It’s August. It sure doesn’t feel like August, but the calendar says it is. That means summer is slowly slipping away and the days of sweater weather, sweltering lattes, and crispy leaves is inching closer.
This is quite possibly my favorite time of year. Baseball’s still being played, we’re on the cusp of a drop in daily temperatures, and as always — there’s plenty live music being played.
Here the shows for the month of August that I definitely wouldn’t miss.
Jammin’ Java | Thursday 8 p.m. | $15
So who remembers The Calling? I know I do. I saw them live in 2005 back at the Lincoln Park West in Chicago. I knew them then thanks to their fame on TRL. Alex Band had a lot to do with that. His voice was somewhere in between Darius Rucker of Hootie and the Blowfish and Scott Stapp of Creed. Mix that in with his boy band face and platinum blonde locks with some catchy song hooks and bam.
Band is back on the music scene with a new record out entitled “We’ve All Been There.” All of his pop music charm aside, I have to say Band’s show is a must-see. Why? He’s an advocate for organ donation. His latest album is a manifesto of personal experiences involving his wife, their eventual divorce, and their struggles as she was placed on the liver transplant waiting list. Band devotes his efforts to increasing organ donation awareness through his music. He’s got a good heart, so he’s worth seeing live.
Evan Bliss and the Welchers with MEM
Velvet Lounge | Friday, doors at 9 p.m. , show at 10 p.m. | 21+ | $8
I first learned about Evan Bliss due to his involvement with The Holster Project, which is a non-profit group here in the District that rally’s together musicians fighting to raise awareness on variety of causes. He’s a caring guy who just so happens to know how to rock out and rock out hard. Plus, their locals!
On Tap Magazine puts it best when describing Bliss and the Welchers: “If Brandon Boyd of Incubus and Jack Johnson had a love child, it would be Evan Bliss & the Welchers. The group’s sound blends powerful vocals and skilled instrumental music in what is a very respectable compilations. Mixing reggae, punk, rock and soul, the band has created a unique sound.”
Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra
Bohemian Caverns | Monday, doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. | $7
I’m a firm believer that there is nothing more American, besides Country music, than Big Band Jazz. The root of all American popular music, whether it’s Justin Beiber (I’m sorry I went there, but I had to for context’s sake) or Kings of Leon, is the Blues. Before the Blues there was ragtime and so and and so on. I won’t bore you with music history’s details. What I will say is this — every American needs to sit down and hear a Big Band orchestra every once in awhile. It’s a guaranteed feel-good time that your grandparents will be proud of you for having attended. Plus, you might actually walk away with a tune stuck in your head.
This is the BCJO’s first year together. If you like what you hear, they play every Monday — just an FYI.
U.S. Army Band, “Pershing’s Own” – “The 1812 Overture”
Sylvan Theater (15th and Constitution Ave. NW) at the Washington Monument | Tuesday 8 p.m. | FREE
Have you ever heard “The 1812 Overture” in its entirety live? I know I haven’t. The closest I’ve ever come to hearing it performed live was a shortened version played by my middle school concert band … while I was playing the first trumpet part. We live in the Nation’s Capital, the least we can do is show our patriotism on the National Mall and listen to our U.S. Army Band play one of the finest pieces orchestrated pieces in music history. Right? Yeah.
“Pershing’s Own” is an ensemble of the U.S. Army Band and each year, the U.S. Army Band concludes their summer concert series with Tchaikovsky’s “Overture 1812.” For recorded information about upcoming concerts, please call 703-696-3399.
Jammin’ Java | Thursday 7:30 p.m. | $10 advanced / $13 at the door
If you like soul driven solo acts with that touch of adventure ringing from each word sung then this is a can’t miss show. Tony Lucca has been at this since his days on the Mickey Mouse Club in the early 90s. So perhaps you remember his adorable little face? Since them he’s seen a respectable amount of mention in the songwriting community and has more albums and EP’s than I can count. His partner in crime for many years on the tour circuit includes Ernie Halter who is also quite the minstrel. Between the two of them, they visit Jammin’ Java at least twice a year and even though I’ve already listed a concert at Jammin’ Java in this month’s Music Preview, I still firmly believe this is a perfect pick for a concert for those of you who love a well-written song from the soul.
August 20 through the 22
Blues Alley | Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 8 & 10 p.m. | $43
Arturo is a god amonst mere mortals with a trumpet. This show is for more than the standard Jazz aficianado. Blues Alley is a staple of the Jazz community in the District and a hiden treasure from deep inside the hallowed depths of Georgetown. Not only do you get world class music but you can’t beat the location. Georgetown is more than high-end shopping, fine food, and the waterfront. Visit the Alley, catch one of the great’s in modern Jazz history, and stay for the atmosphere. There’s nothing better than a Jazz Cat timewarp, and Blues Alley gives it to ya.