eliza berkon is a journalist and musician based in washington d.c. 

Weekly Music Agenda, Featuring Near Northeast

By DCist Contributor Eliza Berkon


Fans of 20th century composers John Cage and Steve Reich should take notice of this night of experimental music at Rhizome DC, featuring percussionists Tigue and electronic musicians Ernesto Cárcamo Cavazos and Jason Charney. Doors 8 p.m. $10 suggested donation. All ages, inaccessible venue.


Matthew Sweet, who found fame in the 1990s with “Girlfriend” (a song that later appeared in the Britney Spears film Crossroads), once formed half of the duo Community Trolls with R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe. Hear the Nebraska native at The Birchmere. Doors 6 p.m. $35. All ages, accessible venue.

Considered the inspiration for Dan Aykroyd’s character in The Blues Brothers, Charlie Musselwhite joins Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Ben Harper at 9:30 Club to support their new blues collaboration, No Mercy in This Land. Doors 7 p.m. $55. All ages, accessible venue. 


Newish British electropop band Colouring, playing at DC9, has only a few releases to its name, but each—including a melancholy cover of “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”—is gauzy and transportative. Doors 7:30 p.m. $13-$15. All ages, inaccessible venue.

Reggaeton is still alive and well, and newly solo Nacho (formerly of Venezuelan duo Chino y Nacho) also seems to be doing just fine, with more than 284 million YouTube views of his hit song "Báilame." Catch him at The Fillmore. Doors 7 p.m. $63. All ages, accessible venue.

In 1996, angsty teens and college students throughout America found solace and vindication in Tracy Bonham’s relatable “Mother Mother,” a driving rock song in which Bonham sing-screams “I’m hungry/I’m dirty/I’m losing my mind/Everything’s fine.” See if she reprises the role at Jammin Java in a show with rock musician and producer Blake Morgan. Doors 6:30 p.m. $18. All ages, accessible venue.


The ’90s club anthem “What is Love”—beloved by a head-bobbing Chris Kattan and Will Ferrell on Saturday Night Live—had a rebirth in 2016 with a cover by Belgian producer Lost Frequencies, known for remixes that cross genres. See him at U Street Music Hall. Doors 10:30 p.m. $20-$25. Ages 18-20 by advance ticket only. Accessible venue.

Earlier this year, Seattle foursome Kuinka performed its brand of exuberant indie folk at an NPR Tiny Desk Concert. See the band live at Gypsy Sally’s, with Milo in the Doldrums and Annabelle’s Curse. Doors 7 p.m. $12-$14. 21+, accessible venue.


M. Ward, the “him” of retro folk/pop duo She and Him, surprise-dropped his album What a Wonderful Industry earlier this month, full of chill songs that meld acoustic and electric guitar with a few toe-tappers thrown in. See him at 9:30 Club. Doors 8 p.m. $30. All ages, accessible venue.

Roosevelt "The Dr." Collier knows his way around a pedal-steel guitar, whether playing funk, blues, or gospel. Hear his trio’s interpretation of guitar legend Jimi Hendrix at Pearl Street Warehouse in a DC JazzFest performance. Doors 7 p.m. $15. 21+, accessible venue.

Thirty years ago, alt-rock band The Posies gained a following in the Seattle area after the successful reception of their perhaps ironically named debut album, Failure. Catch them at The Hamilton. Doors 6:30 p.m. $20-$30. All ages, accessible venue.

Grammy-winning hip-hop group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, which formed in Cleveland in the early ’90s, brings its signature blend of rap and melody (see “Tha Crossroads” and “1st of Tha Month”) to The Fillmore. Doors 7 p.m. $33. All ages, accessible venue.

Rock superstars U2 have vowed not to play anything from their iconic 1987 album The Joshua Tree in their "Experience and Innocence Tour," which hits Capital One Arena Sunday and Monday, instead focusing on their more recent albums. Doors 8 p.m. $41-$400+. All ages, accessible venue.

Local indie folk favorites Near Northeast (whose band members met while performing South Asian music at The Kennedy Center) share the limelight with bluegrass group The Plate Scrapers and self-identifying “post-apocalyptic river folk” band The Hills and The Rivers at Union Stage. Doors 6:30 p.m. $12-$14. All ages, accessible venue.


Canadian folk-rock artist and soon-to-be octogenarian Gordon Lightfoot, who crafted the harmony-rich ’70s hit “Sundown,” comes to The Birchmere. $89.50. Doors 6 p.m. All ages, accessible venue.

2018 Northern Virginian of the Year: Michael Rossiter

2018 Northern Virginian of the Year: Brenda and Mark Moore