If you’re like me, you and your wallet may be overwhelmed with the number of astounding concerts happening this spring in DC. But with the amount of amazing rising talent coming to the district to perform live, how can you not go? I sat down with an extensive concert list, and asked myself, which shows are worth going to?
Here are some up-and-coming bands you don’t want to miss when they stop in DC this spring:
Tennis. The precious, sun-drenched project of Denver couple Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley, post-selling their belongings and cruising the Eastern seaboard on a sailboat. The minimalist, nostalgic beach rock, beautifully layered with Moore’s 60s pop-esque vocals, croons us back to late evening walks along the sand, the surf lapping softly against the shore. They’ll be headlining on Saturday, March 5th, at the Rock and Roll Hotel, along with indie up-and-comers La Sera and Holiday Shores.
Titus Andronicus (above). The New Jersey punk sensations have been raising eyebrows since their latest release, The Monitor, garnered a nod from Rolling Stone as one of the best new bands of 2010. Their frenetic, raw performance is not to be missed. They’ll be playing alongside the famed Irish folk punk band The Pogues two nights, March 8th and 9th, at the 9:30 Club.
Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears. Funky basslines, jazz undertones and blues vocals blend to form this Austin, Texas band’s lively, energetic sound. Their latest release, Tell ‘Em What Your Name Is!, was produced by fellow Austinite Jim Eno of Spoon. You can’t help but tap your foot to the jazzy piano and frenzy of melodic vocals. They’ll be at the Black Cat with Those Darlins on Thursday, March 24th.
Cults. I’ve been eagerly anticipating the next step of New York duo Cults, who have mysteriously kept under the radar while their single “Go Outside” blew up last year. Think Beach House-esque dreamy vocals meeting 50s surf rock anthems. Over the summer, they toured with math rockers Maps & Atlases, and now they’re back with dream pop sensations Asobi Seksu and Sun Airway, on Friday, March 25th, at Rock and Roll Hotel, for what should prove to be an amazing array of talent.
Baths. I had the privilege of seeing this outstanding solo electronic act, along with Braids, earlier this semester at Rock and Roll Hotel. Will Wiesenfeld’s blend of electrifying beats, interwoven with falsetto vocals, gorgeous elements of ambience and many surprises (some of the new material he played had some elements of dubstep, with some heart-shattering drops!) is something to be experienced. Don’t miss out- he’ll be at 9:30 with indie favorites Cold War Kids, Saturday, March 26th.
STRFKR. Indie dance electronica at its finest, melding synthesizers, dreamy vocals, and video game-esque beats. This Portland band has been turning heads, showcasing at SXSW this March, as well as past tours with electronica band The Octopus Project and up-and-coming Brahms. This spring, they’re back in DC with Norwegian favorites Casiokids at Rock and Roll Hotel, Wednesday, March 30th.
Gold Panda. British electronic music producer Derwin Panda’s solo project has been causing a stir. Undertones of Indian and Japanese culture, blended with sampling and synthy beats, creates a sonic seizure of impressive electronica that should not be missed. He’ll be at the Red Palace on Friday, April 1st, along with Dan Mantle.
The Black Angels. I need to preface this by saying that I’m a tad biased, as this Austin band is a home state favorite for me. Combining elements from old-school psychedelic rock, drone, and face-melting garage rock, this insanely talented band draws its roots from fellow famed Austin psychedelic band the 13th Floor Elevators, as well as Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and The Velvet Underground. They’ll be at the 9:30 Club with Suuns on Sunday, May 3rd, for a show that should be an unbelievable, mind-blowing sensory overload.
Tamaryn. Lately, I’ve been hooked on this neo-shoegaze revivalist band, one of many that seem to be sweeping the ambient music scene with the nostalgia of the early 90s and the energy of 2011. Think of the droning, dreamy vocals of My Bloody Valentine, the romantic drawl of Slowdive-esque guitars, and loaded with Deerhunter-esque effect pedals. Check out their debut, The Waves, for an impressive array of genres spanning shoegaze, noise rock and ambient. Don’t miss them at the Black Cat on Sunday, April 17th, along with Danish noise rockers The Raveonettes.