 Wharf St. SW, DC;

Rapper P.O.S. is known for his radical lyrics and heavily electronic beats. At first glance, those words might also be used to describe a group like Death Grips, but the rapper’s sounds resonate more with the Berlin Nightclub scene. P.O.S returned to making music in 2016 after being sidelined with health problems. In 2017, he made his first record after returning, Chill Dummy, that brings that same punk energy to the lyrics and danceable beat to the production. Doors are at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15. Songbyrd Music House and Record Cafe: 2475 18th St. NW, DC;


Lady Gaga
You know her, you love her, or at the very least, you respect her and her positive social messages. Lady Gaga is back on tour for her latest album, Joanne, her first stab at country-pop. A little bit Western flick, a little bit Southern ballad – and always a lot of Lady Gaga-esque pop – this show is not likely to disappoint. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets start at $78. Capital One Arena: 601 F St. NW, DC;


Dumpstaphunk Phunksgiving with Cris Jacobs
Dumpstaphunk stands out among New Orleans’ best as one of the funkiest bands to ever arise from the Crescent City. Born on the Jazz & Heritage Festival stage, and descended from Neville family bloodlines, these soldiers of funk ignite a deep, gritty groove that dares listeners not to move. Their performances combine ingenious musicianship and complex funk and jazz arrangements with soulful melodies that are simple enough for anyone to enjoy. Doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. Tickets $20-$23. Write-up provided by venue. Gypsy Sally’s: 3401 K St. NW, DC;


The NYC-based rapper and producer is known for his mix of more personal and globally-oriented themes. He also received a great deal of production cred for his most recent record Forest Agates, a collection of instrumentals that Earmilk says is best listened to the morning of one’s flight to Mars. Doors are at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $12. Jammin Java: 227 Maple Ave. E Vienna, VA;


St. Vincent
Annie Clark, a.k.a. St. Vincent, is known for her experimental art-rock sound. Always pushing the boundaries of what music can be, on top of her exceptional guitar abilities and Grammy wins, St. Vincent has earned her spot at the top of the alt-rock list. Her latest album, Masseduction, explores Clark’s post-major breakup world and what it’s like to be alone with heavy synths and pounding club beats. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $44-$149. The Anthem: 901 Wharf St. SW, DC;


Beach Slang
Philly-based band Beach Slang writes an upbeat style of punk that could almost be called giddy. Though the band broke up mid-performance in 2016, they’ve since recruited former Afghan Whigs drummer Cully Symington and former Mean Creek guitarist Aurore Ounijan, and the group’s style seems to have matured in a new way. Tickets are $20. Doors are at 7:30 p.m. Black Cat: 1811 14th St. NW, DC;


John Anderson
To put it simply, John Anderson is one of the greatest country music singers to ever step up to the microphone, possessing one of the most instantly recognizable vocal instruments in the history of the genre. Though he would never compare himself to his heroes, the fact is, John Anderson is now the standard bearer for traditional country music of the 100 Proof variety. Doors 6:30 p.m., show 8 p.m. Tickets $25-$59.75. Write-up provided by venue. The Hamilton: 600 14th St. NW, DC;

Best known as the frontman for legendary English alt-rockers The Smiths, Morrissey has long since departed the band that brought him to fame, but he’s never stopped making music. His latest album, Low in High School, will be released this month, bringing his typical style of political controversy and captivating lyrics. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $55-$75. The Anthem: 901 Wharf St. SW, DC;