Summer has arrived-and along with the muggy and sweltering heat comes our jam-packed music guide. While we didn’t forget the amount of special events and festivals that are taking place this summer (that will be Volume 2 of our guide), we’re putting that aside to spotlight the top local shows happening in the DMV. Scouring the endless amount of show listings in D.C., here are the concerts you’ll want to make note on your calendar.
Thursday, May 31st-Ugly Purple Sweater/Typefighter/Plume @ Black Cat DC. Doors 8p.
Ugly Purple Sweater has really earned some solid respect not just with music critics, but also among their peers-and that’s evident in the amount of praise they’ve received with their latest album Conventions (released Nov ’11). Hits like “Roatan” and “Stars” showcase some of the best work the band has put out yet, and will sure to be played backstage at the Black Cat on May 31st.
Thursday, June 7th-Thieving Irons, Kindlewood, Fire and The Wheel @ DC9. Doors 8p/Show 8:30p
Fire and the Wheel is one of the brightest new bands to come into the scene this year. With a heavy-hitting debut LP, the group takes their magic to the DC9 stage. Joining them will be Kindlewood, whose newest single “Give and Take” is the perfect summer music delight with dreamy vocals blended with a sweet intertwining of guitar and tambourine layered in a harmonious number. Both bands will be opening for national act Thieving Irons. Apart of music blog Fuzzy Logic’s showcase.
Friday, June 8th-Justin Trawick @ IOTA Club. Show 9p
Justin Trawick always manages to keep his live performances fresh-even for his most die hard fans. With a broad sound and eclectic mix of instrumentation pulled for each show, If you’ve seen him perform 100 times, or the first time, you’ll be equally as galvanized and entertained.
Thursday, June 14th-Westmain @ Fat Tuesday’s. Show 9p
Westmain is a rock/blues quartet who gave solid proof of their sheer talent through their debut album Glamour Fades this May, and made the band one of the leaders of the pack in the Northern Virginia music scene. Seeing these guys rock live is worth every trip to Fairfax.
Thursday, June 14th-WeatherVanes at the Artisphere. Show 8p.
The WeatherVanes are a folk-rock powerhouse that had their recent EP Morning Light compared to a wide range of artists- which include Ryan Adams, Tom Petty, and Gov’t Mule. The magic the quartet brings on stage is matchless to other bands in their space.
Friday, June 15th-Deathfix/Peanut Butter and Dave @ Rock and Roll Hotel. Doors 8p/Show 9p
While the name Deathfix might not immediately register, the brains behind the name might help ring a bell. The group is comprised of Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty along with Rich Morel (who has remixed hits for Yoko Ono, Pet Shop Boys among many others). This performance is the precursor to a soon-to-be released album and tour the band is plotting for the end of the year.
Saturday, June 16th-Frau Eva, Paperhaus, Heavy Breathing Janel and Anthony @ Black Cat Mainstage. Doors 9p.
Frau Eva’s full-length album Underneath Eyelids defys any sort of categorization in terms of sound, but revels in jazz and rock undertones that we definitely predict will have wide appeal. Bouncing completely opposite of this, electric rock trio Heavy Breathing brings a twisted but playful tone to their music, which makes the combination gratifying not only recorded-but also seeing it all come alive onstage. Paperhaus’ strength lies in their consistantly strong live performances, and this show will most likely be no exception. This is probably one of the strongest all-local lineups of the summer.
Saturday, June 16th-Dub City Renegades/Iron Lady @IOTA Club. Doors 9p.
Dub City Renegades already had a series of accomplishments to boast even before releasing their self-titled EP last fall. Notably, they snagged the Best Reggae Artist title at the Virginia Reggae Awards, and even took their performances abroad to appease their growing international fan base. DCR will return to the IOTA Club for another electrifying performance.
Friday, June 29th-The Tender Thrill, Quilt, and Young Magic @ Comet Ping Pong. Show 10p
Similar sounding to the Ramones, The Tender Thrill boasts songs off of their latest self-titled release that encapulates a slew of classic summertime rock and roll tunes that must be seen performed live. This is one of many solid performances happening at Comet Ping Pong that are lined-up, so consider this performance to the first time (and the not the last time) you’ll be heading out to the Connecticut Avenue venue this summer.
Thursday, June 27th-America Hearts, Olivia and the Mates, The Mean Season @ Black Cat (Backstage). Doors 8p
Lo-fi quartet America Hearts has been riding high on the success of their mini-EP releases (Angsty and Messy) for the past couple months, which is apart of their digital singles series. This show marks their third, and last, release of the series- titled Country. The Mean Season is also slated to perform, and while they’re a relatively new band, they already possess a very solidified sound that’s difficult to put into one genre-but could fit onto a playlist composed of The Yeah, Yeah Yeah’s and Company of Thieves.
Saturday, June 30th-The Silver Liners @DC9. Doors 9p/Show 9:30p
There’s no doubt that The Silver Liners has what it takes to garner commercial success, and they’ve already begun the process with networks like MTV picking up several of their songs for national airplay. Not only is their recorded material solid, but so are their live performances.
Friday, July 6th-Lenorable, Synthetic Division and Miyazaki @ Velvet Lounge. Doors 9p/Show 9:30p
All three bands on the bill deliver their own unique spin on electro music. Lenorable falls more into goth wave while Miyazaki gravitates to a more synth-pop sound. No matter where your tastes may fall, all three bands are veterans at delivering a masterful show.
Friday, July 13th-Buildings/Hume/Other Colors @ Comet Ping Pong. Show 10p.
Sockets Records affiliate Buildings has several shows lined up for the summer, with this being one of the most anticipated on our list-notably after also seeing counterparts Hume (now based in Baltimore) on the bill. Buildings release their first full-length album this past January Everything In Parallel, which was a uniquely formulated release that took its own futuristic approach to post-rock that worked in all the right places-without going too theatrical with its interpretation. See also: Buildings and Heliotropes @ Velvet Lounge on June 16th. Doors 9p and Show 9:30p.
Friday, July 20th-Jonny Grave and The Tombstones/Human Country Jukebox/The Parlor Soliders @ Black Cat. Doors 9p
Hailing from Silver Spring, Maryland, Jonny Grave will grace the Black Cat Mainstage alongside his full-band for a jam-packed night of audacious, loud and bold blues music in all its glory. This summer will be his breakout.
Saturday, July 21st-Deleted Scenes “Park The Van Record Release Party” @ Red Palace. Doors 8p/Show 8:30p
Deleted Scenes celebrated a milestone early this year with signing onto New Orleans based label Park The Van Records. Keeping the momentum going, the band will celebrate the label’s release of Young People’s Church of the Air at the Red Palace.
Friday, August 3rd-Drop Electric/Presto Bando/Southwork/Conveyor @ Black Cat. Doors 9p
This show is the last of three that will benefit music blog Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie’s annual festival in October (the first is on June 1st with Surgery Dot Com headlining and another on July 6th with Young Rapids as the main act). Shoegazers Drop Electric bring their music to life onstage through riveting visuals and film. One band that will be opening for the group is Presto Bando, who will be armed with their punchy and epigrammatic tunes that will sure to impress show-goers.